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Help - 10 year old boy who hates reading!

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Showing 1-25 of 263 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Apr 2012 08:08:23 BDT
Fizzi says:
I am in need of some recommendations to try and encourage my 10 year old son to read...its an argument to try get him to pick up a book. My eldest son is an avid reader like myself so we're both at a loss to understand why he hates reading so much. I am quite concerned that this is going to impact his schoolwork if he continues to refuse to read. I have tried all sorts of popular books to no avail. His interests are being outdoors playing football or any other please, can anyone suggest any books I might not have tried?

Posted on 22 Apr 2012 19:22:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Apr 2012 19:30:13 BDT
S. Tindall says:
Hi Angela,
I'm not normally in the habit of self-promotion however my trilogy of books were written specifically for boys like your son. I had 7 or 8 Year 6 boys several years ago in my class who hated reading so I wrote the first book with them. They wanted short chapters, fast action and a lead character "a bit like themselves...a 10 year old James Bond type!" The stories are an adventure quest that takes Sam(the main character) on a journey to save his sister. It is historical as well as modern as he moves back in time through a secret passageway in his school. A lot of reluctant readers have enjoyed may be worth a shot. If you were in my school I'd give you a copy but otherwise it can be purchased here on Amazon (make sure you get the 2009 edition as the 2006 edition should not be on sale anymore!)
Hope this helps - if you need any further info, just let me know. Try my website if you want a lookat the books.

Posted on 22 Apr 2012 19:31:47 BDT
S. Tindall says:
ps - Year 5 children really enjoyed the story and I've done workshops in many schools so you never may work for him!

Posted on 22 Apr 2012 22:17:34 BDT
Book Fan says:
I also had a book hating 9 year old (soon to be 10). Just could not get him to read at all tried everything and spent a fortune to boot but with a great deal of encouragement from school & home he has suddenly started reading. At the moment he's galloping through the Jack Stalwart books by Elizabeth Singer Hunt. They have big writing with some pictures and are roughly 100 pages long and each one is a different adventure set in a different country. Jack is a Secret Agent working For Global Protection Force and joined GPF to look for his older brother Max who is also a secret agent but went missing while on a mission. They are available from the library so no financial outlay there! The wimpy kid (Jeff Kinney) series is good as is The Donut Diaries (english version of the Wimpy Kid - Anthony mCGowan). There's also a series starring a young teenage Jack Sparrow (Rob Kidd) in various adventures if he likes The Pirates of The Caribbean. You could also try the Percy Jackson series (Rick Riordan). Just a thought but have you got a Kindle? I hardly get a look in (it was my birthday present!!) anymore as the two boys hog it!!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 23:16:34 BDT
P.Quirk, the exciting life of ! (1)
Try this book, it is about a teenager who struggles to be cool when really he isn't but the story will help him to know he is not the only one who struggles this way......and very important it is really, really funny making it very easy to read,..... it is written to be easy to read. I truly can honestly say show your Son this ebook and he will love it, i have seen so many others respond fantastically to it that i just know this would be ideal - he will laugh, he will love it, give it a go! Read it for free through the lending library, then if you really like it buy it!...prove it!

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 00:43:50 BDT
Try 'Billy The Kid' or 'Cool' by Michael Morpurgo. I am a teaching assistant and read with a football mad boy who had no interest in reading. Now I can't stop him reading. Good luck Angela.

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 08:44:20 BDT
Fizzi says:
Thanks for all the suggestions, off to the library one afternoon this week - learnt a costly lesson buying lots of books to no avail. We are reading Percy Jackson together each night at bedtime so fingers crossed he likes it.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2012 09:23:46 BDT
Wilks says:
Stimulate his interest for reading by finding picture books with a small amount of word content. I'm not talking about picture books for very young children, but something like "Captured Wanderings" by Thomas Brew available here in the ebooks section. This has stunning photo's accompanied by very short one line poems that draw the reader into the scenario. You can read it together and discuss each picture and poem further. My grand kids found this fascinating. Good luck.

