• The Best Chapter Books Audiobooks and Novels for Grade One
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary

    12 of the Best Chapter Books for Grade One

    I recently shared my daughter’s favorite chapter books from her year in grade four and today I wanted to share my son’s favorite chapter books from his year in grade one!

    Grade one is kind of a tricky year for chapter books.

    Kids are learning to read but generally not ready to read chapter books on their own.

    The books on this list are either ones we read together or (and mostly) books he listened to on audio on his own.

    I love audiobooks for many reasons, but one of which is how it helps kids who are not quite ready to read difficult books but they are ready to listen to them.

    Listening to audiobooks still counts as reading.

    My son has an excellent vocabulary and I think that is largely in part to all the audiobooks that he listens to.

    Another reason I love audiobooks is because they allow kids who are naturally more fidgety and who have hands that always need to be doing something to both listen to a book and do something with their hands at the same time (playing Lego is a common activity alongside audiobooks in our house).

     

    The Best Chapter Books Audiobooks and Novels for Grade One

     

    It’s only recently happened that my son has really gotten into listening to audiobooks and I’m working hard to keep up with him to keep finding new books for him to listen to.

    That being said, all of the books on this list he’s listened to multiple times. I was going through all the books he had listened to in the last while and he only chose the best of the best for this list.

    So, here are the best chapter books/audiobooks that my son listened to in grade one.

     

    The Best Chapter Books, Read Alouds & Audiobooks for Grade One

     

    This is my son’s absolute favorite book and, no joke, he’s listened to it about 100 times.

    PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

    Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. Whether Pippi’s scrubbing her floors, doing arithmetic, or stirring things up at a fancy tea party, her flair for the outrageous always seems to lead to another adventure. 

     

    I came across this book about a month ago and he’s already listened to it multiple times, it’s definitely one of his favorites from the year.

    Almost Super

    Everyone over the age of twelve in the Bailey family gets a superpower. No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it’s their duty to protect the world from the evil, supervillainous Johnson family. *shake fists*

    But when Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny get their superpowers, they’re, well . . . super-lame. Rafter can strike matches on polyester, and Benny can turn his innie belly button into an outie. Along with Rafter’s algebra class nemesis, Juanita Johnson, Rafter and Benny realize that what they thought they knew about superheroes and supervillains may be all wrong. And it’s up to the three of them to put asides their differences and make things right. They may not have great powers, but together, they’re almost super.

     

    The Boxcar Children

    Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are brothers and sisters. They’re orphans too, and the only way they can stay together is to make it on their own. When the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to call it home―and become the Boxcar Children!

     

    When listening to Ramona he usually gets the full audio collection of all the Ramona books but he was adamant that this one is his favorite of them all.

    Beezus and Ramona

    Having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona isn’t always easy for Beezus Quimby. With a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos, Ramona makes it hard for Beezus to be the responsible older sister she knows she ought to be…especially when Ramona threatens to ruin Beezus’s birthday party. Will Beezus find the patience to handle her little sister before Ramona turns her big day into a complete disaster? 

     

    CHARLOTTE’S WEB

    Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

     

    Winnie-the-Pooh

    Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A. A. Milne, who wrote two books of Pooh’s adventures for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave them shape through his iconic and beautiful illustrations. 

    These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.

     

    A to Z Mysteries

    Dink writes to his favorite author, mystery writer Wallis Wallace, and invites him to visit Green Lawn. To Dink’s amazement, Wallace says he’ll come! But when the big day arrives, Wallace is nowhere to be found. The police think he just missed his plane, but Dink suspects foul play. It’s up to Dink and his two best friends, Josh and Ruth Rose, to find the famous writer–before it’s too late!  

     

    Calendar Mysteries

    In the first book of the Calendar Mysteries—an early chapter book mystery series—Green Lawn has a problem! When Bradley Pinto wakes up in the night to strange lights in his backyard, he wonders if there are aliens in town. When he sees three-toed tracks in the snow, he’s sure of it. His twin, Brian, and friends Lucy and Nate aren’t so certain. But then Lucy’s cousin Dink, the twins’ brother Josh, and Nate’s sister Ruth Rose all disappear. Are there really aliens in Green Lawn? And where could they be taking Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose?

     

    Holes

    Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

    It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

     

    How to Eat Fried Worms

    Billy isn’t one to back down from a bet.

