Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(Not Beginner) Chapter Books

Now that my kids have jumped into reading I am beginning to realize how many levels of books it is necessary to have. I knew about the categories of pictures, beginning readers, and chapter books. But my kids are smack in-between beginning readers and longer chapter books. They can handle chapters, but don't want 150+ pages. They still like pictures on pages, but want themes that relate to them. Thank goodness for librarians and classroom teachers. I have been compiling a list to meet the needs of Eldest who loves to read, likes adventure/fantasy stories, prefers human protagonists to animals, wants to read Harry Potter, but is still only 7. It's harder than I would have thought. But, in case, you have an avid reader who is still developing his reading ability, here are some suggestions that we are working on:

The first category is the emerging bridge between graphic novel/chapter book which is really popular in my house:

  • The Diary of a Wimpy Kid (probably the first in this genre. Its popularity has helped create many others)
  • Big Nate (undoubtedly riding on the popularity of Wimpy Kid, but Eldest enjoyed it)
  • Magic Pickle (one book in the series is a pure graphic novel. Eldest was disappointed the others had actual chapters...)
  • Frankie Pickle (while being forced to clean his room, Frankie fights a monster with an old tuna and mayonnaise sandwich...)
  • Dragonbreath (while this seems to be popular for many kids, Eldest has turned his nose up at it. Too cute-looking maybe???)
  • and of course... Captain Underpants (just in case you don't have a young kid and haven't heard of this series)

As for actual chapter books, without the graphic novel concept, it has been tougher. Eldest has told me in the past that he can't see the pictures in his head, so he really prefers the visual. But I'm working on encouraging more chapter books as we seem to be running low on age-appropriate graphic novels. I'm liberal in what he can read, but hardcore manga is not okay. Yet.

Here are a few books that have caught on in our house or we are planning to try this summer:
  • Black Lagoon chapter books (Eldest picked up the picture books at school, so he knows the series. He can read these in one sitting, but he's reading!)
  • Naruto chapter books (based on the Japanese manga show, this series has been toned down for a younger audience. It appeals to Eldest but is *clean* enough for mom)
  • Dragon Slayers Academy series (these are popular with a lot of kids. I am trying to convince Eldest to read them, but haven't had any luck yet)
  • Secrets of Droon series (same as above. I think if I could get him started, he'd like the series, but so far Eldest has resisted)

I would love any other suggestions or ideas. Anything to encourage a love of reading...

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