We have been reading chapter books like they are picture books in this house lately. I’ve got to start putting parameters around “do you guys want to pick out a book to read?” Somehow, I end up getting sucked into a chapter book that we then finish in one sitting. It’s intense.
Don’t get me wrong, not all of these chapter books are terribly long. Some don’t take much longer to read than the long picture books we’ve got. But those are pretty scarce around here. Instead, we’re reading full Magic Treehouse books or entire A to Z Mystery.
In case you’re looking for recommendations, here are a few of our favorites.
MY FAVORITE CHAPTER BOOKS
The Boxcar Children — These books have gotten us through more car rides than I can remember. Thank goodness for audio books. But we’ve read just as many on our couch at home, too.
Dog Man — I have to admit that these aren’t my favorite, but Chase loves them. They are the first book he has willingly sat by himself and read cover to cover. It helps that they are graphic novels with short sentences and lots of pictures. Robbe likes that, too.
A to Z Mysteries — We love mysteries at our house. This is a good series with young kids as the main characters. I always appreciate the clean language and kind messages attached to the stories.
The Owl Diaries — These are quick reads, but very cute. Robbe really likes these. There are lots of pictures and there is a lot to look at on every page.
Narwhal and Jelly — Pretty quick read with lots of silliness. The boys giggled and giggled during these.
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot — This was one of the first series we read. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of educational value with these but they keep the boys’ attention and got them excited about the idea of reading all the books in order.
The Magic Treehouse — This is our newest series and we’re all pretty excited about them. I think we’ve made it through around 8-10 of them so far. Each book takes you on an adventure that involves learning some real facts along the way. Win! Chase tends to prefer graphic novels when he’s reading on his own but he’s started reading these solo now, too. It’s hard to say who is more excited about that: me or him.
Ivy + Bean, Bad Kitty, Flat Stanley, and The Bad Guys are all new series that we found at the library recently. We’ve just read the first book of all three series, but they were all well received by the experts. We’ll be getting the #2 books when we go back
So those are all books that I would recommend, both as a parent and as a reader (who would also like to enjoy what I’m reading every now and then). On the flip side of the coin, here’s a list of a few chapter books I really can’t stand.
NOT MY FAVORITE CHAPTER BOOKS
Geronimo Stilton — The story lines, the language, the way female characters are portrayed…I just don’t like these. The boys were big fans and will still ask to pick them out at the library but I cannot stomach reading them when there are so many other great options out there.
DC Super Heroes — The super hero chapter books are terrible. I just don’t understand why there can’t be some decent storylines or takeaway messages. With that said, we still read these quite frequently. The boys love them and they aren’t offensive, so I do my best to let my strong dislike go.
Super Pets — These are better than the regular super hero books, but not much. I feel like there’s a bit less violence and the animals are the main characters so there are less scantily clad women and bulky men prancing around.
Scooby Doo — Again, this series is a crowd pleaser at our house and we oftentimes come home with one or two Scooby Doos from the library but the chapter books are not written particularly well and the storylines tend to be very similar from one book to the next.
Pokemon — Not only are the books are crazy intense to look at and the storylines very complicated to follow (because of unfamiliar names, concepts, and locations) but the books are read right to left (basically from back to front). There’s a cultural lesson to be learned here about how not everyone reads left to right, but not for my emerging readers! This seems unnecessarily confusing for their young minds.