Books, books books! I just love books and I love the adventures that they take me on. There are so many amazing things that just come from just sitting and reading a book and today I want to share with you some of my favorite chapter books.
If you know me, you know I am, without a doubt, a bibliophile, a bookworm, a reader. I really cannot make it through the day without having read at least a few pages of a book (and that does not include reading to my girls). As I have said before, I know that I have barely scratched the tip of the iceberg as to books that are out there, and therefore I am missing some amazing ones.
I love to read to my girls, and I am grateful that they want to pick up anything and read it (well, have me read it). My girls just love it when you read to them and they really don’t care what it is, along as you read. But I care. I care a lot. I want my girls to read good quality books that will expand their vocabulary and ignite their imagination.
What do I look for in chapter books?
I certainly don’t look for all of these things in every book, but these are key things:
- Text that is engaging and introduces rich vocabulary – new words with substance
- Whimsy and humor
- Engaging plot that makes you want to read the next chapter, and the next, and the next
- Stories that make you think, question, engage
A Handful Of My Favorites
It is hard to narrow down my favorite chapter books to just a handful. You are lucky that I have limited myself. I could keep people captive when talking about books. So, here are some of my favorite chapter books series for children and tween
WINNIE THE POOH by A.A.Milne
This is the book that will hold a place of great joy in my heart. These were the books that I learned to read on. There is something about the Bear of Very Little Brain that has always appealed to me. I often turn back to reading these books as Pooh has adventures in the Hundred Acre Woods with his friends, writing his Poms and Things. Perhaps you have related to the characters in these books – I know that I have. Everybody needs some “Windy The Pooh” as my girls call him.
HARRY POTTER by J.K.Rowling
Even those books have been out for over 20 years, they can still be a little controversial. These are books that I have read far too many times (well, is there such a thing as “too many times”??). I have the first 4 books as the British versions, so I love “The Philosopher’s Stone” and the slight differences in the text. Let me say that I do not think these are “children’s books” per se. I have been questioned on that. To me the stories are fantastic, but there are some themes that are not suitable for younger children, even if they can read at that grade level. I think it is best to read them together as a family, so that you can discuss the content and themes. The series opens up for so many great conversations and discussions. The character development is wonderful, and I love how it weaves together from start to finish. Here’s to the Boy Who Lived!
RAMONA by Beverly Cleary
These are another series of books I am waiting to read to the girls. We have so many books to read!!There are not enough lunch times to get through them all quickly. Ramona is relatable for young children on so many levels, as she explores who she is as she grows up, deals with school and Beezus. Her antics are just like my girls. The only thing they cannot relate to is an older sister. But I grew up reading these books and found Ramona to be delightful. She still is.
CHARLOTTE’S WEB by E.B.White
Oh, a spider and her pig. This book will never go out of style. I remember the first time I read it – how Wilbur realizes just how loved he is. The friendship of Charlotte and Wilbur is priceless, sacrificial and unique. I love what it teaches children about friendship, about love and about acceptance. I really love the goose when she tries to spell “terrific” – tee double ee double r double r double eye double eff double eye double cee cee cee cee cee…. but please note that Charlotte is not an acrobat. You can see why they have made several movies from this book. It is great for read alouds, and then is a book your child can curl up with and come back to again and again.
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M.Montgomery
I just love Anne with an E. Her imagination, her desire to be herself, and her heart to be loved. This is another series of books I read regularly. There is something about watching her grow into who she is, to not lose it as she gets older, and how she works her Anne magic on those around her. The richness of the way these books are written allows you to now step back in time and experience the past on Prince Edward Island. You cannot mention these books without a shout out to Gilbert. He was my first literary crush. I have many friends who love the movies, but I am a purist and these books are SO MUCH better. (Have an hour or two? I can discuss with you the merits of the books over the movies!)
Other high mentions:
I just realized how my top books are all written by authors with two initials. That is completely by coincidence. But maybe there is something in that 😉 Here are a couple of other book series I like.
- Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
- City of Ember books by Jeanne DePrau
- Anything by Enid Blyton (I’m loyal)
IT IS NEVER TOO SOON
It is never too young to start reading chapter books with your children. Do not limit your young children to just picture books. With a chapter book a story comes alive over the pages, you get to go on journeys, go to worlds unknown, into the past…..so many great reasons to read chapter books aloud to your children and then encourage them to read them they are ready.