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World Book Day 2024: 20 Books for Kids who don’t enjoy reading

Not everyone is born a reader, but we believe avid readers can be grown and nurtured – with the right books. If you’re struggling to get your child (or any child) to pick up reading, we’ve put together a list of books and authors across different age groups that should engage non-reading kids – in honour of World Book Day 2024.

Books for non-readers/reluctant readers
Ages 0-5

Paw Patrol: Dive Into Puplantis

Based on the popular animated series, this book offers young readers a chance to engage with their favorite characters in a new underwater adventure. By connecting the story to a beloved TV show, it can motivate children to pick up books as a way to extend their enjoyment of familiar characters and settings beyond the screen.

When Mayor Humdinger causes deep-sea chaos it’s up to the heroic pups and their new friend, a merpup named Coral, to save the day. Boys and girls ages 3 to 7 will love this exciting new storybook. Get on the case with Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol! Chase, Marshall, Skye, and the rest of the pups are always ready to save their friends and protect the community of Adventure Bay using their vehicles, tools, and teamwork.

Gabby’s Dollhouse: The Sparkliest Day

Inspired by the Netflix series, this book immerses readers in Gabby’s whimsical world filled with colorful characters and imaginative play. By tapping into the imaginative elements of the TV show, the book encourages children to see reading as a gateway to exploring fantastical worlds and sparking their own creativity.

Clarice Bean Series

Lauren Child

Through the witty and relatable character of Clarice Bean, children can find a mirror for their own experiences, fostering a connection to literature and encouraging them to explore more books that resonate with their lives.

Summary of book pictured:

At the moment I am daydreaming about inventing something exception ordinarily good that could change the world for the better, because of all the things, it’s the better that’s needed. And if you are thinking I’m too small to make a difference then remember the plankton – they are one of the tiniest creatures on the planet but without them where would we be? Probably living on Mars.

The utterly wonderful Clarice Bean is thinking about the endangered things: the big creatures, the little creatures, the plants and the trees. But it’s not just the planet that needs help – there’s her whole family too…

Dino Feelings: The Wobblysaurus

Rachel Bright

Using charming illustrations and engaging storytelling, this book helps children navigate emotions in a fun and accessible way, making reading a tool for both entertainment and emotional intelligence development.


When Wobblysaurus gets her very first bicycle, she can’t wait to go and ride with all her friends. But every time Wobblysaurus sets off her new wheels, she wibbles… wobbles… and falls! This little dinosaur is just about ready to give up, but then a word from a wise Grannysaurus reminds her that when you really want something, it’s always worth trying again. An empowering story with a reassuring reminder that everyone starts off wobbly when trying something new.

The Day the Crayons Quit

Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers

This imaginative tale follows a box of crayons on a colorful adventure, showcasing the power of creativity and self expression. By celebrating the joy of storytelling and art, the book inspires children to see reading as a gateway to unleashing their own creativity and imagination.


Debut author Drew Daywalt and international bestseller Oliver Jeffers team up to create a colourful solution to a crayon-based crisis in this playful, imaginative story that will have children laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way. Poor Duncan just wants to colour in. But when he opens his box of crayons, he only finds letters, all saying the same thing: We quit!

Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown, Blue needs a break from colouring in all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other. The battle lines have been drawn. What is Duncan to do?

There’s a Tiger on the Train

Mariesa Dulak & Rebecca Cobb

In this exciting adventure, a tiger creates chaos on a train journey, captivating young readers with its playful storyline and vibrant illustrations. By offering an entertaining and engaging reading experience, the book motivates children to seek out more stories that transport them to thrilling and unexpected places.


A boy and his dad board the train. Dad is stuck into his phone and misses the fact that a tiger boards the train too… and so does a family of hippos, and a band of crocs, and a mum with her piglets, and a pug in a boa – or two. . .

On the way to the seaside pandemonium ensues, and then the tiger roars. . . Has he finally had enough? And what will dad say? Will he even notice?

Ages 6-9

Stink: Fairy vs Wizard

Jenny McLachlan

By blending humor with fantastical elements like fairies and wizards, McLachlan engages young readers with entertaining stories that spark their imagination and encourage them to explore the world of fantasy literature.


Before you read my diary here is some stuff you need to know:

  1. I’m 11 years old
  2. I love drawing cartoons
  3. I have two pet rats called Tony and Noah.
  4. I also have a FAIRY called Stink . . .

Danny’s life hasn’t been the same since a REAL fairy flew out of a fairy door, attached herself to his hair and turned his life upside down.

