Friday, November 21, 2014

Easy Chapter Books for New Readers

My little girl is reading like CRAZY!
And I feel like I can't keep up with her hunger for books.
So I go to the library check out a million books
 (well actually only 35, that's my limit).
But I am trying to find books she will love, AND that are on her level.

So I want to share with you what I have learned, by trial and error, and a little back ground knowledge from teaching Kindergarten and First Grade.

When she started out first grade she was reading. 
So I wanted to keep her reading, and push her just enough that she wouldn't feel like I was pushing her, but just feeding her new found skill.
So I got on to my libraries website, and started placing lots of holds.  Lots and lots!  
I think the library staff may go postal on me one day soon!
I started by putting holds on the "Step into Reading" series.
When she was ready for the next level, we would move up!
I only chose the cute fun ones that I knew she would like.
But I had a problem, 
we read through all the that library had of that series!

So I also found the "Scholastic Readers" series.
Which are also great!

Other series we like are: "World of Reading", "I Can Read", "Green Light Readers",  "Penguin Young Readers", "Passport to Reading" (more boy related),  "An I Can Read Book", and "DK Readers". 
I went searched these at the library by switching the "Title" search to "Series".

We also love any Mo Willems books.  They are so cute and engaging for young readers, and a great way for kids to develop fluency (aka not reading like a robot skills.)

Now I have coaxed her to read chapter books!
We started with the Mercy Watson series.
They are the best!
Fully colored, she doesn't even feel like she is reading a chapter book!

2. Ivy and Bean 
are so cute and have such fun and different personalities, great for any girl to relate to.

3. Books By James Kochalka
These are great for little boys! 
They are hilarious, and keep your attention.

4. Chris Van Dusen Books
These are by the same illustrator as Mercy Watson, so they have a similar feel.
Great books!

5. Amanda and Oliver Pig Series
This is a big sister little brother duo that my daughter loved!
Choose the "Amanda Pig" titles if you are a girl, and the "Oliver" titles if you are a boy.

6. Minnie and Moo
Are hilarious cows that go on adventures that make young readers giggle!  They are good for girls and boys, although both leading characters are female.

7. The Young Cam Jansen
These are are fun and short that have a good plot.  
They probably are not the best VERY first chapter book to introduce because they do take a bit of concentration, but they are great for a budding reader.

8. Bailey School Kids Jr. Books
So these are just like the older "Bailey School Kids" version, but with lots more pictures and they are shorter.
My little girl loved the one I could find for her, but I couldn't find any at my library...

9.  Bink and Gollie
These are more comic book style, but they are very cute and will keep young readers engaged!

10. Anything by Shel Silverstein
So these are not really chapter books, 
but they are longer books that are not full color.  
Young readers love the simple illustrations and fun language he uses.  I even gave my little girl a book of his poetry to read at night.  It was so fun to sit outside her door and hear her giggling at his poems!

My two cents is: start of slowly.  If your child starts to push back, then give them space and let them go back to their favorite (easier) books.  

Also, it is so fun for them to have you read to them.  Even if it is on their level it is good for them to hear you read.  It shows them how to be better readers, and gives them a chance to snuggle and bond with you.

Also, take frequent trips to the library.  Let them chose whatever they want, and show them new areas that they may be less familiar with. The more time they spend with books the better they.

Ok, I'm off to go place more holds on books!  
(Sorry library staff! But maybe not sorry because I am saving you from my two year old!!) 


  1. Yay, what a great post! You know I'm all over it! I'm thankful for all the research and recommendations you gave, because even though Cami can read, I still don't always know what she SHOULD be reading. We still get tons of normal children's books from the library, plus she's started getting a new young chapter ones. She's also done a few Magic Treehouse ones. She did get a Minnie and Moo one last week...the Haunted Sweater...and loved it! She had me read it to her after she read it herself. She's even been reading a book on Spooky Stories that she found on our bookshelf upstairs, which isn't my favorite for a 5 year old. haha. But this is a great list- thanks Kate! :)

  2. I am so happy to know that your kid is a real book worm. And I really wish that someday my kids will like reading too. click here to read if you need to known what books are worth reading by the kids.


Thanks for your great comments!