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Summer Reading List for Reluctant Readers

Updated on June 17, 2011

As a classroom teacher, I am always looking for titles that will grab students' attention, something they will want to devour in one day. The following books have proven to be real crowd pleasers, year after year. Even those kids who insist that they don't like reading, usually do not put these books down until the last page is finished. If you want your child to read this summer, pick up one of these from the library. What do you have to lose?


The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

It is certainly a bizzarre turn of events, where parents want to get rid of their kids, and the kids want to get rid of their parents. A parody on every "perfect family" classic story ever written. It's a page-turner with four almost orphaned kids, a nanny (Mary-Poppins style), a lonely billionaire, and a slightly higher vocabulary.

Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Anything that can make a child laugh out loud is a good read, and this one will have your kid cracking up with every page. This collection of short stories about a fourth grader Peter, and his little brother Fudge, is very relatable and sweet. Beware, you will very likely be asked to purchase other books in the series.

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

These series of "scary" stories is well worth of your attention if you have a child who doesn't like to read. This is not high level literature, it doesn't have challenging vocabulary, this is pure fun of ghost stories, haunted houses, possessed masks, fortune-telling psychics, strange animals, and deadly toys. Each book usually features a family with a brother and a sister who manage to get in trouble, despite their own better judgement. Fun, fun fun!

How to Steal a Dog? by Barbara O'Connor

This book is not funny, but will appeal to ever kid who ever dreamt of having a puppy. A family is homeless, and a young girl makes a plan to steal a dog, and earn some money by getting a reward for "finding" the lost pooch. A fast-paced touching story.

Bone by Jeff Smith

A series of graphic novels witih whimsical characters that many kids read without a stop. Some parents hesitate to introduce graphic novels to their kids, and do not consider it "real reading". I say, if it gets a reluctant reader to pick up and stick with a book (even if it includes pictures), give it a try. I have seen kids turn to "real books" by the virture of getting hooked on graphic novels.

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