Five Books That Got Me Interested in Reading
Reading used to be a chore for me. I used to cringe every time I had English/Literature class through my elementary/middle school years. I sat in the back and rarely raised my hand. I had done the reading required for that day. I had pretty good "reading comprehension" skills even though I didn't know it was even called that at that age. That wasn't the problem. I just was never interested in the books they had us reading at that time. Here, I’ve listed books, outside of the standard school curriculum, that got me interested into reading during my 3rd to 5th grade years.
This series is a fine example of a reason to never judge a book by its cover. If parents withhold Captain Underpants from their kids for fear that it’s not ‘educational enough’, they’ll be depriving their children of a witty, hilarious, well developed series that could be the one that gets your non-reader hooked on books, just like what happened to me. This is one of the first books that I ever read that TRULY got me into reading. It follows two 10 year-old pranksters that accidentally hypnotize their school principal into thinking that he's a wildly enthusiastic, incredibly silly superhero named Captain Underpants. Hilarity ensues.
This series is perfect for pre-teen to teenage kids. It follows Artemis Fowl, a nefarious 12 year old wealthy criminal mastermind and his frequent skirmishes with some real gangster fairies to make the ultimate score. Yes, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill, fable, nursery rhyme fairies. This is a great unconventional adventure series for the middle school reader.Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne
The Magic Treehouse series centers around a brother and sister sticking together through all kinds of adventures and learning about different times and places (dinosaurs, the Amazon, mummies, Egypt, etc.). There are usually a couple of pictures in each chapter, which is kind of fun for the young reader too. The books will draw adventurous and academic kids alike. There’s also educational resources to complement each story.
Just Stupid! By Andy Griffiths
Full disclosure: this book is just stupid. Just one of Griffiths’ installments in his Just series, this book is full of wacky adventures, odd situations, and all around silliness. The whole series is great: Just Joking, Just Annoying, Just Disgusting and more. Again, if you’re a parent worried that these types of books aren’t educational enough--don’t judge a book by its cover!
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass by Philip PullmanThis is a fantasy novel set in a parallel Earth, and the first in a trilogy. The protagonist is a young orphaned girl who's been raised at Oxford by the attending scholars, ultimately exploring a rift that could exist between different worlds. It’s a fun and memorable read that I still recommend to young readers to this day.