The list below was created from a survey run on Lovereading4schools where we asked Teachers and Parents to recommend books that they have found helpful in encouraging reluctant readers.
As with all Lovereading4schools book lists please treat this as a template and adapt it if you wish. The more 'text based' books in this list have been included to be read too, or with the child.
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Every girl will devour this incredibly poignant story of a young girl who adopts an abandoned bear cub. An utter delight. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Dancing Bear a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'This book is truly outstanding. The bond between a young girl and a bear is unbelievable. I would recommend this book to anyone.' Scroll down to read more reviews... Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
Award winning author Michael Morpurgo crams a great deal of emotion into this beautifully told short novel. Lying in a coma after being knocked down by a car, ten year old Robbie is unable to move or speak or see but inside his head, much is still going on and, able to smell, hear and above all, remember Robbie tells his story. Frighteningly, nothing seems to unlock Robbie from his coma. Even a visit from his favourite footballer cannot revive him. But then something of the greatest importance to him takes place and miraculously Robbie does recover. ------------------------------------------------- In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Cool a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'Cool! is a must read! If you start to read it you won't be able to put it down.' Scroll down to read more ... Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
Dr Seuss’ original combination of humour and simplicity makes his books perfect for early readers. Hop and Pop, Cup and Pup, Mouse and Mouse – Dr Seuss shows how simply words are constructed and therefore how they can be broken down and read by just changing a letter. But that is just the technical side. To make reading fun, Dr Seuss makes the words ‘tell’ a zany kind of story which is matched by equally entertaining illustrations. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & April 2013 Debut of the Month Fans of The Wimpy Kid will love this delightfully disgusting and dangerous story about what happens when Joe sets out to buy some chips from McGreasy’s takeaway. Instead of finding the takeaway, Joe meets a monster looking for someone to help him in his café and from then on food becomes something completely different. With a menu featuring Vomitburger and Chips, Flattened Frog Fritterers and Chips and more, Joe soon realises that he needs to keep his wits about him if he is going to stay safe – and off the table! ---------------------------------------- In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Monster and Chips a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. One of our reviewers, Evie was thrilled to find the Monster and Chips review she wrote printed inside the sequel, Night of the Living Bread, she bought last week! Scroll down to read more reviews...
More than 60 years after they were first published Dr Seuss’s books continue to work their magic on children: his rhyme and rhythm, nonsense humour and wordplay and sudden bursts of anarchy have strong child appeal. All of these Seussian characteristics are to be found in this ‘new’ story – actually an early manuscript and sketches discovered at his home and completed with loving attention by the editorial team. The story of two children (the two from the classic One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish in fact) sent to choose a pet from the pet shop it has lots of charm and looks wonderful. Adult readers will be interested in the extra material included which contains information on Theodor Seuss Geisel (he was a self-appointed Dr) and the background to his books. ~ Andrea Reece
Mini Grey has been selected as one of The Big Picture campaign's Best New Illustrators in 2008. Short listed for the Blue Peter Book Awards - Best Illustrated book to read aloud 2006.A very original tale told from a real child’s eye perspective, through illustrations which give vivid personification to inanimate objects like a scrubbing brush and a piece of toast. The whole thing is very well controlled, and has a subtle sophistication which means you see more things each time you look at it.
Three white-boned skeletons have a great night out when they set forth with the express intention to “frighten somebody”. Big skeleton, little skeleton and dog skeleton live in the dark, dark cellar of a dark, dark house on a dark, dark hill and they set out to scare in a dark, dark night. Alas, they find everyone, including the animals in the zoo, is asleep but nonetheless they entertain themselves in the playground and enjoy frightening each other instead. The jokey text is full of repetitions making it easy to read while the illustrations provide strong visual clues. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
Boggis, Bunce and Bean are the meanest three farmers you could meet. They are determined to get Mr Fox - but he has other plans! This edition has a great new Quentin Blake cover and new author biography.
