The book images are linked to Goodreads, so you can get a complete summary and easily add it to your books to read list!
This week I have focused on a few books that fall into the transitional, early reader category. In my library and many bookstores they are often referred to as Easy readers, but please don't use that term with my second graders! I have made the mistake of labeling a basket of books in my class with the term "Easy Readers", only to find that students avoided that basket like the plague! So, now we call them beginning chapter books - that's more enticing! I am always looking for more series books that fall into this category.
TRANSITIONAL BEGINNER CHAPTER BOOKS
Joe and Sparky, Superstars! by Jamie Michalak and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
This is a great little series that currently includes 3 books. Joe and Sparky are a perfect partnership for adventure, fun and silliness. Joe, is the more adventurous of the two, while Sparky, is the more careful and safety minded turtle. In this book Joe helps Sparky find his special talent. I particularly liked the chapter titled, 'The Dance Lesson' where Joe tries to teach Sparky the Hokey Pokey. I think my students will laugh at the story, but also be able to dig a little deeper and relate to the themes of friendship and being yourself.
Boris on the Move by Andrew Joyner
This new series published by Scholastic is part of a new line of books called Branches, books for independent readers that aren't quite ready for traditional chapter books. I definitely think there is a gap between transitional early chapter books and longer chapter books like Magic Tree House books for my second grade readers. I hope that the Branches line of books will be able to fill this gap. I plan to read more of them before I give them my stamp of approval.
FANTASY SERIES - LONGER CHAPTER BOOK
My Haunted House (Araminta Spookie #1) by Angie Sage and illustrated by Jimmie Pickering
I was not sure if I was going to like the book during the first chapter or two - but I soon got into the story and quickly finished the entire novel in an evening. Araminta lives with her aunt and uncle in a huge, old haunted house. She has always wanted to meet a ghost, and finally gets the chance when her Aunt Tabby decides to sell the house. Araminta devises several plans to try to derail the sale of the house. The story has a cute ending too. This is a great fantasy for more advanced elementary readers. It is advertised for grades 3- 5, but I think second grade readers that have lots of experience with longer chapter books will also enjoy the book. Fans of Franny K. Stein will love Araminta - she loves spiders, ghosts and bats. It is the first book in a series, but it stands alone and has no cliffhanger.
CHAPTER BOOK READ ALOUD
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
I have had this books on my list for awhile, and finally found it at my library. What a heartwarming book! Eleanor learns that her babysitter will be moving away and she is so unhappy. Julie Sternberg does such a wonderful job telling the story of how Eleanor mourns the loss of her beloved babysitter and comes to terms with this big life change. A very realistic growing up story that I know my second graders will relate to. I plan on either adding this book to my read aloud list or including it as a book club/guided reading selection for my more advanced readers. I can also imagine writing about other events that could be like "pickle juice on a cookie". Great read aloud for Grades 2 - 4. Independent readers grade 2 - 5 will enjoy also. It's a shorter chapter book, barely over 100 pages.
What are you reading this week? Do you have any transitional early chapter books that you could recommend?