Last post I talked about how to turn your children into passionate readers, but what do you do if they've already become reluctant readers. I'm sure there are a wide variety of opinions on this, but I think many kids become reluctant readers because they haven’t yet been introduced to books that are interesting to them or they are forced (in school or at home) to read books that are boring to them . Often, so-called great literature or classics aren't that interesting to young readers. Even your Newbery winners at times leave a lot to be desired. As a result, if the only books that a child is encouraged to read are the ones that don't interest them, they make the assumption that all books are boring or not exciting.
However, there are plenty of books available that help reluctant readers overcome this mindset. I think books that break the so-called norm can help the reluctant reader become an interested reader. I think books like Junie B. Jones, Captain Underpants, Time Warp Trio, Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid all fall in this category of books that break the norm. On part 1 of this blog topic, PragmaticMom shared in the comments a link to some of her Favorite Books for Reluctant Boy Readers Grades 3-5th. I think it's interesting that many books on her list are some that break the norm, but then she also has a mix of classics and newbery winners.
For some reluctant readers it might be a simple matter of finding the right genre, i.e. fantasy, SF, Horror, action thrillers, sports, educational, etc. Harry Potter opened up the fantasy world to many readers, as well as just the reading world in general. However, for some young readers Harry Potter seems too long. Overall length of a book can be a major obstacle. They look at how many pages are in it and it just seems too overwhelming. In those cases, shorter can be better.
I think the main key is to find books that interest the reader. Every reader is different, but there are plenty of book choices out there to turn your reluctant readers into passionate readers.
What are your suggestions for turning reluctant readers into passionate readers? What books or strategies do you recommend?