Chapter Books for Lower Elementary Kiddos- Part 1

After enjoying reading “Matilda” by Roald Dahl with Mr. 7, I started thinking about all the other books I’d love to read with him or have him read.  These books are great for kids who are at least 7 with great reading skills (and probably some help along the way) all the way up to 12 or so, when they’re able to read it all on their own.  If you’re looking to read aloud to a child without them helping, most of these books would be good for 5-7 crowd as well.

For this portion, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite authors who have many, many books to read.

Books by Roald Dahl:

There are so many great books by Roald Dahl, and I think they’re great for younger kids because they deal with issues kids can relate to, but the specifics of the stories are so ridiculous that kids know they’re fantasy and enjoy delving into that silly, fun world.  I recommend Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The BFG to get you started. I’ve heard great things about The Witches but haven’t read it yet.

Books by Judy Blume:

Judy Blume is an author your child can really grow with. She has great books for younger kids, then books that focus on puberty-age, teenage, and even some adult novels.  My favorite books of hers for the younger kids are the “Fudge” books. This is a series, but can be read as stand alone books or even out of order if needed.  They are (in order): Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Superfudge, Fudge-a-Mania, and Double Fudge.  These books focus on Peter, who starts as a 9 year old and ends as a 12 year old, and his mischievous younger brother, Farley Drexel (aka Fudge), who starts as a toddler and ends in lower elementary school.  There are lots of “What’s Fudge going to do next???” moments, and readers can really relate to Peter, who is just trying to live his normal life without having his pet turtle get eaten (yes, it happens) and other horrific things.  The books are super funny and I haven’t met a kid who hasn’t enjoyed them.

Books by Beverly Cleary:

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Nearly everyone has read books by Beverly Cleary.  Honestly, I haven’t read all of them.  Not even close.  But that won’t stop me from recommending some of the ones I have read and enjoyed.  My very favorite Beverly Cleary book is The Mouse and the Motorcycle; it’s fun, and it’s a great read aloud book because of Ralph (the mouse) who has a squeaky mouse voice and also a little attitude. 🙂  There’s two other Ralph books, Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse that are also fun, but not necessary to enjoy the first book. The other two famous series are about Henry Huggins (which is the name of the first of his books) and Beezus and Ramona (the first of their books).  These three characters all live in the same time and town and interact with eachother here and there, especially in the early books.  The stories started in the 1950s, so there is going to be a lot of things that are quite dated and may not make total sense to your kids until they’re explained, but that won’t stop them from enjoying the stories.  If you’re working with a child who’s slightly older, perhaps 8-9 or older, I highly recommend Dear Mr. Henshaw, a wonderful book about a kid writing letters back and forth with his favorite author, and through them, working through his parents’ divorce and problems at school. It’s perhaps the “unknown teasure” of Beverly Cleary’s books, as it often gets overlooked for her more famous series.

That’s all for now, but don’t worry!  I have sooooo many other books I want to tell you about!  I’m thinking that next time, I’ll talk about stand alone books. 🙂

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