The best books for reluctant readers aged 7-11

The Books I Picked & Why

Danger Is Everywhere: A Handbook for Avoiding Danger

By David O'Doherty, Chris Judge

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.


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Head Kid

By David Baddiel, Steven Lenton

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.


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The Accidental Billionaire

By Tom McLaughlin

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!


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Cosmic

By Frank Cottrell Boyce

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.


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Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers

By John Dougherty, Sam Ricks

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!


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