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Entries in chapter books (40)


spunky tells all

“I could tell you everything about the Bates family—things you’ll never hear from anybody else.  Then this book could be titled ‘Spunky Tells Everything.’  But it’s not fair for a Dog to tell everything about his family.  A family deserves at least some privacy and loyalty.  So I will only tell all.  Almost all.”

Written by Ann Cameron and illustrated by Lauren Castillo, Spunky Tells All is a humorous and insightful story told from a dog’s perspective.  He gets somewhat frustrated trying to get his humans to understand his habits, but things get worse when an arrogant Balinese cat by the name of Fiona moves in.  Will they *ever* become friends?  Spunky Tells All is part of the Huey and Julian series.  Also just a note—if your kids happen to be working on social cognition or social thinking, this book is an excellent exercise in perspective-taking, or putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.


the chocolate touch

Avery just finished reading The Chocolate Touch, a book I think I remember reading as a kid.  Wouldn’t it be so wild to have the same “chocolate touch” that John Midas had, even for just a day?!  We would love to know what everyone else is reading this week!


my father's dragon

My Father’s Dragon: a bonafide adventure.  Perfect for this crazy rainy day.  Intense, booming thunder this morning—the loudest I’ve heard in a long while.


nate the great and the monster mess (and why our children need to read)

Avery’s love for the “World’s Greatest Detective” is still going strong and this is one is a regular in her Nate the Great rotation.  In Nate the Great and the Monster Mess, Nate’s mother loses her beloved recipe for monster cookies and Nate must wade through a myriad of clues to retrieve it.

There’s something so magical about finding a book or book series that you click with as a child.  It makes reading enjoyable, which is so integral to contributing to a lifelong love of reading and learning.  When they can’t wait to find out what happens next in a book, children are motivated to learn how to decode or pronounce words that are new them (even if they’re difficult), and understand their meanings.  As adults, we can bring to light the nuanced meanings of those new words, help interpret story structure/plot and really teach children to think beyond the story, and relate it with their own life experiences.  This is a huge part of the learning process: connecting new experiences with old.  This is what happens when we’re there reading aloud books to our kids or are even just present while they’re reading aloud on their own.

According to so many books (The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease comes to mind) and education articles, as our kids get older, they lose interest in reading.  Compared to other countries, our kids read less and less on their own as they become teenagers.   And time devoted to reading decreases with each new generation.  Yet, lifelong reading is so essential to a well-rounded education, understanding the world, making learning connections and ultimately, helping our children discover who they’re going to be in life and what their mission will be.  So, this is why it is so, so important from a very young age and all throughout childhood to build a library of books that children will enjoy and treasure.  Kudos to all parents, teachers and librarians who work tirelessly to do so!

I know all too well how tired we all are at the end of the day and sometimes how hard it is to decide to read a book instead of watch TV and relax or whatever, but reading every day is one of the best things we can do with our kids, to invest in them and their future. 


a chapter book summer

This is the first lot of chapter books I bought at the beginning of the summer and am reading to Avery (my soon-to-be first grader!).  I’m trying to include both old and new books.  Books written a long time ago offer an older, more rare lexicon--words, phrases and figurative language that have dropped out of current usage.  Language is constantly in flux, so this is what happens!  Anyway, children will encounter these uncommon words in the anthologies they read in school and in other good literature they consume as they get older.  Also, these older words enrich their background knowledge/general knowledge, which is important for reading comprehension, answering inferential questions, grasping various concepts and understanding how the world works.  Also, mystery books like Nate the Great are great for practicing higher level thinking skills—inferencing, predicting, deduction, reasoning, analysis.

We’re also going to try to make our way through a couple Dodsworth titles and some of The Cobble Street Cousins this summer and eventually the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary later in the fall.  Oh, and My Father’s Dragon in there somewhere.  Maybe Ivy + Bean?  Any other recommendations out there from fellow readers for chapter books good for six-year-olds?

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