Books for Reluctant Readers

Raising a reader can be hard, especially when it's so easy for kids to find a game or device to distract them. Many kids also struggle with their reading skills, so finishing a book can be a huge challenge. But the right book can help convert even the most reluctant reader into a kid who will beg for one more chapter before bedtime. Sometimes all it takes is a relatable character or story, but sometimes thinking outside the box with a comic or a graphic novel can spark a lifelong love of reading. Check out our list below, and for more sure-fire choices, take a look at our Best Book Series for Early Readers and Best Book Series lists.

Bookmarks Are People Too!: Here's Hank, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Bookmarks Are People Too!: Here's Hank, Book 1

age 6+

Boy finds smart ways to overcome challenges in fun story.

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J.D. and the Great Barber Battle: J.D. the Kid Barber, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

J.D. and the Great Barber Battle: J.D. the Kid Barber, Book 1

age 6+

Superb, fun, nuanced story of family, friends, Black hair.

By: J. Dillard (2021)
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The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants, Book 1

age 7+

Gross potty humor, funny pranks will hook reluctant readers.

By: Dav Pilkey (1997)
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CatStronauts: Mission Moon -- CatStronauts, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

CatStronauts: Mission Moon -- CatStronauts, Book 1

age 7+

Successful launch of fun series starring heroic space cats.

By: Drew Brockington (2017)
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Fantastic Mr. Fox Poster Image
BOOK

Fantastic Mr. Fox

age 7+

Clever animals outwit farmers in funny, fantastical tale.

By: Roald Dahl (1970)
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The Magic School Bus Series Poster Image
BOOK

The Magic School Bus Series

age 7+

Smart science-based series mixes facts and fun.

By: Joanna Cole (1986)
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Squish: Super Amoeba: Squish, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Squish: Super Amoeba: Squish, Book 1

age 7+

Cute, clever start to series from Babymouse authors.

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Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties: Stick Cat, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties: Stick Cat, Book 1

age 7+

Sweet tale of kind cat is daffy fun for reluctant readers.

By: Tom Watson (2016)
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Stick Dog, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Stick Dog, Book 1

age 7+

Warm-hearted dogs in silly Big Nate-style adventure.

By: Tom Watson (2013)
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Stuntboy, in the Meantime Poster Image
BOOK

Stuntboy, in the Meantime

age 7+

Engaging, thoughtful story of changing family has great art.

By: Jason Reynolds (2021)
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Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker Poster Image
BOOK

Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker

age 7+

Boy strives to make his mark in funny family tale.

By: Molly B. Burnham (2015)
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Amari and the Night Brothers Poster Image
BOOK

Amari and the Night Brothers: Supernatural Investigations, Book 1

age 8+

Girl finds her magic in fun fantasy full of surprises.

By: B.B. Alston (2021)
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The Best of Iggy: Iggy, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Best of Iggy: Iggy, Book 1

age 8+

Funny look at boy whose impulsive ideas get the best of him.

By: Annie Barrows (2020)
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Dragons in a Bag, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Dragons in a Bag, Book 1

age 8+

Exciting tale of New York kid's journey to magical world.

By: Zetta Elliott (2018)
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Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor: Frank Einstein, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor: Frank Einstein, Book 1

age 8+

Scientific smarts and goofy humor are a winning experiment.

By: Jon Scieszka (2014)
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House of Robots, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

House of Robots, Book 1

age 8+

Mild story a winner for reluctant-reader robot fans.

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

How to Train Your Dragon: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, Book 1

age 8+

Engaging story is great for reluctant readers.

By: Cressida Cowell (2004)
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Last Gate of the Emperor Poster Image
BOOK

Last Gate of the Emperor, Book 1

age 8+

Afrofuturistic adventure hits its targets for sci-fi fans.

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Lowriders in Space, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Lowriders in Space, Book 1

age 8+

Pedal-to-the-metal graphic novel celebrates Latino culture.

By: Cathy Camper (2014)
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Lunch Money Poster Image
BOOK

Lunch Money

age 8+

Delightful page-turner with rock-solid values.

By: Andrew Clements (2005)
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