Small Bites Back Blog Tour: Why it’s Time to Drop the Term ‘Reluctant Reader’ by Hannah Moffatt

Hello everybody! Today, I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Small Bites Back, a vampiric MG comedy I’m very excited to get to soon. I have a brilliant post from author Hannah Moffat for you, which I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Over the last year, I’ve used and heard the term ‘reluctant reader’ a lot.

I always liked finding out that SMALL! had done well with the ‘reluctant reader’ crowd. (Big type, a fast pace, short chapters, and heaps of illustrations from the amazing Rory Walker all helped.)

And I left many a bookshop event or class delighted when teachers pointed out a particular child I’d worked with – telling me that the child in question either ‘doesn’t normally like reading’ or ‘rarely writes’ but has told and illustrated a whole story in one of my create a swamp creature classes.

It’s a joy to absorb young readers in Harvey’s world and I hope they’ll have just as much fun exploring new corners of the Stinking Sinking Swamp in SMALL BITES BACK.

But you know what I really hope? I hope we can stop using the term ‘reluctant reader.’ After all, it’s an excuse, isn’t it? Don’t worry if that child doesn’t read much, they’re reluctant. It also puts a whole lot of blame on the reader. Reluctance is the child’s problem. It’s not a problem with the choice or format of stories in front of them.

Then there are the children we label reluctant who in fact love reading.

For example:

  • A child who reads graphic novels isn’t reluctant. A child who has a favourite story they read over and over isn’t reluctant.
  • A child who reads books some grown-ups think are ‘too young’ for them isn’t reluctant
  • A child who likes short books or funny books isn’t reluctant.
  • And if a child hasn’t engaged with any kinds of books, comics or audiobooks yet, maybe we just haven’t found the stories that capture their imaginations.

So, starting today, I’m going to stop using the term ‘reluctant reader’ and start talking about ‘readers who are still looking for the stories that inspire them’ (The name needs work – any ideas, let me know.)

I hope some readers out there get inspired by SMALL! and SMALL BITES BACK. If they don’t, that’s fine too. I know the right story is out there. Waiting to be found.  

Thank you so much for reading! Do you agree with Hannah? Which books would you recommend to those who haven’t found their spark book yet? And have you read Small/the sequel? I’d love to chat in the comments!

Amy xx


Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: | she/her

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