In two experiments, we investigated comprehension monitoring in 10-12 years old children differing in reading comprehension skill. The children's self-paced reading times (Experiment 1) and eye fixations and regressions (Experiment 2) were measured as they read narrative texts in which an action of the protagonist was consistent or inconsistent with a description of the protagonist's character given earlier. The character description and action were adjacent (local condition) or separated by a long filler paragraph (global condition). The self-paced reading data (Experiment 1), the initial reading and rereading data (Experiment 2), together with the comprehension question data (both experiments), are discussed within the situation model framework and suggest that poor comprehenders find difficulty in constructing a richly elaborated situation model. Poor comprehenders presumably fail to represent character information in the model as a consequence of which they are not able to detect inconsistencies in the global condition (in which the character information is lost from working memory). The patterns of results rule out an explanation in terms of impaired situation model updating ability. © 2011 The Author(s).