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.

Disclosure: We have been sent books. All words and opinions are my own.

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150 Comments

  1. We are reading Harry Potter and I do different voices for Harry, Hermione & Ron.

  2. a Paddington book he got from our local library

  3. Jennifer Baker

    My Daughter loves all the Disney books, She always reads before bed x x

  4. My eldest is reading the second in the Hunger Games trilogy, and my younger is reading one of the Percy Jackson books I think! They usually have at least 2 or 3 each on the go!

  5. Stefany Acaster

    The Gruffalo. If you find a books that’s interesting or funny my kids enjoy reading.

  6. Darren Griffiths

    My son would love these he’s a righty book worm

  7. Sophia Tennant Hosein

    My daughter loves the Jacqueline Wilson books, I think if it’s relatable then it’s more interesting x

  8. Laura Findlay

    Me and my daughter are currently reading The Worst Witch. A little every night helps with her reading. Practice makes perfect x

  9. Pauline Burroughs

    My granddaughter is reading Cinderella. We’ve read to her from any early age and now she loves reading and writing and doesn’t need any encourage to read.

  10. Kate Davies

    I’m working my way through the Harry Potter series with my 5 year old son. We have always had books available for him to look at every since he was a baby. We make reading fun by doing silly voices or actin it out.

  11. laura stewart

    my daughter is reading the peter rabbit collection books x

  12. Roald Dahl’s BFG at the moment, I bought some RD books from the local Oxfam

  13. Simone Griffin

    My step son is reading Captain Underpants x

  14. jo maxted

    my daughter loves david walliams books lately xx

  15. Julie Cooper

    My son is 10 and loves David Walliams. He’s just finished Bad Dad

  16. sharon weaden

    My son is working is way through a box set of Captain Underpants at the moment. He went off reading for a while but now reads every day again and thoroughly enjoys it. I just encourage him and he loves reading to me.

  17. Pauline Dring

    My grandchildren are reading the Roald Dahl collection. We also have the audio books and I think this helps them want to read the books for themselves.

  18. Danielle Moore

    My lad he’s just gone 11 is reading five children and IT at the moment he loves reading

  19. sharon martin

    My daughter’s currently reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda

    • sharon martin

      meant to add only reading tip i have is a be relaxed about it and try and find books with subjects they enjoy

  20. We aren’t reading any big books at the moment as we need to find a new one but we read a mixture of school reading books and short stories we have at home. A trip to the library once a month as well x

  21. Caroline Signey

    My son is reading The slightly annoying elephant by David Walliams

  22. My son and I are currently reading Harry potter and the Order of the Phoenix! We have all the books so are trying to read them all in order J.K.Rowling is an amazing author

  23. My daughter is reading David Walliams Rat burger.
    The best way to get children to read is to start early. Go to the local library and let them pick books that interest them. Even if it is only the front cover of picture books. Also let them see that you enjoy reading. Children always want to copy what their parents do. This is a very positive thing for them to copy

  24. My 10 year old son is reading multiple books. He is an avid reader.

    He has diary of a wimpy kid, the secret garden, the Little Princess, 65 storey tree house, eyes of the alien, ebooks – house of robots and birthday boy on the go at the moment.

    He said to get someone who is reluctant to read, to read….. Talk to them about the humorous books. Diary of a wimpy kid, the tree house storey books. These appeal to boys. Start off by reading a chapter to them. Then encourage them to read out loud to you a little. Soon they will be enjoying reading and you will see them. Doing it voluntarily.

    I enrolled my son in the library at 3 months old and used to go and get baby books to read to him. He grew up with me reading to him from library books until he could read on his own, 2 years old. Then started choosing his own books to read.

  25. Nancy Bradford

    My daughter is reading “Witch Wars” at the moment. She can’t play outside or watch TV until she has read.

  26. josie bicknell

    my granddaughter is obsessed with unicorns

  27. Rose Stephenson

    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – make reading something to look forward to not a chore.

  28. Amie Richards

    Anything with horses or unicorns or fairies seems to be a big hit!

  29. kirsty szekeres

    She is reading Gangsta Granny, she loves the David Walliams series and we are off to see this particular one at the theatre in April 🙂

  30. Deborah Clarke

    My son Rafferty and I are loving The Twitts at the mo. My tip is to start reading to them early. Thanks for the chance

  31. Marion Payne

    David Walliams Gangsta Granny And wants to read the rest of his books. Introduce books as early as you can and nurture an 8nterrst in story telling, Reading and writing.

  32. Jeanette Leighton

    My daughter Sheriah 5 likes reading the gruffalo

  33. My eldest is reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, it’s been a real struggle to get her to read anything at all as her dyslexia puts her off, luckily she found a series she enjoys! My son will only read non-fiction at the moment so he’s struggling for things on his reading shelf in school, he just reads books of facts at home, if it interests them, they’ll read it, reading shouldn’t be a chore 🙂

  34. Clare Hubbard

    My son is currently loving his Mr Men books

  35. Rebecca Howells (@Regrash7)

    Books with fun storylines and some pictures always helps! And about a topic they are interested in.

  36. Marie Rule

    My daughter is currently reading the twits by Roald dahl

  37. R Amison

    The Indian in the Cupboard – Lynne Reid Banks

  38. Katrina Adams

    Always be encouraging and try and make it interesting and fun. We’re currently reading the Rainbow Magic books.

  39. Caron Twyman

    My daughter loves any Horrid Henry. She also watches on it on TV, which helps with her understanding.

  40. Sarah Mccaffery

    Gangster Granny.
    The easiest way to get them reading more is to start early.

