It is such an exciting milestone when your child first begins to read! Some take to reading easily, while others do not. The good news is that there is a book out there for every kind of child and every type of reader, which we have discovered in the course of reading almost nine hundred books for our website.
For those who have a reluctant reader in the family, selecting books that fit can be extra challenging. Here are some tips that have worked for us:
Parallel Reading. This may sound odd, but reading the same book as your independent reader goes a long way. Not only does it create excellent opportunities for discussion and bonding, it also makes your reader feel like you are interested in what they are doing.
Family Read-Alouds. This is a wonderful way to bridge the gap between children of varying ages within the same family. Reading aloud gives everyone a chance to chime in about the latest plot twist, or what’s going to happen next.
Books on CD in the Car. Obviously, it helps to give reluctant readers great books so that they want to keep reading. But this doesn’t always work in the traditional way. When your mom says, “Here’s a book I think you’d like,” it can be the kiss of death. So sometimes you have to get sneaky. A book on CD playing in the car, for example, can pique a child’s interest. You never know, they may get hooked!
Think Outside the Box. Carol Rasco, CEO of Reading is Fundamental, recommends letting reluctant readers choose their own reading material. She encourages family members to be patient and allow children to read whatever appeals to them—magazines, graphic novels or comic books, newspapers, on-line books, audio books—it all counts! Then you can expand the methods of reading and topics slowly over time.
Below are some of our picks for reluctant readers. For more suggestions, check out StorySnoops.com, where we have lists of books for all different types of readers by age and interest.
Books for Reluctant Readers – Ages 8+
- Frindle, by Andrew Clements (8+)
- Igraine the Brave, by Corneia Funke (8+)
- Fudge Series, by Judy Blume (8-12)
- The Fast and the Furriest, by Andy Behrens (8-12)
- Big Nate, by Lincoln Peirce (8-12)
- The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, by Erin Dionne (8-12)
- 11 Birthdays, by Wendy Mass (9-12)
- The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger (9-12)
- Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls Series, by Meg Cabot (9-12)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, by Jeff Kinney (9-12)
- How to Train Your Dragon Series, by Cressida Cowell (9-12)
- Dork Diaries, by Rachael Russell (9-13)
- Scat, by Carl Hiassen (10+)
- Bearwalker, by Joseph Bruchac (10+)
- Alex Rider Series, by Anthony Horowitz (10+)
- Flush, by Carl Hiassen (10+)
- No More Dead Dogs, by Gordon Korman (10-14)
- Honus & Me/Babe & Me, by Dan Gutman (10-14)
- The Winnie Years Series, by Lauren Myracle (10-15)
Books For Family Read-Alouds
- Science Fair, by Dave Barry
- The Name of This Book is Secret Series, by Pseudonymous Bosch
- Uncle Pirate, by Douglas Rees
- Artemis Fowl Series, by Eoin Colfer
- The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Stewart
- Holes, by Louis Sachar
- Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko
- Al Capone Shines My Shoes, by Gennifer Choldenko
- The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schlitz
- Zorgamzoo, by Robert Paul Weston
- What the Dickens: the Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy, by Gregory Maguire
- The Magician’s Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo
- Peter and the Starcatchers Series, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
- Harry Potter Series, by J. K. Rowling