    But this one is gross: If he eats fifteen worms in fifteen days, Alan will pay him fifty dollars. Billy takes the bet and tries worms smothered in ketchup, drowned in mustard, even breaded and fried.

    Worm by worm, Billy gets closer to victory, and to buying the minibike he’s always wanted. But Alan won’t let him win that easily…

     

    THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE

    In this imaginative adventure from Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, a young mouse named Ralph is thrown into a world of excitement when a boy and his shiny toy motorcycle check in to the Mountain View Inn.

    When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come a lot of obstacles. Whether dodging a rowdy terrier or keeping his nosy cousins away from his new wheels, Ralph has a lot going on! And with a pal like Keith always looking out for him, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle.

     

    Little House in the Big Woods

    Little House in the Big Woods takes place in 1871 and introduces us to four-year-old Laura, who lives in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. She shares the cabin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their lovable dog, Jack.

    Pioneer life isn’t easy for the Ingalls family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But they make the best of every tough situation. They celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do their spring planting, bring in the harvest in the fall, and make their first trip into town. And every night, safe and warm in their little house, the sound of Pa’s fiddle lulls Laura and her sisters into sleep.

     

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  • A list of 12 novels that are great for read alouds or read alones for kids in and around grade 4. These are chapter books my daughter read in grade four and loved!
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    12 of the Best Chapter Books for Grade Four

    Back in my short lived school teaching career I always thought grade four was the best age.

    Kids are still young enough where they liked school but old enough they caught on to sarcasm.

    It was like the sweet spot as far as ages go.

    Well, now my oldest is officially done grade four and I have to say, it was a great year!

    Since we added fostering into the mix this year things looked a lot different than I imagined they would, but one thing stayed the same: she read (and listened to) a lot of books.

    I asked her to share her favorite books from the year and this list is the result!

    She chose these twelve books as her favorite reads from the year and that’s pretty high praise since she had a lot of books to choose from.

     

     

    The Best Chapter Books for Grade 4 - great novels to read in grade four

     

     

    12 of the Best Chapter Books and Read Alouds for Grade Four

     

    The Green Ember (The Green Ember Series Book 1) by [S. D. Smith, Zach Franzen]

     

    This is one of her absolute favorite books/series’. She hasn’t stopped raving about it and has listened to the whole series multiple times (this year alone).

    The Green Ember

    Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

    Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.

    Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?

     

     

    Another one of her favorites, she says out of the whole series Penderwicks in Spring is her favorite though you really should read the series in order.

    The Penderwicks

    This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.

    The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.

     

     

     

    She’s gone through Narnia a few times and I love that it is still one of her favorites.

    The Chronicles Of Narnia

    Fantastic creatures, heroic deeds, epic battles in the war between good and evil, and unforgettable adventures come together in this world where magic meets reality, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years. The Chronicles of Narnia has transcended the fantasy genre to become a part of the canon of classic literature.

     

     

    We listened to this series as a family and I think I would put this as my favorite middle grade series ever.

    The WingFeather

    Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

     

     

    I love the mix of pictures and text in Brian Selznick’s books.

    The Invention Of Hugo Cabret

    Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

     

     

    This is one of those books she hasn’t stopped talking about since reading, she keeps telling me I need to read it (so I should really get on that).

    Esperanza Rising

    Esperanza thought she’d always live a privileged life on her family’s ranch in Mexico. She’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

     

     

    This was a fun fantasy series, she flew through book one and two and book three is being released later this year!

    Nevermoor

    Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

    But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

    It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each with an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

     

     

    My kids both love Roald Dahl, apparently this one was her favorite this year.

    Danny Champion Of The World

    Danny has a life any boy would love—his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest master car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. But one night Danny discovers a shocking secret that his father has kept hidden for years. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world.

     

     

    We love this series and she picked two of her favorites from this year.

    Ida Scudder

    Ida stamped her foot. Her friends were wrong. “I will not be a missionary to India like my parents!” she retorted. “Don’t any of you say I will be, because I won’t — never, ever, ever.” Ida had never forgotten the faces of starving Indian children. She hated India — it was full of horrible situations she could do nothing about.

    Ida Scudder was sure she would never follow in the footsteps of her medical missionary father. But when she witnessed Indian women dying because their religious beliefs didn’t allow male doctors to treat them, Ida heard herself pray, “God, if You want me to, I will spend the rest of my life in India trying to help these women.”

