Jul 20

Summer Reading List

Books to get kids reading

Research has shown that reading contributes to vocabulary development. Our knowledge of vocabulary directly affects our ability to understand what we read.

It has also been demonstrated that the more one reads, the better reader one becomes.

Therefore, it is very important that we encourage children to read as much as possible.

So, how do we get children who are dyslexic to read? It’s a good question. None of us likes to do something that we are not very good at.

One way that has proven successful is to have children and teens read in areas of interest.

Rosalie Fink has published on successful dyslexic adults who learned to read by pursuing areas of interest. Because the topic was of such high interest to them, they were highly motivated to read about the content and persevered despite the reading challenges.

One of the difficulties we face is finding reading material that is rich and of interest to the child, yet is not so difficult that he or she can’t access the text.

We have identified some sources that have adapted context and vocabulary rich novels, including some of the classics, for the struggling reader. We’ve also provided a link to the International Reading Association’s resource list of books that students in grades 7–12 have identified to be of interest to them.

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, make time in the day where kids have time to read for fun. Leisure reading will promote reading skills. And, importantly, let them choose—whether it’s a novel, a comic book, a sports magazine—the goal is to read, read, read and enjoy it!


  • The Adventures of Captain Underpants

    The Adventures of Captain Underpants

    The troublemaking duo of George and Harold hypnotize their grouchy principal into believing that he is a superhero named ‘The Amazing Captain Underpants’. This book is written in comic book style to engage young readers.

  • Back to Front and Upside Down

    Back to Front and Upside Down

    Follow Stan as he overcomes his frustration with letters, with a friend’s help, and learns to make his letters come out “the right way round and the right way up.”

  • Barrington Stoke

    Barrington Stoke is an independent publisher dedicated to cracking reading and has books for both children and adults. Their books are commissioned, edited, and designed to minimize some of the obstacles that can stop struggling, reluctant, or dyslexic readers getting hooked by a book.

  • Capstone

    Capstone Press

    Capstone Press offers high-interest educational and illustrated books aimed at different reading and interest levels. There are different series, including one with graphic-novel biographies, and one with more historically focused books.

  • Fried Green Tomatoes

    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café

    Evelyn, and unhappy housewife, and Ninny, an elderly nursing home resident, develop an unlikely friendship that inspires both women to find happiness in their lives.

  • Hank Zipzer

    Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Underachiever

    Henry Winkler (a.k.a. “The Fonz” from Happy Days) is the co-author of a series featuring a young dyslexic. The protagonist, Hank Zipzer, is inspired by Winkler’s own experiences in school and on the set of Happy Days, where he used his humor and imagination to succeed despite his dyslexia.

  • High Noon

    High Noon Books

    High Noon Books offers a wide selection of books for low-level readers, including a Streamlined Shakespeare series, which presents six classic Shakespeare plays in an easier-to-read format. The website also offers classics such as Great Expectations and The Count of Monte Cristo, as well as Sci-Fi, Mystery, and Sports books.

  • Kindred


    Dana, a modern African-America woman, suffers a dizzy spell which transports her back in time to the antebellum South. This novel exposes truths about race and identity.

  • My Name is Brain Brian

    My Name is Brain Brian

    Brian is mocked by his peers for his struggles in reading and writing until his teacher detects that he has dyslexia. Brian is able to get the help he needs to be become a successful student.

  • Percy Jackson's World

    Percy Jackson’s World

    This kid-friendly series was recommended to us by a parent. Centered on Greek mythology, each book follows the main character, Percy Jackson, through different adventures that are loosely based on those of ancient Greek heroes.

  • Percy Jackson's World

    Phonic Books

    Designed for kids by three teachers, their books are designed to engage and enthuse beginner and reluctant readers. The highly-structured phonic sequence ensures reading success and building of confidence from the very beginning.

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    A Prayer for Owen Meany

    In 1953, Owen Meany hits a foul ball in his Little League game that strikes and kills his best friend’s mother. Owen searchers for deeper meaning in this coming-of-age tale written by a dyslexic author.

  • Saddleback

    Saddleback Educational Publishing

    The Saddleback classics (e.g. 20,000 Leagues Under the SeaPride & Prejudice) are adapted for developing readers at a 4.0–5.0 reading level. The adaptations still contain the author’s style and themes, but they have fewer words, shorter paragraphs, and less complex wording. Some even have audio.

  • Thunder Cake

    Thunder Cake

    Beautiful illustrations and text tell the tale of a grandmother helping a little girl overcome her fear of thunder by baking a special cake. This book will help young readers alleviate their own bad weather fears.

  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

    Charlotte Doyle joins an all-male crew aboard a transatlantic ship in 1832. She experiences thrilling adventure while helping the crew expose the evil doings of the captain.

  • International Reading Association

    Young Adults’ Choices Reading List—International Reading Association

    This is a list of books recommended by teenage readers in grades 7–12. The website also offers Teacher’s Choices and Children’s Choices lists.


For even more books to get kids reading, check out TimeOut New York’s 50 Best Books for Kids. Also be sure to peruse Amazon’s “Dyslexic-Friendly” book list, which consists of books that have all been printed in the OpenDyslexic font.