Summer Book Suggestions for Reluctant Readers

The Tiny Seed BookIt can be difficult enough to get children reading during the school year, so understandably summer reading can be challenging. Some children are reluctant readers, and getting them excited to read during the summer can be a Herculean task. We’ve listed summer book suggestions for reluctant readers that will help them to get excited about reading!



Picture Books

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell – the story of a girl brave enough to be herself at all times. The illustrations are charming and the story of how she wins over even her toughest bully at her new school is funny and heartwarming.

Stand Tall Book

Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed – Parents may remember the author as the writer/illustrator of the comic strips Bloom County, Outland, and Opus. Parents can’t go wrong with any of his children’s books which include Mars Needs Moms and Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big. Pete and Pickles is a sweet tale of a reluctant friendship told with his signature outlandish illustrations.

Pete & Pickles Book

Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo by Karma Wilson – Taking a trip to the zoo? Read this funny tale of what might happen if you shout in a zoo the night before. Tying books into real life events not only builds excitement for the event itself, but is also a great way to introduce books in way that seems less about reading for reading’s sake and more about focusing on a real life event.

Never Ever Shout in a Zoo book

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle – Any book by Eric Carle, author of The Hungry Caterpillar, is sure to be a hit. Reading books like The Tiny Seed to a child interested in science, or interested in playing outside, can pique his or her curiosity. Try to find books geared toward the child’s interests.

The Tiny Seed Book

Chapter Books

Chapter BooksPippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren – The chapters are short and the story is about a girl who breaks ALL the rules, from living on her own at the age of 9 to having a horse that lives on her front porch. Sometimes the best way to hook a reluctant reader is to find a character they can identify with, and what child can’t identify with a girl who gets to make all of her own choices?

The Witches by Roald Dahl – The author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory doesn’t disappoint in this tale of a young boy whose grandmother introduces him to the world of witches. Together they end up hatching a plot to eradicate all witches.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger – Does your child love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series? This is the first book in a series that is similar to the Wimpy Kid Series. It will also appeal to Star Wars fans. It includes instructions for creating an Origami Yoda. The second book in the series is Darth Paper Strikes Back and third is The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee. Books that have graphic elements are a great way to encourage a reluctant child to enjoy reading. Graphic novels are increasingly popular and much easier to find nowadays at libraries. There is now even a graphic version of The Diary of Anne Frank.

The Girl Who Owned a City by O.T. Nelson – Are your kids into zombies, but you aren’t? This is the tale of a post-apocalyptic world, minus the zombies. A disease has swept the planet leaving only those who are 12 and younger alive. Kids are left foraging and trying to rebuild a life of safety and comfort without the aid of adults.

Summer time is the perfect time to explore new books and make reading fun. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box in terms of finding something children will enjoy reading. Be sure to ask the children’s librarian at the local library for recommendations. They love searching out new and exciting titles for kids.

Local Resources and Related Posts

Long Island Children’s Book Authors

How to Encourage Literacy in Children

Book Revue – located at 313 New York Ave, Huntington, NY 11743. Read our review: Book Revue a Huntington Treasure.

Best Bargain Books – Two locations: 65 Robinson Ave, East Patchogue, NY 11772 and 14 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, NY 11777.

Book Hampton – Three locations: 41 Main Street in East Hampton, 50 Love Lane in Mattituck, and 16 Hampton Road in Southampton.


Written by Alison Profeta

Photo credits: Alison Profeta



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