Good Reads: My Kids Can’t Put These Books Down!

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Today, after finished this blog post, I proudly showed it to my daughter who appears in the picture above. She took one look at it and said “Daddy, that’s not true, we put our books down to play.” Yes, she’s right, my kids don’t literally pick up a book and read it in one fell swoop. But, they do love their books. My kids have been known to camp out near the front door on arrival day (yes they know how to track a package) waiting for their book dealer I mean mailman, to arrive with their reading fix!

I have an avid reader, a reluctant reader who won’t read anything that isn’t 90% pictures, and one who is pickier than a Panda with a bamboo allergy. In my house, there is a kid who really wants to read but it’s hard, there’s one who would rather take a nap in a rattlesnake pit than read a book, and one who will read the shampoo label if you don’t give her a book to read. Yep, six kids, six different kinds of readers.

So, what books are my kids reading? Let’s start with Kat, my youngest daughter (the label reader).

Junie B. Jones

by Barbara Park

Kat and I have been reading this series of nearly 30 books for a couple of months and we are on book #11, “Junie B. Jones is a Barber Shop Guy.” We try to read two chapters every night. She reads the first chapter to me and I read the second to her. These books are hilarious and they are just the right challenge for my little seven year old.

Kat’s take: “I like how she’s always getting into trouble and hiding it from her parents.” Uh oh, I hope she doesn’t get any ideas.

Next up is my youngest son, Manny (the picky one). He’s 8, and like most boys that age, he will only read a book that immediately captivates him. Fortunately, we found a series of books that do just that:

Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest

by Marti Dumas

Jaden Toussaint is a five book (so far) series that I absolutely love, mainly because Jaden is a super intelligent, mature, can do anything, kid. He’s a great inspiration for my son, who like Jaden, is black. We need more books like this. If you have young boys, I can’t recommend this series enough.

Manny’s take: “I like Jaden’s Ninja Dance and I like that his sister is cool because he gets to spend time with her.” You know, Manny, your older sister would probably spend more time with you if you weren’t so ornery…..but I digress.

My oldest son, Haven (“if it doesn’t have pictures its not for me”) has finally found a book series that he likes. He is 10 and the poster boy for “Reluctant Reader.” However, he is the one who has camped out by the door waiting for his favorite books to be delivered.

HiLo Series

by Judd Winick

HiLo books are graphic novels, and that’s why my reluctant reader likes them. He usually reads them in one or two sittings. The books may have a lot of pictures, but there is enough writing to satisfy me. This book is proof that you can get anyone to read, if the subject is interesting enough.

Haven’s take: I like them because they are mostly pictures and they are really funny.” Cool Haven. Whatever it takes to get you to read!

My 11 yr. old daughter, Grace, is my most voracious reader. She often reads well past her bedtime, finding it hard to put down a book. She tends to jump around a lot but there is one series that she really likes.

The Never Girls

by Kiki Thorp

Grace is an avid and not very picky reader, she likes both fiction and non fiction books, but her favorite genre seems to be fantasy, folk tales and myths. Right now, she is really enjoying The Never Girls series of 16 books and can’t wait for the next release. I love the fact that these books peak her imagination. She likes them because they are “adventurous.”

While she waits for the next Never Girls she is reading:

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

by Grace Lin

One of three companion books, this one is a Newberry Award winner based on Chinese folklore. I love that Grace has embraced her roots by reading the many Chinese Folktales that have been translated into kid’s books. She loves this one so much she has been reading parts of it to Carrie each night. Doesn’t that just give you a warm fuzzy feeling?

So, these are the books that my kids are reading right now. Do any of them sound like something your kids would like? What are your kids reading? Let me know what your kids think of them. I’ll be coming back to this topic in a few months when more interesting and exciting books are lining our shelves, so we would love some recommendations for other books we could try.

Happy Reading!

Brian at Daddy Go To Timeout


This week in Timeout (my weekly Friday email) I will be reviewing two more books that are terrific for reluctant readers. The review will only be available to subscribers so if you haven’t already, sign up for my weekly email so you can see the review. I will also be including a recipe for Broccoli and Water Chestnuts in Teriyaki Sauce, which is a great side dish for my Egg Fried Rice or Stir Fried Egg and Tomato recipes.. My newsletter will always include a few other tidbits of interesting, useful information, and freebies. To sign up for Timeout just click below.

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4 years ago

Thanks for these ideas! One of mine loves books with pictures as well! I’m going to get him book one of the HiLo series you recommended! Has Haven read the Dogman books? Those are Anson’s favorites! (And Capt. Underpants of course!)

4 years ago

Wow – what an awesome blog! And what a REALLY amazing tribe you have! 🙂 So much GREAT stuff here – fun, funny, informative, inspiring etc. I will definitely be a regular reader. Keep up the great work!

Julia Johnson
Julia Johnson
4 years ago

My reluctant reader Pace LOVED the HiLo series, got em at the library!!! Great recommendation 🙂

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