Knowing When Your Child is Ready for Chapter Books

“Mommmmm!!! Everyone at school is reading chapter books and I’m not!” Sally whined one afternoon upon picking her up from school. “…and I really want to read a chapter book!!”

How do we know when our children are ready for chapter books? Are all chapter books the same? If my child is ready, how do I know which series to start with?

Chapter books often seem all the rage in first and second grade. It’s sort of like a fad; kids see other kids reading them and think: So and so is reading chapter books. Everyone must be reading chapter books. Why am I not?

This can sometimes be a tricky situation for early readers. But when delicately handled, a seamless transition can take place. As children learn to read and gain confidence with their reading, there are some early chapter book series that are perfect for this sometimes windy road. Frog and Toad, Henry and Mudge and Flat Stanley are just a few great early chapter book series for boys or girls. They are generally good for students who are reading at a level corresponding to the end of first grade or beginning of second grade. Often your child’s teacher will be able to tell you if your child is ready for these kinds of books. You can always check one of these books out from the library and check to see if it is a good fit book, like we talked about in this previous blog.

Also, remember if your child is unable to read these early chapter books independently, try a shared reading where you read a page and then your child reads a page. If the idea of a chapter book is too overwhelming altogether for your child, then you can read the whole chapter book to your child. Often parents will only read picture books to their children as a bedtime story, but chapter books are great reads for anytime. Happy reading…one chapter at a time!