Real Life: Choosing Books For Reluctant Readers

The start of a new school term can bring both excitement and anxiety for some children. After spending the whole summer playing and enjoying themselves with little thought to picking up a book, now their daily school routine will once again involve reading. Therefore, we asked national children’s reading charity, Beanstalk, for their tips and recommendations to encourage any reluctant readers in the family to pick up a book or two again.


Real Life: Choosing Books For Reluctant Readers

Choose the book with your child. Trying to engage reluctant readers with books needs to be a child-led approach. Try choosing the book with them, taking a look at the book cover together and ensuring the subject of the book is something that your child is interested in. There is an abundance of children’s books with subjects varying from dinosaurs to stories about crayons!

Space is such a popular subject at the moment amongst children and Goodnight Spaceman by Michelle Robinson is great for children who have been inspired by Tim Peake’s journey into space. This book is not word heavy, so great for struggling or reluctant readers. This book is part of a series of books by Michelle Robinson and Nick East which looks at various characters, including a tractor and princesses. If your child likes this book then it will be easy to encourage them to try the rest of the series.


Real Life: Choosing Books For Reluctant Readers

Choose a book with plenty of illustrations that are age-suitable. For instance, Anthony Browne’s Little Beauty has beautiful illustrations that are suitable for older children at primary school, alongside a thought-provoking story. Whereas Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell has simple illustrations that a younger child will adore. If you have a child who is petrified by reading then try books such as You Choose by Pippa Goodheart which has no words, only pictures. This is a great introduction to books for reluctant readers as you’re not forcing them to read but encouraging them to enjoy looking at books.


Real Life: Choosing Books For Reluctant Readers

Choose a book that’s fun to read. Try reading the book to your child first so they can see how funny it is, encouraging them to read it to you next time. Volunteers and staff at Beanstalk cannot help but laugh when they read Oi Frog! by Kes Gray. Not only is this great fun to read but the rhyming teaches children about language. The book also introduces some new words they might not have heard of, such as gopher. Again, if your child enjoys this book then try the rest of the series (Oi Cat! Oi Goat! Etc.) and pick the books that feature your child’s favourite animals.

Find more books to read with reluctant readers on the Beanstalk Top 40.


We also asked Beanstalk for their book storage recommendations and our super cute Fox Book Cart was a favourite:

'This solution for book storage is not only fun, it encourages children to take books with them everywhere! We love the fact the cart is gender-neutral and can be bought as a present for any age.'

Real Life: Choosing Books For Reluctant Readers

Along with the very popular Potter library table:

'This table is great for holding lots of books whilst displaying a large amount of the front cover of the book, so children can easily choose which book they would like to read. Great for babies who are just about to start walking and want to hold onto something up to school children.'

Real Life: Choosing Books For Reluctant Readers

Do you have any tips for encouraging your children to pick up a book? Or do you have a favourite book that's not included in the Beanstalk Top 40? Do let us know in the comments.

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