I often get asked for specific book recommendations. Whether your child loves to read or you are trying to entice a reluctant reader – you need to find them the right book!
Everyone is different and has different tastes and life experiences. So what you find fascinating, might be intensely boring to your child. Find material that gets them excited. When my son Riley was small, I noticed a pattern in his chosen reading material. He only liked non-fiction UNLESS there was a mouse involved. So we read Poppy, Ralph S. Mouse, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, The Tale of Despereaux, Mrs. Frisby, and the Rats of NIHM. As he got older, and his tastes changed, I noticed his favorite books were set in space, so we read lots of science fiction, which is his preferred reading material even to this day. By giving them more of what they love to read, you are both expanding their palate – there is a range of genres when it comes to “mice stories,” for example – and you are getting them excited for new stories.
Everyone loves stories, that is a universal human trait. So we just need to find stories our children love to inspire them to enjoy reading. Finding the right stories is the key to encouraging a love of reading.
My youngest prefers graphic novels and is much more receptive to new material if it is presented in comic format. So we love things like Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, the Science Comics series, Don Brown’s books – and things of that nature. Nearly all her favorite books that she read on her own have been graphic novels. Graphic novels are fantastic for reluctant readers. They have less text than a novel which makes them less intimidating. And these are great books! Don’t discount them just because they are comics. They are literature too. Reading is reading. If they are excited about it, it’s absolutely worth their time.
In my recent Tea with Emily Facebook Livestream, I asked you to give me specific book requests so I could help you find the right book for your child! Below, I’m going to list the requests, divided into three blog articles for easier browsing, and offer at least one recommendation for each. To make this an even more helpful resource, I encourage you to add your own recommendations in the comments!
The Percy Jackson series (or anything by Rick Riordan)
The School for Good and Evil series
The Okay Witch series (Graphic Novels)
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
Zita the Space Girl series (Graphic Novel)
Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories
Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature
Kid Artists: True Tales of Childhood from Creative Legends
A Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra
The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
My First Book of Japanese Words
Grandfather’s Journey (immigration story)
Vampires Never Grow Old: Tales With Fresh Bite
The Golden Compass (fantasy)
The Parker Inheritance (mystery)
The Mysterious Benedict Society series (mystery)
This Savage Song (fantasy)
The Knife of Never Letting Go (fantasy/mystery)
Jackaby (mystery with supernatural elements)
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Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full-year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 21 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also make incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books, and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can also check out her author page on Amazon.