Moving on to Chapter Books
Chapter books for children are ideal for making the transition from "easy readers" to texts that are more complex. The books are precursors to great novels that include timeless classics as well as today's most engaging works. The structure of chapter books helps kids make the transition seamlessly.
The normal progression in reading takes several steps:
- Picture books
- People, places animals and things
- Bright images and durable structure
- Easy readers
- Short, succinct sentences
- Simple language
- Images on every page
- Sometimes organized in chapters
- Chapter books
- Organized like mature books
- Table of contents
- Few illustrations
- Middle School Novels
- Novels for Young Adults
Chapter books are excellent selections because they offer great opportunity for children ages 7 to 10 years old to read about their favorite subjects. Biographies for children and historical fiction are great resources for building reading skills while learning about history in an entertaining format. Many chapter books relate to current issues and topics that are applicable to a child's life. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is a prime example of books for kids that touch upon everyday situations that are relevant to children's experiences. The texts are engaging and often humorous, promoting a love of reading.
Students having difficulty reading can benefit from comprehension stories for struggling readers. These books offer motivating elements that parents and teachers can use to enhance reading comprehension.
Selecting Age-Appropriate Books
Age appropriate books do not have to fit into a specific category. The idea is to use the most motivating topics and images as possible to engage the child. Some books are designed for specific grade levels but it is most important to consider the child's developmental stage, which may be a little behind or well advanced.
The best approach to selecting the right chapter books for a child is to become actively involved in the process. Evaluate the child's reading ability, interests, and strengths in order to make selections. The child can benefit from having an opportunity to shop for books with parents or to visit the library every week. These experiences serve as excellent opportunities for learning as well as wonderful memories of childhood.