Check out our picks for the most popular books among reluctant readers on Epic!
Not every kid is a born bookworm, but without a doubt, reading has a wealth of benefits. Among many other upsides, it improves reading skills, boosts confidence, fuels curiosity and sparks the imagination. Regardless of their interest level, we think you can inspire any kid to get into reading. And the best way to achieve that is by helping them pick children’s books that meet them where they are. This means finding high-interest titles that match their age, interests and reading level.
From graphic novels and comic books to chapter books and audiobooks, check out some of our top high-interest books for reluctant readers below.
High-Interest Books for Reluctant Readers on Epic
Written by: Ray McClellan
Is it a human? Neanderthal? A yeti? Few mysteries stoke a kid’s curiosity like the legendary creature thought to lurk deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
This intriguing nonfiction Read-To-Me book captivates beginning readers with rumored facts, theories and photos. They beg the questions: is Bigfoot real or is it all a hoax? Let your young reader decide.
Written by: Matthew Cody
Illustrated by: Derick Brooks, Warren Wucinich
Two of the best ways to help reluctant, emerging and struggling readers become more confident are by finding books that let them follow along with a narrator and pairing text with engaging illustrations. This Read-To-Me Epic Originals comic book series achieves both.
When a dimensional portal sends Mom and Dad who-knows-where, it’s up to Nia and Jayden (and their robot nanny, Dusty) to save them. This is the first book in an exciting series that follows two siblings on countless out-of-this-world adventures through the multiverse.
Written by: Jadzia Axelrod
Illustrated by: Warren Wucinich, Derek Laufman
It’s science versus the supernatural when Master Hamster brings in paranormal expert Rathskeller to convince feline superhero Cat Ninja that ghosts exist!
Here’s another action-packed Read-To-Me comic book from Epic Originals. In this wildly popular series, kids can follow the adventures of master-of-kat-fu Cat Ninja and his squad as they best supervillains and fight for justice. Check out the whole series.
Fans also love this themed Boredom Buster packed with crafts, games and activities.
By: Dav Pilkey
In the first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series by “Dog Man” author and illustrator Dav Pilkey, hilarious grossness ensues when 4th-grade best friends George Beard and Harold Hutchins invent the wedgie-powered superhero Captain Underpants.
The only thing that class clowns George and Harold love more than jokes and pranks is making comic books, and that’s when they invent the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school.
Faster than a speeding waistband! More powerful than boxer shorts! In other words, he’s the perfect hero to serve up plenty of laugh-out-loud fun.
If your kid enjoys this audio version of the first book, they’ll love other books in the series available on Epic, including “Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Killer Toilet” and “Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants.”
By: Megan Ray Durkin
Another great way to engage your reluctant reader is to connect them to books featuring their favorite topics. Part of an entire series all about the world’s coolest, best-designed, highest-performing cars, this title introduces young readers to the fastest one of all: the Bugatti Veyron.
If your kid is into cars, they can explore 15 other books in the series on Epic, covering their histories, unique features and defining characteristics.
Written by: Pirate Sourcil
Illustrated by: Odone, Jez
Is your kid a Minecraft fan? This graphic novel edition of the hit Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior series takes young readers on a fully illustrated adventure along with their favorite characters through the Minecraft universe.
Runt doesn’t fit in with his fellow village boys. He’d much rather be a warrior than grow and sell carrots. But one day, after he meets a zombie who wants to be human, the two embark on an extraordinary journey. This is the perfect book to engage little gamers excited to read.
By: Dana Simpson
This is the first book in a delightful comic series following young Phoebe and her reluctant best friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils the unicorn (Marigold has no choice after granting Phoebe a wish). But can a conceited mythical creature and a dreamy nine-year-old ever really be friends?
This silly book will have your young reader giggling away and reaching for even more in this hilarious series about unlikely friendships and forging unexpected bonds.
By: Gabrielle Prendergast
Level-appropriate stories involving fantasy and magic have tremendous appeal to kids who love this otherworldly brand of adventure. In this enchanted page-turner for middle-grade readers, 14-year-old Blue Jasper must enter the magical Crosswood after his twin siblings are kidnapped by a Faerie king. As Blue frantically searches for them, a strange woman appears in the forest claiming to be the Faerie Queen. After making a magical pact, Blue must find his way through Crosswood to the dangerous Faerie lands to find the twins before sunset.
By: Mary Hertz Scarbrough
This book is tremendously popular among kids who love sports and admire female athletes. This real-life true story is about two-time Women’s World Cup soccer champion and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe.
This inspirational read teaches kids about passion, courage and perseverance through Rapinoe’s story—while building reading skills with easy-to-read text, captioned photos, engaging questions and prompts, activities and definitions. If your child loves this, they can find many other titles in this nonfiction book series on Epic.
By: Jeff Kinney
Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they?
Greg Heffley does (it’s a journal, though, if you ask him). And as the new school year starts, he’s got plenty to write about. He shows up to his first day of middle school, along with his sidekick and best friend Rowley—only to discover he now has to share the halls with boys who are taller, meaner and already shaving. When Rowley starts to become more popular, Greg tries to use it to his advantage, triggering a series of events that test their friendship.
In this first book in the hugely popular Wimpy Kid series, young readers can share in his relatable experience of growing up before one’s ready, through the hilarious words and drawings Greg records in his diary.
“Magic Treehouse Book 1: Dinosaurs Before Dark”
By: Mary Pope Osborne
In this first installment of one of the best-selling chapter book series of all time, we meet siblings Jack and Annie, who discover a magical treehouse that lets them travel to different periods in history.
In “Dinosaurs Before Dark,” they are transported to the Cretacious period, where they encounter talking dinosaurs and all sorts of creatures from our prehistoric past while trying to make their way back home before dark.
This book kicks off the series and introduces how the magic treehouse works. As your child follows Jack and Annie’s fantastical journey, they’ll learn about dinosaurs and life themes like courage and teamwork. You can find it on Amazon.
That’s our book list! Want more tips on how to inspire a love of reading in your kid? Check out this post by educator Shyla Middleton: “3 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers.” You can also find some other great books for reluctant readers in our post: “Do Graphic Novels for Kids Count as ‘Real’ Reading?”