We love reading.
I read aloud to my babies with my finger following the words on the page.
Later, I help my preschoolers to sound out letters and then words.
Then, they begin reading picture books and early readers. These tools are helpful during this time.
Pretty soon, they’re reaching for chapter books and we alternate reading aloud pages, then whole chapters…
And finally, they’re off on their own, reading in corners, in the car, in the bathroom…during chore time.
I still love to read aloud, and we often have family reading time in the mornings and evenings.
We like high quality books, and historical fiction is a favorite.
I hated reading in school. I hated reading class and the comprehension workbooks. I aced spelling tests, but it was all so contrived and boring.
I read all the Sweet Valley High and Baby-Sitters Club books when I was in middle school. I didn’t have a mentor to introduce me to good reading material and I feel like I missed out on so much great juvenile fiction that I’m just now discovering with my own kids.
I want my kids to love reading for pleasure. We don’t analyze all the fun out of it.
Our favorite chapter books:
The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.
Dear America books
The Royal Diaries series
The Royal Diaries is a series of 20 books published by Scholastic Press from 1999 to 2005. In each of the books, a fictional diary of a real female figure of royalty as a child throughout world history was written by the author.
Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
Meet Jack and Annie! Jack and his younger sister, Annie, are just regular kids. But when they discover a tree house in the woods, something magical happens. Jack and Annie are whisked back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs, a medieval castle, ancient pyramids, and treasure-seeking pirates. Every visit to the magic tree house leads to adventure!
The Imagination Station series by Paul McCusker
While visiting Mr. Whittaker at Whit’s Soda Shoppe, Beth and Patrick find a mysterious letter in the Imagination Station requesting a Viking sunstone. The letter is old and says that someone named Albert will be imprisoned if the sunstone isn’t found. Mr. Whittaker sends cousins Patrick and Beth to Greenland circa 1000. On their quest for the sunstone, the cousins meet Vikings Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson―and find the sunstone as they join Leif on his first voyage to North America. But the adventure is just beginning, for when they return to Mr. Whittaker’s workshop with the sunstone, there is another note waiting for them, requesting a silver goblet.
Geronimo Stilton books
Who Is Geronimo Stilton?
That’s me! I run a newspaper, but my true passion is writing tales of adventure. Here on Mouse Island, my books are all best-sellers! What’s that? You’ve never read one? Well, my books are full of fun. They are whisker-licking good stories, and that’s a promise!
Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol
Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information—it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!
Roald Dahl books
We especially like Matilda!
Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!
The Littles by John Peterson
Meet the Littles, a family like any other but with a few tiny differences! They live in the walls of the Bigg family house where they get everything they need. In return they make sure the Bigg house is always in good repair.
When the Biggs go away for the summer the Newcombs come to stay in their house. And the Newcombs are slobs! The mess the Newcombs make attracts one of the Littles biggest enemies: mice! Just when it seems like things can’t get any worse, they bring a cat to live with them. How will this little family get out of such big trouble?
Stuart Little by E. B. White
Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure.
Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
The DATA Set by Ada Hopper
What would happen if your next-door neighbor were a mad scientist?
Gabe, Laura, and Cesar live on a quiet cul-de-sac. They are the whiz kids of Newtonburg Elementary and each specializes in their own subject. In fact, everyone in town lovingly refers to them as the Data Set. However, their quiet days of learning take a sudden turn for the exciting when they meet Dr. Gustav Bunsen—a mad scientist who throws the kids into a wild spiral of adventures.
When Dr. Bunsen’s latest invention, a growth ray, hits several tiny animal toys, the mini beasts don’t just grow, they come to life! The DATA Set love their new tiny pets…until they continue to grow. Now there’s an actual elephant in the room—not to mention a chimp, a giraffe, and a dinosaur. When the beasts wander off, it’s up to the DATA Set to track them down. But will they catch the mini beasts before they grow big enough to start trouble in town?
