When you have a reluctant reader sometimes the key to getting them to embrace reading is to find the perfect book for them. Finding the perfect books for your child may be easier than you think. Take some time to just have fun with books for your child looking for ones that will spark your child's interests and inspire their imaginations. Here are a few tips on how to find the perfect books for your child.
How to find the perfect books for your child
Explore your child's interests. Looking for books that relate to your child's interests and hobbies is a great way to encourage them to read. The best books for your child will pull in their attention after capturing their interest. A quick google search can pull up many great book lists on nearly any topic that may interest your child.
My son enjoys mythology, so Rick Riordan's novels are a must have for him.
My oldest daughter is really interested in animals, so books like The One and Only Ivan, Wish, and Pax are perfect for her.
My youngest daughter enjoys gymnastics and dance, so the Sugarplum Ballerina series is ideal.
All of my kids love Nat Geo books, so we keep a steady supply of them on hand. Here are some of their latest faves.
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021, U.S. Edition (National Geographic Almanacs)Nerdlet: AnimalsFetch! A How to Speak Dog Training GuidePounce! A How To Speak Cat Training GuideSpace Encyclopedia: A Tour of Our Solar System and BeyondBrain Candy 2The Coolest Stuff on Earth: A Closer Look at the Weird, Wild, and Wonderful
Look for Similar Books
Google a book your child already loves to find lists of similar style books. Many kids love historical fiction or diary-style books that they can relate to. Mysteries or action books can spark your child's imagination. By searching for your child's favorite books it can be easy to find fun books written in a similar style or about a similar topic. Phrases like “books similar to” or “if you like” and the book title you know they like are sure to turn up recommendations. Good Reads is a great place to check, too!
For example, if your child loved Ricky the Rock that Couldn't Roll, they'll prbably love Scribble Stones.
Try a Series
Have your child try the first book of a series. Series books are great for reluctant readers or children that just don't like to read because once you find one that captures your child's attention they will be content for a long time as they read the rest of the series. This may take some time to find the right one for your child but the payoff is amazing. I would caution, however, if you choose to start a series, try one that already has several published in the series. Trust me, it really stinks to finally finding a series your kid likes, only to realize that the next one doesn't come out for a year. My son read a book last year that was the start of a series, and the second book hasn't been released yet. It's torture, I tell ya. Pure torture.
The Boxcar Children Books 1-4 ( Cover may Vary )My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish Boxed Set: (My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish; The Seaquel; Fins of Fury)Ivy and Bean's Treasure Box: (Beginning Chapter Books, Funny Books for Kids, Kids Book Series) (Ivy + Bean)
One of the tricks we use with our reluctant reader is audiobooks. We enjoy audiobooks through my Kindle Unlimited subscription, as well as Audible.
If you're looking for classis, Librivox is also an excellent resource.
Choose books that will keep your child interested. Even if this means books that are largely pictures. For reluctant readers, graphic novels are great options for getting them to fall in love with reading. With lots of pictures and easy to understand works kids can often gain confidence from reading graphic novels. This can be a doorway into reading for children that struggle to grow confidence in their reading skills. A lot of kids graphic novels seem to have obnoxious humor, so just be sure to preview them.
Check out Library selections
At the library with your child have them open the book they are interested in up to a random page and read it. Can they read most of the words without a struggle? If so this book is likely a good fit for your child. Does the page they are reading make them want to know the rest of the story? We always tell our children not to judge a book by the cover but this method is a great way to judge whether a book is something they will want to finish or not. Unable to visit the local library? Check out Libby, by Overdrive, and Hoopla. We use both through our local library, and the kids love them.
Think about taking a risk with a book subscription. Sometimes what our children need when they can read well but may not find a love of reading is something new and exciting that captures their interest. A kid's book club or subscription is a great way for your child to get a surprise in the mail that makes them want to explore the pages of a new book. Look for a subscription that asks questions about your child and their interests to choose books that work well for your child.
Sometimes all it takes to inspire reading for a reluctant reader to develop a love for reading is a good reading challenge.
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While you're here, be sure to check out how to improve your child's interest in reading.