Best books for reluctant readers

If your child has not yet discovered the joys of reading for fun, we are here to help you inspire them with our pick of the best books for reluctant readers.

Why is reading for enjoyment important?

Reading for pleasure has so many benefits. It is a way to relax, it feeds imagination, it builds vocabulary, it makes us happy, and it can help us sleep. In short, reading is good for your child’s physical and mental health.  

What are the best books for reluctant readers?

These fantastic books will keep your child happy and engaged on cold winter’s evenings and rainy afternoons. For more ideas, please see our list of best children’s Christmas books.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney

This is the first in a series of laugh-out-loud funny books. Children love these stories about Greg Heffley, a child enduring the trials of being the middle child in a family going through the trials of middle school. Take it from us, adults find these books funny too!

Greg and his hapless friend Rowley, find different ways to survive the challenges of going to school with children who are much bigger and meaner than them. To make matters worse, they must avoid getting the dreaded cheese touch at all costs! Anyone who touches the ancient bit of cheese lying on the playground becomes an outcast, and the only way to get rid of the cheese touch is to pass it on to someone else.

There have been a few Diary of a Wimpy Kid films which might inspire your child to read the books afterwards. The most recent is based on the second book in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and is due to be released by Disney + on 2nd December.

The 13 Storey Treehouse

By Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

The 13 Storey Treehouse is also part of a long-running series. Two boys called Andy and Terry build a dangerous, but exciting and funny, treehouse. The treehouse has some unusual levels which build up over the series. For example, the shark pool level, the ‘lost sausage’ level and the ‘old boot’ level.

Andy and Terry are authors who must finish writing their book (the one we are reading) by a strict deadline set by their publisher, Mr Bignose. The problem is that they keep getting distracted. They have a pillow fight with a giant banana which attracts the attention of a King Kong-sized gorilla. The gorilla stops them from writing their book by shaking the tree, and so it goes on.  

Somehow or another, they get their book to Mr Bignose on schedule. The book is delivered by strange flying cats, which are a cross between cats and canaries (catnaries).

Dinosaur Cove: Attack of the Lizard King

By Rex Stone

This is yet another series of very popular books. In the first book, Dinosaur Cove: Attack of the Lizard King, two friends, Jamie and Tom, enter a forgotten smuggler’s cave clutching what they don’t realise is a magic ammonite. The magic ammonite opens a portal which transports them suddenly back in time to the land of dinosaurs.

Jamie and Tom make friends with a wannanosaurus, who they name Wanna. When a t-rex crashes towards them at high speed, Wanna leads them to safety, just in the nick of time. However, just when Jamie and Tom think their troubles are over, a pteranodon swoops from the sky, claws grasping. Fortunately, the t-rex lunges at the pteranodon and they make their escape.

The Dinosaur Cove series is action packed and it transports the reader right into dinosaur land through vivid description. Readers can smell rotting leaves in the clammy jungle air, and feel the swampy, squelchy mud beneath their feet.

The Wizards of Once

By Cressida Cowell

The Wizards of Once, by the author of the How to Train Your Dragon series, is amazing. The story immerses the reader in a world of powerful mystery, deep, dark forests and strong magic.

Wish is a warrior girl who owns a magical object that is banned by her people (the warriors have a strong dislike of magic, for various reasons). Xar is a wizard boy who does not have any magical powers yet and seems to be a disappointment to his father. When Wish and Xar meet they bond through shared troubles, and soon find themselves on a dangerous mission together.

The story is about conquering feuds and prejudices and overcoming the evil unleashed by terrifying villains. As the plot twists and turns there are moments of terror, humour, and calm. Some characters are based on those from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and this book certainly has all the magical elements of Shakespeare’s famous play.

Any child over the age of 9 who loves wizards, witches and magic will be hooked from the start. Like Harry Potter, this is also a book for adults. We wholeheartedly recommend it as a Christmas read for all the family!

Does your child need extra help with reading?

We hope your child has enjoyed one or two of our best books for reluctant readers. However, we understand that there are many reasons why children do not enjoy reading.

If your child seems to be struggling, our experienced and kind home tutors are here to help. All our tutors are qualified teachers who help children who need a short-term boost and those requiring a higher level of support.

No matter what your child’s needs, our tutors can ensure they reach their full potential and guide them towards a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

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