    Serving for nearly sixty years, Dr. Ida Scudder lived out the truth and compassion found in Christ. She pioneered a first-rate medical school and hospital, brought life-saving health care to rural people, and left an inspiring legacy that still touches missions of people each year with healing and hope.

     

    Lillian Trasher

    “Do you mean to say you have no food for tomorrow?” the Egyptian man sputtered. “Well, yes,” Lillian replied. The man exclaimed, “How awful! Will you be able to sleep tonight?” One of the orphan girls laughed out loud and said, “Why, Mama never has any food for tomorrow, and she never loses sleep over it!”

    “When Lillian Trasher founded Egypt’s first orphanage, others thought that a lone American woman with no means of support would surely be killed or starve to death. But Lillian – certain of God’s guidance – stood by her earlier promise to Him, ‘If ever I can do anything for You, just let me know – and I’ll do it.’

    In the midst of poverty, war, and deadly epidemics, Lillian faced each day with a heart of trust, modeling the life she hoped her children would someday live in their own homes. During fifty tumultuous years, the Mother of the Nile cared for thousands of desperate children, with unwavering faith that God does indeed look after the orphans.

     

     

    We listened to book one together as a family and then she continued on with the rest of the series. Book one takes place just before Christmas and so it makes a good read aloud in December.

    The Vanderbeekers

    The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

     

     

    Her and I both flew through Furthermore recently. She’s currently reading book two and I’m waiting for her to be done so I can get to it.

    Furthermore

    There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

    But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself–and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

     

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  • The Best Chapter Books for Boys - Great Novels for Elementary Boys - funny and serious novels for boys
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    Chapter Books for Boys – Novels Boys (& Girls!) Will Love! a combination of funny and serious books

    Today I am sharing some of the best chapter books for boys (in my opinion).

    Ephraim loves these novels so they are kid approved too! These novels are perfect for boys but most girls will enjoy them as well!

     

    The Best Chapter Books for Boys - Great Novels for Elementary Boys - funny and serious novels for boys

     

    If you want to see more book lists for boys in the future, let me know!

     

     

    The Best Chapter Books for Boys

     

    Charlotte’s Web

    Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

     

    The Mouse and The Motorcycle

    In this imaginative adventure from Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, a young mouse named Ralph is thrown into a world of excitement when a boy and his shiny toy motorcycle check in to the Mountain View Inn.

    When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come a lot of obstacles. Whether dodging a rowdy terrier or keeping his nosy cousins away from his new wheels, Ralph has a lot going on! And with a pal like Keith always looking out for him, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle.

     

    Pippi Longstocking

    Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. Whether Pippi’s scrubbing her floors, doing arithmetic, or stirring things up at a fancy tea party, her flair for the outrageous always seems to lead to another adventure. 

     

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins

    A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations

     

    Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

    Meet Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle! She lives in an upside-down house with a kitchen that is always full of freshly baked cookies. She was even married to a pirate once! Best of all, she knows everything there is to know about children. 

    When Mary turns into an Answer-Backer or Dick becomes Selfish or Allen decides to be a Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has the perfect cure. And her solutions always work, with plenty of laughs along the way. This is the book that started it all!

     

    The Best Chapter Books for Boys - Great Novels for Elementary Boys - funny and serious novels for boys

     

    George’s Marvelous Medicine

    A taste of her own medicine.

    George is alone in the house with Grandma. The most horrid, grizzly old grunion of a grandma ever. She needs something stronger than her usual medicine to cure her grouchiness. A special grandma medicine, a remedy for everything. And George knows just what to put into it. Grandma’s in for the surprise of her life—and so is George, when he sees the results of his mixture!

     

    Fortunately, The Milk

    “I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”

    “Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”

     

    The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

    Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

     

    Third Grade Detectives

    Mr. Merlin’s Third Graders are known as the Third Grade Detectives — with some hints from secret code clues and help from Mr. Merlin’s friend, the police scientist Dr. Smiley, they help solve cases. This two-in-one flip book contains the full text and illustrations for the first two Third Grade Detectives books. In their first case, The Clue of the Left-Handed Envelope, the Detectives find out who has been sending Amber Lee anonymous letters. And in their next case, a dirty handkerchief provides a clue to who’s been trespassing in Todd’s tree house.

