reluctant readers resources
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8 Book Series to Engage Your Reluctant Readers

We ALL want our students or kids to be good readers, right? It’s an essential skill for kids to learn… but some students are quite reluctant readers!

When you are working with reluctant readers, the book choices play a HUGE role in helping to engage them, get them interested, and actually ENJOY the reading process.

Boosting reading comprehension for reluctant readers is critical! When students struggle with comprehension, they have a much harder time being engaged and enjoying the reading process.

Both of my boys have been somewhat reluctant readers, so I am going to share 8 different book series that they have loved that have sparked their desire to read!

1. “Elephant & Piggie” series by Mo Willems

These stories are adorable and so, so heartwarming! Elephant and Piggie are fantastic friends, and each story features fun text, easy-to-read words, and bonus lessons on friendship, confidence, and relationships.

We bought these books in hardback form with 4-5 books in each, and they have been absolute staples in our read-alouds and now my boys’ own reading for years!

2. “Pete the Cat” series by James Dean and Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat and his shoes make kids giggle and they LOVE the silliness of the stories! The bonus is that these stories contain catchy rhymes that help kids predict the words as they read, which is a great way to help them feel more confident.

There are many varieties of the Pete books, but I prefer the books from the “I Can Read” series.

3. “Biscuit” series by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

We have the boxed collection of the Biscuit books, and it was actually the first series that I bought for my youngest son!

Biscuit is a super cute little puppy that goes on funny adventures. The books are very short which allows students to feel successful really quickly!

I also like the “I Can Read” versions of these books.

4. “Frog and Toad” series by Arnold Lobel

Oh, Frog and Toad! You may even have read these classics in your own childhood! I love them because of how the series focuses on friendship, so it spurs really great discussions and conversations as we read.

Again, I like the “I Can Read” version of these books!

5. “Clifford the Big Red Dog” series by Norman Bridwell

My kids LOVE Clifford! These books are a little harder to read for young learners, but the stories are really great.

There are also A LOT of them, so it’s a great series to use as a read-aloud because they offer a lot of variety.

6. “Curious George” by H.A. Rey

Another childhood classic! My kids LOVE Curious George and his cute little antics.

Some of these books are still a little difficult for them to read independently, however, they love the stories and can often understand the book due to how great the illustrations are!

While there are SO many more books I could recommend, I wanted to make sure you felt like you could grab all of these in one library trip!

7. “Pedro” Series by Katie Woo and Fran Manushkin

We recently discovered the Pedro books and fell in love!

These very early chapter books are very short and that makes them super great for young readers who need more than a picture book, but aren’t quite ready for longer chapter books.

Each chapter is 2-4 pages and the text is large and easy to decode. There are multiple books in the series as well and have quickly become a highly requested item on our library trips!

8. “Magic Tree House” series by Mary Pope Osborne

Ok, so the Magic Tree House books may be my children’s most favorite books of all time. We own the ENTIRE collection on Audible and they have listened to each one multiple times.

The fantastic thing with this series is that it’s a bit more advanced than some of the other books. However, using the audio version or reading these aloud is super engaging.

Then, as students fall in love with these books, you can have children begin to read the physical book and they’ll be successful since they’re familiar with it.

Reading Comprehension Resources for Reluctant Readers

Now, one of the downsides to using more advanced chapter books with early readers is that many of the comprehension resources that are out there for the Magic Tree House series are not designed for early readers and writers.

Many comprehension resources require a long written response, which just doesn’t work when you are using these books for younger readers!

I ran into this problem with my own kids… and created my own comprehension resources that are great for reluctant readers!

In these activities, you get…

  • picture and word-based comprehension worksheets
  • students can show their work by answering yes/no questions
  • drawing their answers
  • picture clues help them learn vocabulary they’ll encounter in the text

You also get vocabulary matching worksheets to help further build the words they know through repeated exposure.

And, if you like the free sample linked above, you will LOVE the full version that has these resources and WAY more!

The full version has sheets just like these but for each chapter!

If you have reluctant readers, but still want to assess their comprehension for chapter books, these are such great tools that will help you engage your readers!

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