Books to inspire 7-11 year old reluctant readers

Mention World book day and many parents sigh with having to organise or make costumes (unless your child is like N who so far has refused to dress up each year). In our case this year, N announced that he was going to dress up – and decided that George from George’s Marvellous Medicine was ok for him (phew, nice and easy).  Then his school announced that they were doing a theme this year – Disney (not really books although I suppose most of the films are now books) and books that have been made into films. That means George is out.

For us, World Book Day is still about books, and it’s a great way to inspire reluctant readers. Whether they’re discovering new authors,  finding new book ideas, or just getting immersed in books at school, there’s plenty of book choices for them.

reading book ideas for 7-11 years - bubbablueandme

N is an unenthusiastic reader. He only usually reads school books (under duress) although loves having books read to him.  We’ve been keeping an ear out from friends on what books are good for inspiring reluctant readers of his age and have been looking at some of the books featured in Scholastic’s book club for 7-11 year olds as well as books from World Book Day authors.

The books we liked were a David Baddiel pack of 4, and a Shark in the Pool book from the Wigglesbottom Primary pack.  The David Baddiel ones are chapter books with a funny observational take on the main character as we follow their story.  N likes books with real people in them so he can relate to them.  And the Wigglesbottom Primary books look fun because who doesn’t wish that their school had lots of fun adventures and weird things going on.

Asking around these were some of the suggestions we had for children (predominantly boys) who haven’t really discovered the joy of reading.  I really hope some of these books will spark N’s interest.

scholastic book club packs

Book recommendations for 7-11 year old reluctant readers

Captain Underpants – a bit of comic book style, and involves gross things, perfect for boys

Roald Dahl books – classics, with a touch of fairy tale about them.

Horrid Henry – sibling rivalry and antagonising teachers, Henry’s got a good heart underneath

Diary of a Wimpy Kid – US-isms can be a little confusing for younger readers, cartoons including to break up text

Rover adventures – Roddy Doyle – Rover the dog’s adventures, sees him saving the day

Flying Fergus by Chris Hoy– for bike fans wanting a touch of adventure and friendship stories

David Walliams – get the tissues out for some if you’re a soppy parent (like me) reading them, characters with individuality

The Treehouse books by Andy Griffiths – stories of the ever-extending treehouse adventures

How to train your dragon by Cressida Cowell – exploits of a ‘heroic’ Viking

Hardy boys – Franklin W Dixon – boys solving mysteries

Geronimo Stilton – Elizabetta Dami – adventures of a mouse

It’s my belief that one day we will discover books that N will want to read himself, and I’m always looking out for new ones that might spark his interest.  Sometimes we just have to be patient and continue making books of all kind available to children.


If you’d like the chance to win a book pack – including the David Baddiel books and a Wigglesbottom Primary book, you can enter below.  Just answer the questions ‘What book is your child reading at the moment (or what are you reading to them) and what tips do you have for getting children to read?

Terms and conditions

  1. UK entry only
  2. Giveaway closes 11.59pm 25th March 2018
  3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
  4. There is one prize of a selection of books
  5. The data of anyone that enters won’t be passed on to third parties or used for any unsolicited marketing communications.
  6. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media.
  7. Winner will be randomly chosen, and will be shown on this post.  Further notifications of the winner may be shared on social media.
  8. The winner will be notified via email, and will need to respond with their postal address within 3 weeks otherwise a further winner will be drawn.
  9. Prizes will be sent out within 30 days of receiving postal details.
  10. This giveaway may be featured on Loquax, Prizefinder and Superlucky

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Disclosure: We have been sent books and provided with a competition prize. All words and opinions are my own.

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76 thoughts on “Books to inspire 7-11 year old reluctant readers

  1. My son loves reading and I always have a good selection so he has choice depending on his mood. We have just finished Cressida Cowells the wizards of once. Great story and we can’t wait to read more.

  2. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the great glass elevator is the book my daughter is currently reading. Best tip is to get little ones to read and to be read to from a young age.