     

    The Mysterious Benedict Society

    “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children–two boys and two girls–succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they’ll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you’re gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.

     

    Pax

    Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

    At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

    Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .

     

    Wonderstruck

    Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

    Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories–Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures–weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder

     

    The Green Ember

    Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

    Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.

    Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?

     

    Keeper of the Lost Cities

    In this riveting series opener, a telepathic girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world before the wrong person finds the answer first.

    Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks…

    But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.

    But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high-demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.

     

    The Wild Robot

    Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

    When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

    As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

     

    The Wingfeather Saga

    Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

     

    Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione

    As the Knights of the Prince await His triumphant return, they are steadfast in their mission to take His story into the kingdom and recruit as many as are willing. But when a new and dangerous threat is revealed, their mission is jeopardized.

    Sir Kendrick and his young charge, the impetuous Sir Duncan, are sent on a mission to discover the identity and origin of a secretive new order known as the Conquistero Knights. They travel to the city of Bel Lione where Lord Ra has been enticing young people in the kingdom to join his festivals, after which many choose not to return home. Their families keep quiet for fear of repercussion.

    When Sir Duncan disappears while trying to discover the truth of Lord Ra’s castle, Sir Kendrick attempts to find and enlist the help of a mysterious warrior. Time is short for he must save Duncan and call upon the knights of Chessington to join in the battle against the evil Lord Ra.

    Journey to Arrethtrae, where these knights of noble heart live and die in loyal service to the King and the Prince. These knights are mighty, for they serve a mighty King. They are…the Knights of Arrethtrae!

     

    Redwall

    The question in this first volume is resoundingly clear: What can the peace-loving mice of Redwall Abbey do to defend themselves against Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned army of rats? If only they had the sword of Martin the Warrior, they might have a chance. But the legendary weapon has long been forgotten-except, that is, by the bumbling young apprentice Matthias, who becomes the unlikeliest of heroes.

     

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  • Our Favorite Picture Books
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    Our Favorite Picture Books – Part One

    I was inspired by Julie from The Kreke Family on YouTube to do a video sharing our favorite picture books since she has been sharing videos all this month in response to the homeschool challenge I have been hosting over on Instagram.

    As I went through the house and grabbed our favorites I realized we really don’t own that many of our favorite picture books, so this is going to be part one and in the future, when we can have access to the library again, I will do a part two and maybe three, four and five as well!

    I have done tons of picture book lists on the blog in the past but as I get more into filming video I thought this would be a fun video to film because I can show you inside some of our favorite picture books.

    If you like video, I would love it if you would watch the video and subscribe to my channel on YouTube, if you prefer blog posts, you can scroll on, I’ve got all the books listed below! (But you can’t see inside them and hear why we love them all like can on the video.)

     

    Our Favorite Picture Books - The Best Picture Books for Toddlers, Preschoolers and School Aged Children

     

    Be sure to subscribe on YouTube!

     

    THE BEST PICTURE BOOKS

     

     

    Llama Llama Red Pajama

    Llama Llama has troubles sleeping but Mama Llama reassures him that she is always right there.

     

     

    One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

    From counting to opposites to Dr. Seuss’s signature silly rhymes, this book has everything a beginning reader needs! Meet the bumpy Wump and the singing Ying, and even the winking Yink who drinks pink ink. The silly rhymes and colorful cast of characters will have every child giggling from morning to night.

     

    Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

    A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck–all parade across the pages of this delightful book. Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle’s flat, boldly colored collages. Combined with Bill Martin’s singsong text, they create unforgettable images of these endearing animals.

     

    The Foot Book

    Explore all different kinds of feet, from fast to slow, front to back, big and small, and learn about opposites! Dr. Seuss’s rhymes will delight young readers and help them discover the world around them, starting with their own bodies!

     

    Monster Knows I’m Sorry

    Monsters are at Plooble School.  There’s time for work and play.  Monsters make mistakes at times.  “I’m sorry” are the words to say.

