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.

Browse Books for Reluctant Readers

Fantastic Mr. Fox Book Poster Image
Dahl's satisfying Robin Hood tale.
By Roald Dahl
(2007)
(2007)
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Bookmarks Are People Too!: Here's Hank, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Boy finds smart ways to overcome challenges in fun story.
By Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver
(2014)
(2014)
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Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers: Captain Underpants, Book 9 Book Poster Image
Fun, clever time-travel plot mixes with usual potty jokes.
By Dav Pilkey
(2012)
(2012)
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The Magic School Bus Series Book Poster Image
Smart science-based series mixes facts and fun.
By Joanna Cole
(2012)
(1986)
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Squish Book Poster Image
Cute, clever start to series from Babymouse authors.
By Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm
(2011)
(2011)
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Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties: Stick Cat, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Sweet tale of kind cat is daffy fun for reluctant readers.
By Tom Watson
(2016)
(2016)
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Stick Dog, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Warm-hearted dogs in silly Big Nate-style adventure.
By Tom Watson
(2013)
(2013)
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Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker Book Poster Image
Boy strives to make his mark in funny family tale.
By Molly B. Burnham
(2015)
(2015)
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Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor: Frank Einstein, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Scientific smarts and goofy humor are a winning experiment.
By Jon Scieszka
(2014)
(2014)
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House of Robots, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Mild story a winner for reluctant-reader robot fans.
By James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein
(2014)
(2014)
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How to Train Your Dragon: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Engaging story is great for reluctant readers.
By Cressida Cowell
(2009)
(2004)
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Lowriders in Space, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Pedal-to-the-metal graphic novel celebrates Latino culture.
By Cathy Camper
(2014)
(2014)
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Lunch Money Book Poster Image
Delightful page-turner with rock-solid values.
By Andrew Clements
(2005)
(2005)
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No Talking Book Poster Image
Ear-to-ear-grinningly delightful school story.
By Andrew Clements
(2008)
(2007)
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The Big Field Book Poster Image
Action-packed, emotional dad-son baseball story.
By Mike Lupica
(2008)
(2008)
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Big Nate Out Loud Book Poster Image
Will appeal to Wimpy Kid fans and reluctant readers.
By Lincoln Peirce
(2011)
(2011)
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Poster Image
Laugh-out-loud-funny series start tucks lessons in stories.
By Jeff Kinney
(2007)
(2007)
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The Great Gilly Hopkins Book Poster Image
Brash foster-kid tale a great choice for reluctant readers.
By Katherine Paterson
(2003)
(1978)
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Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Gripping multimedia time-travel adventure series debut.
By James Dashner
(2012)
(2012)
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Lawn Boy Book Poster Image
Perfect summer reading for reluctant readers.
By Gary Paulsen
(2007)
(2007)
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Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! Book Poster Image
Real middle school issues mix with lots of humor.
By James Patterson, Chris Tebbetts
(2012)
(2012)
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The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero Book Poster Image
Fun middle school adventure perfect for reluctant readers.
By Rachel Renee Russell
(2016)
(2016)
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Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Book Poster Image
Exciting vampire tale sucks in reluctant readers.
By Heather Brewer
(2008)
(2007)
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Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made Book Poster Image
Offbeat imagination rules in funny, poignant graphic novel.
By Stephan Pastis
(2013)
(2013)
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The Unwanteds, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Magical fantasy has peril, battles, positive messages.
By Lisa McMann
(2011)
(2011)
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The Wish List Book Poster Image
Wicked is the key word here, in all its senses.
By Eoin Colfer
(2004)
(2003)
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The Outsiders Book Poster Image
Story of ostracized kid a timeless fave of teens, preteens.
By S. E. Hinton
(2003)
(1967)
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The Kill Order Book Poster Image
Action-packed prequel to popular Maze Runner trilogy.
By James Dashner
(2012)
(2012)
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Rumble Fish Book Poster Image
Realistic portrait of teen stuck in a world of violence.
By S. E. Hinton
(2004)
(1975)
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