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Choosing Children's Books for a Reluctant Reader

Inspire a love for reading with children's books that will interest your child and suit his skills.

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Alphabet Recognition
Reading Comprehension

Expert's Pick

Does your child hate to read? Whether he is a proficient but disinterested reader or one who struggles with words, introducing the right type of children's books can spark his enthusiasm and turn him into a lifelong reader.

Parent's Checklist
Before buying, see how your selection rates by asking yourself:

  • Is it age-appropriate?
    If your child is reading below grade level but does not have a reading disability, extra practice at home should help her progress. She may hate reading because it takes her a long time to figure words out. Building her vocabulary will improve her fluency. Use books that match her skill level to boost her vocabulary.
  • Will she read it?
    If he likes what it is about, there is a better chance that he will read it. Anything that gets your child to read for pleasure will help him build his vocabulary and sharpen critical-reasoning skills. Let your child choose his own books as long as they are not offensive and don’t cause nightmares. Encourage him to read comic books, graphic novels, entertainment news, or sports magazines if he's interested in them.

The Developmental Edge
Interest in books may start to wane as your child grows. Use this guide to select reading material that reignite a love for children's books and words:

  • Elementary schoolers — grades 1–5
    Spend time every day partner-reading with your child. Amusing books with silly drawings and humor only a kid could love is a great way to turn reading into fun. The Captain Underpants series is good for ages 7 to 10. Try a book that was the basis for a movie she likes such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Middle schoolers — grades 6–8
    Be enthusiastic about books that suit his interests even if they are not what you would have chosen. The Day My Butt Went Psycho may make you cringe, but it will keep your child reading. If he has found a series of children's books he likes, let him keep reading the other titles.

Find Just-Right Books

The Reading Toolkit