Friday, December 6, 2013

BEST Books for ‘Tween & Teen Challenged Readers

The 1st in a series of 3 articles (by age group)

We often receive calls and emails requesting children’s or teens’ book lists throughout the year. However, we had not created a list for any of the previous holiday seasons to help parents and grandparents choose the best books for young, challenged or readers.

To address this, we have gathered together over the past several weeks a series of 3 NEW book lists just in time for your holiday shopping. Each list is dedicated to a particular age group of struggling or even reluctant readers.

Our first booklist here is for ‘tweens and teens. We think this list could come in handy during the 2013 Holiday Season. In fact, you just might enjoy your holiday gift shopping a little bit more this year while at the same find a favorite book to read WITH your child any time of the year! (HINT: See the second book in the list to follow.)

Happy Reading---AND Happy Holidays, dear readers!

Close to Famous---by Joan Bauer (girls, ages 9-13)
Plucky, twelve-year-old Foster McFee is not going to let her inability to read keep her from reaching her goal of having her own television cooking show. In fact, her ambitions engage everyone around her, including an unlikely reading tutor who forces her to confront the vulnerability she is trying to keep hidden.

What Is Dyslexia?: A Book Explaining Dyslexia for Kids and Adults to Use Together---by Alan M. Hultquist, illustrated by Lydia Corrow (ages 8-11)
Children with dyslexia can be left "out of the loop" when it comes to discussions about the reasons for their struggles at school. This book is designed to help adults explain dyslexia to children aged 8-11. Hultquist offers clear examples and explanations, interactive activities for parents (or other adults) and children to do together, and highlights of the courage and strengths of people with dyslexia.

Eleven---by Patricia Riley Giff (ages 9-13)
Sam, a talented boy who can't read, is trying to discover his true identity through written documents. This action-packed psychological mystery is both suspenseful & touching. (Kindle edition also available)

Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever---A series by Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver (ages 9-13)
Henry Winkler's real-life experiences as a young "underachiever" inspire these humorous and exciting stories in the Hank Zipzer series. These books will engage even the most reluctant reader in a fun romp through the days of Hank Zipzer, who always manages to keep things lively and, in the end, helps deliver a message of understanding for all kids, especially for those who share Hank's learning differences.

The Lightning Thief---and others in the series by Rick Riordan (boys, ages 10-15)
Boys will like the books in this series. They are filled with excitement, danger and personal triumph. They can also be downloaded for an MP3 player. A graphic novel version is also available.

Two-Minute Drill: Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids---by Mike Lupica (boys, middle grades)
Chris Conlan is the coolest kid in sixth grade—the golden-armed quarterback of the football team, and the boy all the others look up to. Scott Parry is the new kid, the boy with the huge brain, but with feet that trip over themselves daily. These two boys may seem like an odd couple, but team up when Scott figures out how to help Chris with his reading problem, while Chris helps him with his football and both boys end up winners.'s+Comeback+Kids+by+Mike+Lupica&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3A+Two-Minute+Drill%3A+Mike+Lupica's+Comeback+Kids+by+Mike+Lupica

River Rampage---and others in the Sam Cooper Adventure series by Max Elliot Anderson (ages 8-13)
Max Elliot Anderson brings a lifetime of dramatic film and video production to the pages of his action adventures and mysteries. His books are written especially for reluctant reader boys 8 and up, but they are also loved by avid readers, girls and even adults. If you happen to be a reluctant reader or are a parent of a reluctant reader, your life is about to change!
To purchase a copy signed by Mr. Anderson, email the author for details at:
You can also order via at:

Next week’s article & book list: BEST Books for Challenged Older Teen Readers


Young People’s Books Focusing on Dyslexia

Max Elliot Anderson’s Blog & Website

For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of: Brennan Innovators, LLC at

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