  41. paula cheadle

    youngest grandson is reading Gangsta Granny by David Walliams

  42. vanessa ball

    The Horrid Henry books. It has taken a while to fine books to engage him but these have. I let him choose so he stays interested

  43. Margaret Mccaffery

    David Walliams books.

    My tip is to read with them more often.

  44. Mark Mccaffery

    Gangster granny, my top tip is to take them to the library

  45. The youngest is just getting into Roald Dahl and she is enjoying all his books especially Matilda.

  46. Debra Shanahan

    My son is reading Northern Lights and my daughter is reading Goodnight Mr Tom

  47. Sarah Blakebrough

    Bad Dad by David Walliams. My tip is to find a book that they think is funny.

  48. Christopher Read

    The Jolly Postman. My tip would be to do reading in short bursts regularly.

  49. Laura Lee

    My youngest son is loving Winnie the Witch at the moment, my middle son is into Tom Gates and my eldest is into Varjak Paw

  50. Peggy rossiter

    Bad dad by david walluams. Make the time to listen and praise, praise, praise

  51. Peggy rossiter

    Make it fun, and praise, praise, praise. If they are clearly struggling don’t force them or they will hate havng to read. Make time to do it with them

  52. cheryl hadfield

    My daughter Loves to read, she is reading Jk Rowling the Cursed Child

  53. Jules page

    Willy Wonka. Rufus is really keen to learn.

  54. JULIE WARD

    Grandson is reading Bad Dad, he’s a little bookworm

  55. lorraine kirk

    My son is reading Mr Stink – visits to the library are good fun and a good routine is important

  56. hannahlig

    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.

  57. Kyomi Johnson

    Making it fun and something which they like the look of also reading together too

  58. Sadiyya Maryam

    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.

  59. kimberley ryan

    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

  60. 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.

  61. currently reading harry potter. I think you just have to find a topic they enjoy and they will naturally want to read.

  62. Michelle Newman

    My son loves Mr Men books and we have to read them every night

  63. Dale Dow

    we’re reading one called Football School Rules my son loves it

  64. We are reading The 1000 Year Old Boy together and we love that it’s set locally. There’s also lots to talk about. (Angela Kelly)

  65. Jennifer

    My older son is reading Micheal Mopurgo’s Little Foxes at the moment 🙂

  66. claire griffiths

    we are going through roald dahl books at the minute

  67. Lorna Ledger

    Read together, kids love routine, and pick a subject that they are doing at school, or really enjoy

  68. Sue P Bowden

    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.

  69. Michelle Ferguson

    My nephew loves the David Walliams books

  70. Lucy Barlow

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

  71. Karen Usher

    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,

  72. caroline kelly

    The faraway tree books, just like I did as a kid!

  73. Ruth Harwood

    I’m reading ‘the hobbit’ to the kids at the mo!

  74. we are reading Awful Auntie… my top tip is find a book about a subject they are interested in 🙂

  75. We are reading Harry Potter at the moment! 🙂

  76. Samantha Atherton

    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.

  77. Margaret

    Person controller by david Badiel patrick loves it

  78. Kirsty Greer

    Me and my youngest are Reading the pony mad princess. Anything with princesses in works for her x

  79. lorraine polley

    my grandson is currently reading diary of a wimpy kid, he is an avid reader, loves it

  80. Sue Stevenson

    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.

  81. Natasha Mairs - Serenity You

    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

  82. We read all different books, I make it fun and my two love to pick their book before bedtime with their hot chocolate and mummy cuddles

  83. Nicola Marshall

    Charlotte’s Web, my daughter loves reading she’ll pick up a book herself.

  84. Tracy Newton

    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.

  85. Jessica Woods

    We are loving our David Walliams books at the moment x

  86. Michelle

    I’m reading him the skulduggery pleasant books which he loves

  87. 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!)

  88. Rebecca Sutton

    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.

  89. Natalie Crossan

    My daughter is loving all the Julia Donaldson books at the moment, we’re trying to read 3 a week!

  90. 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.

  91. melanie stirling

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

  92. lynn neal

    Captain Underpants! My grandchildren seem to love books that are funny!

  93. Sarah Mackay

    My daughter is reading the midnight gang.

  94. isis1981uk

    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!

  95. Tee Simpson

    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

  96. I’m struggling to get my oldest to read. I am trying anything I can and hoping to try lots of new books to help.

  97. sue moore

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

  98. Jade Hewlett

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

  99. Chris Andrews

    What book is your child currently reading . . . . Horrid Henry series

  100. Laura Barratt

    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!

  101. 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.

  102. AMANDA W

    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!!!

  103. Catherine McAlinden

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

  104. Emi nastaly-howard

    One of Harry Potter’s books 🙂

  105. Lyndsey Baines

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

  106. Emma Chapman

    Harry Potter at the moment and we read together taking it interns and he loves that

  107. Susan Lloyd

    We are reading the mummy fairy by Sophie kinsella x

  108. Martina Pichova

    He is reading the Horrid Henry books. We go to the library so he can choose books he likes..

  109. Rabbit and Bear: Attack of the Snack. Get books they like.

  110. AdrianBold

    The Stick Man. Try and make it fun and get them to try words every so often.

  111. Angela Treadway

    my youngest loves reading the gruffalo at the moment x

  112. lesley renshaw

    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

  113. Hayley Colburn

    our daughter had the Roald Dhal collection for Christmas we are reading George’s Marvellous Medicine at the moment

  114. 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.

  115. Ashleigh Allan

    The world’s worst children

    I find the best way to get my kids to read is to find something that they like

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