Best Chapter Books for Reading Aloud

Do you still read aloud with your children even after they have passed the picturebook years? If not, you might want to give it a try. Reading together can help inspire a love of reading, create a tighter bond between family members involved, and inspire discussions on a variety of topics. Having independent readers take turns reading aloud can also help them increase their reading skill and self-confidence! Sharing a good book is not just limited to bedtime either! Sharing a good book can happen during breakfast, after school, after dinner, or when ever. If you would like to get your family reading together, here are some chapter books that I would recommend for reading aloud.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1)
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Four orphans take shelter in an old boxcar during a storm, and, determined to make it their own, they turn it into a safe, cozy home.

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1)
by Suzanne Collins
When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.

Bunnicula (Bunnicula, #1) by James Howe
Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.

If you have already read all of these, or are just looking for more suggestions, then you might want to check out these books as well: Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery ,  Matilda by Roald Dahl, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Charlotte’s Web or Stuart Little  by E.B. White, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) by Roald Dahl, The Tale of Despereaux or Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo,   The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1) by Judy Blume, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1) by Brandon Mull, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1) by Noel Streatfeild, or The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, #1) by Michael Buckley.

Sharon Reads: The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry

The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry is a children’s chapter book. Nick is short, he thinks he must be the shortest seventh grader in history. He does not really fit in with any of the groups at school, so spends most of his time bully dodging. An enthusiastic guidance counsel teams Nick up with two other outcasts, and the team is mentored by the eccentric janitor. The team of oddballs  come together to a common goal, fighting a bully, and learn about themselves and the nature of bullies.

The Odd Squad: Bully Bait was a great read, and I think is accessible to both elementary and middle school students. It speaks to dealing with bullies, and how easy it can be to cross the line and act like a bully when feeling powerless. Some tough questions are dealt with, while still being funny. Nick is short but smart, stuck spending a good portion of his school day crammed in his locker. His family is a little different, and add to the quirkiness of the story. The other oddballs, Molly and Karl, have their own troubles and quirks. The bully, Roy, is as well developed as the three oddballs, as are the janitor and Nick’s grandmother. rumors of a school ghost, and mentions of other interesting kids at the school, left me wanting to read more about what happens in those halls.

I highly recommend The Odd Squad: Bully Bait to middle grade readers, particularly those that have ever felt like an oddball or on the receiving end of the bully effect. There is some cute, awkward romance in the story, and a collection of unforgettable characters that will keep readers turning the pages. Fry includes some illustrations, which only further enhance the heart, humor, and truth of the story. The sequel, the Odd Squad: Zero Tolerance is scheduled for release in September 2013. I gave this book 4 out of five stars on Goodreads.

This review was originally published on Sharon the Librarian.

Connecticut Childrens Authors- Chapter Book Edition

There is something amazing about reading a book and recognizing locations that you have visited, or those that you knew extremely well. It is even better when you read an author’s biography and realize that someone who’s work you enjoy lives nearby. It connects me to that story, and that author, even more. Here are some authors of children’s chapter books that live right here in the Nutmeg State that you might want to explore.

Suzanne Collins lives in village of Sandy Hook Connecticut,  a town of which everyone is now familiar, with her husband and their two children. You might know her best for the Hunger Games series, but prior to that she wrote for several television series on Nickelodeon  and Scholastic Entertainment. She also wrote a very popular The Underland Chronicles, which began with Gregor the Overlander.

Gregor the Overlander

Hunger Games

Patricia Reilly Giff is a resident of Weston Connecticut. You might recognize her name from a wide range of chater books that focus on normal children and families becoming extraordinary through everyday life. She is the author of the Zigzag Kids series, the Polk Street School Books series, Eleven, Wild Girl, Water Street, and a number more very popular titles. Patricia Reilly Giff has received the Newbery Honor for Pictures of Hollis Woods and Lily’s Crossing, which is also a Boston Globe Horn Book Honor Book. Her book Nory Ryan’s Song was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA Notable Book.

Wild Girl

Nory Ryan’s Song

Suzy Kline lives in Torrington Connecticut. She has written several chapter book that you might recognize; such as the Herbie Jones series, the Horrible Harry series, the Song Lee series, Orp, and Molly’s in a Mess. She often visits classrooms and talks to students about writing. When she does, she brings along a bag of rejections to show that even a now successful writer had her share of ‘no thank you’s’ in the beginning.

Orp and the FBI

Horrible Harry and the Secret Treasure

Mike Lupica is a New York Times bestselling author of several books for young readers, he also happens to live in New Canaan Connecticut. His books tend to focus on sports, and everything that goes along with achievement and teamwork. Some of his most popular titles include Heat, Hero, The Underdogs, and the Comeback Kids series.


Long shot : A Comeback Kids novel