Third Grade Reads…a lot of series!

Geronimo Stilton

This year, I’ve been fortunate to work in a school where the kids love to read for fun. Throughout the year, I’ve noticed a couple of standout books, the kind of book where there is waitlist for reading; the kind of book where if they can’t find a new book to read, they’ll reread one […]

Funny business

broach_miniature world of marvin and james

Cockamamie mysteries, confectionary disasters, well-meaning primates, and oddball friendships. All of the above abound in the following fantastically funny chapter book series entries. Elise Broach’s new early chapter book series Masterpiece Adventures extends the antics of Marvin (a beetle) and James (a boy) from Broach’s middle grade book Masterpiece (Holt/Ottaviano, 8–11 years). In The Miniature […]

Talking about chapter books

julian_joey_omakayas

This week we are reading three chapter books — The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series and each has a strong central character, an element that I think is essential in early […]

The Stories Julian Tells

The Stories Julian Tells

The Stories Julian Tells is the first book in an ongoing series about brothers Julian and Hughie, and their neighbor Gloria. This is an early chapter book, for readers who have acquired some fluency but aren’t ready to tackle longer books yet. The chapters are fairly short, there’s lots of conversation, the plot is easy […]

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

joey pigza

The Joey Pigza books are hugely popular with upper elementary kids. Joey Pigza is the first of the series and while it’s not spelled out, I think it’s pretty obvious that Joey has ADHD. I like sharing this book with teachers because they tend to look at the situations so differently from the way Joey’s […]

Two articles related to chapter books

jackgantos

This week in addition to our three chapter books, we are reading two articles. The first is Robin Smith’s piece about her road to becoming a second grade teacher who loves LOVES books, and how she shares them with her classes: “Teaching New Readers to Love Books” from the September/October 2003 Horn Book Magazine. The […]

From the Editor – April 2012

roger_left

I’m so pleased to see the “kooky chapter books” Elissa Gershowitz reviews above. First, because they’re chapter books: while there is hand-wringing about the state of picture book publication and The Hunger Games is dominating the media, chapter books—which I define in A Family of Readers as the first place “kids get to be on […]

Kooky chapter books

Sonya Harnett "Sadie and Ratz"

Staid and predictable chapter books these aren’t. Oddball characters (a pair of hands?!), weird situations, and off-kilter settings make these selections stand out from the crowd. In Sonya Hartnett’s Sadie and Ratz, the titular characters are the pair of hands that belong to Hannah — and get her into trouble. Most especially, they try to […]