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Books for reluctant readers (12+)

Blood Line

There's a book out there for every teenager, even the most reluctant of readers.

Try a few of the books below to see if they click with your teenager and help them love reading. There's non-fiction, graphic novels, rhyme and verse! Let us know which one works for your teenager.

See our list for 5-8s

See our list for 9-12s

  • The Poet X

    Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • The Poet X

    Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Xiomara, a teenage girl of Dominican heritage, is starting to notice boys, but her strict Catholic parents have decided on no cont…

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  • A Different Dog

    Author: Paul Jennings

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • A Different Dog

    Author: Paul Jennings

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    A boy taking part in a running competition stops to help a van which has crashed - but the only survivor is a dog. This emotional …

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  • Invisible Emmie

    Author: Terri Libenson

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Invisible Emmie

    Author: Terri Libenson

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Thirteen-year-old Emmie is the quiet girl at school, the one nobody notices. She loves to draw – and is good at it too – and has a…

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  • Sheets

    Author: Brenna Thummler

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Sheets

    Author: Brenna Thummler

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

    At just 13, Marjorie has to run the family launderette. When a plan emerges to turn it into a posh yoga retreat, unexpected h…

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  • Wild Song

    Author: Jane Eagland

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Wild Song

    Author: Jane Eagland

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 9+

    Living in a creaking castle on a remote, windswept island, Anna lives a lonely life - until one wild stormy day a strange boy wash…

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  • Blood Line

    Author: Kevin Brooks

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Blood Line

    Author: Kevin Brooks

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 8+

    A republication of a short novel which Kevin Brooks wrote more than 10 years ago for Barrington Stoke's excellent series for reluc…

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  • Shadow Girl

    Author: Sally Nicholls

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Shadow Girl

    Author: Sally Nicholls

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 8+

    The story examines relationships between teenager and adult, and coming to terms with past experience. Another Barrington Stoke wi…

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  • Omega the Unknown

    Author: Jonathan Lethem & Karl Rusnack Illustrator: Farel Dalrymple & Paul Hornschemeier

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Omega the Unknown

    Author: Jonathan Lethem & Karl Rusnack Illustrator: Farel Dalrymple & Paul Hornschemeier

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

    The story of a mute, reluctant super hero from another planet, and the earthly teenager with whom he shares a strange destiny.

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  • Mind the Gap

    Author: Phil Earle

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Mind the Gap

    Author: Phil Earle

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    When Mikey's unreliable, mysterious and more than slightly dodgy dad Vinny dies, Mikey seems to lose himself and spirals into a se…

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  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    From fast-paced football matches to school and family drama, this novel written in verse has something for everyone and will grip …

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  • Roller Girl

    Author: Victoria Jamieson

    Interest level: 10-14

    Reading age: 9-14

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  • Roller Girl

    Author: Victoria Jamieson

    Interest level: 10-14

    Reading age: 9-14

    It’s really exciting to be starting at Roller Derby summer camp, but less so when Astrid finds herself doing it alone. A fantastic…

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  • Death Match

    Author: Andy Croft Illustrator: Bob Moulder

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Death Match

    Author: Andy Croft Illustrator: Bob Moulder

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 8+

    During the occupation of Ukraine in World War II, players from what had been the Dynamo Kiev football team set themselves up as St…

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  • Trollhunters

    Author: Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Trollhunters

    Author: Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 11+

    This black comedy has a highly visual, cinematic feel. It is wildly imaginative and rich in description, comedy gore and elaborate…

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  • Apple and Rain

    Author: Sarah Crossan

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Apple and Rain

    Author: Sarah Crossan

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Engrossing and uplifting, challenging and charming, Apple and Rain brings fiction and poetry together in a well-crafted story abou…

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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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