Thursday, March 14, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - new chapter book series for independent readers - 3.14.19

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 independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

The #road2reading Challenge was born out of a discussion that Alyson and I had about books that support readers who are beginning their independent reading journey.  Part of that subset are readers who are starting to read chapter books.  They are ready for chapters, but even traditional transitional chapter books are a bit too long for them.  This group of readers need books that are under 100 pages, have illustrations that support the words, and are straight forward in their telling of the story.  Here are two series that are pretty new that I found at my library.  

Everybody Needs a Buddy by James Preller
Big Idea Gang: Everybody Needs a Buddy
by James Preller
Preller certainly knows a few things about writing for this age of readers - he's the author of the Jigsaw Jones Mysteries!  This new series (currently three titles in the series) has a new problem for the characters to solve - coming up with ideas to help others within their school and community.  In this first book I read, the group learns about Buddy Benches, a designated bench that is used on playgrounds where students who are looking for a friend/buddy to play with can go to.  Instead of wandering around alone, the Buddy Bench is a way to show you are looking for someone to play or talk to without having to approach a person or group.
A series I found a couple of years ago is the Fix-It Friends series by Nicole C. Kear.  I love the premise of both series because it shows kids being problem solvers.  This new series, the Big Idea Gang, is a perfect ladder for the Fix-It Friends.  It's a little bit shorter and has more illustrations.  
I think this series will be enjoyed by young readers!

Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero! by Kara West       Mia Mayhem Learns to Fly! by Kara West
Mia Mayhem is a Superhero! and Mia Mayhem Learns to Fly
written by Kara West 
illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
This new chapter book series will be a hit with readers.  Featuring Mia - when we first meet her she is just a kids who seems to find mayhem wherever she goes - who receives a letter from the Program For In Training Superheroes (PITS) that lets her know she's actually a superhero!  Not only that, she comes from a family of superheroes!  
However, her first day of school does not go exactly as planned.  She needs more help than she originally thought, but still, learning to be a superhero is pretty cool!
In the second book, she gets some much needed flying lessons.  However, just as we're coming to expect, things don't go as planned!  Mia accidentally lets some pets into the Superhero center and that creates the mayhem that Mia is used to seeing!  Mia learns that by working together, a lot more can get done.
This series is a little bit longer, coming in at just over 100 pages, but over half of the page features illustrations.  The books are pretty small and trim and the font is large, so readers will get the feel of a chapter book and holding a story over the course of chapters, but will be able to have enough stamina to get through the book.
Looks like this series will have a few more additions published over the course of the year.  Looking forward to introducing students to Mia and family!

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