The best books for reluctant readers aged 7-11

Who am I?

My sons were both reluctant readers and that made me want to write books that they wouldn’t be able to resist reading! Reading should be a pleasure and this list is packed with books that are impossible to put down. They are perfect for young, reluctant readers, as they are not trying to be too serious or worthy or overwhelming with too much text. They pull you in and hook you from the start and you can’t help being moved by the characters as they grow and develop, fostering a love of books and fiction. I love comedy in books, but funny books also have to have heart, believable characters, and a great plot that keeps you reading till the very end.


I wrote...

Fergus the Furball

By Emily Snape,

Book cover of Fergus the Furball

What is my book about?

When Daniel is rudely awakened on the morning of his birthday by his Aunt Tink and his brother and sister, with a cake bearing just 9 candles, a dusty old magic set, and a cactus, instead of the pet he’s long wished for, he is understandably more than a little disappointed. Things are made worse by his irritating little brother Fergus, being as irritating as normal, so feeling rather sorry for himself you can hardly blame Daniel for wishing he had a guinea pig instead of a brother. Imagine his surprise when before his very eyes that’s exactly what happens. Fergus turns into a guinea pig!

Now it’s up to Daniel to somehow find the magic to reverse the spell and turn Fergus back to normal. This is a highly amusing tale that young readers will love, an ideal first-chapter book.

The books I picked & why

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Danger Is Everywhere: A Handbook for Avoiding Danger

By David O'Doherty, Chris Judge (illustrator),

Book cover of Danger Is Everywhere: A Handbook for Avoiding Danger

Why this book?

This book is totally hilarious! It’s really pacy, utterly wacky, and laugh-out-loud silly. The pages are packed with lots of funny illustrations so none of the text seems overwhelming or goes on too long. It’s a handbook on how to avoid danger, written by Dr. Noel Zone, the greatest (and only) "dangerologist" in the world, and covers sneaky snakes posing as toothbrushes, sharks hiding in toilets, to robots disguised as kindly grandmas. My son, a reluctant reader first listened to the audiobook- which is narrated fantastically (we were in fits of giggles listening to it in the car), and then he happily and quickly read the second two books in the series. I think audiobooks are a fantastic way to get kids hooked on new characters and discover new authors.

Danger Is Everywhere: A Handbook for Avoiding Danger

By David O'Doherty, Chris Judge (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Danger Is Everywhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets The Dangerous Book for Boys, DANGER IS EVERYWHERE is a brilliantly funny handbook for avoiding danger of all kinds that will have everyone from reluctant readers to bookworms laughing out loud (very safely) from start to finish.

DOES IT WARN YOU ABOUT WHAT TO DO IF A SHARK COMES UP OUT OF THE LOO WHILE YOU ARE SITTING ON IT?
Yes it does.

AND HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOUR GRANNY IS A ROBOT?
That too.

AND WHAT TO DO IF A VOLCANO ERUPTS UNDERNEATH YOUR HOUSE?
After you've made sure it's not a…


Head Kid

By David Baddiel, Steven Lenton (illustrator),

Book cover of Head Kid

Why this book?

This book made me first want to write for 7 to 11-year-olds! It is really easy to get into and the characters are fun, believable, and have heart. Baddiel’s books are all set in the real world of school and normal life but with a fantastical twist. In this story, the naughtiest boy in school accidentally swaps bodies with the very strict headteacher, and they both learn a lot about themselves while having chaotic, madcap adventures along the way.

Head Kid

By David Baddiel, Steven Lenton (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Head Kid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the million-copy bestselling author of THE PARENT AGENCY and BIRTHDAY BOY comes a wildly entertaining wish-fulfilment adventure that asks the question: what would happen if the strictest head teacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school?

Strictest head naughtiest boy = chaos.

Bracket Wood is about to be visited by the school inspectors. But there's one big problem: Ryan Ward.

The maestro of practical jokes, Ryan has played so many tricks that in the end the Head Teacher just walks out. And then the new Head Teacher, Mr Carter, arrives. A man so strict even the teachers are…


The Accidental Billionaire

By Tom McLaughlin,

Book cover of The Accidental Billionaire

Why this book?

I read this book with my son and we were in fits of giggles by the end of the first page. It is a very silly book, with ridiculous characters and talking cats, but the characters are somehow believable and loveable and learn so much through their crazy adventure. The hero of the story is Jasper Spam who accidentally manages to invent something that will change the world forever...One crazy experiment involving a shed, a mallet, and a poorly aimed laser beam results in Jasper's cat Rover, becoming the world's first talking cat and Jasper very quickly becomes a billionaire. This is of course a dream many kids fantasize about. But of course, being a billionaire isn’t all isn’t cracked up to be…and neither are talking cats!

The Accidental Billionaire

By Tom McLaughlin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Accidental Billionaire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new, hilarious book from author Tom McLaughlin, creator of the highly-acclaimed The Accidental Prime Minister. Funny by Name. Funny by Nature.
Jasper Spam is mad about science, the problem is that all of his experiments tend to end in a BANG, until one day quite accidentally Jasper manages to invent something that will change the world forever . . .
One crazy experiment involving a shed, a mallet, and a poorly aimed laser beam results in Jasper's cat Rover, becoming the world's first talking cat. Finally an invention that works - the Cat Chat 2000! Soon people are handing…


Cosmic

By Frank Cottrell Boyce,

Book cover of Cosmic

Why this book?

I love all of Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s books. They are funny and clever and the stories are full of twists and loveable characters. This book hooks you from the start and takes you on an adventure you would never have expected. It will make you laugh out loud and bite your nails with worry and you won’t want to stop reading till the end! The story follows the life of Liam, an extraordinarily tall boy, who with one small lie, ends up being launched into space in an ice cream van.

Cosmic

By Frank Cottrell Boyce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cosmic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Liam has always had trouble keeping his feet on the ground. Being 239,000 miles from earth doesn't make it any easier.


Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers

By John Dougherty, Sam Ricks (illustrator),

Book cover of Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers

Why this book?

This hilarious series is totally bonkers but full of sibling love and loyalty. The writing is witty and surprising, and a great fantastical read. The intrepid heroes are brother and sister, Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and we follow them as they set off on a nail-biting but very silly adventure. I love books about sibling relationships as children seem to spend SO much time bickering with their brothers and sisters and I think books can be a great way to remind them how awesome their sibling really is and how lucky they are to have a brother or sister to love them!

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers

By John Dougherty, Sam Ricks (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Great Kerfuffle
Best Book of Last Tuesday

Hey you! No, not you - the person behind you. No, not him either. Left a bit, left a bit more . . . You! Oh for goodness sake . . . never mind . . .

Dear Everyone (including you!)!

Welcome to the world of Great Kerfuffle!

It's really great. And there's usually a kerfuffle (the clue's in the name really).

Come and join our intrepid heroes Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face as they set off on a highly dangerous and nail-biting adventure (or it may just be very silly and…


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