Mr Wonka's inventions are out of this world. He's thought up every kind of sweet imaginable in his amazing chocolate factory, but no one has ever seen inside, or met Mr Wonka! Charlie can't believe his luck when he finds a golden ticket and wins the trip of a lifetime around the famous factory.
With five brothers in one house things often get out of hand. When Dad has ‘had enough’, he decides that Will and Marty should spend the afternoon in the Library. But he doesn’t know about the librarian, Mrs Murphy…Can Will and Marty survive the legendary librarian and her gas-powered spud-gun? How the two brothers and the librarian bring about change the library needs is a funny and exciting adventure with touching consequences. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
This is a delightful, funny and exciting story about a special friendship between two people from different worlds – a giant and a child. As the story develops it shows how trust and love develops between them. It also shows that bullying must not be tolerated and Dahl is at his might best here by eventually ensuring the big bad giants get their comeuppance whilst the big friendly giant wins the day alongside the little girl Sophie. The text is perfectly complemented with illustrations by Quentin Blake. Unbelievably moving. Click here to see our Favourite Top 10 Dahl Books Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
The trials and tribulations of a disastrous new girl at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches a gloriously witchy boarding school, The Worst Witch has magic galore. Unfortunately for Mildred Hubble, most of it has a habit of going badly wrong. Her broomstick won’t fly straight, her cat is tabby not black and she manages to turn her arch-enemy into a toad. Nice short chapters with stunning illustrations also by Jill Murphy make this a perfect first reader. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Worst Witch a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'Mildred Hubble chews on her plaits, wears her hat back to front and her shoe laces trail on the floor. She is worst witch in her school but it isn't her fault. ' - Jemima Foyster. Scroll down to read the full review...
Magical, this timeless farmyard story tells of the power of friendship. When the runty little piglet is saved from an early death, he grows into a fine and handsome pig. And the farmer wants to kill him. Can Charlotte, the spider who has grown to love him, save his life? Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
As special now as it was when first published over 25 years ago and the millions of children who have enjoyed the adventures of the wackiest witch on earth are testament to that. If you enjoyed this then check out the other titles in the fantastic Winnie the Witch series: Winnie's New Computer, Winnie Flies Again, Winnie's Magic Wand, Winnie in Winter, and Whizz Bang Winnie. Click here to find out more about Winnie by visiting her website. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
Zoom into action and join our hero for a triple wedge of chunky action, freaky horror and crispy laffs! There are terrible toilets to defeat, evil aliens to send packing, and heaps of other totally horrible villains too. But will Captain Underpants have the wedgie-power to tackle them all?
Acclaimed author Philip Pullman turns his hand to a stunning and original story for younger readers. Who is Roger? He says he was a rat - and some of the time he behaves like a rat. But, he is also a small boy. Or, he could be the Monster of the sewers…Everyone has a view – including The Daily Scourge – who tells their own version in screaming newspaper headlines. There is just one person who really knows who Roger is. And she’s the princess…Cleverly, Pullman weaves together strands of story from different sources creating a fast-paced and multi-layered adventure. ~ Julia Eccleshare Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
A deservedly prize-winning title, Fergus Crane is a delightful, fantastical romp with a nautical theme. Young Fergus Crane receives a mysterious invitation to join the School Ship Betty-Jeanne. What he finds on board from the sinister headmaster Captain Claw through to his unlikely band of teachers does not inspire confidence. But Fergus is a brave boy and a bold one who has a great destiny marked out for him. When he discovers the School Ship Betty -Jeanne has sailed away to Fire Isle without him but with his timid school mates, he sets off in hot pursuit on the back of a flying horse. Wonderful illustrations embellish the fanciful details beautifully. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
Mankind must put a stop to the dreadful destruction by the Iron Man and set a trap for him, but he cannot be kept down. Then, when a terrible monster from outer space threatens to lay waste to the planet, it is the Iron Man who finds a way to save the world.
