Eleven Best Novels to Draw in Reluctant Readers

Published: September 24, 2014

As someone with a natural love for reading, and a hard to entertain brother I understand the hunt for books that are easy to read and draw people in. Whether the reluctance stems from a mind being elsewhere, or running to fast to persevere through a book's slow start, I believe the books herein will help.

The books in this list were chosen for ease of reading, entertainment value, and whether or not my brother devoured it. You will also find some of the more popular series that appeal to those who will also be interested in reading them for the purpose of conversation.

  1. Tamora Pierce

    I first read Tamora Pierce's series, Wild Magic when I was twelve. Probably a little young, but it drew me in instantly and I found myself reading the entire series as fast as I could get a hold of it.

    Her writing is fast paced and not overly complicated. Some may find the psychology integrated into it tedious, but I believe that it is subtle enough that most will learn from it without even being aware.

    I have read other accounts of people who have read it, including one young woman who credits it with introducing her to feminism, and preventing internalizing the misogyny that was the norm in her town.

    Despite the sometimes heavy subject matter, it is easy and fun read. I recommend it for both girls and open minded boys, age thirteen and up.



  2. James Patterson

    There is actually only one series I recommend from Patterson's writings, and that is Maximum Ride. The style, genre and tone differs highly from the rest of his work.

    Maximum Ride was another one of my earliest reads. It has a highly entertaining subject matter, about a group of kids who escaped from a scientific lab that gave them wings. It is fast paced and very easy to read.

    It doesn't delve very deeply into psycology, besides the obvious, which makes it less complicated but also less realistic.

    The wide range of characters will appeal to an equally wide range of readers. I recommend this for either gender, ages thirteen to sixteen.


  3. Piers Anthony

    I actually grew up with Piers Anthony novels, I don't remember a time when his books weren't on the shelves. But despite that, he is one I didn't read until later. I'm actually not sure whether that helped or hindered my understanding of the world he writes about.

    Piers Anthony's books can be either extremely easy or extremely difficult to read, depending on the person who is trying to do so. His world, Xanth is one based on ours, but with a touch of magic. Heavily laced with puns and humor it is entertaining, but sometimes confusing.

    I would recommend this to ages ten and above. Some older teens might find it silly, but others will enjoy that fact. Gender is irrelevant, though some of his books might appeal more to one than the other.


  4. John Flanagan

    Ranger's Apprentice was a series specifically requested by my brother. I ordered it at the library, got it about a week later and ended up reading it myself as well.

    It was the kind of book that takes effort to pry yourself away from. A story about a boy that thought there was no where he belonged, but found himself in the perfect place.

    Easy isn't the word I'd use to describe the book, it wasn't easy or difficult to read this series. But it was difficult to stop. This is the perfect series for this list because it effectively sucks the reader in. My brother and I both read each book as soon as we could get them from the library- which was in no way easy.

    I recommend this for boys and girls, from ages twelve and up.


  5. Rick Riordan

    Rick Riordan was an author I stumbled upon in the children's section of the library, hunting for a fun and easy book for my brother. And boy did I ever find it. The three hundred or so page book was over in a little under two days for me. It is extremely fun, fast paced, hilarious and very easy to read.

    Some might find it a little young, but my entire family read it as well, which shows that young or old, everyone can enjoy the humor of Rick Riordan's books.

    I recommend this for as children young as ten or eight if they can read well, and as old as eighty.


  6. Anne McCaffrey

    Now this series definitely deserves it's spot, despite not being overly easy, or fast paced. It may not have the hilarity of the previous books, but the Dragon Riders Of Pern Series was an incredible read that will appeal intensely to certain personalities.

    It has dark aspects and light, and will pique the interest of someone who is looking for a more realistic sci-fi world that shows both the good and bad in people.

    I don't recommend this to anyone younger than thirteen, and at that age it might be advisable to skim through it first if they are sensitive.


  7. Eoin Colfer

    Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl was an absolute delight. Featuring a corrupt, twelve year old criminal mastermind, far above his age, attempting to extort gold from the world of fairies that he discovers. He soons finds  them yo be far more tricky, not to mention technologically advanced, than he expected.

    It is light, fun, and easy to read. I read it at around fourteen years old and only recently found the last book in the series. While it is a series that gets worse after the fourth book or so, they are all worth reading.

    I recommend for boys and girls as young as eleven.


  8. Christopher Paolini

    This is another that I grew up with, I don't remember a time without it. But it was one I found difficult to start reading. At one point it became equally difficult to stop. My brother assures me that it was a easy read for him, start to finish.

    It is a darker, more gritty story than most on this list, but it is an incredible one. With a multi-faceted world, interesting characters, and more than enough intrique to keep someone wrapped up, it secures it's place on this list because it is something that everyone should read, no matter how little they like doing so. Though hopefully, after being introduced to some of these, they'll be less reluctant.



  9. PC Cast & Kristin Cast

    The House Of Night is a series that will mostly appeal to teenagers. I can't say that it is psycologically deep, very fast paced or even overly humorous. But it is fun, frequently funny, with a good plot that has twists and turns to keep people interested.

    It is targeted to teenage girls, and has characters that they will connect to with ease, which is usually what draws people into a book.

    It has a good portion of adult subject matter, though nothing graphic, so fourteen and up is best. It unfortunately isn't possible to skim through and decide whether or not you want your child reading it, as the adult moments are just that, moments, and the rest of the book has a entirely different tone.


  10. Cornelia Funke

    Inkheart was something I passed over in my library several times before finally pulling it off the shelf and reading the first couple of pages. My attention was caught, and I brought it home to read.

    For a book that is written from the prespective of a twelve year old girl, Inkheart is surprising mature in tone, if neutral in content. It has a unusual style that some readers might find makes it a litle more difficult to read, but I believe it is part of the appeal. Inkheart is one of the few books in which the moral area is entirely grey. Something I personally believe people should be exposed to more often.

    I recommend this for boys and girls alike, at ages ten, if the child had a more mature mind, and up.


  11. J.K Rowling

    And of course, how could you have a list like this without the queen of young adult fiction. I personally can't imagine having not read this series, because it was the first I read at eight years old when I began pursuing books.

    Here I run out of things to say, because how can you explain why someone should read Harry Potter? If your reluctant reader hasn't, then they absolutely should.

    Dynamic, realistic characters, complex but fast-paced, easy to read plots, magic, fun and problems fixed by ordinary people. What more could you want?


Unexpectedly, I think my best of the best from this list, even in the face of Harry Potter, is Rick Riordan. You won't find a easier or more entertaining read than this series. It appeals to all ages and is almost impossible to put down, with an introduction that throws you directly into the crazy world the main character lives in.

I hope this list helps get your child, whatever age they are, to learn to love reading. I know that these books helped me with my brother, I just hope they apply to the rest of the kids that prefer video games to books.