By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd
It is exciting milestone when children learn to read, but even more exciting when they independently tackle chapter books. Children exude a great sense of pride when they begin reading “big books” all on their own. I personally love chapter books that are a part of a series as they “hook” readers into wanting to read all of the books in the collection. My children were especially fond of many chapter books series, prompting my Book Nook selections this month.
Please know that while children may be strong enough readers to enjoy these books on their own, it is still a great idea to continue reading aloud to them for as long as possible. Early readers especially love the “break” of relaxing and hearing a book read to them. After all, reading is “big work” when you are young. There is also a lot of science behind the value of hearing stories read aloud. In short, it does a lot of amazing things for developing brains.
As you make summer plans, be sure to carve out time for you and your children to visit your local library and bookstore. You can select the first of several books in these series or others that capture the eye of your young ones. I guarantee you will be making return trips to secure subsequent titles. Please note — this list does not come close to exhausting all the great series. I could have written about so many more!
Ask your favorite librarian or bookseller for additional suggestions. Enjoy!
Hank Zipzer series — by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
This series has been tried and true for a long time. Every book in this series is wonderful, well-written with engaging story lines that are not only funny, but relatable for kids. The authors are impressive — one is an actor, who is also dyslexic, known for his role in the sitcom Happy Days (1974-1984) and the other is the co-founder of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows
I love Ivy and Bean so much, and so did my daughter. These stories feature two very different girls who become great friends despite their differences. Wonderful humor, positive messages and a little mischief make these stories unputdownable.
Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Children will enjoy reading about Nate and his trusty companion, Sludge, as they work to solve mysteries that revolve around everyday situations that children will easily relate to. Mystery-loving children will enjoy trying to figure out “whodunit” alongside Nate.
Cam Jansen series by David A. Adler
This is another fun mysteries series that is sure to entice your young detectives into reading. The featured detective is a young girl, Jennifer, “Cam” Jansen, who got her nickname for having a photographic memory. This is a fun series that may lead your children to adding detective to their list of future career options.
Jada Jones by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Nneka Myers
North Carolina author Kelly Starling Lyons has crafted wonderful stories about a brave, confident, science-loving fourth grader named Jada. These books are perfect for kids with an interest in STEM and highly relatable to all predicaments young children find themselves facing.
Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish/Herman Parish
Amelia Bedelia entertained me as a child and then became a favorite character for my children. It was originally written by Peggy Parish, but the series was handed down to her nephew to continue after she passed away. Amelia, the adored housekeeper who takes everything quite literally, will keep your children laughing throughout each one of Amelia’s tales.
Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant
Readers will love adventures with Henry and his fun-loving, huge English Mastiff, Mudge. This inseparable dynamic duo experience many of life’s trials and tribulations, but emerge triumphant with their strong friendship carrying them through. This fun and tender series will be a family favorite.
The World According to Humphrey series by Betty G. Birney
Humphrey will scamper his way into your heart and the hearts of your children from the first chapter. Each book features an interesting story about the life of Humphrey. This beloved classroom hamster is ingenious, lovable and always keeping everyone on their toes.
Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
Without a doubt, Mary Pope Osborne crafted a series that not only entertains, but educates readers. Siblings Jack and Annie are the featured characters who travel through time to places where they experience all sorts of adventures. Parents will enjoy them as much as children do!
Ramona and Beezus series by Beverly Cleary
Just saying the names, Ramona and Beezus, puts a smile on my face. These books have been well-loved for many years. Ramona is a charismatic, spunky third grader with lots of curiosity about all things in life. Your children will wish there were more books in the series!
Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Children with a penchant for Greek mythology will devour these books. My daughter read them over and over. The primary characters, Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite and Artemis, are a diverse group of close friends who, along with other mythological characters, will entertain and inspire readers with great storylines.
Ellen Bryant Lloyd is a writer and mom of two children, one who has flown from the nest and the other is not far from it. She blogs about perspectives on life and parenting at mindfulmom.wordpress.com and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue, a freelance writer and memoir ghostwriter. Ellen lives in Greensboro with her husband, her daughter, when she is home from college, and the sweetest dog ever. She looks forward to seeing her son, who is now living and working in a nearby metropolitan city, as often as possible.