Reverse Reluctant Reading


The benefits of reading are universally acknowledged. Reading is often thought of as the bedrock of all education, the single most vital skill you can teach your child. It increases vocabulary at a meteoric rate, trains the reader in critical thinking skills, and sets up a lifetime of curiosity and a thirst for learning. Reading offers a safe testing ground through which students can learn about the world around them—free of consequences, they can explore the lives of multitudes of characters throughout thousands of years of history… all in their living room.

But as so many unfortunately understand, dyslexia makes it very difficult to enjoy reading. Trouble with decoding and understanding the words in a book makes reading slow, pain-staking, and frustrating—not the most encouraging start to forming a new hobby. But children struggling with dyslexia are those most in need of a passion for reading, and it requires determination and adept strategies from parents and teachers to engender the kind of love of books so desperately needed by these children. We must do our part to ignite a movement towards reading and to begin the cycle of learning: the more they read, the better they get at it, and the better they get at it, the more they will read.

It is important to inspire and encourage reading in the house before your student even picks up a book of their own. You can do this by reading to them every night, bringing the stories to life, and following along on the page with your finger so that your child can learn to recognize the words. Challenge them to make pictures in their head as you read to support their comprehension, and always make sure to talk about the story later in order to strengthen memory skills. This is important as well once your child has moved on to silent reading on their own—a nightly recap or discussion with them about the characters, plot, etc. will help their continued understanding of the tale.

We want to make it easier to inspire a love of reading, so we’ve put together a list of books best-suited to catch—and hold—the attention of a dyslexic reader. (Tip: always remember to involve your child in the choice of a book. Even if you’ve heard a novel utterly raved about as the best book in town for young readers with dyslexia, your child simply may not be interested in it. Instead, let them choose a book out of a couple selections. They will try harder if the book is their own and they are interested in it!)

These books are some of the most popular and engaging stories in contemporary children's literature, and whether they are funny, dark, or downright dystopian, they are guaranteed to be page-turners for even the most reluctant readers!

For ages 5-8:

1. The Twits by Roald Dahl


2. Ruby the Red Fairy by Daisy Meadows


3. The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy


4. Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon


5. Skulduggery by Tony Robinson


6. The Moonshine Dragon by Cornelia Funke


7. Claude in the City by Alex T. Smith


For ages 9-12:

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney


2. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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3. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell


4. Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver


5. The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

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6. Gangsta Granny by David Walliams


7. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell


For teens:

1. Wonder by RJ Palacio


2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


3. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner


4. The Enemy by Charlie Higson


5. Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz


6. Brock by Anthony McGowan

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7. The Recruit by Robert Muchamore


For reluctant readers of all ages, it’s never too late to start building “reading stamina”!

Tennessee Dyslexia Centers is here for you and can help your struggling reader. We are equipped to work with all ages and have the ability to increase your child's reading skills drastically. Contact our office for a free consultation today! 615-236-6483 |

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