8 Perfect Books for Reluctant Readers (Even Yours!)
Dyslexia affects 2 to 8 percent of elementary school children, and it can make school assignments torturous. The idea of reading for pleasure? Laughable. But reading — and reading often — is the best way for your child to improve her language skills, critical thinking, and imagination. If your child isn’t keen on reading, try these 8 books for kids with ADHD to keep them turning the pages.
‘Wolfman,’ by Michael Rosen
This book is written in a special easy-to-read font, making it perfect for dyslexic children who struggle to distinguish certain letters. The fun, humorous story of the Wolfman — complete with a surprising twist — is great for children as young as 3.
Age range: 3-6 years
‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret,’ by Brian Selznick
This book is huge — 566 pages — and it may seem daunting to your reluctant reader at first. But its engaging story is told mostly through images that will grip your child from the very beginning. Part picture book, part in-depth novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a genre all its own, and your child will feel proud of himself when he makes it to the final page.
Age range: 9-12 years
‘Squish,’ by Jennifer and Matthew Holm
You may have heard of Babymouse , a popular series by the Holm brother and sister team. In Squish , the Holms have teamed up again to create the story of Squish, a Twinkie-loving amoeba just trying to make it through elementary school. The story is told simply, with short accessible sentences, readable dialogue, and plenty of pictures. Plus, your child will learn some science along the way — without feeling like they’re trapped in a boring lesson.
Age range: 8-12 years
‘Bone’ Series, by Jeff Smith
Aimed at grades 5 and up, the Bone books follow Fone Bone and his cousins as they try to navigate a vast uncharted desert. The author, Jeff Smith, said he was inspired to become a writer (and reader!) by the Peanuts comic strip. Now, he hopes to help kids everywhere find the same joy in reading, and Bone is a great place for them to start.
Age range: 10-15 years
‘Brock,’ by Anthony McGowan
This book is great for high school children who still struggle to read but have outgrown simple picture books. It’s published by Barrington Stoke, a company that edits and designs their books specifically to make them easier for dyslexic children to read. Brock has mature themes, but an engaging story — perfect for dyslexic children who are ready to move on to short novels.
Age range: 12-16 years
‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ by Jeff Kinney
This one is a classic choice, and for a reason. With simple comic book style illustrations, a down-to-earth writing style, and short chapters, Jeff Kinney’s popular graphic novels are accessible to children of any reading ability. Plus, three movies have already been made based off the books — giving your child a fun opportunity to compare and contrast after he finishes reading.
Age range: 8-12 years
‘Horrid Henry Robs the Bank,’ by Francesca Simon
Horrid Henry is endearingly evil, and kids will get a kick out of his action-packed, delightfully illustrated adventures. The book itself has four different short stories, so reluctant readers can tackle one at a time without getting discouraged. Plus, parents can use the story’s themes to introduce engaging discussions of right and wrong, without boring their children with dull ethics lessons.
Age range: 7-12 years
‘Goth Girl,’ by Chris Riddell
If your late elementary school-aged child thinks picture books are for babies, this beautifully illustrated series should set her straight. Aimed primarily at children 9+ — particularly those who aren’t ready to tackle full-length novels — Goth Girl tells the story of a lonely girl living in a creepy Victorian estate, where she stumbles upon a ghostly mouse. The jokes will tickle children and adults alike, and the fast-moving plot will keep everyone entertained until the last page.
Age range: 7-11 years
Buy Goth Girl