The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy
This is the third book in the Hero's Guide trilogy. I don't want to give anything away but I didn't want to neglect mentioning this fantastic series for middle grade readers. My ten-year-old son and I have been enjoying these books immensely. He even read the first two again in anticipation of the this book's release last month (in addition to his required summer reading!).
These books would be wonderful for reluctant readers. They are full of sword fighting, puns, quirky characters, adventures, giants, pirates, mongooses, and general silliness. If I were to choose my son's favorite genre, it would be humor, and this fits the bill perfectly, along with plenty of courage and friendship. There's even a character who loves words, leading to the introduction of such lovely Latin derivatives as defenestrate.
First Daughter (who is seven) tried reading the first one and kept getting confused. While she could read the words, the style of jumping around from person to person (there are a lot of characters) and starting in the middle of the action were a bit too complicated for her. Instead, she's been reading the the Half Upon a Time trilogy which First Son has read in a few days. Some readers may benefit from keeping a character diary, a list of characters with notes about each one to keep them straight.
Everyone lives happily every after (of course!) but there's an opening at the end for new adventures and some mysteries unanswered, which leaves me hopeful for more novels set in the same world.