Monday, March 25, 2013

Part II - Sixteen Chapter Book Series Guaranteed to Get Your Elementary School Child Excited About Reading

In Part I of our series on how to get your elementary school child excited about reading, we talked about why and how Chapter Book series are great tools.  But what to read?  Here are SIXTEEN of our absolute favorite chapter book series, guaranteed to get those pages turning!

Beginning Readers (suitable for any age):
  1. Mr. Putter & Tabby - An older man and his cat have charming adventures.
  2. Henry & Mudge - A young boy and his big dog have fun..
  3. Annie & Snowball - A young girl and her pet bunny and their adventures.
  4. Richard Scarry Mysteries - These are not chapter books, per se, but funny enough to hold their interest.
  5. Young Cam Jansen - A smart girl solves mysteries using her photographic memory.
  6. Nate the Great - A pancake-loving boy solves mysteries using common sense and humor.
  7. High-Rise Private Eyes - Bunny is the brains, Jack is the snoop, and silliness prevails.
  8. Bones - Bones Brown solves zany mysteries (Sorry - this Bones does not include David Boreanaz!)
Intermediate Readers (Ages 5 - 9):
  1. Magic School Bus - These science books involving beloved characters can get detailed, but there are additional "notes" in each chapter that you can omit for younger readers.
  2. Magic Tree House & Merlin Missions - These historical adventure books are for kids who enjoy a little bit of peril.  My son is not a huge fan, but many kids love these adventures about Jack & Annie.
  3. Arthur Good Sports - Using the Arthur characters, these teach good sportsmanship in a fun way.
  4. Backyard Sports - Another great series about good sportsmanship.
  5. Calendar Mysteries - Four first graders solve mysteries and fix problems. My son LOVES these. 
  6. Polka Dot Private Eyes - Mix of school life and mystery - these are a smidge outdated, but still fun.
  7. Jigsaw Jones - Jigsaw "Don't Call him Theodore" Jones can make problems go away for a dollar a day.  These also can involve some mild peril, so skim through it first if you have a young reader.
  8. Cam Jansen - Cam Jansen and her photographic memory are back, this time suitable for older readers than the Young Cam Jansen series.
And, don't forget to look for compilations of stories about your child's favorite characters.  Super Friends, Scooby Doo, and Cars are examples of such choices.  Your child can read the part of Batman or Lightning McQueen.  Pretty cool!

This list is by no means complete, but these are series we've personally enjoyed.  I'd love to hear your suggestions, and the ways you inspire your kids to love reading!