Reading difficulties and dyslexia

The Fall

This list aims to provide a range of books that may appeal to young people of seven years plus with reading difficulties. The list includes books that:

  • are particularly dyslexia-friendly
  • feature characters who struggle with reading
  • have a high interest level and low reading age.

Check out these other organisations for further resources: British Dyslexia Association;  Being Dyslexic website.

  • Rat

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 9-14

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Rat

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 9-14

    Reading age: 10+

    Al's mum is back in prison again - and Al thinks it's their neighbour's fault, so he plots revenge with his beloved pet rats, Veno…

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  • Everdark

    Author: Abi Elphinstone

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Everdark

    Author: Abi Elphinstone

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    In the kingdom where 11 year old Smudge lives, it's tradition for a phoenix to rise from the ashes to start a new era of magic. Bu…

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  • Royal Rebel

    Author: Carina Axelsson

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Royal Rebel

    Author: Carina Axelsson

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    An empowering and fun, relatable read for tweens, Royal Rebel presents a young girl growing up in a matriarchal communit…

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  • Clever Cakes

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Ashley King

    Interest level: 6-8

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Clever Cakes

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Ashley King

    Interest level: 6-8

    Reading age: 6+

    This beautiful book of two fairy tales by Michael Rosen in the Little Gems series is written in a dyslexia-friendly form…

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  • Be Nice to Aunt Emma

    Author: Anne Fine Illustrator: Gareth Conway

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Be Nice to Aunt Emma

    Author: Anne Fine Illustrator: Gareth Conway

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

    Tansy finds her Aunt Emma really annoying – and she's due another visit soon. A charming tale that explores complex fami…

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  • Owen and the Soldier

    Author: Lisa Thompson Illustrator: Mike Lowery

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Owen and the Soldier

    Author: Lisa Thompson Illustrator: Mike Lowery

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 8+

    A beautiful tale of a courageous young man who overcomes his fears when he finds an unlikely companion in a park statue. Complex i…

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  • Mind Writer

    Author: Steve Cole Illustrator: Nelson Evergreen

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Mind Writer

    Author: Steve Cole Illustrator: Nelson Evergreen

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8+

    Luke has a secret, a hidden skill: he can read minds. But when Luke meets Samira, he can't read her mind at all. A gripping thrill…

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  • Swan Song

    Author: Gill Lewis

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Swan Song

    Author: Gill Lewis

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 8+

    A young boy expelled for hurting a classmate is sent to stay with his Grandad in a tiny village, where he begins to find comfort i…

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  • Jane Eyre

    Author: Tanya Landman

    Interest level: 12-14

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Jane Eyre

    Author: Tanya Landman

    Interest level: 12-14

    Reading age: 12+

    Charlotte Brontë's classic story is given a new lease of life in this smart, loving and accessible retelling for a new generation.…

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  • D-Day Dog

    Author: Tom Palmer Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

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  • D-Day Dog

    Author: Tom Palmer Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Jack’s favourite things are his dog, Finn, and playing war-themed videogames with his dad, who’s an army reservist. He’s excited a…

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  • Shona, Word Detective

    Author: John Agard

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Shona, Word Detective

    Author: John Agard

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 8+

    A delightful celebration of lexicography in a dyslexia-friendly layout, this is a book that will surely inspire all children to fi…

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  • Stay A Little Longer

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Stay A Little Longer

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 8+

    Since Aman’s father died, nothing has been the same. Then she befriends a new neighbour, who is lonely too. This warm, o…

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  • Drawing a Veil

    Author: Lari Don

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Drawing a Veil

    Author: Lari Don

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 8+

    When her best friend suddenly turns up at school wearing a black headscarf, Ellie isn’t sure what to think

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  • The Harder They Fall

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-15

    Reading age: 10+

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  • The Harder They Fall

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-15

    Reading age: 10+

    Bali Rai once again hits home with a current and unfortunately necessary book. As always, the characters are fully fleshed out, th…

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  • The Fall

    Author: Anthony McGowan

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • The Fall

    Author: Anthony McGowan

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 8+

    Mog isn’t one of the popular crowd, but at least he manages to get by without being troubled much by the bullies...

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  • Pale

    Author: Chris Wooding

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Pale

    Author: Chris Wooding

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 8+

    In an eerie futuristic world, society has figured out a way to bring people back from the dead...

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  • Maggot Moon

    Author: Sally Gardner

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Maggot Moon

    Author: Sally Gardner

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 11+

    Combining conspiracy theory and dystopia, this hugely original novel is set in an alternate 1950s in which Britain is dominated by…

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  • Young Merlin

    Author: Tony Bradman

    Interest level: 8-10

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Young Merlin

    Author: Tony Bradman

    Interest level: 8-10

    Reading age: 7+

    Merlin has always felt different from the other boys, because of his dreadful nightmares full of fighting and death.

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  • Ghost Stadium

    Author: Tom Palmer

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Ghost Stadium

    Author: Tom Palmer

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 8+

    Three boys go camping in the abandoned Northface football stadium. But all is not as it seems. Tom Palmer's Ghost Stadium&nbs…

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  • Over the Line

    Author: Tom Palmer

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Over the Line

    Author: Tom Palmer

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 8+

    Set during World War I, this book tells the compelling true story of the professional footballers who signed up to fight. It's sur…

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  • Contact

    Author: Malorie Blackman

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  • Contact

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level:

    Reading age:

    Imagine a future where physical contact between humans is illegal. No hand holding and no hugs to make you feel better when you're…

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  • Respect

    Author: Michaela Morgan

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Respect

    Author: Michaela Morgan

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Find out about Walter Tull - a hero on the football pitch and during World War One.

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