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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Favorite Children's Chapter Books

You know I love to read.  But did you know that I love children's books, too?  These are my favorite chapter books...and obviously I like series, too.  I haven't read Little Men yet, but hope to some day.

The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, ... Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside)Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery- This is a fabulous book and a fabulous series.  Maybe you don't know, but it actually wasn't written with children in mind!  It's wonderful and delightful series to read (or listen to with an audio CD) and see Anne Shirley grow into a lovely young woman and eventually a wife and mother.

Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy Books)Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace- This is another book series set in the early 1900's.  It is no less delightful than Anne, but a much younger child can begin reading  and loving these books.  Betsy-Tacy is the first book in the series, and Betsy has her fifth birthday in this book!  The books increase in reading and vocabulary difficulty as Betsy and Tacy get older.  This is another wonderful series-for a girl or woman!  They are based on Maud's own life.  Please read more about these books at The Library Hospital.  You can also see my thoughts on Betsy-Tacy and Heaven to Betsy (linked to my reviews).

The Mysterious Benedict SocietyEarlier this year I was introduced to the Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stuart.  It is is set in present day, but still seems to be a classic.  Filled with mystery, suspense, and adventure, these books are loved by boys and girls alike!  The characters-Kate, Reynie, Sticky, and Constance are different, but learn to work together to help Mr. Benedict with a secret mission.  (I also appreciate that even the bad guy is shown respect and is always referred to as Mr. Curtain as they try to discover his secrets.)  This is a three book series, but my favorite book was the first, though they are all great and will appeal to various ages.

Little Women (Oxford World's Classics)Little Women is another classic story written by Louisa May Alcott.  It's the tale of the March sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy as they grow and love in the 1800's.  There is much depth to this book, and it is thoroughly enjoyable!  Has anyone seen the movies and recommend one over another?

The Chronicles of Narnia The Chronicles of Narnia is a fabulous book series with good and evil and lots of adventure.  I know this has  become even more popular with the recently produced great movies, but it's been a classic for a long time!  I remember introducing it to my third graders as a read aloud.  The students loved it, and then many read the other books on their own.   Seriously, if you have never read this series, you should!  And may I recommend that you read it in the order written???  Begin with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!  If you begin with The Magician's Nephew, which chronologically takes place before TLTWTW, some special surprises and plot spoilers will be revealed too soon.  (You can compare it to Star the movies in the order they were made and not the chronological order!)

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting BoyThe Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and and Interesting Boy are a tight family made of four sisters and their father.  I listened to these books on audio and loved them last winter!   Family honor is sacred among these girls!  They make a new friend and adventures abound while they vacation.  I just saw on Amazon that another book will be added to the series in May 2011.  These books have no cursing, but Rosalind, age 12 has a serious crush and is boy-crazy, especially in the first book.  Also, in the second book, two of the sisters swap homework assignments.  Just a word of caution since they are recommend for grades 4-6.  They would definitely be a delightful read aloud for a family with plenty of discussion about what is important to your own family and the consequences of poor choices.  I really enjoyed these books though.  

There are so many more great books out there.  What do you recommend for me?


Dorie said...

I have never heard of Mysterious Benedict Society or The Penderwicks. Would you recommend them for both boys and girls, or just one specific gender? (I'm considering them for my older children and wondered what your opinion was.)

Annette W. said...

MBS is definitely for boys and girls. The Penderwicks has four strong girl characters...the first book has a really nice boy as a main character too, but I don't remember a main character in the second book that was a boy, though there were neighborhood boys as secondary characters.

So...The Penderwicks may work for some boys but not for others. :)

Chris said...

Oh, these are some of my favorites, with a few new to me titles in there! I love getting reliable recommendations to share with my children. I'm trying so hard help my children develop an appetite for reading.

Living Creatively said...

Great, great recommendations. We've read many of these, but I've never heard of a few. We need to add to our library list!
I'm hoping that my children will love to read as much as I do. It's one of my 5th grader's passions, and I'm hoping the boys follow suit.

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