Thorndyke the Bear in a READ shirt

Reluctant readers come in all ages, stages, and sizes. This summer, overcome a lack of enthusiasm with these tips, which can be applied to reading ruts of all kinds. Examples link to children's materials, but these suggestions can work for grown-ups, too.

  • Forget reading level for just a minute, and start with interests or hobbies. Search for fiction and nonfiction that focus on that topic. Maybe you like soccer: use our subject headings to find relevant biographiesfiction, and nonfiction.
  • Explore picture books. There are many beautiful titles that are worth reading, and as a bonus are short and satisfying.
  • Use writing as a springboard and create a summer journal. Then see why journal-format fiction is so popular.
  • Explore the graphic novel shelf. Dense illustrations make a reader slow down to really enjoy the story.
  • Come to a book discussion program, or start your own. Read the book together. Reading can be more fun when it's shared, and even if you hated the book, you can talk about how much you disliked it.
  • Grab some poetry. Sometimes it's serious, but a lot of times it's silly and entertaining.
  • Listen to an audiobook. All of the story and vocabulary words without the visuals. Even better if you're listening with the whole family on a road trip and can discuss the story as you go.
  • Pick something you want to DO - maybe you want to travel to Ireland, become a scientist, or learn to keep bees. Use books to gather useful information for your quest.
  • Look for a book that has a movie version. Even picture books have been made into full-length movies. Read, and then watch. Which did you like better?
  • Start with music, and listen to a favorite album or song artist. Then learn more about that person, maybe even in their own words.
  • Ask a librarian! You can visit us at any of the Reference Desks, or use our May We Suggest form to get personalized recommendations online. 

No matter what, keep trying. Try new formats, try new recommendations, try non-print stories. It's never too late to find something good.

Also available in: video

On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.

The ant bully by John Nickle
Also available in: video

Lucas learns a lesson about bullying when he is pulled into the ant hole he has been tormenting.

Five electrical appliances find that their young owner has disappeared. The toaster takes charge, rounding up the vacuum cleaner, the electric blanket, bedside lamp and radio. Together they take off for the big city in search of their master. Based on the book by Thom Demijohn.

 

In case you missed our Duck storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own quacking storytime at home.

From Storytime

When Mama Duck's eggs hatch, revealing Feather, Flap, and Spike she feels like the luckiest duck in the pond.

In case you missed our Star storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own twinkly storytime at home.

From Storytime

Stars by Mary Lyn Ray

Explores the wonder of stars, whether they are in the night sky, on a plant as a promise of fruit to come, or in one's pocket for those days when one does not feel shiny.

In case you missed our Pink storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own rosy storytime at home.

From Storytime

Poised and pink by Kelly Calhoun

Guess What provides young curious readers with striking visual clues and simply written hints. Using the photos and text, readers rely on visual literacy skills, reading, and reasoning as they solve the animal mystery. 

 

In case you missed our Frog storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own jumpy storytime at home.

From Storytime

Spotted singers by Kelly Calhoun

Using the photos and text, readers rely on visual literacy skills, reading, and reasoning as they solve the animal mystery. 

 

In case you missed our Rain storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own stormy storytime at home.

From Storytime

Raindrops roll by April Pulley Sayre

In her latest gorgeously photo-illustrated nonfiction picture book, celebrated author April Pulley Sayre sheds new light on the wonders of rain, from the beauty of a raindrop balanced on a leaf to the amazing, never-ending water cycle that keeps our planet in perfect ecological balance.

Sleepover Storytime

Thorndyke with Plushie Friends

We invite children ages 3-7 to join us for a special storytime with their stuffed animal friends. Come together for stories, songs, and fun, and leave your stuffed friend for a nighttime adventure at the library. In the morning, pick up your friend at the Children's Reference Desk and find out about their overnight escapades. Registration will begin April 24.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

 

In case you missed our Feet storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own stompy storytime at home.

From Storytime

A counting book featuring animals with different numbers of feet.

Learn about real life poets and their work. The stories included below are roughly listed by increasing depth and complexity. While these books are located in the Children's Department, there is a strong possibility that they may appeal to a wider audience.

Maya Angelou by Lisbeth Kaiser

Offers an illustrated telling of the life of Maya Angelou that focuses on how she overcame childhood trauma and realized her dream and became one of the world's most beloved writers and speakers.

Presents the life and work of the twentieth-century American writer, focusing on his fascination with words from a young age and highlighting his poetry's inspirational properties.

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