In his book ‘Reading Reconsidered’, Doug Lemov points out that there are five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence. These are complex and demand more from the reader than other types of books.
The five text types are:
The vocabulary, usage, syntax and context for cultural reference of texts over 50 or 100 years old are vastly different and typically more complex than texts written today. Children need to be exposed to and develop proficiency with antiquated forms of expression to be able to hope to read more complex texts.
Stories where time flows back and forth in a complex manner not just flows in one direction.
Some books have more than one narrator telling the story or non-human narrators such as the horse who tells the story in Black Beauty.
Where the plot and symbols used are more complicated for example interwoven plots.
This refers to texts which are difficult to understand, texts that deliberately resist comprehension. You have to assemble meaning around nuances, hints, uncertainties and clues.