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How to help a reluctant reader

Reluctant readers are not necessarily the same as struggling readers. Although their reading abilities may range widely, these young people simply have trouble connecting with books independently.

The power of choice

Find a Book is designed to be useful for both parents and students. The idea is simple—let readers browse freely in their areas of interest and within their Lexile® range. Reluctant readers will feel more confident and interested if they know that the books they are browsing are ones that they can read. It takes one kind of uncertainty out of the process for them. Young people also are more likely to start—and finish—reading a book if they've chosen it themselves.

Combine reading level with developmental level

Help your reluctant reader understand the developmental-level and Lexile-range sliders in Find a Book. They can see books intended for young people at any level they choose. Some skilled but reluctant readers respond well to books intended for older children, so they might move the developmental-level slider up. Other readers who are below grade level in their ability can find books at low readability levels that are still age-appropriate, so they might move the Lexile-range sliders down.

High-Low books and graphic novels

Reluctant readers also can use some of our Lexile codes. Books coded HL (High-Low) and GN (Graphic Novel) are particularly engaging for readers who have trouble latching onto a story. You can search just for books with these codes from the book results page in Find a Book.

More resources for helping reluctant readers

Follow these links for more information about how to motivate or engage a reluctant reader: