First Read-Aloud Chapter Books and Novels


Have you been reading picture books with your children and feel that they are ready for some longer books? Here are some Chapter Books I'd recommend for children who are new to novel-length works.

Very Beginner Chapter Books (easily read in one sitting or spread to a few.)
Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo
Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Chapter Book Read-Alouds for Beginning Listeners

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (My kids love it, but some may find it a little slow.)
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (A favorite of mine.)
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne (Maybe not as well-written as others, but a lot can be learned from these books.)
The American Girl books  (Great historical fiction for young children.)
Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
Stuart Little by E. B. White

15 comments:

  1. My kids also liked the Mary Poppins books when I read them aloud several years ago. I definitely second your recommendation of Winnie the Pooh in the original AA Milne form. There were times I laughed so hard I had to stop reading. :)

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  2. All great recommendations! And, by the way, I LOVE Hooway for Wodney Wat!

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  3. Love your suggestions! Our personal favorite is Mercy Watson. I am so glad Kate DiCamillo recognized the need for really good beginning chapter books and made them with wonderful colored illustrations!

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  4. Awesome! I already have some of these on my list to read with my girls, but there are many that are new to me! Can't wait. :)

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  5. I, too, am a MAJOR fan of Hooway for Wodney
    Wat!!!

    Great suggestions. I have never read Winnie the Pooh. You've inspired me! I'm heading to the library!.

    I've been reading the Chronicles of Narnia to my children from the time they were four. I think it's a great beginning chapter series. At four, it takes a bit of explaining and they have to listen UP (which is good). My youngest is six and we're almost through the series for the second time. She was only five when we finished the first time. I was planning on reading something else, but she BEGGED me to start Narnia again.

    (BTW, I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER---yes, I feel strongly about this one---read the Magician's Nephew first. I'm ticked that they now sell the series that way. It's just WRONG!)

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  6. One more comment:

    NEVER stop reading chapter books to your children until they move out of the house! Some of my favorite memories have been reading my favorite novels to my teenagers. We could only find the time on Sundays, but those hours will forever be precious to me.

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  7. Awesome posting. I don't homeschool but when my kids were younger, I'd read to them. Many good suggestions. If you want some more advanced books, there are the L. Frank Baum Oz series and my books have even been compared to something on the lines of the Magic School Bus books; I kind of see it but haven't considered them as read alouds, but I think it would work since they really need to be audio and visual at the same time. Check them out if interested - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
    STATE OF WILDERNESS, now available
    STATE OF QUARRIES, now available
    STATE OF RESERVATIONS, coming April/May 2010
    STATE OF ALTITUDE, coming May/June 2010
    http://junior-geography-detective-squad.weebly.com
    http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com

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  8. To add to Happy Mom's comment: Never stop reading picture books either!

    I'm excited about some of these other recommendations, as well. THanks everyone!

    As for the Chronicles of Narnia, there is NOTHING my kids have loved more than The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, but a friend of mine felt like it was a little tough for her beginning listeners.

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  9. I just read The Witches to my ducklings (6, 4, 3, baby) and they LOVED it. Roald Dahl rocks.

    I wanted to send you a book review, but I can't get your email link to work. Please leave me a comment on my blog homeschoolfrolic.blogspot.com so I can send it to you. The review is on there, but I think this book is ridiculously under-read because people don't know about it, so I'd love to have a review on your blog and encourage even more people to read it.

    Love your blog by the way. I'm a lurker. :)

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  10. I have the book, but received it about the time the movie ran on TV and watched the movie with Angeline Jolie as the head witch (or whatever they called her). I checked your blog but the review that is up isn't for this book - The Witches; it is for another book, Quest for a Maid, so I was confused. If the review is for Quest for a Maid, that sounds like a delightful book. I don't think you can go wrong with princesses and witches. If it is for Roald Dahl's book, The Witches, then I don't think you can really go wrong with any of his books. I definitely need to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory since another homeschooler author/friend of mine posted about it on her blog recently - http://renajjones.blogspot.com/2010/03/charlie-and-chocolate-factory.html

    Thanks for sharing the post. I'm always looking for new things to read - lol. E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
    STATE OF WILDERNESS, now available
    STATE OF QUARRIES, now available
    STATE OF RESERVATIONS, coming April/May 2010
    STATE OF ALTITUDE, coming May/June 2010
    http://junior-geography-detective-squad.weebly.com
    http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com

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  11. Great beginner chapter book list.

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  12. Great list. Ours overlaps quite a bit. We've also found that many of the books you listed are available on CD from the library, and are read fabulously by excellent voice actors. My 6 y.o. is currently hooked on the Series of Unfortunate Events that way. Megan Follows (of Anne of Green Gables movie fame) does a wonderful reading of The Incredible Journey.

    Found you from the comments at Simple Mom. :-)

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  13. Big, big Mercy Watson fans here.

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  14. I'm glad to see I've read most of these to my kids already. Roald Dahl is a big hit around here. A good short one that my kids LOVED listening to was Mr. Fantastic Fox. My 5 yr. old really loved The BFG as well. I have held off on The Witches because I thought it was too scary, but perhaps we'll give it a try.

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