In this book Stink tries to help Danny with his lead role in the school play, makes a Malteser adventure playground in the science cupboard and accidentally unleashes a giant all-powerful wizard into the world.

Pippa’s Pony Tales

Pippa Funnell

Pippa Funnell, an accomplished equestrian and author, brings her expertise to this series, which follows the adventures of Pippa and her ponies. Through relatable characters and engaging storytelling, Funnell captivates young readers who are passionate about horses, inspiring them to delve into stories that reflect their interests and hobbies

Summary of book pictured:

A new book in a series of heart-warming pony tales packed with expert advice from three-times Olympic medallist and Grand Slam winner, Pippa Funnell, on everything you ever wanted to know about horses.
When the beautiful and valuable thoroughbred Derby winner, Moonshadow, is stabled at Silver Shoe Farm, Tilly is enchanted. But on a sleepover at the farm she and her friends find themselves face to face with horse thieves.

The Magic Faraway Tree

Jacqueline Wilson (Inspired by Enid Blyton)

Jacqueline Wilson’s adaptation of Enid Blyton’s classic tale transports readers to the magical world of the Faraway Tree, where every visit brings new adventures. By reimagining Blyton’s beloved story with her own unique voice, Wilson introduces a new generation to the enchanting realm of fantasy literature, inspiring them to explore timeless classics and sparking their imagination.

Milo, Mia and Birdy are on a countryside holiday when they wander into an Enchanted Wood. Among the whispering leaves, there is a beautiful tree that stands high above the rest. The Magic Faraway Tree is home to many remarkable creatures including a fairy called Silky, her best friend Moonface and more. Little Birdy is only too happy to find that fairies are real. Even her older brother and sister are soon won over by the magic of the Faraway Tree and the extraordinary places they discover above it, including the Land of Unicorns. But not every land is so much fun. Danger looms in the Land of Dragons. Will Moonface’s magic work in time to save the children?

Nancy Drew Diaries

Carolyn Keene

The Nancy Drew series is known for Nancy Drew obviously, dubbed, “a teenage detective queen” and has remained ever popular amongst girl readers since being introduced in 1930. Carolyn Keene continues the legacy of the iconic teenage detective Nancy Drew in this modern-day series, where Nancy solves mysteries with her friends in River Heights. By updating the classic character for contemporary readers, Keene engages young audiences with thrilling plots and relatable characters, inspiring them to immerse themselves in the world of detective fiction and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Summary of book pictured:

A missing bride leads Nancy on a chase through Las Vegas in the twenty-fifth Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to a classic series.

Ivy and Bean

Annie Barrows

Annie Barrows’ series follows the adventures of two spirited girls, Ivy and Bean, as they navigate childhood together. Through humorous storytelling and relatable situations, Barrows captures the essence of friendship and imagination, inspiring young readers to see themselves in the characters and encouraging them to explore the joys of reading through shared experiences with friends.

Summary of book pictured:

It’s Career Day at Emerson Elementary School, and all the students have to choose what they want to be when they grow up. No problem. Ivy and Bean already have that all figured out. At least, they thought so, until they met Herman the Treasure Hunter. Now everyone in the second grade is looking for treasure—and finding it. Everyone except Ivy and Bean, that is. They need to get out their shovels and turn up some treasure on the double!

Ages 10 – 12

Harry Potter Series

J.K. Rowling

What more can be said about one of the greatest selling fantasy series of all time? When J.K. Rowling struck gold with her wonderful wizarding world, she spurred on an entire generation of new readers, and her books continue to inspire children and young adults to read.

J.K. Rowling’s magical saga follows the adventures of Harry Potter, a young wizard, as he navigates the wizarding world and battles dark forces. Through rich world-building, relatable characters, and thrilling plots, Rowling captivates readers with tales of friendship, bravery, and the power of imagination.

Books by Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo is one of the most successful and influential children’s authors of all time, captivating audiences young and old with his unforgettable stories. Morpurgo’s diverse range of stories explores themes of friendship, courage, and resilience, resonating deeply with readers of all ages. From heartwarming tales of human-animal bonds to gripping historical dramas, Morpurgo’s books offer engaging narratives that encourage empathy, critical thinking, and a love for storytelling, inspiring young readers to explore the vast landscape of literature and discover new perspectives on the world around them.

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In the deadly chaos of the First World War, one horse witnesses the reality of battle from both sides of the trenches. Bombarded by artillery, with bullets knocking riders from his back, Joey tells a powerful story of the truest friendships surviving in terrible times. One horse has the seen the best and the worst of humanity. The power of war and the beauty of peace. This is his story.

