Books for a reluctant reader

We all know that reading is great for growing boys. Not only will it help to build their vocabulary, but reading is also linked to positive wellbeing in young people.  Of course, having a reluctant reader in the family means a little extra work to encourage them to pick up a book. 

The first challenge is to find a book that hooks them in – books that librarian Laura Hall likes to refer to as ‘lightbulb’ books. If you can find a book that captures your son in the first few pages, it’s a big win.

Books that spark imagination, take your son to another world or provide relief from a busy day should be embraced and encouraged.

‘Lightbulb’ books for reluctant readers (various primary school ages)

Diary of a Sporting Hero series – Shamini Flint – a funny, sport-based series perfect for those who prefer a bat to a book, boys enjoy the minimal text and cartoon illustrations.

Dog Man – Dav Pilkey – a brilliant series for those who love adventure – boys particularly enjoy the short chapters and comic book style.

Terry Denton’s Really Truly Amazing Guide to Everything – Terry Denton – for boys who enjoy non-fiction and general knowledge, this book is a whistle-stop tour of the history and science of the universe, accompanied by Terry’s well-known illustrations.

You Choose series – George Ivanoff – this Melbourne writer has created interactive novels for the highly adventurous and boys will enjoy controlling the direction of the spooky stories.

Wings of Fire Graphic Novels – Tui T. Sutherland – this epic dragon fantasy series is a New York Times bestseller which has been adapted into a graphic novel format, appealing to boys who love the fantasy genre, with its vibrant and captivating illustrations.

Timmy Failure – Steven Patsis – an exciting series of children’s fiction centred around an 11-year-old who indulges in investigative activities. Perfect for the boy who loves mystery with a side of humour and middle-grade antics.

Football Superstars biography range – Simon Mugford and Dan Green – and Ultimate Football Heroes biography range – Matt and Tom Oldfield – these books share players’ childhood journeys to soccer stardom, with various personal and game statistics. Sports fans won’t be able to resist them.

Exploding Endings series – Tim Harris – a hilarious collection of short stories from the award-winning author that will have readers laughing out loud. Each chapter is a stand-alone ‘story’ but not always in the traditional format. Boys particularly love the list of ’79 excuses for being late to school’.

As always, modelling good reading habits is a great way to show your son the value of reading.

Read for pleasure, have books available around the house, read where the kids can see you and spend time going to libraries.  Don’t forget – librarians are a great source of knowledge when it comes to books – what’s new, what’s popular and what’s suitable for your son.

Happy reading!


Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

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