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah Howe
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
Now with all-new bonus material revealing Slappy’s secrets and more.
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
A dying criminal confesses that his loot has been stored “in the tower.” Both towers of the looted mansion are searched in vain. It remains for the Hardy boys to make an astonishing discovery that clears up the mystery and clears the name of a friend’s father.
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
Nancy and her two best friends, George and Bess, are so excited! They have been invited to Deirdre’s sleepover party! There will be pizza, cake, and even a pajama fashion show. But the most exciting thing is that the party has a City Girls doll theme. All of the guests are bringing their dolls with them!
But then Deirdre’s City Girls doll — Hollywood Heather — goes missing. Is her sleepover ruined? Or is there a detective in the room who can make sense of this mystery?
Also, the classic Nancy Drew are still great!
Ramona Books by Beverly Cleary
Kids everywhere feel connected to Ramona’s unique way of looking at the world as she tries to adjust to new teachers, feels jealous about Susan’s curls, and is secretly pleased by Yard Ape’s teasing. The scrapes she gets herself into—like wearing pajamas to school or accidentally making egg yolk shampoo—are funny and heartwarming, and sometimes embarrassing. No matter what—Ramona’s lively, curious spirit shines through.
The Ralph Mouse Collection by Beverly Cleary
When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come a lot of obstacles. Whether dodging a rowdy terrier or keeping his nosy cousins away from his new wheels, Ralph has a lot going on! And with a pal like Keith always looking out for him, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle.
Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
Nothing exciting ever happened to Henry Huggins until the day that a dog named Ribsy walked into his life. From then on, the duo’s hilarious scrapes have never ceased to amuse. Whether Henry is scheming to raise money for his paper route or Ribsy accidentally overturns a boat during a fishing trip, these two will charm even the most reluctant readers.
Socks by Beverly Cleary
Socks is one happy cat. He lives the good life with his affectionate owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bricker. Ever since the day they saved him from a life spent in a mailbox drop slot, Socks has been the center of their world. And he always has everything he needs—tasty kitty treats and all the lap room he could want!
But when a new baby arrives, suddenly the Brickers have less and less time for Socks. Little Charles William is the one getting all the attention. Socks feels left out—and to show it, he starts getting into all sorts of trouble! What will it take to make Socks realize just how much the Brickers care about him?
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge series Book 1) by Judy Blume
Two is a crowd when Peter and his little brother, Fudge, are in the same room. Grown-ups think Fudge is absolutely adorable, but Peter and his pet turtle, Dribble, know the truth. From throwing temper tantrums to smearing mashed potatoes on the wall, Fudge causes mischief wherever he goes!
Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
From writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other—just as best friends should be. These five adventurous tales are perfect for Level 2 beginning readers.
Wayside School by Louis Sachar
That may be why all kinds of funny things happen at Wayside School…especially on the thirteenth floor. You’ll meet Mrs. Gorf, the meanest teacher of all; terrible Todd, who always gets sent home early; and John, who can read only upside down—along with all the other kids in the crazy mix-up school that came out sideways. But you’ll never guess the truth about Sammy, the new kid…or what’s in store for Wayside School on Halloween!
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Set in the late nineteenth century and told from young Anna’s point of view, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer Papa’s advertisement for a wife and mother. Before Sarah arrives, Anna and her younger brother Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she sing? Will she stay?
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
Welcome to Centerburg! Where you can win a hundred dollars by eating all the doughnuts you want; where houses are built in a day; and where a boy named Homer Price can foil four slick bandits using nothing but his wits and pet skunk.
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Billy And Blaze by C.W. Anderson
Billy was a little boy who “loved horses more than anything else in the world.” Imagine how happy he was when he got his very own pony for his birthday! From that day on, Billy was seldom seen without his new friend, Blaze.
Riding through fields and woods, Billy and Blaze learned to trust and understand one another — and to jump over fences and fallen trees with ease. They were a great team, but were they good enough to win the gleaming silver cup at the Mason Horse Show?
Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
There are lots of children on Hill Street, but no little girls Betsy’s age. So when a new family moves into the house across the street, Betsy hopes they will have a little girl she can play with. Sure enough, they do—a little girl named Tacy. And from the moment they meet at Betsy’s fifth birthday party, Betsy and Tacy becoms such good friends that everyone starts to think of them as one person—Betsy-Tacy.
Betsy and Tacy have lots of fun together. They make a playhouse from a piano box, have a sand store, and dress up and go calling. And one day, they come home to a wonderful surprise—a new friend named Tib.
The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
In 1707, young Sarah Noble and her father traveled through the wilderness to build a new home for their family. “Keep up your courage, Sarah Noble,” her mother had said, but Sarah found that it was not always easy to feel brave inside. The dark woods were full of animals and Indians, too, and Sarah was only eight!
The true story of Sarah’s journey is inspiring. And as she cares for her father and befriends her Indian neighbors, she learns that to be afraid and to be brave is the greatest courage of all.
The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds
In 1756, New York State was still a British colony, and the French and the Indians were constant threats to Edward and his family. When his father was called away to watch for a raid from the north, only Edward was left to protect Mama and little Trudy. His father had shown him how to use the huge matchlock gun, an old Spanish gun that was twice as long as he was, but would Edward be able to handle it if trouble actually came?
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
Strawberries – big, ripe, and juicy. Ten-year-old Birdie Boyer can hardly wait to start picking them. But her family has just moved to the Florida backwoods, and they haven′t even begun their planting. “Don′t count your biddies ′fore they′re hatched, gal young un!” her father tells her.
Making the new farm prosper is not easy. There is heat to suffer through, and droughts, and cold snaps. And, perhaps most worrisome of all for the Boyers, there are rowdy neighbors, just itching to start a feud.
In Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson
A young girl delights in her grandmother’s stories of days gone by, sparked by keepsakes and simple questions, Grandma shares marvelous stories of mischief , discovery, and laughter, such as the time she accidentally lost the family buggy.
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Together they share adventures that find them searching for hidden buttons while dusting Mama’s front parlor and visiting with the peddlers in Papa’s shop on rainy days. The girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises.
But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all!
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service.
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Caddie Woodlawn is a real adventurer. She’d rather hunt than sew and plow than bake, and tries to beat her brother’s dares every chance she gets. Caddie is friends with Indians, who scare most of the neighbors — neighbors who, like her mother and sisters, don’t understand her at all.
Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry
Joel Goss knows that Little Bub is a special colt, even though he’s a runt. And when schoolteacher Justin Morgan asks Joel to break the colt in, Joel is thrilled! Soon word about Little Bub has spread throughout the entire Northeast — this spirited colt can pull heavier loads than a pair of oxen. And run faster than thoroughbreds!
This is the story of the little runt who became the father of the world-famous breed of American horses — the Morgan.
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
About a young boy, Elmer Elevator, who runs away to Wild Island to rescue a baby Dragon. The narrative mode is unusual, in that the narrator refers to the protagonist only as “my father”, giving the impression that this is a true story that happened long ago.
Old Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess
Welcome to the timeless world of the Green Forest, the laughing Brook, and the Smiling Pool. Here young readers will meet a menagerie of funny and fascinating animal friends — Peter Cottontail, Jimmy Skunk, Reddy Fox, Grandfather Frog and many more — and learn about their exciting adventures. Discover the answers to such questions as why Grandfather Frog has no tail and why Jimmy Skunk wears stripes. There’s also great fun to be had in reading or hearing about the grand goings-on at Mink’s swimming party, Little Joe Otter’s slippery slide, and Reddy Fox’s fishing expedition. These and many other adventures are told in a warm, whimsical way that combines gentle lessons about nature and wildlife with the fun of a good story. It’s a whole series!
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then?
See all my book lists here.
What are your favorite chapter books for kids?
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