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Ds11 says he hates to read....


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Ds11 sits quietly with his timer reading his book, but is now telling me that he just dreads it because it's so boring. I feel like we have a good selection of books on our shelves, but he seems to find it hard to really get into a book. To this date he has found that his favorite book is Follow My Leader. Presently he is reading The Cabin Faced West, but just sits and checks the clock periodically to see if his time is up. I just hate that for him. I want him to at least be able to escape into his readings while he is there. He just doesn't seem to be engaging with them. So...I need some book suggestions for a hard to entertain child. He likes action, gore, inspirational, and books that aren't too drawn out. We are studying Early American History this year so I would like for him to have readings on that. Any suggestions are much appreciated!!

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I do not know any history books for your period, but I have an 11 y/o son and I can tell you a couple of books that he loves to read:


Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Guardians of Gahoole series by Katherine Lasky

Harry Potter JK Rowling

Ink Heart Cornelia Funke

Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson)


My son used to be a reluctant reader, but always enjoyed audiobooks- so maybe books on CD would be a solution for your son?

The first book DS read for fun was a collection of Greek mythology, Usborne or something like that, where the stories were served in small little pieces.

Then, your son might just like it better to read non-fiction books! Have you tried?

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As much as I wished my boys liked the fantasy books the pp listed they always flop around here :(. But they are my favorite.


My 11 likes survival stories-

Hatchet or others by Gary Paulsen

Danger on Panther Peak and others by Bill Wallace

Call of the Wild/White Fang

Julie of the Wolves

Cabin on Trouble Creek (I think that's the name, he loved it cause the two boys were just the age of my two ds)


I think if these are the kinds of books he would read it would be easy to find some for the right time period- and while we haven't read The Cabin Faced West, just looking at the Amazon page, it doesn't look like it would grip my 11yo.

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I don't think I'd force the reading if I were you, unless you want to make him hate it more.


Maybe you could try:


1) read alouds


2) audio books


3) seeing if you can interest him in comparing books and movies (conversationally, I don't mean like writing a report on it or anything)


4) taking him to the library and letting him pick ANYTHING he wants to read (even if you think it's just fluff).


5) seeing if you can interest him in trying a silly/fun "reading challenge" like: "Go read aloud to the guinea pig for ten minutes" or "go read 10 pages under the kitchen table" and then giving a little 'prize' when the 'challenge' is completed....


6) telling him that you guys can try to re-enact some of his favorite scenes in some way- with a recipe, a project, a field trip, or some such.


I would want to make reading seem fun. I've always been such an avid reader that I can't imagine it ever seeming like a 'chore' or something I was 'forced' to do, and I wouldn't want to do anything that would make my kids come to see it that way.

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Charlie Bone series

Hardy Boys series

Hatchet series

My Side of the Mountain series

Eragon series

The Indian in the Cupboard

Artemis Fowl series

Island of the Loons


The Wizard of Earthsea


Sarney: A Life Remembered


My Brother Sam Is Dead

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My boy is younger, so take this with a grain of salt. ;)


But I have always heard that some boys simply prefer to read non-fiction instead of fiction. That is certainly the case with my son. Give him an encyclopedia and he will read forever. Give him even the smallest chapter book and he freaks out.

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Ds 12 LOVES survival books.

One that hasn't been listed to add to this is Sign of the Beaver.

Also - DS wanted so badly to read adult level non-fiction about Mt. Everest, he actually worked hard at reading just to get there.

I think it's important to let them read what they like - at least until the learn to enjoy reading. Heck - I let ds read Calvin and Hobbs just to keep him going!

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My youngest doesn't like most books. As far as American history goes, the only books she enjoyed were Sign of the Beaver and The Sherwood Ring. All three of my girls actually listed The Sherwood Ring as their favorite book we had ever read for school.


The only books my dd has ever escaped with have been:

Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Wrede)

City of Ember series (DuPrau)

Lionboy series (Corder)

Harry Potter (Rowling)

Lightning Thief series(Riordan)

Artemis Fowl series (Colfer) - although none of us were happy with the 6th book and we haven't read the 7th

Red Pyramid (Riordan) - 1st book in a series

Children of the Lamp series (Kerr) - but this went downhill after the 3rd book and she stopped reading then

Warriors series (Hunter) - she LOVES these and has read ALL of them

Hunger Games series (Collins) - Mockingjay is the final book and was just released on Tuesday


My 12yo (who really doesn't like to read) started Mockingjay at 9:30am and finished it at 9:20pm on Tuesday. She only took about 2 hours worth of breaks in that 12-hour period. Now she's dying for the rest of us to read it so she can talk about it. I'll probably finish it tomorrow.

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My ds doesn't like to read. He is required to read 30 minutes per day M-F. We take turns picking books. It's sometimes a battle to get him to do that.


My dh is not a big reader either. He'll read what he wants to read, but rarely does he finish a book and none of them are fiction.


I love to read and it pains me to see my son NOT enjoying reading. Nothing has clicked with him yet.


I have reached a few conclusions this summer. He may never truly enjoy reading, but he will still be required to. I will continue to read-aloud to him. He loves that, so I know he loves stories and the interaction we get together. We'll do some audio books as necessary because he has some dyslexia issues as well. While he is under my wing he will experience as many books as possible in those three ways. I hold out hope that some genre or author will click with him.


He will read some Pokemon magna on his own and that will never be assigned work. It's sporadic on those, I'm not sure if he's finished one since spring.


I also hold out hope that he will marry a nice girl who loves to read out loud and make all the voices like I do. That way he will still get the experience as an adult. :lol:

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I didn't mention in my post that my dd is required to read 30 minutes/day, but she's allowed to read any book that she hasn't read or listened to before. The last two books she's read this way were The Red Pyramid and Darkwood. When a Warriors book or a Hunger Games book comes out, she doubles up on her schoolwork so she'll have a free day on the publication date. We pick the book up at 9am and she just reads all day long until she's finished.


I still do a readaloud with her every day, so she is continuing to get historical fiction that way. She also occasionally listens to audio books. She used to spend a lot of time listening to audiobooks, but she hasn't listened to many audios the past two years.

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