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What books got your reluctant reader excited about reading?

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I know I'm being hopeful. Looking for fun, easy reads for ds13, who reads at a 6th grade level. He has always been a struggling reader until recently.


He struggles especially with fantasy/sci-fi, because of the made-up vocabulary. He does like action though.


So, anything that might get him interested?



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Has he read the Percy Jackson books? My DS (currently in 6th grade) is a VERY reluctant reader, but he was totally hooked by the Percy Jackson series ~ they are the first books he would actually take to his room and read for long periods with no prompting. Both of his reluctant-reader buddies also loved the series and read it multiple times.


Another series he has liked is Terry Pratchett's trilogy with Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men (Wee Free Men, Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith). One of his friends just started it based on DS's recommendation and he also loves it.



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My reluctant reader nephew who is 12, recently got excited about a series of books called The Sugar Creek Gang. You may not be interested depending on how you feel about Christian themes however. This is the description from ChristianBook.com.


For over 50 years, generations of 9- to 12-year-olds have thrilled to the faith-building adventures of these courageous Christian boys. Now your youngsters can enjoy their legendary escapades---from catching a bank robber and meeting a mysterious hermit to confronting a ferocious bear. Each edge-of-your-seat novel will keep your kids reading from beginning to end! Approx. 140 pages each, 36 softcovers from Moody.

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Thank you for your suggestions! We have the Alex Rider series and the Percy Jackson series - my older boys loved them. We also have a handful of Gary Paulsen.


Last night, I started reading The Mysterious Benedict Society - wow is that fun! I am hooked. DS might just love it, too.


The Gollywhopper Games also look great.


Thank you all for the other suggestions. I'll be sure to check them out. :001_smile:

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Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz

The Guild Specialists series by Joshua Mowll (Operation Red Jericho, Operation Typhoon Shore, Operation Storm City...these are fun, action-packed with neat illustrations and "evidence")

Mars Diaries series by Sigmund Brouwer

The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan

Redwall series by Brian Jacques

The Gatekeepers series, also by Anthony Horowitz

Tunnels and Deeper (Freefall coming in Feb.) by Brian Wilson and Roderick Gordon

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

The Young Bond series by Charlie Higson


My ds is 15 now and still returns to many of these series! lol He's got 14yo dd on some of them, too. I've read some of them as well.


He might also enjoy the Artemis Fowl books or the Septimus Heap books. Also on our check-it-out list: The Maze Runner trilogy and The 13th Reality series by James Dashner. I'm going to read 100 Cupboards and see if it's a good series, too.

Edited by 6packofun
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The Alex Rider books have plenty of action/adventure and are written for teens, but the reading level is just 4th grade. They're great for getting reluctant readers going. I enjoy the stories myself and am eagerly awaiting the next book.


The Mysterious Benedict Society is a lot of fun and is, of course, a mystery series. My dyslexic 6th grader just finished the 3rd book on Monday.


If he likes fantasy/sci fi, then I'd recommend:

City of Ember series

Lionboy series

Lightning Thief series (actual series name is Percy Jackson and the Olympians)

Artemis Fowl - but he may have vocabulary problems with this one - my youngest is afraid to try reading these on her own, but loves to listen to them

Magic Thief


other books my reluctant reader has enjoyed:

Samurai Mysteries (Hoobler) - but there are vocabulary issues with this one because of Japanese terms

Five Ancestors (Stone) - may be a little young, but I enjoy the series almost as much as my 6th grader does

Warriors (Hunt) - has a huge following among the 9-14yo girls in my hs group, not as much among the boys, about warrior cat clans

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - I think these books are stupid, but all three of my girls love them. They are extremely popular.

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Okay, these are NOT classics, but they are what have kept our younger DS who was a late bloomer reader going:


Fluff Fantasy Adventure -- gr. 4-6 reading level

- Warriors series (Hunter)

- Varjak Paw; The Outlaw (Said)

- Platform 13 (Ibbotson)


Fluff Fantasy Adventure -- gr. 5-8 reading level

- Eragon (Paolli) -- a lot of made-up names/language

- Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (Riordan) -- ancient Greek names

- Artemis Fowle series (Colfer)

- Bromeliad trilogy: Truckers; Diggers; Wings (Pratchett)

- Ranger's Apprentice series by (Flanagan)



These are adventure stories both boys enjoyed, that are at a gr. 5-8 reading level:

- Samurai mystery series (Hoobler)

- Half Magic; Magic By the Lake; Knight's Castle; Time Garden; Seven Day Magic (Eager)

- Baker Street Irregulars (Newman)

- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Aiken)

- Holes (Sachar)

- The Great Turkey Walk (Karr)

- By the Great Horn Spoon (Fleischman)

- Snow Treasure (McSwigan) -- WWII Norweigan children hide the country's gold from Nazis

- The Master Puppeteer (Paterson) - 1700s Japan

- Land I Lost; Water Buffalo Days (Nhuong) -- misadventures in pre-war rural Vietnam

- The Black Stallion, The Black Stallion Returns, Island Stallion (Farley)

- My Side of the Mountain (George) -- boy decides to live off the land for a year

- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (O'Brien)

- Hittite Warrior (Williamson)

- various "minute mystery" series by Sobol, Conrad, Sukach, and others



Here are some classic adventures at a gr. 6-8 reading level that he might like:

- The Twenty-One Balloons (DuBois) -- Jules Verne-like story, 1800s inventor

- The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster) -- boy journeys through a mathematical land

- Call of the Wild; White Fang; Sea Wolf (London)

- Rikki Tikki Tavi (Kipling)

- All Creatures Great and Small (Herriot) -- quite a bit of British slang/accents & veterinarian terminology

- My Family and Other Animals (Durrell)

- The Most Dangerous Game (Connell) -- short story

- The Open Window (Saki) -- short story

- The Monkey's Paw (Jacobs) -- short story

- The Lady or the Tiger (Stockton) -- short story

Edited by Lori D.
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Kane-Miller publishing has a series coming out that targets the 11-16 y.o. crowd. It is called Conspiracy 365. It is a cross between the TV series "24" and Davinci Code - action adventure, mystery, with a plot that runs the course of a year. A new book will hit the shelves worldwide on the 1st of every month in 2010 (although Usborne Books reps get them early - we have had January since mid-Nov).


You/he can read the first chapter at http://www.Conspiracy365US.com.


You can order January from your local Usborne rep or my site below and we have subscriptions for the whole year, too. Amazon etc. are taking preorders, but they do not have them yet.


Since I have 8 y.o. girls, I don't follow teen lit much, but this book is getting rave reviews from teens so far.


BTW - this is a clean series, no swear words, sex, etc.

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