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Reluctant Readers Lower KS2

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Best Books for Reluctant Readers in Years 3 and 4

There’s great joy in finding the right book for the right child, but the journey to getting to that point can sometimes be a tricky one. Some children naturally choose books and find it easy to navigate the world of reading for pleasure for themselves. Others need a little more encouragement to feel at home in the world of reading and we are often asked to recommend books for reluctant readers in Years 3 and 4 (ages 7-9), either for those who are less confident with reading or for children who have simply not yet caught the ‘reading bug’.

Which books are best for hooking in children who don’t feel interested in reading? We’ve put together a list of some of the best books for reluctant readers in lower KS2…

Books with a high image-to-text ratio

Laugh-out-loud funny books

Books with a high interest level

Popular graphic novels

Books with dyslexia-friendly formatting

Our favourite books for reluctant readers

Guidance: Books for Reluctant Readers in Lower Ks2

Every reader is different in their tastes and needs, and each reluctant reader has their own set of reasons for not wanting to open a book. Identifying the key reasons behind the reluctance towards reading is a key step in getting the right book into the hands of the right child.

For readers who find longer sections of text overwhelming, we suggest trying some of the brilliant books available with a higher image-to-text ratio, like the popular 13-Storey Treehouse series or Aaron Blabey’s super-amusing The Bad Guys books. Graphic novels are also often a hit with readers who enjoy a strong visual aspect to what they read, from the hugely popular Dog Man books to the hilarious animal detective-duo in the Investigators series. Where dyslexia is present, we highly recommend Barrington Stoke’s super-readable books, which cater for all sorts of different tastes and are dyslexia-friendly in their formatting. Try Malorie Blackman’s Ellie and the Cat, all about a girl who magically switches bodies with a cat, or Phil Earle’s football-themed The Unlucky Eleven.

For readers who love a good laugh, we suggest Guy Bass’s action-packed Spynosaur books or the funny and imaginative The Nothing to See Here Hotel series, which is a big favourite with Years 3 and 4. As for readers who need to find high-interest subjects to draw them into a book, try Tom Nicoll’s video-game themed Level Up, the intergalactic mystery in Space Detectives or – for footie fans – the highly recommendable Soccer Superstars books, with a whole series of fun books to discover based on different Premier League players.​

For pupils who get ‘stuck’ on a favourite author or series and are not sure how to move on, browse around our Branching Out lists, which give suggestions of alternative books similar to popular favourites like David Walliams or Tom Gates.​

​If you are looking for other Year 3 and Year 4 book recommendations, be sure to check out our Reading for Pleasure booklists.

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