Does anything sound better than getting home, snuggling up with your kiddos, and reading to them from their favorite chapter book? If you’re an avid bookworm, you know what we’re talking about. Some kids fall in love with reading at a very young age, delighting in the world of storybooks. Others aren’t so quick to join the reading club – and many times, it’s because they just haven’t found the right story yet, to pull them in and spark their imaginations.
Looking for a bedtime read to add to your nightly routine, or an interesting book to bring with you on your family vacation? Whether your kids love getting wrapped up in a tale, or you’re trying to foster a growing interest in reading, here are some of the best chapter books for reading along with your kids. The best part? These stories are enjoyable for adults, too!
This classic children’s tale pulls you into life on the easygoing, rural farm – where the runt of the litter piglet, Wilbur, makes an unlikely friend in a spider named Charlotte. You’ll get to know Fern, the young girl who saved Wilbur’s life, and explore life from a farm animal’s perspective; along with the underlying themes of feeling outcast from society, and accepting those who are different from us. At 184 pages long, it’s a chapter book suitable for readers ages 8-12.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
As one of the bestselling fiction books of all time, your children will fall in love with the magical world of Harry Potter. The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, follows Harry’s journey from the land of muggles (non-magic folks) to the universe of magic spells, wizards, and villains. The series starts out with shorter novels, appropriate for readers in grades 5 or 6. As your children become better readers, they will grow with the 7-book series; which gradually becomes more appropriate for readers in grades 6 through 8, as the series goes on.
If your kids are intrigued by a mystery plot, then hop on a bus to Camp Green Lake. In Holes, Stanley Yelnats lives under a family curse that brings him nothing but bad luck. His luck seems to hit rock bottom when he finds a pair of stolen shoes, and is mistakenly accused of theft. Stanley is sent to an all-boys detention center called Camp Green Lake, where the juveniles are required to dig holes in a dried up lake, day in and day out. As he gets to know the people at Camp Green Lake – and becomes an expert in wielding a shovel – Stanley discovers there’s more to the area’s history than he thought. This book is appropriate for children in grades 5 to 9.
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
If your children enjoy fantasy, whisk them away into the land of Narnia with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. In this delightfully enchanting story, four siblings are sent away to live with a Professor during WWII. At the Professor’s house, they discover a magical wardrobe that leads them to the world of Narnia – and starts them on an adventure they won’t soon forget. Read this book with children in grades 6 to 8.
James and the Giant Peach
A story that’s guaranteed to enrich your imagination, James and the Giant Peach is a good choice for reluctant readers. In this tale, young James goes to live with his evil aunts after losing his parents. Life seems to be getting more miserable by the day, until he acquires some peculiar magic crystals. After accidentally spilling the crystals on his aunts’ peach tree, James finds himself rolling away on an exciting adventure inside an unbelievably giant peach. This imaginative tale is appropriate for readers in grades 3 to 5.
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden follows the story of Mary Lennox, who is sent to live with a distant relative in England after losing her parents. In an entirely new place, with an unfriendly relative, things don’t seem to be going in Mary’s favor. After finding an abandoned garden, things begin to brighten – and with the help of her new friends, Mary brings the garden back to life. This book appeals to many age levels, including children in grades 3 to 7.
Introduce your children to the dystopian genre, the concept of destiny, and the value of history with The Giver. Meet Jonas, an almost-12-year-old boy who lives in a perfect world. In December, each 12-year-old receives his or her work assignment at the Ceremony – an important part of their perfect society. Jonas’ assignment is different from the rest; it’s special, and it leads him to a man called the Giver. With the Giver’s guidance, Jonas discovers concepts he’s never dreamed of before; and learns how fragile his world really is. Read this book with children in grades 5 to 8.
This is just a short list of reads – a tiny slice of the multitude of wonderful books out there – but it gives you a good starting point, to dive into the world of stories with your little munchkins. Which one of these books will you read first?