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17 Book Recommendations for Reluctant Readers

By March 2, 2015September 20th, 2015Discussion and Recommendations

It has been said that if someone doesn’t enjoy reading, they must be reading the wrong books and many agree. Many parents and teachers have witnessed a reluctant reader blossom when presented with a book they connect with and they gain confidence to enjoy reading further. While thinking on this I asked if any of you had a book, or series of books, you believe would capture the inner literature lover of a hesitant child or adult.

Over 300 books were suggested, spanning the ages and genres, and I compiled the top 17 you recommended. Besides recommending books some of you expressed how you would approach from the movie angle and suggest they read the original book version of the story to help them connect. Further to that many suggested that it was simply an impossible task to achieve without knowing more of the reader’s interests, which I thought was a valid point.

Harry Potter – J. K Rowling (93 votes)

Harry Potter Box Set

The Harry Potter Series (US)
The Harry Potter Series (UK)

Over one quarter of your votes went to the Harry Potter series and being a fan myself (Hufflepuff all the way!) I am not at all surprised. The series captures the hearts and imaginations of children and adults alike and as it has also been adapted to film it is a stepping-stone to reading for pleasure.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (31 votes)

To Kill a Mockingbird

Buy to Kill a Mockingbird – US

Buy to Kill a Mockingbird – UK


Despite many of us studying this classic at school we haven’t been put off by critically examining it, connecting with the characters and appreciating its core message. It has also been adapted to film, and with a sequel out soon it seems the perfect time to give it a go.

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (29 votes)

The Alchemist

The Alchemist (US)
The Alchemist (UK)

This modern day allegory is recommended for its simple and inspiring philosophies, with many people taking a different lesson from their journey alongside the young protagonist.

The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins (16 votes)


Hunger Games Trilogy (US)
Hunger Games Trilogy (UK)

Again having a film adaptation could be beneficial, and as the books are easy to read, absorbing and exciting, young adults and grown ups can delve in and get swept away with Katniss as she battles for justice.

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (16 votes)


Buy in the US
Buy in the UK

This exciting book has been adapted for the screen to draw in a wider audience. It has been recommended on many readers’ lists, this novel will grab the attention of anyone who loves an adventure through time, and a different take on a passionate love story.

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (14 votes)

Kite Runner

Buy The Kite Runner – US

Buy The Kite Runner – UK

Hosseini is the only author on the list with two entries with this first one being a riveting and thought provoking read. Hosseini’s writing style engaged many of you with its themes of love, friendship, and betrayal.

Following on from that we have:

The Percy Jackson series – Rick Riordan (9 votes)

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger (9 votes)

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien (9 votes)

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green (9 votes)

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (9 votes)

A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini (9 votes)

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein (8 votes)

Divergent – Veronica Roth (8 votes)

Twilight Trilogy – Stephenie Meyer (8 votes)

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (7 votes)

Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin (7 votes)

I hope this list has helped any reluctant readers out there, or given ideas of what to recommend for others. From The Little Prince to Divergent the list spans all age ranges and a great range of genres, with many being adapted to film, giving further access to great literature for the reluctant reader.

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One Comment

  • mereana otene Waaka says:

    Most of these books are entry level dor sophisticated readers. Theyre simple for us but not for new readers. I had a brother who never read. One year for his birthday i bought him a cillection of books. He felt the oackage and asked me if they were boiks. When I said yes he lioked disappointed. He loved the series I bought him. I saw him laughing and reading them. The series? The collected works of a NZ newspaer comic series, Footrot Flats.

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