8 books for young reluctant readers

I read avidly as a child. And I love to read now as well. But there was a time, as a teenager, when it felt as though books weren’t for me anymore. And it put me off for a while.

Why are there reluctant readers?

Lots of young reluctant readers may dislike reading because they haven’t found the right book for them, find reading too difficult or stressful, or feel the pressure to over analyse the story, instead of just enjoying the ride.

With enough influence, it can be easy to fall out of love with reading. 

Some young people eventually stick to other mediums, preferring films, podcasts and audiobooks instead. That’s okay. But finding exciting and accessible books is the best way to help them make an informed choice.

Books to try with young reluctant readers

The following list is a mix of classics with a history of drawing the reader in, as well as a few newer titles that have made a name for themselves. Some you might already know. Others you might not have seen before. Either way, give them a try: 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

In this series, readers are introduced to Greg Heffley, a kid going through middle school. As you read about his trials and triumphs, you’re treated to loads of illustrations and laugh-out loud humour.

The Red Glove and other Stories by Catherine Fisher

Are longer books a struggle? Some younger readers might prefer a short story instead. And this Welsh writer combines folklore and horror to weave tales that keep any reader on the edge of their seats.

Good News by Rashmi Sirdeshpande

Not everyone likes fiction. Or doom and gloom. And Good News is a book that’s neither! Here, your readers can feel inspired by all the good deeds taking place in the world, from advancements in robots to saving the environment. 

Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Taking the Blame by Louie Stowell

Who doesn’t love an anti-hero? Set out like a diary, readers get to know Loki, the god of mischief. Except in this story, Loki is in the form of an eleven-year-old who has to prove to the other Gods that’s not that bad.

Holes by Louis Sacher

This classic and inspirational tales has the won the hearts of young readers for years. It weaves a tragic history, a curse of bad luck, and a startling discovery as Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Greenlake for a crime he didn’t commit.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

The beauty of graphic novels is they tell stories through images. This makes them very easy to follow. And Roller Girl does this in style with plenty of pace. The story follows the life of Astrid as she tries to balance teenage life with becoming a roller derby skater. 

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

What do you get when you mix crime fiction, with sarcasm, and magic? This series of books! Follow Valkyrie Cain as she discovers the magical world and solves an ancient crime that could threaten the world.

Goosebumps by R L Stine

Goosebumps are a series of horror books written for children. Published in the 90s, their stories covered monstrous goop, haunted masks, and mysterious disappearances. There are lots of books to choose from, and it’s easy for readers to dip in and out of the books.

Finding the right book takes time

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you adore books. But maybe know someone who doesn’t feel the same way. It can be discouraging when you feel as though you’ve recommended every book possible. And your kid still hasn’t clicked with any.

That’s okay. It can take a long time to find the right book. And it’s the thought that counts.  

Interested in knowing more?

If you’d also like some strategies on reading with reluctant readers, you can take a look at some other recommendations, as well as few handy guides below: 

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