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Reaching Reluctant Readers. By: Joy Millam Heather Gruenthal Teacher Librarians & YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Committee. What does a reluctant reader look like?. There is no single answer.

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reaching reluctant readers

Reaching Reluctant Readers

By: Joy Millam

Heather Gruenthal

Teacher Librarians &

YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Committee

there is no single answer
There is no single answer
  • They are the goths, geeks, preps, jocks, nerds, skaters, and gamers. Kids from every demographic can be RR’s.
  • How do we define a reluctant reader:
    • RR’s are kids who for whatever reason do not like to read.
reasons they don t read
Reasons they don’t read
  • Sometimes they are too busy to read
    • Athletics and extra-curricular activities
    • Demanding course of study (IB/AP coursework)
    • Employment
how do we reach them
How do we reach them?


Digital book trailers

Purchase appealing books for them

“Read the movie”

buy appealing books
Buy appealing books
  • RR’s like books that have these characteristics
    • Appealing covers
    • Attention getting opening
    • Edgy topics
how there s no
How? There’s no $$$

Ask for donations (registration packet or back to school night, alumni letter)

Recycling collection

Book fairs (physical & virtual)

Amazon wishlist

Selling bookmarks

gateway books
Gateway books
  • RR’s also like Gateway books like PostSecret
    • Very visual
    • Few words

These books don’t look like much but they lead to quality books.

booktalk do s
Booktalk Do’s
  • Read all books you share with students
  • Cover is impactful
  • Choose popular books
    • ie: Child Called “It”
  • Take notes as you read
    • Cite passages
    • Note important events
booktalk do s cont d
Booktalk Do’s (cont’d)
  • Buy extra copies
  • Note popular titles & find similar titles
    • (ie: “It”- Bruises, Basement)
  • Practice, practice, practice
    • Your comfort is critical
    • Practice passages and summaries
  • Take your show on the road
    • Make regular appointments
do s cont d
Do’s (Cont’d)
  • Take books to the classroom
  • Prepare several different presentations
    • Ensures availability
  • Wear comfy clothes
  • Leave brochures
  • Display booktalk books
    • Add encouraging note
booktalking don ts
Booktalking DON’TS
  • Don’t booktalk a book you disliked
  • Don’t reveal too much
  • Don’t go too long per title
    • 2-5 min per title max.
  • Don’t memorize
  • Don’t talk too fast
  • This presentation and these booktrailers are available on our websites: