Is Your Child a Reluctant Reader?

Is it Possible Your Child is a Reluctant Reader?

As a teacher/library media specialist, I see a reluctant reader as a child who will try anything to get out of reading – from acting out in class to fake reading during the independent reading time given by their teacher. Does your child buck at the idea of reading a book?

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There’s not just one, but many reasons why a child could be a reluctant reader. From my experience, the top three reasons that a child is a reluctant reader are that the child just hasn’t found the right book, the child has an attentional issue, the child is not able to read the words properly, doesn’t understand/comprehend what they are reading or that there is a reading deficit.

It takes time to find the book that will spark an interest, that will draw a child in to want to continue to read. Whenever possible, I meet with students individually or in a small group to look for books at their reading level, that they’ll like and finish reading! It’s a rushed world that we live in, but a child needs time to explore different genres, different authors, different types of reading material, etc. and it should be their choice of what book they read (of course, it needs to be appropriate).

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Some students just can’t focus. The problem could be the lack of sleep, the room is too distracting, there are other personal issues going on that is on your child’s mind, etc. There are other strategies too, but it’s always a good idea to have a doctor’s opinion.

10 Days to a Less Distracted Child by  Jeffrey Bernstein is a fresh, practical, and completely original take on handling inattentive/hyperactive children. Anecdotal examples throughout help parents understand their kids, improve focus and organization at school, and eliminate other distracted or inappropriate behaviors at home.


Reading skills are essential to be a successful reader.  A child is not going to want to do something that they are not good at – it’s human nature. For example, if someone is not good at a sport, they’re not going to want to keep playing that sport. That’s why kids just want to give up on reading, but with help, your child can become a reader!  Parents have asked me for advice on how to get their child to read more and the two words that come out of my mouth are “choice” and “practice.” They may need help with both, but reading what they like and then practicing reading will advance their skills and love of reading. Make reading fun!!

My Favorite Genres to Suggest to a Reluctant Reader

GRAPHIC NOVELS – these books 1. look like a comic book 2. small amount of text in speech bubbles 3. I’m not sure of the third reason, they just LOVE them!

JOKE BOOKS – these books are 1. funny,  2. short amount of text on the pages 3. big font

FUNNY BOOKS – They’re usually 1. the reading level is usually easier 2. kids love funny content 3. there is usually a small amount of text on each page.

Reading, like any other topic in life, needs practice, practice, practice! My suggestion is to get kids to read anything they can get their hands on, just as long as it’s appropriate. Anything that strikes their interest – cereal boxes, brochures, magazines, books over their level, books under their level, etc.  To me, reading on a laptop, iPad, or another device, just as long as it’s reading or an educational game is great. But there should only be limited time on any other game that is not educational.

All children should be at grade level by the third grade so it is so very important to get a child the help he/she needs to be a successful reader.  Your child’s teacher is a great resource!

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You could have one child who loves to read and the other who’d rather do anything else but read. Just give it time – be patient as there are lots of resources available to you.  I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment or question below or email me at

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