Three perfectly worded and shaped stories make beginning reading fun and easy! The title story follows three burglars as they go about their business while giants and gorillas feature in the other two. Excellent illustrations match all three. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
Hey you, Mouse needs help! He has to catch the gorilla in the bright yellow car, let’s go! On Mouse’s instructions, readers follow the path taken by Gorilla, through brightly coloured, super-busy spreads. There he goes, through the town, round the building site, the car park and into the mountains. White arrows show us the road to take, avoiding various obstacles and road blocks – mind those sheep! At last Mouse catches up with Gorilla – why? He’d forgotten his banana! Young readers will adore this interactive adventure story. Gorilla, crouched over the wheel of his car in natty stripy sweater and hat is an irresistible quarry, while the pages are packed with exciting or comic scenes, and every type of vehicle. Great fun! ~ Andrea Reece Louise from Nosy Crow says: "Books for pre-school boys don't get much better than this. There's so much to spot and find, and boys will love looking for their favourite cars on every page."
Shortlisted for the Nestle Children's Award 2006 and for the incredibly prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal 2007. Sumptuous illustrations tempt readers into the delightfully absurd world in which dinner is served before lunch and skyfish settle on umbrella trees. The young Emperor is a charming child with a hairy wardrobe monster as an advisor who sets off hunting dragons across a gloriously imagined landscape where anything fantastical can happen. A richly entertaining picture book from a uniquely talented artist at the height of his powers. (0-7) Judges' comment: Riddell makes glorious use of colour in this very interesting and engaging picture book, which despite being extraordinarily detailed is very easy to read. It cleverly gives the reader the impression of moving physically into its landscape, and works on lots of different levels as it turns reality completely on its head. The composition of each page is always well-thought out, and the technique of using small pictures at certain points makes the reader slow down and study carefully. The ambiguous ending stays with you, and allows you to take pleasure from the book over and over again. Click here for an Emperor of Absurdia related activity sheet. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
Join in the bear hunt with this fabulous activity book, based on the classic picture book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Little ones will be absorbed for hours with this fun book filled with engaging activities. *** This Christmas Channel 4 will show an animated TV adaptation of We're Going on a Bear Hunt, to be broadcast on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Michael Rosen says: “I am absolutely delighted that Channel 4 has commissioned this animation. Lupus have a great record in this field and I am very excited to be part of the project. Helen Oxenbury's wonderful art work provides a powerful family saga, full of imagined or real trials and these pictures will give a basis for a moving Christmas drama.” Helen Oxenbury says: "I'm so looking forward to seeing the book brought to life in this way. It's a wonderful opportunity to bring We're Going on a Bear Hunt to even more children and I'm thrilled to be part of it." Jay Hunt, Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer, says: “Going on a Bear Hunt is a magical book that will be brought alive for a whole new audience by Lupus Films. I can’t wait.”
“A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.” So begins the story of how a clever little mouse outwits his big scary enemy. The tasty little mouse needs to make his way through the deep dark woods. How will he do it? By inventing the gruffalo, a fearsome creature with terrible claws, terrible tusks and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws. It’s a brilliant trick. The little mouse’s self-preservation is a witty scam that delights children time after time. ~ Julia Eccleshare Winner of the 2007 Prima Baby and Pregnancy Reader Awards Best Buy for Toddlers Award. For lots more information on the Gruffalo books, games and activities visit www.gruffalo.com
There are actually four stories for the price of one in this chunky little book. It brings together three of Philip Ardagh’s jolly adventures of the Green Men of Gressingham. The Green Men (brown men would be more accurate – their outfits are brown as it hides the dirt better) are a band of outlaws led by Robyn-in-the-Hat who, together with young knight-in-training Tom Dashwood, set about helping the poor and undertaking quests. The stories are perfect for young readers, packed with incident and humour, and full of appealing characters. Here they are enclosed within an extra comic story: the tale of their creation, as recounted through communications between the Author, and his hapless publisher, sent via Dotty, the Author’s assistant. It’s a clever way of breaking up the stories, though might set young readers wondering if all authors are quite so obsessed with lunch! ~ Andrea Reece ***This is the launch title of the Conkers, from Barrington Stoke, a new imprint of stories packed with brilliant extras like fun facts, quizzes and loads of gorgeous illustrations to tempt reluctant readers into longer stories.
