Early chapter books are for elementary school readers. They help make the transition from picture books to chapter books. The books are short in length. The stories are simple.
The simple stories are divided into chapters. Usually, the chapters in the beginning books are no longer than five pages. There are pictures in each chapter for the children to use as visual clues. As the early chapter book becomes more challenging, the fewer the pictures. The pictures are sketches, not the elaborate color illustrations found in board and picture books.
The pages and chapters in early chapter books are numbered in sequential order. This prepares children for elementary reading assignments. After the third grade, the majority of school studies require reading. Social studies, science, language arts and even mathematics require children to read and comprehend each chapter. Early chapter books help them gain the ability to do so.
Early chapter books have a variety of themes. The reason for this is simple. Children are not all alike and have different interests. Chapter books’ themes may be history, mystery, animals, artists, pirates or sports. One of the themes is sure to interest a child to read a chapter book.
Series books are wonderful because children will finish one book and read the next with no complaints. They have children reading, learning and having fun at the same time. Mary Pope Osborne’s The Magic Tree House series are currently popular with children. David A. Adler’s Young Cam Jansen Series is another. The Boxcar Children’s series is still popular with young children. After the children become stronger readers, they move onto the Nancy Drew Mysteries and The Hardy Boys’ series.
There is a subset of the chapter books which are known as reluctant reader chapter books. These books are for children who dislike reading or considers the other chapter books boring. Reluctant reader chapter books are action-packed. Imagine Terminator 2 as a chapter book and you get the idea. Max Elliot Anderson’s Tweener Press Adventure Series are great. The children in his books get into some situations that I, an adult, don’t want to experience, but they are fast-paced books.
Early chapter books are for children age four-years-old and older. They are available in bookstores, catalog, online and garage sales. I recently found many chapter books in my local branch of the Public Library System. The paperbacks were a nickel or dime depending on the author. That’s a good deal!
I found a website I think is of interest to parents and guardians of children. The PBSparents site gives information on reading development for the baby to the third grader. The adult can listen to typical children in kindergarten through third grade read passages.
Read through the list and find an early reader chapter book.
List of Early Reader Chapter Books for Children
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Classic Children's Books
Dr. Seuss Books
Don Freeman's Books
Stan Berenstain's Books
Magic Tree House Books
Chronicles of Narnia Books
A Series of Unfortunate Events Books
Note: The review titles are from Max Elliot Anderson, the public library and my private collection.