Helping Reluctant Readers: An Engaging Resource

Both of our boys are avid readers, but this wasn’t always the case. They both needed some help to make the transition from viewing reading as a chore to viewing reading as a pleasurable activity. Helping reluctant readers to make this transition is a challenge faced by many teachers and parents.

A Game-Changing Resource

In our family, the tool that made the difference was BookAdventure. At the time we used it, BookAdventure was a free reading program developed by Sylvan Learning to engage reluctant readers. The boys read books (usually from the public library) they were interested in. They took quizzes after finishing a book, then earned points toward a prize of their choice. Most of the time, the prize was a free candy bar from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The boys read a lot of books to earn a free bar of chocolate. It was great motivation, a rare treat which they would work hard to earn. Now, BookAdventure has changed, and some features are no longer free. There are different rewards and a new version just for schools. Despite the changes, it might still prove to be an engaging resource for helping reluctant readers ignite a love for reading.

Introducing the New Book Adventure

BookAdventure still provides quizzes for books, but unless you pay for the premium version, the number of quizzes is very limited. Students may search for books to read, and may still earn rewards for completing quizzes. Here is an overview diagram:

helping reluctant readers bookadventure overview Now, rather than prizes such as candy bars, kids can earn tokens to play games on the BookAdventure site. Kids can also earn time to play with a virtual pet by participating in various activities. If those kinds of rewards are appealing to a reluctant reader in your life, then this program may be a good fit. Potential customers may use a very limited free version for an unlimited time to test out the system. The main drawback with the free version is that students may only take quizzes for a limited list of books. Each list includes 12 books, and there are three lists. There is one for K-2, one for grades 3-5, and one for grades 6-8.

helping reluctant readers bookadventure booklist

The books are well-known, popular titles. The activities are colorful and engaging. If you choose to pay for the premium version, over 15,000 book quizzes are made available.

BookTaco for Schools

There is a virtually identical version of BookAdventure available to schools called BookTaco, which is billed as an alternative to the Accelerated Reader book quiz program. Students go through the same activities as on BookAdventure. The free book quiz title lists on BookTaco are exactly the same as on BookAdventure as well. The main difference between the two programs is the pricing available. Below, I’ve compiled a cost comparison chart including the other motivational book websites I’ve written about in previous posts, Epic eBooks and ReadingIQ.

Cost Comparison of Reading Programs
Click to enlarge

Bottom-Line Recommendations

After looking at BookAdventure, BookTaco and revisiting Epic and ReadingIQ, here are my recommendations. If you would like a program that includes ebooks and quizzes, your best choice is Epic. If you don’t care about quizzes, home users might want to try out ReadingIQ. The school version still has a big drawback, which you can read about here. If you don’t need the ebooks but would like to access a vast database of quizzes and book activities, you might want to give BookAdventure or BookTaco a try. Each program has its own incentives and rewards. Rather than go into exhaustive detail, I’d encourage you to check out the one that seems most applicable to your situation and see what you think. Engaging, supporting and helping reluctant readers is a goal of each of these programs.

What About You?

Might BookAdventure or BookTaco meet your needs? Helping reluctant readers to succeed is a very worthy cause. I’m glad there are some options out there which are colorful, appealing, and, in some cases, free. If you have experienced victories when working with reluctant readers, I’d love to read your stories. I always appreciate your insights, feedback and involvement. If you like what you’ve read today, and would like some free printable resources for teachers or homeschoolers, please consider subscribing. Have a marvelous week, and thanks for visiting the Fluxing Well site.

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4 thoughts on “Helping Reluctant Readers: An Engaging Resource”

  1. I’m thankful that my kids were good readers. Our library had a summer reading program every year. The kids would compete to see who could read the most. But now that they’re grown, only 1 likes to read but he’s reading the classics and book titles I can’t even pronounce.

    • Wendy,

      Our family did the summer reading program too! Incentives worked well for my boys, and it also helped that I like to read, so we made it a priority. My boys still have some of the prizes they earned from their reading efforts in the summer reading program. I am so grateful for our local library! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Have a wonderful week!


  2. I really like the idea of these applications! I didn’t know such thing existed. I don’t any reluctant readers, however, at some point in time, back in prep school, I was one of those. I think the reason was because I was always around types of books that didn’t really ignite my interest, once I figured out my passion (literature), I turned into an avid reader.

    Ray | TheRayJourney

    • Ray,

      I always enjoy learning about other people’s successes, especially when it comes to reading. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad you found some books to ignite your passion for reading. That makes all of the difference! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and comment. Have a super week!



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