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BellaOnline's Children's Books Editor


Early Chapter Books for Children

Early chapter books are for elementary school readers. They help children make the shift from picture books to chapter books. The books are short and the stories are simple.

These simple stories are divided into chapters and typically, the chapters in the beginning books are no longer than five pages. They continue to be short and engaging and there is often pictures added for visual clues. Early chapter book may become more challenging with fewer the pictures. The pictures are usually black and white line drawings or sketches, not at all like the elaborate color illustrations found in board and picture books.

As an additional learning support the pages and chapters in early chapter books are numbered in sequential order. This prepares children for elementary reading assignments. It is amazing how much reading is required by students at younger ages and earlier grades. By mid second and early third grade, the majority of school students and school subjects require good reading skills. By encouraging and providing early chapter books you can help prepare your child for the rigors of social studies, science, language arts and even mathematics. These early chapter books require children to read and comprehend each chapter.

No matter where you child’s interest lies you should be able to find some early chapter books that will be of interest to them. Children are not all alike and have different interests – hence, a plethora of early chapter books are available today. 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- check them out at your library.

A good way to encourage reading is to introduce your child to chapter book series. A series allows your child to develop and interest and relationship with the characters and they just naturally want to know what happens to their new found friends in the next book … They have children reading, learning and having fun at the same time. Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon are currently popular with children. David A. Adler’s Young Cam Jansen and the New Girl Mystery is another. The The Boxcar Children Books 1-4 is still popular with young children. After the children become stronger readers, they move onto the The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, Book 1) and The Hardy Boys Secret Files Collection Books 1-5: Trouble at the Arcade; The Missing Mitt; Mystery Map; Hopping Mad; A Monster of a Mystery (Hardy Boys: The Secret Files) ’ series.

Do you have a reluctant reader? Someone who dislikes reading or considers the other chapter books boring and too juvinile. Reluctant reader chapter books are action-packed! Imagine Terminator 2 as a chapter book and you get the idea. Max Elliot Anderson’s Newspaper Caper (Tweener Press Adventure Series #1) 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. They are edgy, but if you have a reluctant reader it may be worth it to explore. Read it first before you decide if it’s the right fit for your child, then decide if it will be of interest to them and get them excited about reading...

Early chapter books are for basically for children age four-years-old and older, but if your child is reading even earlier, check them out to see if they are right for your child. You can find them at the library, bookstore, and even at garage sales or thrift stores. Find them at a good price so you can get as many as your child wants to read! That makes it a win-win situation! You get a reader and don’t break the bank in the process!

Classic Children's Books

Dr. Seuss Books
Magic Tree House Books

Note: The review titles are from my personal collection.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Launa Stout. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Launa Stout. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Launa Stout for details.


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