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Books For Young People Who Don't Like Reading

Books For Young People Who Don't Like Reading

March 22, 2023 0 Comments

Is there a child or teen in your life who just doesn’t enjoy reading?

 

Maybe they’ve tried various times to get into reading without success, or perhaps they’re so convinced that books aren't for them, that they’ve yet to properly give them a go!

 

They may also have a print impairment such as dyslexia, ADHD, Down syndrome or anxiety, for example, which sometimes can make reading feel almost impossible.

 

Here at Listening Books, we have seen time and time and again that audiobooks can make reading enjoyable for those who never would have considered themselves bookworms before trying audio. While of course literature isn't for absolutely everyone, we have learned first-hand that sometimes all it takes to conquer an old issue is to approach it from a new angle!

 

That's why we’ve compiled some creative lists of book ideas for kids who don’t typically enjoy reading! We've got buckets of brilliant titles that we’re sure will get the young folks in your life hooked on a good book.

 

Please be aware that book suggestions in this article include titles for a wide range of reading ages, including children's and young adult books. Please make sure that any book you recommend or give to a young person is age-appropriate!

 

Read on to browse our suggestions, or click the links below to jump to specific sections.

 

1. Books Related to Films or TV Shows

2. Books That Make Learning Fun

3. Books with Relatable Characters

4. Books Exploring Wellbeing

5. Audiobooks with Music and Sound Effects

6. Audiobooks with Famous Narrators

 

1. Books Related to Films or TV Shows

 

Book covers of Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster and Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

 

If there is a young person in your life who enjoys films and TV shows, but is not so sure about reading, why not introduce them to books featuring stories they already know and love from the screen? The familiarity of the characters and plotlines is likely to get them interested, while making them feel more comfortable with exploring stories through a different medium.

 

We recommend:

Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman

Tales of Terror by Jacqueline Rayner et al.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

Tales of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

 

 

2. Books That Make Learning Fun

 

Book cover of Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd, Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Agnieszka Biskup, Horrible Histories: Awesome Egyptians by Terry Deary and Peter Hepplewhite and A Black Hole is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano

 

Young minds are like sponges - constantly trying to absorb knowledge and information - so it's no wonder that some kids prefer to read non-fiction! If there is a child or teen in your life with a hobby or special interest, introduce them to a book that feeds them facts in a fun way.

 

We recommend:

Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd

How the Incredible Human Body Works by Richard Walker

Would You Believe... the losers were killed in Mayan football?! by Richard Platt

Take Me Back by Samone Bos

How to Make a Universe with 92 Ingredients by Adrian Dingle

Stone Girl Bone Girl by Laurence Anholt

How Loud can you Burp? by Glenn Murphy

The Rock Factory by Jacqui Bailey

Eureka! by John Grant

Who Are Refugees and Migrants? What Makes People Leave Their Homes? and Other Big Questions by Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young

Horrible Geography: Violent Volcanoes by Anita Ganeri

Murderous Maths: The Brain-Bending Basics by Kjartan Poskitt

Horrible Histories: Awesome Egyptians by Terry Deary and Peter Hepplewhite

The Horrible Science of Everything by Nick Arnold

The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook by Louie Stowell

What Is Feminism? Why Do We Need It? and Other Big Questions by Louise Spilsbury and Bea Appleby

London on Fire by John C. Miles

Where on Earth? by James Doyle

You Wouldn't Want to Live without Bees! by Alex Woolf

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 by Lauren Tarshis

The Kids Way to Learn French by Donald S. Rivera

How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson

A Black Hole is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano

Moon! by Stacy Mcanulty

Girl Code by Sophie Houser

Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Agnieszka Biskup

The Good Guys by Rob Kemp

What Is Race? Who Are Racists? Why Does Skin Colour Matter? and Other Big Questions by Claire Heuchan and Nikesh Shukla

 

 

3. Books with Relatable Characters

 

Book covers of Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor, Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton et al., Blind by Rachel DeWoskin and Where Three Oceans Meet by Rajani LaRocca,

 

Children and teenagers are much less likely to enjoy reading if they're consuming books that don’t reflect their lived experiences in some way. If you know a young person who belongs to a group that is frequently underrepresented in literature, introduce them to a book featuring characters and experiences with which they can identify! This could open up a world of reading that had previously seemed closed off to them.

 

We recommend:

Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor

Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon

If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence

Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Where Three Oceans Meet by Rajani LaRocca

Specs for Rex by Yasmeen Ismail

Ravi's Roar by Tom Percival

An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton et al.

