Books for reluctant readers

by | Jul 20, 2017

Did your child come home with a recommended reading list for the summer holidays? Mine did and it’s always met with a rather large sigh, already too much for her to cope with just by looking at it.

For some children, reading is a challenge and because of that, they are reluctant to even try. A book can be overwhelming and when something feels unachievable, it can be easy to give up on it.

As a mother of a reluctant reader (well, two in fact), I know how important it is for your child to even finish a book. They feel so proud of themselves when they do, the opposite of which is true when they try to plod their way through a book just because their friends have read it and they feel they should too.

Here’s the great thing about books. There is something out there for everybody.

I wrote my story because I knew it would be something my reluctant readers would enjoy. For them to be able to get through it from beginning to end within a relatively short space of time was the most important thing. One thing I know from experience is the longer it takes to read a book, the less likely they are to finish it.

Of course, there was a high chance my children would read this book, given their mother is the author. Let’s face it, if they won’t read it, who will? It is with great joy, therefore, I can tell you how much other children have been enjoying the story, particularly, and here’s the important bit, other reluctant readers.

Summer reading ideas for reluctant readers - Nikki Young

Why does it appeal to reluctant readers?

There are several factors that make The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants appealing, other than the title and the front cover!

  1. It’s a relatively short read
  2. It’s plot driven, with more action than description
  3. The chapters are short
  4. It’s pacey
  5. The story is split into sections, each written from a different character’s point of view
  6. There are illustrations to break up the text – which I’m told helps from a visual point of view, as lots of text on a page can feel overwhelming.

I think the reader’s reviews speak for themselves really, so please take a look and if you think your child might achieve one reading book this summer, perhaps it could be this one. The story follows three children’s adventures during the summer holidays, so hopefully, this in itself, will appeal.

“A great story which clips along at a fine pace. Almost old fashioned with its lovely sense of adventure and wonderful believable characters. A fabulous book for summer holiday reading. My ten year old daughter read it avidly, she thoroughly enjoyed it and she is a tricky customer when it comes to reading fiction, so that’s a definite recommendation.”

“I am a boy who is almost 11 years old and I read this book in 2 days! The narrative in question is a good book aimed (I presume) at 9-10 year olds. The plot is good with small stories appearing along one main steady idea. The story also includes the thoughts from other people (a difficult plot) and makes it flow smoothly. The author uses precise vocabulary to describe the setting and characters, the lack of advanced vocabulary is good for the age group. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a mystery and is part of the younger generation. C age 10 & 3/4.”

“My 10 year old daughter and I raced through this in a couple of days. As my daughter’s visually dyslexic she finds reading challenging, but she still loves a good story, and she loved me reading this to her. It was so exciting, and also it had fairly short chapters, which were perfect for her attention span. She kept asking for more, and we were both sad when the book ended, and she asked for more from the author. I explained that it may take a while for the author to write another book…! Anyway, all in all, an enjoyable and exciting contemporary adventure book, clearly written and engaging for both mum and daughter. Recommended.”

“This book is a wonderful romp through the school summer holidays following a group of children who are determined to solve a mystery happening on their very street. It brilliantly captures the curiosity and innocence of those long summer days that we all remember from our own childhoods. It transports the adult reader back to a time when we were giddy with freedom and stuffed to the gills on Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven, fuelling our quest for fun and adventure. With easy-to-digest short chapters and a fast moving narrative, this book is perfect for primary school children, especially those who may have found reading a challenge. The book bounces along with a Scooby-Doo enthusiasm that will delight boys and girls alike.”

“My daughter is a bright, brilliant, intelligent girl who happens to suffer from Ireln Syndrome, quite simply the words jump around the page when she’s trying to read. Unless, that is, she is so utterly engaged with the content that the pictures and words work in symphony for her. This book did exactly that, the words and story was so compelling and engaging that she read it in one sitting. This is from the girl who can take a whole term to read a set text. Worth every penny.”

“As a parent of a 10 year old boy, this book’s title appealed immediately, and my son was just as interested as me. The story engaged me right from the start, and I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next. I liked the realism of the setting and the idea that children can make their own adventures. I really enjoyed the book and am sure that most 8-10 year olds would love the story too.”

If you need any further convincing, here is the book trailer:

For more info about the book and where to buy it see here.


  1. Marija Smits

    As you know I’m a fan of the book – and that was a very cool trailer! Is there going to be another ‘Harry’ book one day…?

    • Nicola Young

      Thanks. I don’t know if there will be a follow up, but you never know. If the right story comes to me, I will write it. At the moment, I have a couple of stories on the go, including one about a boy and his superhero dog – a superhero, but not in the way you would expect.

  2. Suz

    Well done on the trailer 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.