All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.
My daughter picked up reading very quickly (I cannot say the same for math. Or any skills that need a sense of logic.....). At the beginning of kindergarten, I was fortunate enough to have the reading materials she needed to support the beginning of her journey. Along with those books, we read picture books and more picture books. And when she was ready to listen to longer stories, we started with chapter books. Chapter books that were in a series, that were predictable and were short enough they held her attention. She loved the Rainbow Magic, Heidi Heckelbeck and Princess Posey series. And when she was ready, she took over reading those series on her own. Soon enough, she could finish these books in under an hour. The library became our best friend. I stopped buying the books because she would finish them so quickly and she was a kid that didn't want to reread. She wanted the next book!
Eventually I tried finding longer middle grade books that had appropriate content. My daughter has my genes and she wanted to own books as much as get them from the library. By finding longer books, I knew these books would last her over a stretch of time so I didn't mind buying them. The problem was, she would start these books, get about halfway, and then abandon them. Time after time, she went back to those books that she could finish in under an hour. Why? Because as a young reader, she was still working on her stamina.
Young readers are still working on stretching that attention to last over days of independent reading time. While they can do that with support (i.e. listening to a teacher/caregiver read a longer chapter book to them), it's harder to do that on their own. So while we continue to allow opportunities for their stamina to grow, we also need to ensure we have books for them to independently read and be comfortable working through. Their days of reading true middle grade novels will come. And when we allow them time to grow, they will be ready for them and embrace those novels.
In the meantime, here are some series you'll want to make sure you have available:
My Happy Life
by Rose Lagercrantz
This is the first book in a series about young Dani. It's a realistic fiction series so young readers will find themselves within the pages. Longer in length, but black and white illustrations are on every layout, which will help those readers who are getting used to longer texts.
The Infamous Ratsos
by Kara LaReau
I am so excited for this series! This first book has episodic chapters once the general plot is explained. Predictable chapters, silly events, this will hold a young readers attention!
The Two and Only Kelly Twins
by Johanna Hurwitz
I would have loved this book as a kid - about identical twins... yet that doesn't end up being special enough! To compete with triplets, they have to invent another sibling. Fun and realistic escapades with these girls!
Rider Woofson series
by Walker Styles
Wonderful beginning mystery series. Predictable and with the same cast of characters except for (usually) the "bad guys", readers will enjoy finding out what Rider and his PI pack get up to this time.
The Bad Guys series
by Aaron Blabey
With plenty of illustrations on each page, readers will enjoy both the text and illustrations that make up this hilarious series!
Commander in Cheese series
by Lindsey Leavitt
Fun new series about mice that live in the White House! Reminds me a bit of the Littles by John Peterson with the mice trying not to be caught by the people in the White House!
Puppy Pirates series
by Erin Soderberg
Oh, I love anything Erin writes! Something I learned about this series that I love - Erin shared that the Pug Prank that happens in chapter 1 of each book, will always come back and help with the solution to the problem. It's predictable things like that that authors put in books that help readers!
by David A. Kelly
Any sports fans out there? Kelly has a new series about friends that love being active and playing sports, but always have a problem or two they need to figure out. Relatable and fun!
The Dino Files series
by Stacy McAulty
Oh dinosaur aficionados.... this series is for you! Ever wanted to raise a dinosaur? Well, that's exactly what happens to Frank!
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree series
by Ellen Potter
Oh, I love selling this series - how do you get to school everyday? The characters in this story live on an island and they take a ferry to school! Add in a fairy tree - you know, a secret fairy that lives inside a tree and when you leave it a gift, it leaves a return gift. It may not be what you want, but it's exactly what you need.
These are great series to get in the hands of young readers. With a cast of familiar characters, the same setting in book after book, and a problem/solution format that ends up feeling very comfortable to readers, you are sure to get kids returning to these books over and over. Find them at your local library!
Find some other series over at KidLitFrenzy. Alyson shares more series you'll want to find!
Care to join us in the #road2reading Challenge? Link up here!