How to encourage your child to read more books


Set aside a special time

To encourage a lifelong love of reading, start early. Children love talking about pictures, and discovering new words. That’s why it’s wonderful to sit and read with your child as the toddler stage.

Maybe at bed time or just after bath time when they are feeling relaxed? Make reading a magical time…

Talk talk talk

Another handy tip is to connect what happens in books with their real life – to give the book more value and meaning. Questions such as ‘Remember when…’ or ‘This might remind you of the time…’ Making connections like this is a lovely way to share stories with your child.

Get boys reading


Young children often want to revisit old favourites such as ‘Winnie the Pooh’ or Roald Dahl classics. We’re still huge fans…

Boys, especially seven year olds, love anything that makes them laugh, or features superheroes. If yours is a reluctant reader and hasn’t read Dav Pilkey’s ‘The Adventures of Captain Underpants’ yet, I urge you to get a copy. It’ll have you in stitches, let alone your child!

David Walliams is ace too… Who could resist ‘Gangsta Granny’, or ‘Billionaire Boy.’  Girls too would love ‘Ratburger.’ Once hooked, boys are likely to explore more in a particular genre. Once they have the reading habit, you can then introduce new titles to them from different genres. Harry Potter, Horrid Henry are two suggestions.


As they get to secondary school, you could suggest the ‘Alex Rider’ series by Anthony Horowitz, or the ‘Young Bond’ series by Charlie Higson. Then move onto titles such as ‘Wild Boy’ by Rob Lloyd Jones. Teens, too, would love incredible books such as ‘The Wall’ by William Sutcliffe.

What about this?

  • If children occasionally want to go back to the familiarity of a childhood favourite, celebrate rather than castigate. So long as children widen their reading repertoire by trying more challenging books, there’s no harm in revisiting a book from the past
  • Get into the habit of going to a bookshop or library with your child to spend time exploring. Books are not cheap, so the library might be a great bet
  • Though we are true book lovers here , your child is part of the digital generation. Downloading Kindle books is so popular now. And you don’t even need a Kindle. Free apps are available for laptops. Plus Kindle downloads are so much cheaper.
  • Boys especially seem to run out of puff when it comes to reading out loud. Why not try audio books occasionally? It’s still reading – just in a different way. You can, of course, squeeze another chapter on the way to school, or just before bed time. A useful way to help calm a child down too.
  • We’re big fans of Love Reading 4 Kids Apart from age-suitable recommendations, there are Books for Boys and Reluctant Readers sections. Plus you can sign up for free and then download extracts (usually opening chapter) to trial run a title. Great way to trial a book out on a reluctant boy reader!


A bunch of parents in your local area could even run a reading scheme where you pool together lots of reading books to lend to each others’ children. A great way to make friends, share tips and support each other too.

Read yourself

I know, I know… where do you find the time? Perhaps everyone could read for half an hour after tea. Start at the weekend. Or you might establish a reading time every night with the kids where you read together.

The truth is, if your child sees you reading, they will be more encouraged to.

Praise like mad

Remember: if a child isn’t enjoying a book, that’s fine. Encourage them to choose something else. Praising your child for what he or she does do – not what they don’t – can work wonders. Boys especially like approval.

Even reading one more page than last time is worth celebrating…

Tell us what works for you? Can you recommend a ‘can’t put down’ book title? We’d love to hear it!

11+1 11+ exam tuition1 11+ Maths1 11+ tuition1 11+ tutor Chichester1 a level science tutor1 active reading1 advice1 anxiety2 ASD1 Asperger’s syndrome1 Autism1 Autistic1 being different1 Boys1 bullying2 Chichester GCSE English tutor1 Child safety1 childhood stress and anxiety1 confidence3 Context1 coping with exam stress1 coping with illness1 depressed1 determiners1 disaffected boys1 Dyslexia1 dyslexia tutor1 dyslexic1 eleven plus1 English Literature1 english revision1 english tuition1 entrance exam tutor1 entrance exams1 exam anxiety1 exam techniques2 Exam Tips1 exams1 Functional Skills1 GCSE exam tuition1 gcse exams2 gcse maths tutor in weybridge1 GCSE Maths tutor Weybridge1 gcse resits1 gcse results1 GCSE Retakes2 GCSE revision1 gcse science tutor surrey1 GCSE Shakespeare1 GCSE study tips1 GCSE tuition support surrey1 gcse tutor1 grief1 guided writing1 help with exam preparation1 Helping Children Achieve1 home schooling2 Home tuition2 Homework Help2 How to encourage reading1 how to remember historical facts1 how to revise properly1 how to start sentences1 improving grades1 ks2 tuition1 lack of confidence1 Language1 learning1 learning difficulties2 learning difficulty1 learning gaps1 learning help1 learning problems1 Learning tips1 loss of confidence1 maths revision1 michael gove1 mock exam support1 mock exams1 mock revision1 motivation problems1 negative thinking1 one to one support1 one to one teaching1 one to one tuition1 Online 11 Plus learning1 online English tutor1 online gcse tuition1 online learning1 online learning games1 online Maths tutor1 online revision sessions1 online revision support1 overwhelm at school1 Pathological Demand Avoidance2 poor GCSE planning1 practical homework tips1 primary school1 primary school curriculum1 Private home tutors1 Private tuition1 private tutor1 procrastination1 re-sits1 Reading for Pleasure1 reading tips1 Reluctant readers1 revision mistakes1 revision plan2 Revision Techniques2 revision timetable1 Safeguarding children1 SATs1 sats exams 20161 school anxiety1 school entry exams1 school phobias1 school pressure1 school routines1 Science tuition Weybridge1 sen support1 sen tuition1 sir william perkins’s1 spag1 special needs2 specific learning difficulties1 st george’s weybridge1 struggling child1 Study options at 161 Studying English1 summer holiday tuition1 summer mocks1 Surrey 11+ tutor1 surrey tutors2 target grades2 the tiffin girls’ school1 tiffin boys’ school1 To Kill a Mockingbird1 Tuition location1 underachieve1 underachievement1 Verbal Reasoning1 weybridge science tutor1