The Best Books for Reluctant Readers


Some kids are voracious readers who devour books whether school’s in or summer is in session. But for others, reading can be a challenge at the best of times. So how do you get them off their electronic devices and get reluctant readers turning pages this summer?

Eleanor LeFave, owner of the beloved children’s bookstore Mable’s Fables, says the key is to just get them to read everything they can.

For younger kids, you can never go wrong with some classic picture books like The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit series (The Tailor of Gloucester and The Tale of Two Bad Mice have always been two of our favourites).

For reluctant or non-readers, that could mean an activity or quiz book—something that involves interaction with parents, siblings or friends and is a great conversation starter. Great for rainy days, activity books get them engaged right away—and they won’t realize they’re actually reading. Choose a book that teaches a new skill—like magic, juggling, or science tricks, we like Magic Mike’s Miraculous Magic Tricks by Mike Lane—and they’ll hone more than just their readings skills.

For more advanced readers, mythology books are wonderful attention grabbers and keepersD’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths is a perfect place to start and a great way to get reading some fantastical adventures, and we also love Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan and The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott.

Eleanor says that whether you’re on a plane, in the car, tucking in to bedtime, on the dock at the cottage or anywhere at all, engage the kids and increase attention spans by reading books aloud with them. See our choices for read-aloud books for early readers, older readers and the bigger set.

Whether reluctant or pro, these books are loved by all readers. See all our picks for keeping kids reading this summer.


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