Last week I wrote about The Best Chapter Books for Reluctant Girl Readers.
This week, I am expanding on this concept to include my favorite chapter books for reluctant boy readers.
There are so many books out there, yet finding one that our child will engage with can be especially difficult when our child does not particularly love to read. If you have a reluctant reader in your life, you realize the importance of having books that are not only readable for your child but also are viewed as acceptable by peers. This is especially true when it is time to read in school.
This is why I have created this list of 11 awesome chapter books/series that are great for the reluctant boy reader in your life!
At the end of the day, we simply want our children to be reading. Placing books in front of them that they find to be both interesting and readable can help achieve this!
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission on purchases made at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Here are 11 of my favorite authors/books for the reluctant boy reader in your life!
1) Here’s Hank and Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Hank Zipzer is clearly an intelligent boy, but he does have dyslexia and some learning challenges. Hank, known as the world’s greatest underachiever, is the main character in each series. The books in the Here’s Hank chapter books feature Hank in the second grade and have more illustrations in the chapters whereas the Hank Zipzer chapter books feature Hank mostly in the fifth grade with very few illustrations to complement the writing. These chapter books are funny, feature a very relatable character to many, and are simply great for all readers! Furthermore, some of the books use dyslexie font, which is an easy to read font specifically designed for readers with dyslexia.
2) Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol
There are numerous Encyclopedia Brown chapter books. Each book in the Encyclopedia Brown series consists of 10 mysteries that need to be solved. Clues are provided throughout a chapter with each mystery solved at the end of the chapter and a section within the book highlighting how each came to be solved. Even though these books have been around for years, they are timeless and are great for any mystery solver in the house!
3) Any of the Geronimo Stilton books by Geronimo Stilton
Geronimo Stilton books have quite a bit of color not just within the illustrations, but also within the font. For example, a word such as cool may be blue with icicles drawn on the word. These books seem to be hit and miss in that they are either absolutely loved or they aren’t by the readers. In my own son’s case, he absolutely loved them when he was younger. As a parent, I love that these books contain a lot of factual information even though the books are clearly fiction with mice as the main characters. For example, Mighty Mount Kilimanjaro contains factual information about Mount Kilimanjaro and The Mystery in Venice gives information about Venice throughout the story. Even books not titled about a specific place contain tidbits of factual information in a way that keeps the reader not only informed, but engaged.
4) Any of the chapter books by David Walliams
If your reader likes humor combined with fantastic storylines and themes, any of the chapter books by David Walliams are sure to be a hit! We started with Gansta Granny in our house. This is one author my own children are begging for more from and I wish I had simply started off by purchasing the boxed set! Some of Walliams’ other books are Billionaire Boy, a story in which a boy has nearly every material thing he could ever want, yet is still in need of a friend and Grandpa’s Great Escape, a story in which Jack ‘escapes’ with his grandpa who has dementia. Each of the books are great for both boy and girl readers and contain illustrations that help to enhance comprehension.
5) Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is and always will be very special to me. The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book was an absolute favorite of my now adult son! It was one of the few books I bought for him that he immediately devoured. It was of no surprise to me that it became a movie beloved by our entire family. This series is perfect for many readers, but I believe this is especially true for readers in middle school!
6) Any book by Mark Lowery
With titles such as The Jam Doughnut that Ruined my Life, The Chicken Nugget Ambush, Revenge of the Spaghetti Hoops, and The Great Caravan Catastrophe, it is obvious that these books are meant to be humorous. They definitely are just that! Lowery’s books do contain the odd illustration when transitioning to a new chapter, but I actually wish they had a few more. Either way, Lowery is sure to bring on some laughs throughout his stories!
7) Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon
Liz Pichon has dyslexia and also has an adult son with it. Her Tom Gates books are written in a way that make them easy to comprehend. The font is easy to read and each page has doodle-like illustrations that help ensure the story is understood. Anyone who enjoys reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid is sure to also enjoy Tom Gates. My personal favorite is The Brilliant World of Tom Gates.
8) Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald
My kids recently stumbled across Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading and we all fell in love with it! It’s funny, definitely keeps the reader engaged, and there may be no greater topic for the reluctant reader than the topic of trying to get out of reading! After all, the first tip Charlie Joe Jackson gives in his guide is to first make sure the chapters are short if you have to read a book! That way, when mom or dad tells you to read 3 chapters before bed, they only need to read 3 pages instead of 30, but can still say, “Hey, guess what? I read my 3 chapters.” The odd illustration compliments this 218-page novel nicely. We had visitors with a 12-year-old son who needs a LOT of convincing to pick up a book, but he even ended up sitting and reading it!
The next three suggestions contain books in the graphic novels category.
9) Any of the Graphic Novels by Dav Pilkey
Even though Captain Underpants chapter books contain a lot of illustrations throughout, his newer Dogman series is more colorful and is definitely in the graphic novel category. Dav Pilkey, who has dyslexia, is both the author and illustrator of his books. He writes them in a way that would have been easy for him to become engaged in as a young reader. Either series is sure to be a hit for the boy reader in your life!
10) Any of the Big Nate books by Lincoln Peirce
These Big Nate books can be found in a style similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. However, other Big Nate books, such as Big Nate: A Good Old-Fashioned Wedgie and Big Nate and Friends are definitely in the graphic novel category. These books are made up of more middle school adventures that are sure to bring on some laughter while being read.
11) Any of the Doodle Adventures Graphic Novels by Mike Lowery
The Doodle Adventures books are perfect for the boy reader in your life who also loves to doodle! Each of the books, such as The Rise of the Rusty Robo-Cat, prompt the reader to add to the stories with their own unique doodles. The encouragement to be part of the stories may be just what your reader needs to get and keep him engaged.
Support for the Reluctant Reader
If you have a reluctant reader in your life, I encourage you to check out my eBook Ruling Out a Reading Difficulty: A Parent’s Guide to Determining the Root of a Reading Difficulty and How to Help… Without the Overwhelm!
How About You?
What about you? What is your favorite book or series for the reluctant boy reader in your life? Have there been any chapter books for reluctant boy readers not on this list that your child has loved? Please let me know in the comments below.