Title Drop! For Kids Who HATE Books

Getting children to enjoy reading has some interesting similarities to having them try a new type of food for the first time: sometimes their first reaction is to lock their faces with parent-proof refusal ("I. DON'T. LIKE. THAT.") and fuse themselves on the molecular level to their favorite distraction (television, mobile device or toy).  Other times they might dive in and read like page-surfing rock stars!

When I was a kid, I didn’t really think about whether or not I liked reading; what first drew me to books were the pictures. I checked out heaps of picture books, graphic novels (or comic books), great big illustrated encyclopedias, as well as books about things that I was super obsessed with at the time, like origami, exotic animals, precious gems, Super Mario, He-Man and She-Ra... My Little Pony.

I like to think those pictures and illustrations helped to build my imagining muscles, like how words and sounds build your talking and story-telling muscles.

Here are some great books to give your child’s imagination a good work-out, while (hopefully) building their interest and love for reading.

Cover image for Bad Kitty for president

Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel
Both a series of picture books as well as transitional chapter books, Bruel's hilarious misbehaving feline will have kids engrossed and entertained by his cheeky yet endearing antics. Picture books (XFICP) for ages 4 - 8. Chapter books (XFICI) for ages 7 - 10.

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Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosoczka
Three kids finally discover what their elementary school lunch lady does when she isn't serving up their daily meal - battling crime armed with an arsenal of secret-weapon kitchen gadgets and awesome martial arts chops! Graphic novel for ages 8 - 12.

Cover image for Geronimo Stilton, secret agent

Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton
Everyone's favorite adventuresome journalist mouse narrates his globe-trotting exploits with exciting visuals and text that leaps off of the pages. For ages 7 - 10.

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Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon
An innovative blend of graphic novel and chapter book follows the adventures of a young dragon who hasn't quite gotten the hang of the art of fire-breathing but is a master of his fear. For ages 8 - 12.

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Dork Diaries series by Rachel Russell
Similar to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Dork Diaries follows the laugh-out-loud thoughts and experiences as written, scribbled and illustrated by a girl who has a lot to say about her world and especially the people in it. For ages 9 - 13.

Cover image for Big Nate flips out

Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce
Both a series of graphic novels, and regular books with additional illustrations, this New York Times best-selling series features the funny and thoughtful misadventures of a budding young cartoonist. For ages 8 - 12.

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Pokémon series
The manga series inspired by the on-going anime series which is inspired by the mega-hit video game series, starring Ash Ketchum and his little lightning-mouse pal, Pikachu. For ages 9 - 12 years.

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Rainbow Magic series by Daisy Meadows
The New York Times best-selling series about fairies and their friends, from all walks of life! Ocean fairies, princess fairies, sports fairies and more! Chapter books (with occasional illustrations) for ages 7 and up.

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Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) series by Anthony Horowitz
The graphic novel series provides thrilling manga-like visuals to the action and excitement of the novels about a young teen super spy. For ages 10 and up.

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Star Wars: Jedi Academy series by Jeffrey Brown
A sort of graphic novel, sort of diary, that begins in a middle school far, far away... where a young boy is disappointed when he isn't accepted to Pilot Academy and instead finds himself invited to the mysterious Jedi Academy: life as a young padawan has a lot of surprises in store! For ages 8 - 12.

Cover image for Darth Vader and son

Darth Vader & Son by Jeffrey Brown
Cute and laugh-riot graphic novel that explores what it would've been like had Darth Vader actually been there as his son Luke was growing up. Series includes Vader's Little Princess, Darth Vader and Friends, and Goodnight Darth Vader. For all ages.

Cover image for The adventures of Tintin

Adventures of Tintin series by Herge
Re-published in a fresh new omnibus mutli-volume series, this illustrated comic books series by the famous Belgian artist Georges Remi (under the pseudonym Herge) follows young reporter Tintin and his white terrier Snowy as they gallivant around the globe on their exciting investigations. For ages 8 and up.

Cover image for Invasion of the overworld : an unofficial minecrafter's adventure

Unofficial Minecrafter's Adventure series, by Mark Cheverton
A young gamer who likes to stir up trouble for other players finds himself transported into the game world he loves, teeming with adventure and *gulp* danger! Discovering secrets of the game that even its creators don't know, his quest to return home will take him on a wild digital adventure. For ages 9 and up.

Cover image for LEGO Ninjago, masters of spinjitzu

LEGO-inspired series
If your child loves LEGO, there are several LEGO-themed series for them to enjoy. Ninjago (ninjas and LEGOs, hai-ya!), Star Wars (these are totally the blocks you are looking for), even Super Heroes (Marvel and DC Comics to the rescue!). Graphic novels and early readers for various ages.

Cover image for Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell

My Little Pony series
Based on the new popular animated series, join Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Fluttershy, hoofed denizens of Equestria in their exploration of magic, mystery and friendship. Graphic novels, early readers and chapterbooks for various ages.

Click on any of the titles or book covers to visit the OC Public Libraries to reserve copies today!

For more book lists click here.

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