Best Chapter Books for Children – Worth Searching For
Stay involved with your child’s reading even middle graders: how to find the best chapter books
When our children are very young, we are often very involved in choosing picture books to share at bedtime. No doubt your child will have some favorites that she wants to hear over and over again. Hopefully you’ll find time to visit the public library and return home well-stocked with a mix of books, some chosen by your children and some that you’ve picked.
Depending on the size of the collection at your library, you may find it helpful to approach the shelves, armed with a list of authors or titles that you’d like to “check out.” To this end, I strongly suggest using a trusted source to identify some of the not-to-be-missed titles.
Award winners are often well worth a look. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre maintains lists of award winners on their website and in their annual publication; Best Books.
By the time your child is independently reading chapter books, it is tempting to “bow out” of selecting books and leave the choices to her. Hopefully, she has been blessed with a school librarian or classroom teacher who will take an active part in recommending titles.
If your middle-grade reader has difficulty finding chapter books that engage her, may I suggest getting actively involved in the search? Look for the following resources:
David Bouchard’s For the Love of Reading – books to Build Lifelong Readers. With the help of Sally Bender, Anne Letain and Lucie Poulin-Mackey, Mr. Bourchard provides great book ideas (500 annotated listings, some Canadian) for children of all ages. Included in the book, more than 100 French children’s books.
James Blasingame’s Books That don’t Bore ‘Em includes books for older children – grade 5 and up. In addition to providing annotated lists, it includes author interviews.
Books That Don’t Bore ‘Em at Amazon.com
Jim Trelease offers many, many book recommendations in The Read Aloud Handbook. His commentary and suggestions are sure to inspire you and your child.