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  • Melanie Notaras

CAN READ, but WON'T? Hook kids into books with these 9 great reading tips!

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

What was your favourite book as a kid? I bet you it was funny, or had adventure! Today’s kids aren’t any different, so if you have trouble getting yours to pick up a book and read, you can try these ideas (statistics are from the Scholastic Australian Kids & Family Reading Report):

1. Pick funny books. 67% of kids aged 6-11 and 54% of kids aged 12-17 want to read something that makes them laugh.

2. Pick fantasy or adventure books. 55% of 6-11 year olds and 47% of 12-17 year olds like reading books that let them use their imagination.

3. Ask kids what subjects they’re interested in, and find a book on it. Whether it’s cultural fads like Pokemon, or personal interests like karate or craft, it’s all reading – and if they’re obsessed with the subject, they’ll read every book on the shelf!

4. Let children browse and choose for themselves. A staggering 91% of kids surveyed said they’d finish reading a book they had picked out by themselves. Why? Because they pick the right topic, genre, and reading level to fit their mood and interest.

5. Head to the comic book section. Comics are underrated heroes of reading, filled with action-packed adventure, dialogue, complex plotting and quick fulfilment. They also contain plenty of visual hints for readers with poorer ability, helping them to stay connected with the text. Comics range across many subject areas and ages.

6. Try shorter texts. If you can’t get your child interested in novels then try them on shorter fiction types such as gamebooks. Non-fiction is filled with short texts such as magazines, functional texts (ie instructional books that help you solve a problem), encyclopedias (think Guinness Book of Records, Every Aeroplane etc) … even atlases (they can read river and city names, and if they're interested in a place, they might want to read a bigger book about it)!

7. Be a regular visitor to your public library. 78% of kids aged 6-11 and 55% of 12-17 year olds source their pleasure reading books from libraries. They’ve a huge range of titles and subjects - and best of all the books are free. Take them and they will read.

8. Educate yourself on new books being published. 72% of all kids (6-17) seek recommendations for books to read for fun, from their parents. Read book reviews on line, browse book catelogues, talk to friends in book clubs ... you're well placed to find your kids the latest exciting read.

9. Turn the TV and computer off, and set a regular reading time every day for children. If you get them used to sitting with a book in their hands, they’ll soon feel the habit, the itch of wanting to read. And if you really want it to work - then read with them, or read next to them. Not just cozy, not just strengthening the parent-child bond, not just telling them through action that reading is important but …. they might even want to know what you're reading!

This blog post was brought to you by My School Adventure - a reading fundraiser for primary, elementary and middle grade schools, where we customise an exciting adventure gamebook novel to your school including 4 teachers as characters! To learn more please visit

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