Darby Creek (Lerner Publishing) has a great new series out for your reluctant readers:
These are the first two titles in what is so far a series of eight. The basic premise is that Annie, a 12-year-old with no parents who does whatever she wants, hosts an annual Halloween sleepover, during which each attendee must tell a suitably scary story. Each title in the series is one of those stories.
The books are written around a 3rd/4th grade reading level, and the covers look 'cool' enough that the average 3rd grader would not be embarrassed to carry them around. A child who doesn't like to read, however, and who has to pick something out for school, might flip through the pages and decide he can live with this one:
|Bonus: the dog eats the annoying kid.|
Some spreads have a bit more text, but at just 50 pages (the arbitrary length some teachers insist on for book reports), they appear - and are - an 'easy read'. But, it's reading! Enjoyable reading! Sure, the stories aren't really scary, and there isn't a whole lot of plot and character development, but for the intended audience, these are perfect! Once they've ripped through the series, ease them into some Midnight Library, or Araminta Spooky, and watch them start devouring books. Or, at least, not complain about it so much!