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Engaging Books For Reluctant Readers

Up until about a month ago Molly, now age 8, was a card carrying member of the reluctant readers club. It was homework to her, a chore, a nag, something to get out of it she could. Now all I delightfully hear everyday is ‘can I read mom?’, ‘is there time to read before bed?’ and similar. She can’t get enough and is flying through about two books a week. So great!

So what has changed? Well El Deafo is what changed! (affiliate link)

I stumbled across El Deafo comic novel by Cece Bell in a book shop one lunchtime. The graphic designer in me just loved the look and feel of the book, the illustrations, the character and colour were all too irresistible, I just had to possess it as a thing of beauty….. and I hoped Molly would be engaged enough by the visual to want to read it too. At 248pages it was a bit of a risk, considering her reluctance to read, but if nothing else I could oooo and awwww at the pages myself :)

comic novels for kids

The second I showed the book to Molly she fell in love with it and was engrossed, totally engaged with the story, befriended the main character Cece, and through the story gained a little insight and tolerance for people with disabilities, as Cece is hard of hearing. There is enough of a plot to actually count as reading, but plenty of illustrations and action to keep it interesting for reluctant readers.

engaging books or reluctant readers

comic novels for kids

She finished the book within about 4 days and though many books, both comic novels and chapter books, have followed since she will return week on week for a sprinkling of Cece – she plans on reading it again, and again, and again.

comic novels for kids

Molly is wildly possessive of El-Deafo and has ‘warned’ me that I am not, under any circumstances, to give El-Deafo to friends’ reluctant reader kids for them to enjoy also. Christmas pressie buying this year will be so easy!

I cannot recommend El Deafo and the magic of a little girl called Cece highly enough for any home with reading age children.

The golden age of comic novels has arrived!

It seems that the right mix of artistry and dialogue helps keep kids entertained and reading xx

engaging books or reluctant readers


comic novels for kids

A Love For Books

Other books that Molly has been engrossed cover to cover with since include

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
A zippy and funny family story with constant sparring between the awkwardly adolescent Raina and her firecracker younger sister, a relationship that will prove profoundly familiar to many readers!

Foxy Tales by Caryl Hart
A wildly illustrated gorgeous and hilarious new series of chapter books for young readers.

- Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
This series is great fun, Molly has read two of the titles so far and is itching for ‘more’.

- Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo & Allison McGhee
A deliciously funny and character rich book about friendship, with super cool illustrations by Tony Fucile (he’s the animator for cartoon films such as The Incredibles!!)

- Choosing Crumble by Michael Rosen
A charming 76 page story about a little girl who goes to the pet shop to choose a dog, but gets a surprise when instead a not-so-ordinary, inquisitive, dog chooses her! Molly loved this book, and the storyline but after her recent increase in reading activity sh found it ‘too easy’ – result!! haha

- Hubble Bubble: The Super Spooky Fright Night
This book was chosen by Molly, with no interference by little oul me! I stood back in the bookshop and gave her carte-blanche to pick her own book. It has the perfect balance of illustration to text with funny and expression rich illustrations. The Hubble Bubble series is published by Nosy Crow.



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