Top 10 Books I’d Recommend to a Teen/Tween That Doesn’t Like Reading (Yet)


Some people are born readers. I am not one of those people. Despite all the hard work of my mother and great teachers, I could barely read until the fourth grade. Even once I wasn’t stumbling over words, I didn’t like to read very much until I read one book: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. After that I was hooked. So I was excited by this week’s book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Some of the books are books that could very well be a kids lightbulb moment book, others, like Chopsticks and Why We Broke Up, I added to the list because of the pictures. Every book on this list is one that I think could make a reluctant reader appreciate books more.

Let me know in the comments what books I’ve missed and if their is one book that helped you like to read.

27 thoughts on “Top 10 Books I’d Recommend to a Teen/Tween That Doesn’t Like Reading (Yet)

  1. It’s funny I didn’t read Ender’s Game until earlier this year and while I know it could be read by younger reader’s I kind of think with all the political intrigue and different levels of story I would prefer if reader’s waited to get the full weight of the story, although a re-read could get you there too so I guess it’s a moot point =P

    I completely agree about Ella Enchanted and Harry Potter though, great books to get reader’s hooked!

    Emily @ Falling For YA

    1. I didn’t read Ender’s Game until I was an adult, but I’ve met lots of people, especially men, who say it is their favorite book from childhood so I thought I’d include it. Can’t wait to look at your list!

      1. I noticed the same thing about men and Ender’s Game. When I read it a few months ago all of a sudden all of these men in my life who are neither big readers nor big sci fi fans (I am both) came out of the woodwork talking about how much they loved it when they were in high school! I was shocked.

  2. I havent read any of the books in your TTT but my friends have been begging me to read Harry Potter & The Hunger Games, soon I will. Great list.
    My TTT

    Daisel @ Owl Always Be Reading

    1. It was one of my sister’s favorite books growing up, but I resisted reading it until adulthood because I thought it sounded too sad, but it was obviously fantastic. I wish I’d read it as a child. I’ve also heard a lot of people say it’s their favorite book, and I can totally see why: such moving characters and so beautifully written.

  3. Thanks for this! My daughter no longer likes to read and it’s breaking this writer’s heart. I keep trying to find new books to encourage her. I will definitely give the ones on your list a try. -RB

  4. All of these are such good choices! And I’m excited to see why we broke up here. I really loved that book for some unexplainable reason

    1. I loved that book too. The main reason I added it, is that I think there is something about books that are illustrated that appeals to people that say they don’t like reading. On top of that, it’s just a really great book (in my opinion).

  5. That’s a great list. I would add some graphic novels like AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Luen Yang (which won the Printz award) and DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier. Another good one is the graphic novelization of A WRINKLE IN TIME, illustrated by Hope Larson.

  6. I read Ender’s Game for the first time when I was 17 or 18 and I absolutely loved it. I think that was a good age for a first read, though I would have appreciated it as much if I had read it a few years earlier or later

  7. I had a hard time learning to read as well, but then when it clicked I didn’t stop reading. I think the books that really made me love reading were The Babysitters Club. My older cousin started reading me California Girls and I was hooked.

    1. I loved the Babysitters Club to. They were some of the earliest books I read. I remember my Dad didn’t like me reading them, and my Mom was like “Stop it! She’s reading. This is exciting.” So I got to keep reading them. I was so in love with the Logan/Maryanne romance.

  8. LAST BOOK IN THE UNIVERSE by Rodman Philbrick. I am a teacher. A few years ago I gave it to my lowest students (sixth graders who were below grade level, almost all of whom hated reading) and they devoured it. Other kids were begging to read it after they couldn’t stop talking about it. One day I started guided reading and found out that every last one of them had read ahead. These were not students who did that!

    I have used the book with fifth and sixth graders and it has about a 90% like rate, which is darn good.

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