November 19, 2019 by Kim Wyrley-Birch
Many dyslexic children panic when it comes to reading. I used to visibly see the panic rise in my own children when they knew it was time to sit down and read. However, there are ways to overcome this. One way is, finding a good book!
Try and find books that have:
Once you’ve found your book try experimenting with different ways to read with your children. If they are very reluctant, find a quiet time of the day where you can read with them. Build slowly as their confidence grows – perhaps a line at a time then moving to a paragraph and then a page. Always remember small, manageable steps are key!
Kindle and Audiobooks are brilliant for dyslexic children.
Firstly, reading a book on a Kindle takes away the dauting feeling of all those pages to read - your child can simple read page by page, at their own pace. A Kindle also allows you to change the typeface to a more comfortable font - I really like the OpenDyslexic font - my children and many students I teach, find this font much easier to read. You can enlarge the font, increase the spacing between the lines and change the background colour. Dyslexic children often find that if the words are large and there is a lot of space around each word, they are easier to distinguish. Experiment with your child – find the format that suits them best. Many Kindle books have a read along feature – although this is a rather boring, automated voice, your child can read along at the same time, without getting stuck on the words they don’t know.
Audiobooks are also wonderful. This means your child will still be engaging with words, building vocabulary and grammar and exercising their comprehension skills.
If you’d like more information about how you can support your child with reading take a look at my "Reading with Dyslexia" series However, for now, here are 5 best books for 8/9-year-olds with dyslexia to read:
Michael Morpurgo’s is one of my favourite authors. His books are beautifully illustrated and the text typeface he uses suits children with dyslexia.
"My Father is a Polar Bear" is a story about a boy called Andrew who knows he has two fathers. One he lives with and the other, his birth father. The journey sees Andrew finding out that his birth father is an actor - who plays the part of a polar bear! It’s wonderfully written and makes a sensitive subject light-hearted and funny.
Available to buy: £5.29 paperback or £4.98 Kindle, Amazon
Jeremy Strong is a fantastic author who really gets a child’s sense of humour. He’s written some brilliant series books. Series books are great for children with dyslexia as once they’ve enjoyed one book, they’re more likely to give another book (that’s familiar to them) a go.
"The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog" is the first in The Hundred Mile-An-Hour Dog series. In this book you learn about a fast-paced, cheeky dog called Streaker. One day Streaker knocks Melinda Boffington-Orr into a muddy puddle. Streaker’s owner, Trevor, is then put under strict orders to train his dog. He’s also challenged to enter Streaker into a dog show. The forfeit for not succeeding? A bath in horse trough!
Princess BMX is Marie Basting’s debut novel – and what a great one it is! The eye-catching illustrations and adventurous story is perfect for imaginative dyslexics.
Say goodbye to boring princess stories, "Princess BMX" brings fairy tales into the modern century. It’s a story that follows the trials and tribulations of Princess Ava – a princess who’s bored of royal life. Princess Ava discovers a BMX and is transformed to Camden Lock where she learns BMX stunts to fight off evil aunties and fairy godfathers. Hilarious and lots of fun!
Available to buy: £5.29 paperback, £4.68 Kindle edition, Amazon.
Mr Gum was the series that got both my boys reading! They loved the rather ridiculous humour, clever descriptions and out-the-box format. The pages are short and full of fun, wacky illustrations. Mr Gum books are also part of a series. If your child likes them, spend time together working your way through each story. It’ll certainly give your child something to look forward to at bedtime!
"Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire" is one of my favourites in the series. The story starts by letting you know there’s a new person in town - a gingerbread man. Rumour has it, the gingerbread man has a tin full of cash!
Mr Gum hears of the gingerbread man’s fortune and comes up with crazy plots to get his hands on the money. A side-splitting story!
Does your child love listening to music? Do they like the idea of being in a band? Then the ‘Veronica Twitch the Fabulous Witch’ series is for them!
Not only are the illustrations exciting to look at, but the rhyming element of the text helps dyslexic children associate similar sounds with a variety of words.
Veronica Twitch is "in double-bubble girl-band trouble" in this book. Veronica has landed her first job as a reporter for Twitch magazine. Her first commission? To write a feature about Double-Bubble, the most exciting girl-band ever. However, suddenly, Double-Bubble have vanished. Veronica suspects foul play.
The story follows Veronica looking for clues to find the girl-band. It’s a page-turning read with Veronica taking you on an adventure to help her solve the riddle.
Available to buy: £5.24 paperback, Amazon.
If you’d like anymore book suggestions for your child, get in touch. I’d love to share more recommendations with you.