We go to the library 2-4 times a month and I let each of the boys pick out a handful of books that they are interested in.
We buy Scholastic Books on Caleb's reading level, centered around characters he loves, in an effort to keep him interested in reading.
We read at all times of the day including in the morning, after school, at dinner and at bedtime.
It made me very happy to hear from Caleb's teacher at this last Parent-Teacher Conference that she can tell that we read to him and not only that but she can see the difference it has made in his reading and comprehension skills between the first of the year and now.
I also see a difference, one that has nothing to do with "reading accuracy or fluency" or "phonemic awareness," or "benchmarks," but rather a growth in his love for reading.
While its important to me that my son be able to string together a sentence and be able to read and understand others' sentences, I also want him to be able to access all of the magic and knowledge that reside within books.
And that is why we started reading chapter books together at night before bed. We started last September when we read The Tale of Despereaux as a family after receiving the book at a school function.
Soon after Caleb asked if we could read another book together. We chose The Boxcar Children because both my husband and I remembered reading this book as a child. From there we moved onto The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and then Stone Fox.
At the beginning of the year with the help of Caleb and my husband we chose thirty-six more chapter books to read, for a total of forty--one for every week of school.
You'll find our reading list below with links to Amazon, where you can find more info about each book including a synopsis, available formats and prices. (NOTE: These links are not affiliate links, but merely a place for you to find more information out about the book should you like to.)
The books below are listed in alphabetical order, not the order in which we are reading them. I would recommend starting with shorter books first to build interest and momentum ;)
1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
2. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
3. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
4. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude chandler Warner
5. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
6. Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe
7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
8. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
10. The Cricket in Time Square by George Selden
11. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
12. Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
13. Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
14. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
15. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
16. Holes by Louis Sachar
17. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
18. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
19. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
20. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
21. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
22. Mary Poppins by Dr. P.L. Travers
23. Matilda by Roald Dahl
24. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
25. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
26. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
27. Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
28. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
28. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
29. Rascal by Sterling North
30. Ramona and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
31. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
32. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
33. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
34. Stuart Little by E. B. White
35. Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
36. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
37. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
38. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
39. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
40. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
We've been averaging about a book a week and to hold our place each night, I made these bookmarks with a few of my favorite quotes about reading.
Feel free to download and print them off for your own personal use!
Do you see any of your favorite chapter books for young readers on this list? Or do you have another you'd like to share? If so I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!