  3. My daughter Belle (8) is reading David Walliams’s Worlds Worst Children 2, she loves books that are funny. My twins (5) love Julia Doanldson books

  4. Currently reading Cheetah rescue A true story (born free). It Encourages children to read if you let them choose books that interest them. signing up to a library is also good.

  5. My grandson is reading Gangsta Granny by David Walliams at the moment he enjoys reading, but the girls on the other hand start to read a book then put’s it down for a week before restarting.

  6. the older one is transitioning from Harry Potter into Twilight! – but we could do with some help with inspiring the 8yr old

  7. We are reading a book about different countries at the moment, its a fact book with a quiz on each page, its good fun to quiz each other, we are both learning and enjoying the book and playing a game of what country we would like to go to,

  8. My daughter is reading dork diary’s at the moment, she bought it at the school book fair last week and is really enjoying it. I think making time to read with your child from a young age helps them to have a love of books as they grow up.

  9. Our grandchildren both enjoy reading, only find a reluctance when they would rather be doing something else or think they might be missing out on something else. Horrible histories, David Walliam’s and the Roald Dhal books are the favourites.

  10. My 8 year old daughter is always reading. She reads a different book every 3-4 days. Just wish I could get my boys a bit more into reading

  11. Over the past few weeks, we have been switching between the shorter Roald Dahl books and some of the Dr Seuss. Silly stories are fueling my six year old son to read.

  12. We’re all about Roald Dahl! Best way to encourage reading is to start young and have dedicated reading time every day, quite apart from a bedtime story (which is also essential!)

  13. My daughter is currently reading ‘Danny, Champion of the world’ by Roald Dahl, I have never had an issue getting my daughter to read, she has always loved books.
    But we did read stories with her from a very young age, and we encourage imagination, sometimes we choose a item in her bedroom and make up stories.

  14. My son, thankfully, is very enthusiastic about reading (sadly, the opposite regarding maths). He loved Horrid Henry books (starting with Early Reader series, with more pictures) and all Diary of a Wimpy Kid series too. With David Walliams, some we loved, some less so (couldn’t finish Mr Stink, for example, found it very boring). He also loves when I read to him at bedtime, especially all the books I enjoyed as a kid myself, like Astrid Lindgren’s stories. I’m not entering the comp, just wanted to comment on your post.

  15. The lion,the witch and the wardrobe at the moment.If they choose their own books they are more likely to read them.

  16. I’m reading A Boy Called Christmas to my son – I find the best way to get him to read is to find really funny/disgusting/exciting books to really engage him!

  17. The world worst children 2 at the moment. I would say let them explore books in their younger days and read to them so they gain a love for reading

  18. my grand daughter Megan is reading Blob by David Walliams at the moment, she is loving it, so glad she is an avid reader

  19. Roald Dahl books, I encourage reading by letting them choose books based on there interests and what they want to read

  20. They are reading Roald Dahl and the Andy Cope Spy Pup/Spy Dog series! They have become much more independent readers now and actively want to read!

  21. My little one is a bit younger so starting to recognise letters etc. now, but really enjoys playing ‘teacher’ and reading to me during carpet time. So we role play with the books to encourage the interest. Also offers an opportunity for her to make her own stories up.

  22. we love disney books in our house at the minute! im deffo ready for a change though!!!
    i find makign it a fun experience and encouraging them to do it with you is the way to go!!!

  23. We are reading the fourth Harry Potter book together, we take it in turns and use character voices to keep it fun.

  24. my littler girl brings home reading books from school, shes 5, i try and make reading time fun and not a chore

  25. We used to read to my daughter every night since the day she was born. Ok, not kids books. Anything we were reading really. Newspapers, magazines, books etc. She’s always loved reading and I think seeing up picking up books and reading encouraged her to do the same from a very young age. We’re very lucky as it’s something she loves to do so there’s no need to encourage here. She’s currently reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is always on the look out for more books to read and as asked me to enter this competition on her behalf. Thanks for the chance x

  26. A variety of things – try getting them to read simple things like signs and encourage reading everything to be fun not just when they are told to read something.

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