The Best Chapter Books for Growing Readers!
Your child has mastered early readers but is now ready for more. But those big tween books? They aren’t yet appropriate. Let us help you navigate the world of chapter books for your growing readers.
Your growing reader has devoured the early readers. But those meaty books for tweens? He’s not quite there, either. The topics are too mature. There is too much text on the pages, and you know these stories look way too daunting for your child. So what’s next?
Welcome to the world of chapter books.
Your kiddo has graduated from early readers and now you’re ready for more. The most important thing to remember as you select chapter books for your growing reader is that kids’ reading abilities — and their maturity levels — vary tremendously when you reach this stage. Why is that important?
The answer is simple. YOU know your child best. You are the best person to judge whether a chapter book will be way too challenging, over his head, or a contains a concept he is not ready to handle. While I can rattle off suggestions all day long, remember to consider your child and what you know about his unique likes, dislikes and sensitivities.
When choosing chapter books, keep these tips in mind.
Here are some tips to help you as you choose chapter books for your growing readers:
- Set them up for success! Start off with easier chapter books so they can build their confidence and strengthen fluency. Chapter books vary so much in difficulty, so don’t begin with a book that’s too challenging.
- Look at both the amount of text on the page and the frequency of illustrations in the book. You’ll get a great gauge as to whether the density is too much for your child. Some kids, even the strongest readers, get quite intimidated by chapter books with small print and few pictures.
- Don’t rush it! You may think your second grader is ready for Harry Potter. After all, your kid loves a challenge! But some chapter books get heavy. Some of them are downright scary or contain subject matter you don’t yet want to offer your child. Always consider your child’s unique fears and sensitivities.
- Give kids choice! Go to the library or your local bookstore and let them pick from a bunch of chapter books. You can never go wrong with this!
- When in doubt as to whether a book is a good fit, consider the age of the main character. One good rule of thumb is to refrain from letting your kid read a book with a main character that is more than two or three years older than him. Thus, I rarely will give a book about a child in middle school to a second grader! The older the characters in a novel, the more complex the relationships are, and they often include plot points you may not be ready to expose your child to, such as crushes, mean girls, body issues, and sass.
- If you have a young, advanced reader at home, consider books that will not only introduce new vocabulary, but also new cultures, ideas and subject matters.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
These are some of our favorite chapter books for growing readers.
While these chapter books vary in difficulty, I find their content to be appropriate for kids in first through fourth grades. Remember, however, that YOU know your child best and you are in the best position to consider what books will be the best fit from an emotional and maturity standpoint! Always trust YOUR instincts and make the final decisions when it comes to choosing books for your kiddos.
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Suggested Grade Level: Pre-K – 3rd