As your child’s independent reading skills blossom, the best read-aloud chapter books are the ones that help them transition from picture books and easy readers to middle-grade fiction. The best beginning chapter books are packed with adventure, humor, and relatable characters to catch your young reader’s interest. (Which we know can feel challenging these days!)
Emerging readers reach an exciting pivotal moment: they’re ready for more complex stories that grip their attention while they approach building their budding vocabulary. Reading chapter books aloud together is the perfect way to help your child grasp wordplay and metaphors, create a space for sharing what they’ve read, and follow more complex plots independently. Our experts have compiled this list of five of our favorite read-aloud chapter books to hook your growing reader. Be sure to warm up your vocals before stepping into the voices of animals, robots, and bossy babysitters!
Wild Honey from the Moon
By Kenneth Kraegel
If your child is a lover of fantasy, magic, and folklore, this whimsical adventure is sure to capture their imagination. To save her ailing son, Mother Shrew must undertake a perilous journey to the moon to find the magical cure: wild honey. On her travels, she’ll face the shrew’s mortal enemy, the Owl; enlist the help of the frightening night mares; and brave the dreadful swarm of bees that guard the moon honey. Enchanting full-color illustrations add to the dreamy, mysterious mood, and the heartfelt message about the power of a parent’s love will send kids off to sleep on a cloud.
A Nest for Celeste
By Henry Cole
When you and your young reader are looking for a longer tale to spark a series that only the best read-aloud chapter books can offer, pick up A Nest for Celeste. Celeste is a lonely mouse who was forced to leave her cozy nest under the floorboards. As she searches for safety and a new home, she grows to know the humans occupying the house: none other than real-life naturalist James Audubon and his young assistant, Joseph. This one-of-a-kind tale brings the history of James Audubon and his famous wildlife paintings to life. Warmly illustrated throughout with hundreds of pencil drawings, the story will hold the attention of young readers and adults alike.
Narrator’s Tip: This realistic story entails some real-life challenges, including the deaths of some animal characters. Be ready for a discussion of sensitive topics like death, grief, and loss.
The Birthday Castle: Fort Builders, Inc.
By Dee Romito
Eight-year-old Caleb Rivers has a problem on his hands: he just has to have the special new edition of his favorite book to add to his collection. The only hitch? He’s ten dollars short, and his mom says he has to earn it himself. Caleb and his friends come up with a genius business idea—they’ll start a fort-building company to design and build amazing forts for all the kids in the neighborhood! First- to third-graders will love following along as Caleb and his crew navigate the ups and downs of the fort business and learn how to work as a team to build their dream. New vocabulary words are planted between plenty of helpful context clues.
Marge in Charge
By Isla Fisher
Readers in third grade and up who are ready for a bit more text on each page will get a giggle out of the goofy adventures of Jemima, Jake, and their most unusual babysitter, Marge. Marge is a classic mixed-up magical character kids will love, in the tradition of Pippi Longstocking and Amelia Bedelia. Marge’s gloriously silly antics are supported by playful illustrations that will help hold younger readers’ attention while you and your co-narrator bring silly Marge to life.
Geeger the Robot Goes to School
By Jarrett Lerner
Think robots must have it all figured out? Think again! Geeger the robot just wants to go to school, fit in, and be well-liked. But when he decides to attend human school instead of robot school, he faces a few extra challenges in that department. Readers ages 5 to 7 won’t be able to get enough of Geeger’s school-day hijinks—especially when he starts eating everything in sight. The hilarious and fast-paced story is also packed with new vocabulary words at just the right level to hide literary growth in heaps of laughter.
Build Your Read-Aloud Collection with Literati Book Clubs
Finding the best read-aloud chapter books that engage interactive readers can be tricky, but we’re confident that your child will adore at least one of these community favorites. And when your ravenous reader is ready for more? Literati is here to help.
The Literati Kids book club ensures that your reader never runs out of books they’ll be bouncing to read. Our picks are chosen especially for your child’s interests and reading level, so you can be confident every book will help build their vocabulary, expand their horizons, and help them reach their fullest potential. Get started by filling out our personalization quiz, and let us book your child a ticket to reading adventure.