Some Fun Chapter Books

We read aloud a lot in our home.  This summer, I focused heavily on classic chapter books with Big Sis (5)and Brother (3) since Big Sis will be off to kindergarten soon and we won't have as much time to read.  (Brother will also be attending preschool, but only three mornings a week.)  This summer we read or listened to the following children's chapter books.

The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner- Four orphan siblings live in an abandoned train car as they try to live on their own away from the grandfather that they have heard about.  Knowing that my daughter can soon read this book series on her own, I wanted to reread it with the children.

Stuart Little, by E.B. White- A fabulous, short chapter book about a mouse that is part of a human family.  Not only is this short, but it also has a picture on nearly every page spread.  Great for young children, even three year olds!  This would be an excellent first chapter book for children!  This was my first time reading it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White- The tale of a pig and the sacrifice of a spider.  I had wanted to share this with the children for a long time, but due to the nature of farms (raising pigs for food) and the death of a special character (not the pig), I waited until my oldest was better prepared.  I prepared her for the sad part, and she did fine.  I think Mr. White was a fabulous writer.  His writing is enriched with strong vocabulary and lessons throughout it.  (The audio version, read by Mr. White, tells of his life, as well as the rich story.)

On the Banks of Plum Creek, by Laura Ingalls Wilder- Another in the Little House on the Prairie series.  Big Sis thinks everyone should name their baby girls Laura.  I can't imagine why.

Hank the Cowdog- This has been highly recommended.  It's full of adventure and fun, especially for boys.  Hank is Head of Security on his ranch...and there was a murder...of a chicken...then another chicken.  Hank ends up being a suspect.  We are currently reading this one, and it's not quite finished, but I look forward to more Hank books!  This is a title that older children will still enjoy A LOT!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis- Both of the children loved escaping into the wardrobe with Lucy.  When it came time for some of the intense moments, I paused the audio CD and prepared them.  I really enjoy exploring Narnia as an adult (though I never did as a child...).

Betsy-Tacy and Tib, by Maud Hart Lovelace- Though the story may be about three little girls in the early 1900s, they have enough adventures and imagination that even my son is interested.  They love this book (second in the series).  I am grateful for my Betsy-Tacy Treasury and highly recommend it as a gift for 5-11 year old girls.  Older girls should explore the other Betsy-Tacy books including the high school years (here and here)through marriage.  The B-T Treasury has the first four Betsy-Tacy books in it.
Big Sister also read a couple books herself, including The Littles and Betsy-Tacy.  The picture above is of Big Sister reading Betsy-Tacy, her very first full-length chapter book!  (She is reading the single book, not from the Treasury.)

I should probably explain that we read Betsy-Tacy shortly after Big Sister's fifth birthday, so that is why she was able to read it independently while we were reading Betsy-Tacy and Tib together.

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}


  1. I'll have to try some this year. I tried reading a chapter book once and it didn't go over well. I guess I can just let the kids play while I read.

    1. I would definitely would recommend Frog and Toad, Poppleton, Henry and Mudge, and Mr. Putter and Tabby books first...once those chapter books hold the interest...the others are easier! Cynthia Rylant is my favorite short chapter book author!

    2. P.S. My son esp enjoys playing while I read aloud if there aren't a lot of pictures. I don't mind. Sometimes he sits right with us. :)

  2. Have you heard the audio CDs of Hank the Cowdog? They're even better. The author reads them and really brings the characters to life in it. My boys LOVE them.

  3. OH YAY!!! Are you all enjoying Hank!??! I really do hope so!

    Great list. And as Ticia said - the audios are awesome. I just loaned ours to some close friends here in town who are going on a road trip. Their kids are my kids ages and so I'm hoping to get a good report after they come home. :)


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