15 YA Books for Reluctant Readers

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Middle and high school English teachers, especially those with classroom libraries or an independent reading requirement, have to please a wide variety of student readers. But how do we help the students who lack the interest, time, or motivation to read?

I recently asked several English teachers to share fiction titles for reluctant or picky readers that are appropriate for a secondary classroom, and here are the results. Though they vary in terms of being best for middle school, high school, or both, many of these have exciting plots to keep reluctant readers turning the page.



Click on the hyperlink of the person recommending the book to read her book review.

#1: Ghost

Recommended by @secondarysara and @2peasandadog. Link to Amazon.

#2: The Poet X

Recommended by @nouvelle_ela. Link to Amazon.

#3: The Art of Racing in the Rain

Recommended by @room213tpt. Link to Amazon.

#4: Legend

Recommended by @mrsorman. Link to Amazon.

#5: The Mortal Coil

Recommended by @mrsspanglerinthemiddle. Link to Amazon

#6: The Hate You Give

Recommended by @teachbetweenthelines. Link to Amazon

#7: Rebound

Recommended by @erinbeers. Link to Amazon

#8: When

Recommended by @readingandwritinghaven. Link to Amazon

#9: Ghost Boys

Recommended by @elaeveryday. Link to Amazon

#10: Eleanor and Park

Recommended by @elaclassroom. Link to Amazon

#11: The Outsiders

Recommended by @nowsparkcreativity. Link to Amazon

#12: Boy 21

Recommended by @addiewilliams_tpt. Link to Amazon

#13: Refugee

Recommended by @englishteacherbookrecs. Link to Amazon.

#14+: The Underland Chronicles, Books #1-5

Recommended by @literarysherri. Link to Amazon


Do you have additional recommendations?
Tell us in the comments!

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