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What is a Reluctant Reader?

A Reluctant Reader is anyone who does not show interest in reading.

Some kids are reluctant readers because they never mastered the skills needed for reading in the first place, either because of a learning disability or other problem. Those kids may need intervention with a qualified reading teacher.
Many kids today, however, are reluctant readers because they are more comfortable with electronic medium. Between TV, streaming, phones and tablets, Push Notifications and WhatsApp groups, these kids have been wired and connected since they are very little. Sitting down quietly with a book is foreign for them, hard for them.

And yet, most educators agree that reading is still a very important activity and helps children and young adults develop in all kinds of ways:

  • Reading builds great language skills. Kids who are readers have more robust vocabularies, and their skills at writing improve as well.
  • Reading helps build/maintain concentration. In these times, with almost everyone you know complaining of being ADD, reading requires a person to sit down and focus for a period of time that’s longer than a sound bite!
  • Reading teaches kids about the life. Read a book like “Superfudge” and learn how another 4th grader handles the challenges that they face every day.
  • Reading teaches kids about the world around them. Read the fabulous book “A Single Shard” and be transported to 12th century Korea.
  • Reading inspires to greatness! Read a book like “The Hunger Games” and see what a hero really looks like, even in a parallel universe!

So what can you do to encourage reading. Here are some ideas that have proven to be successful for others and may work for your Reluctant Reader as well!

Graphic Novels

Graphic Novels really work well for some Reluctant Readers. The pages look really cool, like comic books, and they are very inviting because there aren’t all that many words on the page that have to be read. Improved vocabulary and fluency, here we come!

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High Interest/Low Skill

High Interest / Low Level Reading Books (Hi-Lo Books) are perfect for Reluctant Readers who are reading below their grade level. The stories are written for their age level, so they are not “babyish” but they are written very simply, so that they kids are more likely to succeed and feel successful. Orca Books is one of our favorite publishers; the stories are very contemporary and there is always an element of suspense that keeps the reader coming back. What is going to happen next?

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