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Although he’s an excellent reader, my nine-year-old son doesn’t want to read anything. What books can I get to encourage him?

I understand your concern; getting the reading habit at his age is really important to establish his reading abilities as well as to make him a lifelong reader. Sometimes unwillingness to read is a reflection of what books are available. Your son may simply not have been introduced to the sort of stories and non-fiction that he will enjoy. Teachers and librarians faced with similar problems have found a range of books that are regularly chosen by boys. They include:

  • Short Stories e.g. Uncanny by Paul Jennings
  • Short novels with plenty of humour (often of the sort that small boys really appreciate) e.g. Mr Gum by Andy Stanton and Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • Longer novels with exciting adventure stories e.g. The Young Bond series by Charlie Higson and The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz (both series are also published as graphic novels)
  • Information books on topics of personal interest e.g Castle Diary by Richard Platt & Chris Riddell and Space: A children’s encyclopaedia published by Dorling Kindersley
  • Comedy versions of non-fiction e.g. Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories and all the spin-offs
  • Graphic books e.g. Robin Hood by Marcia Williams
  • Pop-up books e.g. Dinosaurs by Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart
  • Annuals and lists such as The Guinness Book of Records and sport, TV show or comic annuals

I hope there is something there that will inspire your boy. I would start by taking him to the local library and asking for some of these suggested books for him to try.