Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#road2reading Challenge - Transitional Chapter Books for older readers 4.18.17

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.

* congratulations to Melanie Roy for winning last week's giveaway, a copy of Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen's Platypus *

Transitional Chapter Books

What are they?  My own definition is transitional chapter books are a stepping stone for readers who are ready for longer texts but may need support before reading traditional middle grade novels.  

Some characteristics of transitional chapter books:
  • chapters are shorter in length
  • font is larger than that of a middle grade novel
  • plot lines are fairly simple to follow 
  • illustrations may be included, but not on every page
Just like in all formats, there is great variation within transitional chapter books.

Today's post will concentrate on transitional chapter books that are meant for older readers.

As discussed in previous posts, the road to reading is different for all who journey on it.  Some readers will be ready for these books as early as 1st/2nd grade.  The great thing about these books is how they appeal to the older range of readers as well.  They have great story lines and are likely to hook readers.  We know reading is a social event and readers look to each other for book recommendations and see what their peers are reading.  The great thing about these books is no matter the level of difficulty, you'll find ALL readers wanting to get their hands on these books!


The Bad Guys: Episode 1
"The Bad Guys" series by Aaron Blabey

Sam the Man  the Chicken Plan
"Sam the Man" series by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year
"Charlie Bumpers" series by Bill Harley

Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe
"Cody" series by Tricia Springstubb

The Jolly Regina (The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters #1)
"The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters" by Kara LaReau
This first book is a bit complex - some tricky vocabulary - but the story is engaging, and short enough, that readers will stick with it.

Rise of the Balloon Goons (The Notebook of Doom, #1)
"Notebook of Doom" series by Troy Cummings


Lights, Camera, Middle School! (Babymouse Tales from the Locker)
Babymouse: Tales From the Locker
by Jennifer and Matthew Holm
published by Random House
July 4th, 2017
I know most of us are familiar with the very popular Babymouse graphic novels by the same author/illustrator.  Babymouse is growing up with her readers and is now starting middle school.  Yes, middle school, the place where you question everything, including who you are.  Babymouse has the same insecurities as her readers, and seeing yourself in a book, whether you're worried about straightening your hair or straightening your whiskers, is important for all readers.
What I love about this first book in the series, is it still has the visual piece for readers to hold on to - there are graphic novel frames or illustrations on almost every page.  The chapters are named which help give the reader an idea of what is coming.  The font is bigger and the plot is easy to follow.  If the reader has read the series, they will find familiar sayings and characters.
This is a series that is going to be well loved by many, many readers.  It will support readers who are not ready for longer chapter books and those same readers are going to see readers all around them with that same book in hand.
Score another one for Jenni and Matthew Holm!

What series do you like to use with older readers who need supports?  Share titles in the comments!

Did you swing by Alyson's blog yet?  Check out her post about a new sports book!  

We would love to have you join in on the conversation!  If you're a blogger, think about joining us on Tuesdays.  Or, if there is a topic that you have questions about, please share in the comments!


  1. I still have to read some of these titles. Thanks for reminding me about them. I also have a transitional chapter book post brewing. :-)

  2. The Notebook of Doom series is definitely popular with my 2nd graders. And our 3rd graders have loved Bad Guys. Thanks for sharing these!

  3. The Eerie Elementary series is a great series to add to this list.