Book Guide for Dyslexic and Reluctant Readers

Here is a book guide to give ideas on books that might appeal to dyslexic and reluctant readers; it also includes some further hints and tips for encouraging reading.

Celebration certificate

To help the children recognise have far they have come during the time they have been working with you, please use this certificate at the end of the year to record their achievements and some of the things that you have done together:
Special Certificate

If you don’t have access to a printer, please contact the office so that we can send some copies for you to use.

Printable games

If you are looking for some new games to play with the children, here are some that you can print out to use:

Free printable board game
Cat hangman
Snakes and ladders
End to end word game
Football game board and instructions
Create bingo games made up of words.

BrainBox Games help to improve concentration, short term memory and observational skills and from this link you can print free games as well as use them for any online sessions that you are running.

Story sacks

A story sack is a large cloth bag containing a favourite children’s book with supporting material to stimulate language activities and make reading a memorable and enjoyable experience. Many of our volunteers find them a great resource for working with the children. Read this explanation of story sacks for tips on how to make and use them.

Helpful websites

These are some suggestions for websites where you can find word games and other resources for using with children to encourage their interest and enjoyment of words and reading skills:

You might also find some inspiration on our Recommended Books page.

Author, David Walliams, provided a signed book for ABC to read because he likes the work that we do. He has recorded a special video message for teachers, librarians and others who share books with children, as well as a special section on his website with resources that you might find useful if you’re reading his books with the children.

Bringing Skills to Life is a primary education programme from John Lewis. It is about allowing pupils to explore, imagine and create, while equipping them with many life skills. Through this education programme they aim to inspire children and develop their imagination and practical skills. As an ABC to read volunteer you can access lesson plans and activity cards they’ve developed across the themes of Design & Make, Cook & Share and Storytelling: You will need to follow the steps to create an account the first time you visit the site.

Helpful videos

In this short video (6 minutes), Supernanny of Education, Abi Strong, shares some tips for helping children to recall and retrieve information from text that you are reading with them: Click here

This handout has also been prepared for us by Abi and gives you some ideas for questions that you can use with the children when discussing the text they are reading.

Other resources

Let us know if you have other resources and ideas that you use, so that we can share your tips with other volunteers and families.

One of our volunteers, Helena, recently got in touch to say that she plays vocabulary games with her children using play-dough and they really enjoy it. She makes her own dough using this recipe – why not give it a go and let us know how you get on?

A useful activity for older children

The Children’s Commissioner Safeguarding Policy Handbook, June 2015

Children’s Details Form

Top ten tips for a reading session in school

  1. Ask each child to decorate (use stickers as well as pens) their own folder which you keep for them and bring to each session; also have fun making a bookmark
  2. A paper cup telephone and puppets work really well with a quiet child
  3. Using the child’s name, make a word from each letter then use the words to make up a story
  4. Make sure you write using lower case letters and capitals in the right places (the children will demonstrate their school’s writing style)
  5. Children love magic tricks and jokes
  6. Replace the numbers in games like Snakes and ladders with words (one, two three etc.)
  7. To check comprehension – make some true and false statements and ask the child to identify which are correct
  8. Ask the child to dictate a sequence story (from picture cards) and write it and print it out so they can read it back and decorate it etc.
  9. Use a spinner with letters of the alphabet and play a game identifying words beginning with the letter; this can be developed into a memory game
  10. Play I-Spy, use a timer (the clock) to meet a target number of items


If you wish to claim expenses relating to your ABC to read volunteer role please complete this form and return to the office by email or post. Please ensure it is sent at least 1 week before the office closes at the end of term if you would like it processed before the holiday.