Blogger Pamela Groseclose

Books for Tween Reluctant Readers (Gamers Edition)

Excitement is in the air as many of us slowly start to adjust to our new normal. It is summer reading season for most, and since many of us sat out last year, we are upping our game to welcome families back into the library, but as you do so, make sure you can target reluctant tween readers in the process. 

Being a tween already has many uncertainties, but things are even harder to navigate amid the pandemic, especially for reluctant readers. 

But libraries can help! 

To get these young tweens interested in reading, librarians need a hook. These hooks can be as simple as sports, video games, or even popular T.V. shows.  

For the past few weeks, I have been working on booklist bookmarks that tweens can pick up during the summer. I have also created a reader’s advisory sheet for tweens and families to pick up to get other personalized recommendations. 

One particularly popular book list is Books for Gamers that I wanted to share with you. Gamers tend to like fast-paced books that will get their attention. Readers who enjoy gaming also enjoy graphic novels or chapter books with illustrations for a fuller storytelling experience. 

Without further ado, here are my top picks for tween gamers : 

The Good War by Todd Strasser 

There’s a new after-school club at Ironville Middle School. It is a video game club where the students will playing The Good War, a new game based on World War II. Students are divided into two teams: Axis and Allies, and they will be simulating a war they know nothing about yet. Naturally, only one team will win. But what starts as the friendly competition takes an unexpected turn for the worst when one player takes the game too far. 

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

There’s a new after-school video game club where the students will playing The Good War, a new game based on World War II. Students are divided into two teams: Axis and Allies, and they will be simulating a war they know nothing about yet. Naturally, only one team will win. But what starts as the friendly competition takes an unexpected turn for the worst when one player takes the game too far. 

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier

After a monster apocalypse hits town, average thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan builds a team of friends to help slay the eerily intelligent monster known as Blarg.

Glitch by Sarah Graley

Izzy gets sucked into the world of her new video game, where a robot named Rae tells her she is destined to save Dungeon City from the Big Boss.

Trapped in a Video Game by Thomas Flintham

After accidentally releasing the robot villains from a video game into the real world, Jesse must find his friend Eric to help make things right again. First, he must survive a one-hundred-foot-tall robot named Goliatron.

Press Start by Thomas Flintham

When King Viking and his evil robot army attack Animal Town and kidnap Singing Dog, it is up to Super Rabbit Boy, his friends, and his video game console to save the day.

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 (I Survived Graphic Novels) By Lauren Tarshis 

Enjoy a graphic novel version of the best-selling “I Survived” series. Chet is finally feeling at home in his uncle’s little New Jersey town. He has three new friends, and they love cooling off in the creek on hot summer days. But then comes shocking news: A massive shark has been attacking swimmers in the ocean along the Jersey Shore, not far from where Chet is staying. Fear is in the air. So when Chet spots a gray fin in the creek, he’s sure it’s his imagination running wild. It’s impossible he’s about to come face-to-face with a killer shark right?

The Boy Who Crashed to Earth (HILO Series) by Judd Winick

When a mysterious boy falls from the sky, friends D.J. and Gina must discover the secrets of his identity and help him save the world. 

Popularmmos by Pat + Jen 

When Pat and Jen stumble into a hidden hole while playing hide-and-seek, they find that they’re trapped in a dangerous underworld and that their good friend, Bomby, has been kidnapped! Now it’s up to our daring duo and their friend to battle the zombies, find the castle and get back home before it’s too late.

Other book series readers might enjoy: 

Of course, don’t forget those modern classic reluctant reader books such as Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan, Maze Runner by James Dashner, Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Dog Man by Dav Pilkey, and Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey.

Recommending books like “Choose your own Adventure” is also a big hit. Instead of the classic series, though, try books like the “Can you Survive” series. One of our most popular books in that series is “Can you Survive in the Special Forces? : An interactive Adventure by Matt Doeden.” 

Did I miss any of your favorites? Next month, I will be writing about books for readers who like Dog Man. 

This post addresses the core competencies of IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials.

2 comments

  1. AlissaBC

    What a great list! Thanks for this resource! I thought it was worth mentioning that the Miles Morales book you shared is by Justin A. Reynolds, not Jason Reynolds.

    1. Pamela Groseclose Post author

      Thank you for catching that! It has been updated.

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