Onyeka and the Heroes of the Dawn

Tola Okogwu

The Onyeka series is a startlingly original debut set in an alternative future Nigeria where the country is run on solar energy. These books are important (especially to South African children) as they present black hair as beautiful, resilient and full of power, and while the story is centred around a school for children with magic powers, it is executed in a fresh way.

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Solari – children with superpowers – have always been native to Nigeria, but Onyeka and her friends have been alerted to one hidden in England. Tasked with retrieving the young Solari, they successfully complete their mission, arriving safe and sound back at the Academy of the Sun with Tobi in tow. Tobi’s identity and superpower remain a mystery, until a breadcrumb trail leads Onyeka to the truth. But someone else has uncovered the secret, and unlike Onyeka, they don’t have Tobi’s best interests at heart. Can our superhero save the day once again?

How to Train Your Dragon

Cressida Cowell

You would have watched (or at least encountered) Cressida Cowell’s Dreamworks adapted film, ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, but the book, and Cowell’s other books are bound to entertain any reluctant reader.

Cressida Cowell’s adventurous series follows the misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III and his dragon Toothless in the fantastical world of Vikings and dragons. Through humor, excitement, and themes of friendship and self-discovery, Cowell captures the imaginations of young readers, inspiring them to embrace their uniqueness, overcome challenges, and embark on epic quests.

Worst Week Ever Series

Eva Amores & Matt Cosgrove

With laugh-out-loud humor, relatable situations, and quirky characters, the series entertains readers while addressing themes of friendship, resilience, and self-acceptance, inspiring young readers to embrace the joy of reading and find humor in everyday challenges.

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He’s dressed up like a clown on national TV, his worst enemy is stealing the limelight, and there’s definitely something weird happening with everyone’s cats! Justin Chase is having the WORST WEEK EVER!

At least he’s found a new BFF in international pop sensation, teen heartthrob and Justin’s name twin, Justin Chase, right? Maybe not… As a case of mistaken identity leads to a disastrous kidnapping and Justin forced to race against the clock (and the ferocious dog) to escape!

Monday was mortifying, Tuesday was tumultuous, Wednesday was wild, but now it’s… THURSDAY!

Young Adult

Realm Breaker Series

Victoria Aveyard

Victoria Aveyard’s epic fantasy series immerses readers in a richly imagined world filled with magic, intrigue, and adventure. With complex characters, gripping plot twists, and high-stakes conflicts, Aveyard captivates young adult readers, inviting them to escape into a realm of imagination

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A strange darkness is growing in the Ward. A man who would burn kingdoms to the ground is raising an army unlike any seen before, bent on uprooting the foundations of the world. And only Corayne – a pirate’s daughter and the last of an ancient lineage – can stop him. Alongside an unlikely group of reluctant allies, Corayne finds herself on a desperate journey to complete an impossible task, with untold magic singing in her blood and the fate of the world on her shoulders.

Skulduggery Pleasant Series

Derek Landy

With its blend of humor, mystery, and supernatural elements, Landy’s series appeals to young adult readers seeking thrilling escapades and witty banter, inspiring them to dive into the fantastical world of urban fantasy and embrace their love for imaginative storytelling.

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A murder. A mystery.

Two murders, actually. Well, three, if you’re counting. Oh, look, here comes a fourth . . .

So much murder that skeleton detective Skulduggery Pleasant must annoy Valkyrie Cain, the infamous Destroyer of Worlds, with his incredible deduction abilities at every available opportunity. As Valkyrie’s irritation grows, the detectives sink deeper into a hidden world of dark motivations, festering hatred and unimaginable pain.

And a teensy bit more murder

The Weight of Blood

Tiffany D. Jackson

Tiffany D. Jackson’s gripping thriller explores themes of family, identity, and justice in a small Missouri town plagued by secrets and lies. With its compelling narrative, nuanced characters, and thought-provoking social commentary, Jackson’s novel resonates with young adult readers, challenging them to confront difficult truths and navigate the complexities of human nature, while inspiring them to delve deeper into the realm of contemporary fiction and engage with stories that provoke introspection and empathy.

Another Day

David Levithan

David Levithan’s companion novel to “Every Day” offers a fresh perspective on love, identity, and the nature of existence through the eyes of Rhiannon, a teenage girl who falls in love with a mysterious soul named “A” who inhabits a different body every day. With its unique premise, evocative prose, and poignant exploration of love and connection, Levithan’s novel resonates with young adult readers, inspiring them to ponder life’s big questions and appreciate the beauty of human relationships, while encouraging them to explore the diverse landscape of contemporary YA literature.

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