When you spend countless hours reading books out loud to your young children, you hope they’ll grow into avid independent readers. But best intentions and efforts aren’t everything. Some kids are just more reluctant readers than others.

Often, these are children for whom decoding complex words is a big effort. These are the kids who may not read with fluency until third grade. The trouble for these “late readers” is that the books they are able to decode, their so-called “just right” books, are often boring for them. This group of kids has no trouble grasping complex stories and themes, but they stumble on long, unfamiliar words and get discouraged when they try to read the chapter books their peers love.

What can we do for this sort of kid? Graphic novels! These art-filled stories entrance formerly reluctant readers with both thrilling plot lines and complex characters; they also contain challenging syntax and vocabulary, but the pictures keep kids engaged even when they must skip over words here and there. Ready to get started? Here are our very favorites…

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
The Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale

For kids who are a bit older:
Bone by Jeff Smith
Ghostopolis by Doug Tennapel

For kids who love the Wimpy Kid series:
The Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger
The Creature from My Closet series by Obert Skye