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Reading tips for families

Engage reluctant readers

Engage reluctant readers with these 10 top tips from The Unicorn School on how to support a child to find a book suitable for their reading interests and ability, to help engage them in reading and find books to read.

The Unicorn School has also provided a list of links which you may find useful when supporting children with learning differences with their reading.

Why is reading for pleasure important?

  • Currently, 1 in 5 children in England cannot read well by the age of 11. We know that reading for fun improves literacy.
  • Reading for pleasure is more important to children’s academic success than their parents’ level of education or socio-economic status.
  • Embedding a love of reading in children can help their wellbeing later in life. 19% of adult readers say that reading stops them feeling lonely.
  • Studies have found that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of empathy, greater self-esteem and are better able to cope with difficult situations.

The Summer Reading Challenge and Winter Mini Challenge offer children and families a fun framework for reading for pleasure and celebrating reading together.

Explore more reading facts here.

Top tips for reading together

You can download our tips and resources here. Sitting down with your own book, newspaper or magazine sets a good example to kids – they will copy you – and reading a book together can really encourage a love of stories. Discover adult reading lists and book reviews on The Reading Agency's Reading Groups for Everyone website.

Comic books and graphic novels

As well as being fun, comic books, graphic novels and illustrated books can help young readers to improve their reading comprehension, stamina and imagination. Find out more about the benefits of comics and graphic novels in our brief introduction here, complete with links to suggested websites and resources.

Information for adults


Visit our School Zone to access free resources and Challenge ideas for your class.


Visit our Home Zone, full of useful Challenge information for parents, grandparents and carers. For information about supporting reading in the early years visit our Pre-School Zone.


Visit our Library Zone to find libraries near you running the challenge, and how to take part.