The Ultimate Reading List For Reluctant Readers

Reading is a wonderful activity for children of all ages to get involved in on a regular basis. Even though some children don’t need an incentive to read regularly, others may be much more reluctant and really avoid reading at all costs. Not only is reading the foundation of success in many subjects, but if completely neglected, it’s easy for kids to lose important skills they’ve already gained. Here’s the ultimate reading list sure to motivate even the most reluctant readers to finally pick up a book.

Suitable For Younger Readers

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, Jeff Kinney
The diary of a wimpy kid follows Greg who finds himself thrust into a new school where life in the corridors isn’t always easy. However, when his best friend Rowley starts to become popular- Greg tries to use it to his own advantage. Written in diary style with lots of comic pictures, these books follow Greg and Rowley’s friendship unfold. Expect lots of hilarious twists and turns, perfect for kids who might need that extra push to get reading.

The Twits, Roald Dahl

The Twits is a super funny book, with wonderful descriptive passages and great underlying messages about friendship. The story follows Mr and Mrs Twit who are possibly the nastiest, smelliest and meanest couple you could ever meet. They play awful tricks on each other just to amuse themselves. The story focuses on Muggle-Wump the monkey and his family who are locked in a cage in the Twits garden. After they meet the Rolly Polly bird, their luck starts to change. He helps them escape from their cage and play a joke of their own on the Twits. For a full list of all the wonderful Roald Dahl stories, click here.

Holes, Louis Sachar

Holes follows Stanley Yelnats and the story of how his family has a history of bad luck, meaning he’s not surprised when he’s sent to the Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre in the middle of the Texan desert, for a crime he didn’t commit. With no lake or greenery for miles, Stanley soon discovers that his work at the camp will be to dig a deep hole each day, and to report back about anything interesting he finds. Once Stanley starts digging, he quickly realises there’s more to the task he’s been given, as a whole mystery unfolds. A witty, easy-to-follow book that’s sure to captivate any young reader.

Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson

Bad Girls follows Mandy who has been bullied at school for as long as she can remember. But then she meets Tanya, who is fun, daring and glamorous. Yet, Mandy’s mum isn’t happy and thinks that Tanya is a Bad Girl, and a bad influence on her daughter. It’s a heart-warming story about confidence, friendship and the importance of being yourself, making it the perfect page-turner that helps open up conversations about difficult topics such as bullying and how we treat others. For the full list of Jacqueline Wilson’s books and where to start depending on your child’s age, click here.

Suitable For Teen Readers

The Maze Runner Series, James Dashner

The Maze Runner books are an action-packed series, with lots of mystery and suspense, making them the perfect choice for reluctant readers. The first book follows Thomas, who can only remember his first name when he mysteriously arrives in the Glade, which is an army of boys who are cut off from the world. The Gladers have no idea why they’re there, or what’s happened to the world outside. But following the arrival of a girl with a message, they must find a way out – or die.

All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places follows the story of Finch and Violet, who are both dealing with different mental health issues. When the two meet on top of their school bell tower, they find themselves both considering jumping off, but somehow manage to save one another from doing so. When they then pair up for a project, they both find themselves feeling comfortable being their true selves around each other. However, as Violet’s world begins to grow, Finch’s starts to get darker. How far will Violet go to help save the boy she has grown to love? This novel is not only gripping but a powerful read about the effects of mental illness and how it impacts the people around those suffering.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

This book follows the story of freshman Charlie, who is a ‘wallflower,’ which means he stands back timidly watching others live life, too scared to participate. Throughout the novel we watch Charlie really come out of his shell as he realises he can’t stay on the sidelines forever. He starts to make new friends, goes to parties and even falls in love. However, along the way Charlie finds himself dealing with the confusions of sex and love, the temptations of drugs and the pain of losing loved ones. A thought-provoking, coming-of-age story that many older teens will be able to identify with and learn from.

The Harry Potter Series, JK Rowling

The Harry Potter series is the ultimate read for any reluctant reader, regardless of age. The books follow Harry from his first days at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, through his many adventures with Hermione and Ron, to his confrontations with rivals Draco Malfoy and Professor Snape. From the search for the Philosopher’s Stone to the Triwizard Tournament and the return of Lord Voldemort, each adventure is an exciting journey, sure to capture the attention of any reader.

Why not get involved in Tutor Doctor’s fantastic Summer Reading Challenge? We provide a challenge reading list, worksheets for each book, and it’s an easy way to ensure your child’s reading and writing skills are constantly improving throughout the summer holidays.