Books for Kids Who Don't Like to Read

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I'm a bit of an expert on this subject. I spent a good deal of time struggling to get my now ten-year-old son to read. It was incredibly frustrating, partly because he's such a GOOD reader! He has always read much above his grade level and is incredibly gifted...but had no interest in reading beyond what he was made to read in school. I tried reward incentives, I tried limiting video game time, I even tried setting aside time to read TOGETHER but nothing worked. And then I decided to dig around online, read some reviews, and find books that he'd get so hooked on, he wouldn't be able to put them down. 
I am happy to say that after a bit of trial and error, it worked. Sure, sometimes I have to remind him to set aside some reading time, but more often than not, he is dying to find out what happened next and is picking up his book on his own. Here are ones that are tested, tried and true. I hope your little reader enjoys them, too!

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Big Nate

This is one of the first series that I got my son hooked on, and now he anxiously awaits every new one. These are more like comics/graphic novel type books...but I say, whatever gets them reading! You've got to start somewhere, and these are fun and easy to get through. 

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Bunnicula

Is the new family pet actually a pet Dracula? This is a fun, silly  book that has been popular for a very long time. 
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Choose Your Own Adventure Books

Another oldie but goodie -- these books end differently depending on what choices you make for the character. My son enjoys his set of these so much! They can be read over and over with different results. 
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Where the Sidewalk Ends

This is one of my personal favorites, and my son and I love reading this together. They're poems, so they hold short attention spans, and the silly subjects and illustrations are so fun. 
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Captain Underpants

Another  silly series that boys love -- my son is always waiting for the newest book! These are also more like comic books, but they hold their attention and hopefully spark an interest in reading. 
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Wayside School

Both boys and girls will enjoy this series about a school that isn't quite right. 
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl anything is amazing, but  this book in particular is great at capturing a kiddo's imagination and heart. I think it's the chocolate river...what kid hasn't dreamed about one of those? 
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Treasure Hunters

This series is about kids who grew up helping their parents find and recover shipwrecks and buried treasure -- and then their parents disappear. These books are full of adventure and mystery as they work to defeat pirates and find their parents. 
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The One and Only Ivan

This is SUCH a  moving story and it's also my son's favourite book ever. It tells the story of Ivan, a gorilla who lives on display in a shopping mall, whose life is forever changed when he meets a baby elephant named Ruby. 
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Another funny, easy  series that kids love! The illustrations are a tonne of fun. 
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Storybound

A magical, imaginative series about the land of Story, where people train to become book characters. When an ordinary girl finds herself written into a story, she discovers a dark secret that threatens the whole land. Lots of action and adventure! 
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Lawn Boy

A short but  fun read about a 12 year old boy who has a lot of interesting experiences when he starts his own lawn mowing business. My son loved this one! 
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Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

I always loved R.L. Stine and my son does, too!  These books are scary without being too terribly scary. Perfect for kiddos who think that reading isn't cool. 
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Judy Moody

These books about a spirited (and moody) 3rd grader named Judy are a fun and fairly easy read. Both boys and girls love this series! 
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I Funny

This series about a middle schooler with a dream of becoming a stand up comedian is hilarious and will have the kids rolling. 
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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

This favourite from my childhood is still as beloved today! Most kids can relate to Peter's struggles with his unruly little brother. Judy Blume is an amazing author and this is one of her best. 
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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

This favourite from my childhood is still as beloved today! Most kids can relate to Peter's struggles with his unruly little brother. Judy Blume is an amazing author and this is one of her best. 
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Harry Potter

Most kids are comfortable starting  this series between 3rd and 5th grades, depending on their reading level. They are wonderful, magical, addictive books! Bonus -- the first few books aren't as long as the others, so they'll get so hooked they won't be intimidated. 
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Magic Treehouse

These fun books are fairly short and are entertaining AND educational! My son has loved these stories of two kids who travel in time to experience historical events for quite some time. Most books also have a corresponding "Fact Tracker" book, full of facts and information about the actual event or location. My son actually prefers the Fact Trackers to the fiction books -- he finds them really interesting. 
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Little House on the Prairie

Another favourite from my childhood that still hasn't lost it's magic. These books are simple to read and HARD to put down!! Laura Ingalls Wilder tells the story of her childhood growing up as a pioneer in the late 1800's. It's fun for kids to relate their life now to how hers was back then. 

For more book ideas, be sure to check out my collection of  Favourite Kid's Books! 

Check out Kristan's other guides:



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