Hi-Lo Book Lists & Resources for Reluctant Readers

High Interest-Low Reading Level Books for Kids and Teens

If you have kids or teens who are reluctant readers because they read below grade level and can’t find books they can read that interest them, try some of these hi-lo books. The Hi-Lo reading lists focus on books at the reader's interest level (“Hi” stands for “high interest”) but written at a lower reading level (“Lo” stands for “low readability,” "low vocabulary," "lower reading level") to encourage reading. Kids and teens reading below grade level are more apt to want to read a book if it is not only at their reading level but also at their interest level.

Books for middle-readers and teens
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This reading list from the Middle Grades Reading Network in Evansville, Indiana includes a list of titles and authors of high interest/low readability books divided into three categories of reading level: grade 3, 4 and 5. More »

The 2009 ALSC School-Age Programs and Services Committee recommends these Hi-Lo books for reluctant readers in grades 3 to 6. The annotated list of hi-lo books does not provide specific information about either the reading or the interest levels for each book other than that they are for students in grades 3 to 6 who read below grade level. More »

This is another list from the Multnomah County Library in Oregon that used to be titled Shorter Books for Taller Readers. The briefly annotated list of 18 hi-lo books for kids in grades 7 and 8 includes the reading level for each book.
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See cover art and learn about the high interest/low reading level nonfiction books that Bearport Publishing publishes for kids in grades 6 to 8. The emphasis is on people, places, and events that will interest 12- to 14-year-olds. More »

If you are looking for books that will interest your struggling reader who is in grade 4, 5, or 6 but reads at the grade 2.2-2.5 reading level or below, these books may be just what you want. HIP Junior Novels are published by High-Interest Publishing (HIP), a company that publishes novels for reluctant readers from ages 8 to 18. More »

Keystone Books from Capstone Press are for the students with reading levels of grades 2 to 3 and interest levels of grades 5 to 9. They include science fiction, sports, horror, suspense, and humor. Titles include Alien Abduction, Killer Sharks, and Skateboard Power. The more than 20 books are all Accelerated Reader selections. More »

Orca Currents, middle school fiction for reluctant readers, is published by Orca Book Publishers. These Hi/Lo books are designed for an interest level of 10 to 14 years and a reading level of grades 2.0 to 4.5. If you are looking for short, high-interest novels, check these out. More »

Orca Soundings, teen fiction for struggling readers, is published by Orca Book Publishers. These Hi/Lo books are designed for an interest level of 12+ years and a reading level of grades 2.0 to 4.5. You’ll find more than 30 titles in this series of contemporary stories, including some Accelerated Reader selections. More »

More than 20 novels are available in this series by High-Interest Publishing (HIP), a company that publishes novels for reluctant readers from ages 8 to 18. The reading level of these books ranges from grade level 2.4 to 4.0. The interest level on five of the books goes up to grade 12. If you are looking for gritty contemporary teen fiction, these books may suit your needs. More »

High Noon Books (Academic Therapy Publications) features high interest - low vocabulary versions of six of Shakespeare's plays, including Romeo and Juliet, plus a variety of other books, including fiction and nonfiction. More »

Download a PDF from Schools on Wheels, a tutoring program for homeless children, with several annotated recommended reading lists. The readings levels of the books included range from grade 2 to 5, and the interest levels range from grade 2 to 12. More »

Download this annotated booklist for high school students, which comes from the Multnomah County Library in Oregon. The books include fiction and nonfiction. More »

Familiar children’s, young adult, and adult classics have been adapted and target an interest level of grade 3 to adult and reading levels of grades 3 to 6. Titles include Little Women, Heidi, Moby Dick, and War of the Worlds. Just click on the reading level for an array of books. More »