Picky Readers Need New Flavors

We adopted a cat recently. . . and started a cat-food collection.


I tried so many brands of cat food but with little success. She didn’t eat for a week. (Anyone want some cat food?)

Eventually, I found a cat food she liked. Finally. No more starving kitty.

It’s not so different with picky readers.

Often we must persistently offer every flavor, size, genre, and topic of book to get our kids into reading.

We don’t want them to starve for books, do we?

Picky Reader Ideas

Neither of my kids wanted to read over winter break. At all. (Didn’t I just write a book about reluctant readers?!)

 1.    Go Digital
Finally, I tried the Kindle, and it worked. (P.S. I LOVE my Kindle which I bought to test out Book Love. I’ve been buying YA books like crazy. It’s heavenly and immediately gratifying.)

2. Go Shopping
I let each girl buy any Kindle book they wanted to read. And the sequels. AJ choose the Warrior series by Erin Hunter. Do you know how many books that is? Hooray for reading books in a series! I gulp, and spend the money. She’s been reading non-stop for weeks. (I think she’s on book #1,325!)

A less expensive option is to borrow Kindle books from your public library.

3.    Get Recommendations
Kids read what their friends like. So, ask around for ideas.
Look at your child’s favorite books on Amazon. Just underneath you’ll find recommendations where it says “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”. I love browsing there to get new ideas.

Irresistible Books for Kids

Now you need some new books to offer your kids, right? Well good because today I’m hosting the international blogger Carnival of Children’s Literature which means you’re going to get LOTS of recommendations. Keep reading.

First, my recommendations — new books we’re loving.

Ranger’s Apprentice Brotherband Chronicles Book 1 The Outcasts by John Flanagan, ages 9 – 12
I just started this and love it – great action and adventure and perfect for boys who enjoy  battles, outcasts, and trials of the sea life.

Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner, ages 7 – 9
The sarcastic, funny narrator will keep you laughing in this mystery story.

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz, ages 7 – 9
Delightful, heart-warming story about a brave and adventurous pig who wants to be a sled dog. LOVE.

Echo and the Bat Pack series of books by Roberto Pavanello, ages 7 – 9
Great colorful illustrations throughout this adventure of this talking writer bat who is befriended by the three Silver kids, aka. his Bat Pack and together they solve a mystery.

Mimi and Maty to the Rescue! Roger the Rat is on the Loose by Brooke Smith, ages 7 – 9
Animal lovers will approve of this young entrepreneur’s business of finding lost pets.

Everything Goes In the Air by Brian Biggs, picture book, ages 2 – 5
Cartoon-ish illustrations depecting funny interactions of people using things that fly. “You can’t take your sword on the flight” says security to a one-legged pirate. Other pages show the flying vehicles and their parts.

One Spotted Giraffe A Counting Pop-Up Book by Petr Horacek, ages 1 – 4
Who doesn’t love  a lift-the-flap and pop up all in one awesome book!?

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier, picture book ages 2 – 100
Whoa- such a cool concept for a book . . . a book within a book within a book within a book . . . So clever and fun!

And Now for the Carnival Books . . .

Book Love by Melissa TaylorFiction Books

Sarah Albee Books – Review of Wonder by R. J. Palacio, ages 9 – 12+
Secrets & Sharing Soda – review of Ricky Vargas by Alan Katz, ages 7 – 9
The Busy Mom Bookshelf – review of Goofballs #1:  The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder by Tony Abbott, ages 7 – 9
Growing Book by Book – snowman books
Shelf-employed – review of Flood, a wordless picture book
Storied Cities – review of Laundry Day, picture book
What Do We Do All Day? – best easy chapter books, ages 6 – 9
Youth Literature Reviews – funny books for boys ages 8 – 12
Story Snug – review of the Katie art books by James Mahew, picture books
Redpeffer’s blog– review of My Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside, picture book
Read, Write, Repeat – review of Peace, Love and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle, 12+
Proseandkahn – review of Butter, YA
Picture Books & Pirouettes – best of dance-themed kids’s books
Booktalking – review of Face Off (hockey) by Jake Maddox, ages 7 – 9
Fourth Musketeer – review of Finding Zasha by Randi Barrow, (historical/animal/adventure) ages 9 – 12

I’ve added each of the above books to my new master book lists by age.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Facebook for more ideas!
Charlotte’s Library – review of Jinx (fantasy) by Sage Blackwood, ages 8-12
Book Aunt – good realistic fiction for ages 9 -12
Reading Confetti – 25 winter-themed books with craft ideas, ages 4 – 6
Book Chook – after you read, do a fun book project like one of these

Non Fiction Books

Story Snug – review of You Choose by Pippa Goodhart (speaking / listening) picture book
Great Kid Books -review of Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night (ebook) by Mary Kay Carson, ages 6 – 10
Kid Lit About Politics – review of First Mothers by Beverly Gherman, ages 6 – 10
Literacy Notes – Waterfowls and Biofuels by Patricia Newman
NC Teacher Stuff – review of Too Hot? Too Cold? (body temperature in animals and humans)
SpeakWell, ReadWell – I Have a Dream illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Story Seekers – sharing books with babies
True Tales & A Cherry On Top – review of Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Rene Watson
Literary Lunchbox – review of James Averbeck’s picture books

Photos: Melissa Taylor / Will Montague /  SantaRosa OLD SKOOL/  ‘Playingwithbrushes’

– – – – –

See any good books here? Or ten?

What about the Kindle – Are you going to try it? Comment here

(I think it’s worth the money if it gets kids reading, do you?)

FREE eBooks for Kids


  1. says

    I love this list! Thank you so much. My daughter is definitely the picky reader in our family. I wanted to ask your opinion on the kindle (or iPad) for a 6-year old. I have been really trying to limit my kids’ screen use and wonder if I’m opening a can of worms offering reading on the computer. I guess I also just love a “real” book, so I am resistent! :) Would love your thoughts.

    • says

      I limit screen time, too but allow it for “school” stuff – my 10 year old writes books and stories on the iPad. All that to say, I think reading can be an exception to screen time if it’s reading a book. But, you’ll have to find what works best for your family. Love to hear how it goes!


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