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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.
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.
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 (bit dated now)
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.
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