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 appropriate and cool by peers. This is especially true when it is time to read in school. To simplify this process, I have created a list of my favorite chapter books for reluctant girl readers.
At the end of the day, we simply want our kids to be reading. Placing the right books in front of them that are both interesting and readable can help achieve this!
Each of the books included in the list below is a chapter book, but they also have important factors such as providing visuals or graphics. Many also use a font that is more reader-friendly.
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Here are 10 of my favorite authors/books for the reluctant girl reader in your life!
NOTE: The first couple of books on this list are more geared towards the younger chapter book reader (ages 7-10) with the last 7 consisting of themes more for the middle schooler and beyond.
1) Magic Animal Friends by Daisy Meadows
My one daughter is obsessed with animals. We have a dog, a hedgehog and a fish. If she had her way, we’d have nearly all of the animals on Noah’s Arc! She absolutely loves the Magic Animal Friends series! I would recommend them for the animal-loving reader in your life.
2) Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
Junie B. Jones is a fun kindergartner to read about. This book series has been around since the early 90s and continue to be a popular choice for both independent reading and family reading time. There is also a series of when Junie B. Jones is in grade 1.
3) Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
I know of both girls and boys who love the Bad Kitty series. The stories are comical and are a great length with enough illustrations that comprehension is not likely to be an issue. If your reader loves cats, it will make this series especially great!
4) Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon
Liz Pichon has dyslexia and also has an adult son with it. These 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. My kids and I find the Tom Gates books to be humorous. My personal favorite is The Brilliant World of Tom Gates. The characters are easy to relate to. This series is fantastic and highly recommended for both girls and boys.
If you would like to learn more about other authors with dyslexia, you can check out my post about Inspiring Children’s Book Authors with Dyslexia.
5) Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton
These books reflect diary entries of the fictional middle school girl, Jamie Kelly. They are comical and consist of diary entries that many of our girls can easily relate to. Furthermore, there is some kind of illustration on nearly every page of Dear Dumb Diary that ensures the stories are easily understood if any of the reading is challenging. My one daughter loves, loves, loves this series!
6) Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell
The Dork Diaries series is another great series for middle school girls. They consist of the diary entries of the funny and dramatic middle school character, Nikki Maxwell. There are plenty of illustrations throughout the stories. The Dork Diaries books are sure to be a hit with most middle school girls. I know they are definitely a hit in my house!
7) Invisible Emmie and Positively Izzy, both by Terri Libenson
Although Libenson has been creating the daily comic strip Pajama Diaries since 2006, Invisible Emmie is her debut graphic novel and is great for any middle school girl who has ever felt invisible (so pretty much every girl). Positively Izzy is a spin-off of Invisible Emmie. Both graphic novels are set in middle school and capture plenty of drama and humor throughout.
The next three recommendations are in the graphic novels category.
8) Awkward and other books by Svetlana Chmakova
Awkward, Brave and Crush are each set in Berrybrook Middle School. Each of the stories feature different fictional characters tackling relatable middle school problems. They are sure to be a fun read for the reader in your life!
9) Any of the Graphic Novels by Raina Telgemeier
My one daughter absolutely loves Telgemeier’s graphic novel Sisters. It is worth pointing out that there are two-page shades used. The regular white border indicates things happening in the present tense, while the more yellowish border indicates things happening in the past tense. This doesn’t cause an issue at all, but it is worth pointing out to your reader as it will immediately help with fully comprehending the story, especially with all of the vivid illustrations.
Telgemeier is also the illustrator for the very popular Baby-Sitters Club series, which are also great reads for any girl reader in your life.
10) Best Friends by Shannon Hale
Best Friends is a graphic novel that delves into what is a common middle school girl issue of trying to fit in. It consists of an overall theme around the importance of following your heart and finding your people.
There is one more book that definitely deserves to be on this list even though it does not contain illustrations like the other books on this list does. It is Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt.
Fish in a Tree is a great chapter book for anyone, but especially for the struggling reader in your life. If there is a struggle with reading, it may be best to read this book aloud to your child. It is an uplifting novel as Ally, the main character who has dyslexia, works through hardships and discovers the gifts in her abilities. It is about individual uniqueness and learning to accept and love yourself and others.
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!
Have a Reluctant Boy Reader in Your Life?
If so, be sure to also check out my post on The Best Chapter Books for Reluctant Boy Readers.
While the first couple of recommendations here are easily relatable to the younger reader, many of the themes of the books on this list are more geared towards the tween/teenage reader. I hope you find them as motivating for your reluctant girl reader as I believe you will. 🙂
What about you? Do you have any favorite chapter books for reluctant girl readers? Have there been any books that your reluctant girl reader has loved that are not on this list? Please share them in the comments below.