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Holly E. Newton
Friday, March 09 2012

Chapter Books for Young Readers

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This is the last of three reviews geared for new readers. The books listed below are for readers who are able to read more complex stories with many chapters, smaller font and with fewer pictures sprinkled throughout. But all the books still cater to the newer readers in this category; hence, there's still pictures found in the books.

N encyclopediaKingfisher First Encyclopedia is the perfect introduction for kids at this reading level to begin their research into facts of interest to them. It's full of bright pictures, photos and maps, and the lay-out of information is kid-friendly making learning and enticing.

And while I'm in non-fiction, here are two more books that kids will enjoy learning about. I Survived is a series that introduces young chapter readers to some of the biggest disasters in history and they are all geared for young chapter book readers. The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906, by Lauren Tarshis, is the newest publication in the series and it deals with the catastrophe back at the turn of the last century.

Magic Tree House has a "Fact Tracker" series that is non-fiction for young readers to learn about.

Dog Heroes, by Mary Pope Osborn and Natalie Pope Boyce, and illustrated by Sal Murdocca, actually gives interesting background to the story "Dogs in the Dead of Night", also by Osborn.

Toys Come Home, by Emily Jenkins, and wonderfully illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky, is actually a follow-up from two previously published stories ("Toys Go Out" and "Toy Dance Party"). How-ever, you don't need to read the other two stories to enjoy the adventures of these delightful and engaging toys as you learn about how they came alive.

N muncleMuncle Trogg: Small Giant. Big Adventure!, by Janet Foxley, and illustrated by O'Kif, is a great story that will surely draw young readers into the magic of reading. Muncle Troggg is the world’s tiniest giant that ends up having a giant heart. When he meets a young school girl, the surprises and action begin. It’s amazing so much can be packed into 224 pages.

Beast Quest is a great reading series that many boys love reading. My favorite book in this series is by Tony Abbot, but Adam Blade is also good. Here are a few of the newest books in this series: When Monsters Escape, Amulet of Avantia, The Battle Begins and Blaze the Ice Dragon. Many of the pictures are action drawings which help navigate the action!

The Faeries' Promise: The Full Moon, by Kathleen Duey, and illustrated by Sandara Tang, is the fourth book in a series and it is the perfect story for those young readers who love magic, fairies and adventure. The black and white pictures are richly drawn and help move the story along.

N dessertNo Room for Dessert, by Hallie Durand, and nicely drawn by Christine Davenier, is the perfect book for that chef entrepreneur. Eight-year-old Dessert (yes that's her name), is sure to win the invention contest at school with her "Vending Dresser", but ends up losing to the two-headed lemonade shooter. But her dream is about to become real when her family heads to a fondue restaurant. Check out the yummy recipes found at the back of the book.

Gooney Bird on the Map, by Lois Lowry, and delightfully illustrated by Middy Thomas, is a continuation of stories about 2nd grader, Gooney, and the shenanigans of what takes place when most of the rest of the class is going on a vacation during break. Gooney makes some adventurous plans using the U.S. map in a unique and educational way.

Clementine and the Family Meeting, by Sara Pennypacker, and drawings rich with expression by Marla Frazee, is another great story about this engaging heroine. Clementine is quite nervous about the sign she just saw on the fridge: "family meeting". In the meeting, she learns that her family is about to grow. Clementine isn't thrilled with this information. She doesn't think she needs another sibling, but she has a lot to learn by the end of this most enjoyable book.  

N RolandRoland Wright: at the Joust, by Tony Davis, and drawn with much humor by Gregory Rogers, is the third book in this series about Roland who is just a young page in this circle of knights in armor. But he's just heard that there is to be an actual tournament with jousting – and the winner will be crowned king. He is about to learn many life lessons in this very charming story.

Duck for a Day, by Meg McKinlay, and sweetly drawn by Leila Rudge, showcases strong determination and friendship when Abby is sure she'll get selected to tend the class duck overnight. But she must first make her home perfect for Max the duck. But her neighbor and classmate also want the duck and are also preparing to have him spend the night. This hilarious story will keep you reading to the very end.

N deadliesThe Deadlies: Spiders on the Case, by Kathryn Lasky, and illustrated by Stephen Gilpin, is the second book about these very poisonous spiders. But they are actually very nice and helpful, if only others will give them a chance. They are now living in the Boston Public Library and are attempting to help their new spider friend help save some rare books that might be cut from the shelves.

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