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 10:11:58 BDT
H. Miller says:
I think the books that kick started my interest in reading (and made me a life long reader) at exactly the same age as your son were stories by Robin Jarvis- an amazing author, totally underrated, and there is nothing else like his work around.

My niece recently got to the same age and phase and I bought her the first trilogy, The Depford Mice, to try her on them - she has now put The Whitby Witches on her birthday present list! A number of his books are out of print so I got her ex-library copies for less than £1 through marketplace sellers. They were surprisingly very good copies.

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 10:43:10 BDT
R. Sassoon says:
Have you tried BeastQuest?

It was BeastQuest wot did it for my son (then eight). Before BeastQuest he would not pick up a book, and admittedly he refused to read anything else until we finished all 60 or so of the BeastQuest Books, including bumper editions and the rest. But after he finished pretty much all of them, he had got into the reading habit and started casting around for other things to read, and I have now got him (a year later) onto Swallows and Amazons and Narnia and things that are a bit more sophisticated.
Actually, I wouldn't knock BeastQuest, the author does a very good job of packing a pretty intense adventure into relatively few words, while throwing in a few that are a fair bit harder, but not enough to put off a new reader. And the print is just that bit larger than in your more standard books. You can get them from the library (although you usually have to reserve them, as they are so popular). Do get them in order though, my son was absolutely rigid about reading them in order, he could not possibly read book 44 before book 43.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2012 10:51:32 BDT
Hi Angela
I am a primary school teacher who spends a lot of time getting reluctant readers reading. You're right about it being important to try and get him reading, as the more he reads, the easier it will be for him to do the rest of his school work.The single most effective way to get him reading is to find books that are easy for him to read and that are on subjects he enjoys. If you would like any more help with this, please contact me

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 11:29:14 BDT
My son is 9 and he loves the Darrren Shan books, they were his first real book addiction. Also try Diary of a Wimpy Kid, not a great deal of reading to them so a confidence boost when they finish them quickly. Of course the Harry Potter Books, start short and get longer as they go - Ive been surprised my son has stuck with them as they can take him around 6 weeks of everynight reading to complete, but I guess thats because they are so good. The spiderwick books are quite short too, and really good stories. Hope this helps.

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 11:38:33 BDT
Fizzi says:
Thanks so much everyone, really appreciate the help and advice! Anne I'll drop you an email later from home.
Cheers everyone.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2012 13:00:52 BDT
Sam says:
This is a bit of an aside, and you might find this totally unhelpful.. but I'm replying in the hope it's just a bit reassuring. While I completely agree that reading can be extremely helpful in promoting education and learning, and I'm sure the other ideas in this thread are all very helpful, in case they all fail I wanted to add just a word of reassurance. I'm 30, I have a first class engineering degree, a PhD, I won a place on a fairly prestigious civil service graduate scheme in the past and now I'm a medical student, but I've never really enjoyed fiction. I love theatre, I love art, I love language, I love Radio 4, but I never got in to novels. I really wouldn't panic too much if your son isn't an avid reader at age 10, I really don't think it necessarily follows that his school work has to suffer if he is otherwise engaged with education.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2012 13:32:51 BDT
You may want to try Asterix books, my son really took to reading with these fun, comic style books. He's now almost 13 and reads avidly.

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 13:45:23 BDT
Molly Lee says:
Percy Jackson books have been enjoyed by both my sons. There is a dvd of the first book, you may find watching it sparks his interest enough to read it. Can also recommend the Jack Stalwart books. My eldest seems to read anything and everything but his brother is a little more fussy. I find that he enjoys non fiction and will quite happily read factual books. Diary of a Wimpy kid has been a success with both. Have recently bought some adventure books by R.A.Montgomery where you choose your own ending, enjoyed thoroughly by the youngest. Hope this helps.

