Chapter Books for Reluctant Readers--July version

Hi ! This is Wendy from Ms. D's Literacy Lab and I will share a few more of my favorite books for reluctant readers today. For this post, a reluctant reader is one who has never found his/her reading style, abandoning classroom library books frequently, and wishes there were more suitable books in his/her reading range that made him/her look like an accomplished reader.

At times, these students have not grown up in a home where book literacy is important. They may have grown up in a family where storytelling, musical literacy, or common sense literacy was valued. In addition, there might be views on girls becoming accomplished readers or leaders through their home culture. As in some families, the parents may be working multiple jobs and having long work days and this is their priority. However, you can cultivate book literacy with these students by "following the student."

When I find an upper grade reluctant reader, after looking at possible phonics and fluency issues, I look at their reading habits. I use my "Back to School Inventory-Favorite Books" to help me format guided reading lessons and find great books on the student's reading level that he/she will love. Yes, it takes time and yes, some evening you may find me plopped on the floor of Barnes and Noble looking for books. Is it worth it ? An overwhelming YES ! When you reach one child, you reach his/her kids, his/her grandchildren, and so forth and so on. I bring the love of literacy to each child I meet. I consider it one of my biggest legacies in life.

 Back to School Inventory--Favorite Books (Freebie):

The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon  (updated): This favorite from my childhood is updated for a new generation. A faster-paced plot with a list of titles that will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. This series is about at a Level M-N Guided Reading Level  (end of second grade/beginning of third grade benchmark).

 Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew  by Carolyn Keene (updated): This favorite from my childhood is also updated for a new group of readers. The  plots will appeal to girls who are reluctant readers...for the moment. The Make-a-Pet Mystery finds the girls stuffing a popular set of stuffed animals at a party when something goes wrong.  This series is about at a Level M-N Guided Reading Level (end of second grade/early third grade benchmark).

Ballpark Mysteries series by David A. Kelly: This new series will grab the attention of your avid sports and baseball fans. The series starts at Fenway Park in Boston and the setting for others in this series include Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, and more. Written by an avid baseball fan and former baseball player in his youth, the short chapters, engaging black and white illustrations, and fun plot will catch their attention. I'm placing this at a Level N-O Guided Reading Level. Enjoyable !

My Weird School series by Dan Gutman: The lovable characters of teachers who are a little unusual, and have crazy ideas will keep your readers entertained and perhaps giggling along the way ! It is at a Level M/N Guided Reading Level.
In Miss Daisy is Crazy, we meet Miss Daisy who is a 2nd grade teacher who cannot read, add or subtract, or write. How is she going to teach her students ? Read to find out !

Dragon Masters series by Tracey West: This new series will be in bookstores on August 26, 2014. It is a little like "Train Your Dragon" meets "Dragon Slayers Academy" according to the Barnes and Noble website ( as of July 17, 2014). If this book is true to the rest of the Branches series, it will become a quick favorite of fantasy lovers---on level readers and reluctant ones as well.

I hope you have found some new books to stash in your book bag for those reluctant readers this coming year ! Please share with us some of your favorite easy chapter books that seem to work well for struggling readers in the upper grades below !

1 comment

  1. Thanks for these tips/book suggestions. I had never heard of the Ballpark series, but I'll have to check it out since I live near Boston - home of Fenway Park! My kids LOVE the Dan Gutman books, too!