Introducing Jinnie Ghost, thin as the wind, with hair as white as the feathers of owls and eyes like water. Jinnie whispers dreams to children as they sleep. She brings Charlotte's dolls to life, makes Amy's carpet bubble with frogs and toads and conjures up a giant to carry Joe away shoulder-high to his castle in the sky. But the break of dawn takes Jinnie away...and the children wake to a new day, brushing wonder from their eyes. This perfectly-pitched poem takes readers on a thrilling fantasy journey, raising a shiver or two on the way, but returning them safe and sound in the morning.
February 2016 Debut of the Month Dragons come in all shapes and sizes in children’s stories, but the one that Eric finds in a box of beansprouts is small, friendly and lots of fun. Pan is a mini-dragon, lost en route from China to Mexico, but soon happily settled in Eric’s sock drawer. Cue lots of opportunities for fun and games, including run-ins with both the cat and Eric’s greedy, spoiled next-door neighbour. Tom Nicholl has a relaxed but lively writing style that makes this very readable, and very funny too. Sarah Horne’s equally lively illustrations – mini-dragon burping the alphabet for example – make it even more accessible. If misbehaving dragons light your fire, try the equally funny Dragonsitter series by Josh Lacey. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from editor, Emma Young There's a Dragon in My Dinner! is the first in a new young fiction series which is guaranteed to delight readers. I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of a very naughty but very endearing pet dragon the size of a spring roll arriving in their takeaway? Talk about livening things up! Pan the Mini-Dragon likes chatting (a lot), setting fire to his own farts and snacking hungrily on dirty laundry, and it is impossible to know what he is plotting at any given time. Poor Eric – his human owner – must keep Pan a secret while covering up the trail of destruction he leaves in his wake. Tom Nicoll’s warm, hilarious text is complemented perfectly by Sarah Horne’s energetic and characterful illustrations and I predict that children across the land will be left examining their dinners to see if they can find a Mini-Dragon of their own! Commenting on the inspiration for Pan the Mini-Dragon, Tom said: “I’ve always been drawn to stories about unusual friendships and a miniature dragon who can talk and light his own trumps is, by anyone’s definition, an unusual friend to have. I always enjoyed the ‘Little Vampire’ books growing up, for example, where you had a normal kid constantly struggling to keep a friendship going with someone from a completely different world. I’ve tried to capture that aspect in this series, except with considerably more dragon-based flatulence.”
Read on CBeebies 2 May at 6.50pm 2 May 2013 All fans of ice cream and jelly will love this story of the secret of making a jelly wobble. The Princess loves all kinds of jelly and she loves the biggest and wobbliest kind the best. One day, the palace cook produces a beautiful and huge red jelly. The only problem is, it doesn’t wobble! The Princess offers a reward to anyone who can make the jelly wobble. There are loads of suggestions none of which work until, luckily, a little boy comes up with a brilliant suggestion. Can anyone guess what it is? With quirky illustrations, this will appeal to adults and children! The very funny story with an eccentric main character is perfect for both boys and girls.
The familiar theme of picky eating is given a great twist.Mum wants Daisy to eat her peas. She wants her to eat her peas SO MUCH that she’s willing to bribe her with a host of treats from special pudding to a new bike, a chocolate factory and an extra late bedtime. But Daisy won’t budge. She’ll only eat her peas on one condition… Can Mum fulfil it? You bet she can’t! Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.