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Listen, Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Loveless by Alice Oseman

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Owning It by Donald R. Gallo

Can I Tell You about Autism? by Jude Welton

Blind by Rachel DeWoskin

Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst

Dyslexia is my Superpower (most of the time) by Margaret Rooke

Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks

What Is Gender? How Does It Define Us? and Other Big Questions For Kids by Juno Dawson

 

 

4. Books Exploring Wellbeing

 

Book covers of Just Breathe by Mallika Chopra, What If, Pig? by Linzie Hunter, You Are Enough by Jen Petro-Roy and Almost Adulting by Arden Rose

 

We can all benefit from a bit of mindfulness! An increasing number of young people are experiencing high levels of anxiety - if there's a child or teen you know who sees no point in enjoying books for fact or fiction, they may still find them to be a useful tool for de-stressing and learning healthy ways to process worries. Studies have shown that audio is especially helpful for this - being read to can have a calming effect that young people find very soothing.

 

We recommend:

My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith

I Believe I Can by Gracer Byers

What If, Pig? by Linzie Hunter

Sam Wu is not Afraid of the Dark by Katie and Kevin Tsang

The Worries by Jion Sheibani

Social Media and You by Honor Head

The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be by Joanna Gaines

Beating Stress and Anxiety by Honor Head

Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt

My Anxiety Handbook by Sue Knowles et al.

Just Breathe by Mallika Chopra

Looking After your Mental Health by Alice James and Louie Stowell

Quiet Power by Susan Cain

Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel

Positively Teenage by Nicola Morgan

The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

How to Like Yourself by Cheryl M. Bradshaw

Almost Adulting by Arden Rose

It's Not Okay to Feel Blue and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

You Are Enough by Jan Petro-Roy

 

 

5. Audiobooks with Music and Sound Effects

 

Book covers of Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, You Make Me Happy by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, The Hobbit By J. R. R. Tolkien and Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

 

Reading or listening to stories is boring for some young people because the constant stream of words can get quite monotonous. That’s where audiobooks with music, sound effects and full casts come in! A more diverse soundscape brings a story to life, as the listener can experience a story unfolding around them as if they are in the room with the characters.

 

We recommend:

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Parent Hood by Mandy Archer

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

The Story of Tracy Beaker and The Dare Game by Jacqueline Wilson

Willo the Wisp by BBC Audiobooks

The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat by Julia Donaldson

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

You Make Me Happy by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

 

 

6. Audiobooks with Famous Narrators

 

Book covers of I Don't Want to be Small by Laura Ellen Anderson, Future Friend by David Baddiel, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and The World's Worst Parents by David Walliams

 

In all honesty, we would listen to an audiobook of an oven user manual if Stephen Fry were narrating it! By the same logic, we figured that young people may be more interested in a book if it’s being read to them by a voice they know and love.

 

We recommend:

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers, narrated by Helena Bonham Carter

I Don't Want to be Small by Laura Ellen Anderson, narrated by Justin Fletcher

Into the Spotlight by Carrie Hope Fletcher, narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Serpentine by Philip Pullman, narrated by Olivia Colman

The Danger Gang by Tom Fletcher, narrated by Tom Fletcher and Tom Felton

The World's Worst Parents by David Walliams, narrated by David Walliams et al.

Future Friend by David Baddiel, narrated by David Baddiel et al.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming, narrated by David Tennant

David Attenborough's New Life Stories by David Attenborough, narrated by David Attenborough

The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl, narrated by Stephen Fry

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, narrated by Miriam Margolyes

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Rover by Michael Rosen, narrated by Michael Rosen

Christmas Dreams by Giovanna Fletcher, narrated by Giovanna Fletcher

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton

The Dancing Bear by Michael Morpurgo, narrated by Ian McKellen

Caspar Lee by Caspar Lee and Emily Riordan Lee, narrated by Caspar Lee et al.

The Snowman and the Snowdog by Raymond Briggs, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch

Ask an Astronaut by Tim Peake, narrated by Tim Peake

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings, narrated by Jazz Jennings

 

 

All the titles listed in this article are accessible through Listening Books' charitable audiobook lending service, available to people of all ages across the UK whose illness, mental health condition, physical disability, learning disability or learning difficulty make it more challenging to read or hold a book.

 

If there is a young person in your life who fits our eligibility criteria, you could give them access to over 10,000 audiobooks with an online Listening Books membership costing just £20 a year. Or, if this fee would be unaffordable for you, free memberships are also available!

 

To learn more about getting a Listening Books membership for an individual, please click here.

 

We also offer a service for schools, who can give 10 or more students access to our audiobooks, both at school and at home. Teachers from our member schools also get lots of extra audio goodies, such as suggested reading lists, discussion prompts, reading journals and posters, with more resources being added to our teacher dashboard on a regular basis.

 

If you are interested in getting a Listening Books membership for a school, please click here.

 

Author: Emily Pye

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