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 20:20:18 BDT
lamberg says:
My grandson would not and almost could not read so I gave him a project. He gave me the basis of a story and I wrote the book! He is now a very competent reader mainly because I tapped into an interest. I appreciate not everyone wants to do this but it stimulated his interest to the extent that he read all the Michael Morpurgo books, which I would heartily recommend. Oh and your son might try Sammy Goes To New York by Paul Hanratty (ok that's mine but you never know!)

Posted on 23 Apr 2012 21:11:47 BDT
Try something funny, like Captain Underpants. All the children in my Year 5 class love to read them. The text isn't too taxing and there are loads of jokes at their level. Also don't be afraid to buy comics/magazines he might be interested in. Any text he reads is really useful at his age.

Posted on 24 Apr 2012 08:34:31 BDT
FJT says:
Any of the Terry Deary Horrid Series - history, science, geography etc - Andy Stanton, David Walliams, Charlie Small, Steve Cole, Jeremy Strong, Dav Pilkey or any kind of graphic novel (including the ones from the Simpsons on TV). If he likes football, have you considered 'Match' magazine, or something similar to suit his interests.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2012 15:26:17 BDT
Hi, Ok - sorry if this comes across as a bit harsh but - have you tried backing off a bit? You mention that he refuses to read not that he struggles with reading, so I'm guessing reading ability isn't the problem? He might be feeling "nagged" and the more you push the more nagged he feels, especially if big brother is on his case to. The more books you make him read, the more he will associate reading with being a chore. If he is going to get an interest in reading it needs to come from him. Pushing him will just push him further away from books. He needs to read about things that interest him. The football pages in newspapers for instance. What about favourite TV shows. Does he like Bear Grylls? He might never be as keen on reading as you and your eldest son - that doesnt mean he will fail in later life or in school - it just means he isn't you. Let him be himself - he is only 10 after all - and he may just surprise you.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2012 15:39:24 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Apr 2012 15:42:38 BDT
In my experience as a primary school teacher , boys will often read things which relate to their interests..... so don't discount football magazines as ' not reading' just because it isn't a book. I have also found that most children love cooking and will enjoy following recipies.. again ..this requires considerable reading ( and mathmatical) skills. From his point of view there is much to be gained at the end of the process... the way to a boys heart is usually through his stomach!
If you can get your boy to research beyond the recipe... ie ... where to get the ingredients (or the origin of a particular dish) all to the good. Be creative. Reading in his eyes may not be totally off limits if you package the activity in a different way!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2012 15:52:47 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 24 Apr 2012 16:00:03 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2012 15:57:18 BDT
Fizzi says:
Hi there, we have tried the football magazines and recipes, both are successful briefly but again, only for a short time. I'll keep trying to come up with new ways to try and encourage his reading and vocabulary without it being too apparent!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2012 17:00:39 BDT
Fizzi says:
Mrs White,
My son struggles with reading because he just hates it. His use of written vocabulary is also barely keeping up with his classmates and his teacher's advice is to have him read for 20-30 minutes nightly. I do this with him, taking turns each to read pages, to try and keep his interest. My son is neither nagged or pushed, by myself or his elder brother, but encouraged and rewarded for any effort he makes in whatever he attempts, reading included. I have tried books, magazines, sports pages and virtually anything written just to try and get him interested. I do not expect my younger son to enjoy reading in the way my eldest and I do, just for him to be able to read sufficiently that it doesnt impact upon his school-life. He is a bright, intelligent lad, who I have no doubt will succeed in whatever he puts his mind to, as he does it would not be a "surprise" to me!
Instead of making assumptions re my parenting skills, it might have been more constructive to offer some support instead of judgement....Unlike some children, my sons have a parent who is trying to encourage them to reach their potential, not a preconceived list of defined goals they MUST achieve.

Posted on 24 Apr 2012 20:50:55 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 24 Apr 2012 20:53:25 BDT]
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Initial post:  22 Apr 2012
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