When your child isn’t as excited about reading as you would hope, choosing books that will capture their attention is incredibly important. Fortunately, teachers have seen it all and know exactly what you need to do to find that perfect book for your reluctant reader.
Teacher Tips for Choosing Books for Reluctant Readers
1. Look for a Colorful and Engaging Series
Kristen McGonagle, a second-grade teacher in Massachusetts, suggests choosing books with bright pictures and illustrations on the cover to capture your reluctant reader’s attention before they even dive in.
She also recommends exploring a variety of series to keep your child’s reading momentum strong. “Series are great because they keep kids wanting to read to see what will happen to their character next,” says McGonagle.
2. Think About Your Child’s Passions and Current Events
“Parents should focus on interests and passion way more than reading level,” says Kris Hart, a library media specialist in Iowa.
She also suggests looking for books that allow your young reader to connect to the world around them — say, books about current events or recent moments in history.
3. Read Alongside Your Child
Carla Rosene, a middle school English and language arts teacher in Missouri, recommends joining in and reading the same books as your reluctant reader. “This way, they can see that you are interested in them, too,” says Rosene. “It also allows you to share the joy of reading together.”
The Best Books for Reluctant Readers
One book series that will capture your reluctant reader’s attention is Dog Man, which follows a crime-biting canine on his hilarious and heroic adventures. “These are always great books because they are visually appealing,” says McGonagle. “They are easy to follow for students who are struggling readers and almost like comics for reluctant readers.”
Another great collection to inspire a love for reading and build your child’s confidence is the Who Would Win? nonfiction books, which use scientific facts to explain why one of two animals might win in a battle. “Children of all reading levels love these books,” adds McGonagle.
Both Hart and Rosene also recommend the graphic editions of the classic series The Baby-Sitters Club. “After students read the graphic novels, they come in begging for the classic books,” says Hart.
Shop all teacher-recommended books for reluctant readers below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.
For more tips on finding books at the right level for your child, visit our guide on reading levels for kids. It's full of helpful insights and recommendations — for instance, once your child is captivated by reading, you'll want to take a look at teachers' recommended books for advanced readers.