     

    Up, Up, Down

    In this zany story, Anna likes to climb on the refrigerator and her dresser and go “up, up, up” even though she falls down “ow ouch!” When her parents protest, she goes outside, where it’s okay to climb, and climbs the highest tree she can find. Sitting in the top, she goads her parents to come after her; when they fall down trying, she relents and climbs down to wrap them in “enormous Band-Aids” and repeats what they’ve been telling her: “Be CAREFUL-don’t CLIMB!” The humor is in the timing, the changing size and placement of the text, and the silliness of the plot. The watercolor illustrations are also over-the-top with ridiculously exaggerated points of view, comical-looking characters, and little jokes, such as a tiny treetop animal watching TV or stars flying off Daddy’s injured bottom. This is sure to be a hit, especially with this team’s fans.

     

    Let’s Go For A Drive

    Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
    Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
    Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

    Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

    In Let’s Go for a Drive! Gerald and Piggie want to hit the road! But the best-laid plans of pigs and elephants often go awry.

     

    If You Give a Pig a Pancake

    If you give a pig a pancake, she’ll want some syrup to go with it. You’ll give her some of your favorite maple syrup, and she’ll probably get all sticky, so she’ll want to take a bath. She’ll ask you for some bubbles. When you give her the bubbles…

    Readers will delight in the story of an accommodating little girl who tries to keep up with the whims of a busy little pig.

     

    The Little House

    Seventy-five years ago, Virginia Lee Burton created the Little House, and since then generations of readers have been enchanted by the story of this happy home and her journey from the pleasures of nature to the bustling city, and back again.  

     

    Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

    It’s getting dark out, but one stubborn Pigeon is NOT going to bed! Toddlers and parents will love this interactive bedtime romp which puts readers back in the driver’s seat, deflecting Pigeon’s sly trickery as he tries to escape his inevitable bedtime. Will you let him stay up late?

     

    The Paper Dolls

    The breathtakingly beautiful story of one little girl and her five paper dolls. A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They soon escape the clutches of the toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile, but then a very real pair of scissors threatens. The Paper Dolls is a stunning, rhythmical story of childhood, memory and the power of imagination from the author of The Gruffalo, and illustrating talent Rebecca Cobb.

     

    The Gruffalo

    A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

     

    The Story of Ferdinand

    A true classic with a timeless message, The Story of Ferdinand has enchanted readers since it was first published in 1936. All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. So what will happen when our pacifist hero is picked for the bullfights in Madrid?

     

    Love You Forever

    A young woman holds her newborn son
    And looks at him lovingly.

    Softly she sings to him:
    “I’ll love you forever
    I’ll like you for always
    As long as I’m living
    My baby you’ll be.”

    So begins the story that has touched the hearts of millions worldwide. 

     

    Chrysanthemum

    Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?

     

    Rainy Day Magic

    It’s a rainy day, boring as can be, until Victor and Joey decide to make their own fun. Soon chairs turn into castles, bumblebees turn into tigers, and whales and starfish frolic in a watery kingdom.

     

    Wolfie The Bunny

    The Bunny family has adopted a wolf son, and daughter Dot is the only one who realizes Wolfie can–and might–eat them all up! Dot tries to get through to her parents, but they are too smitten to listen. A new brother takes getting used to, and when (in a twist of fate) it’s Wolfie who’s threatened, can Dot save the day?

     

    What Should Danny Do?

    With 9 Stories in 1, the fun never ends! What Should Danny Do? is an innovative, interactive book that empowers kids with the understanding that their choices will shape their days, and ultimately their lives into what they will be. Written in a “Choose Your Own Story” style, the book follows Danny, a Superhero-in-Training, through his day as he encounters choices that kids face on a daily basis. As your children navigate through the different story lines, they will begin to realize that their choices for Danny shaped his day into what it became. And in turn, their choices for themselves will shape their days, and ultimately their lives, into what they will be.

     

    What are some of your favorite picture books?

     

    OThe Best Picture Books for Toddlers, Preschoolers and School Aged Children

     

    What are some of your favorite picture books?

  • Independent Books to Read for 8-12 Year Old - Great middle grade novels
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    10 Independent Reads for 8-12 Year Olds

    My fourth grader loves to read but goes through spurts where she reads a ton and then weeks where she doesn’t read much. I pretty much do the same so I totally understand.

    Lately she has been reading a ton of books so I thought I would share some of her recent favorites. She can read quite above her grade level (as you’ll see at the end of this list) but she also likes to pick up some age appropriate books to breeze through as well.

    Many of the books on this list are the first books in a series, in those cases my daughter has either continued on with the series and enjoyed the books or intends to continue with the series soon.

    I’m sure I’ll have another list of what she’s been reading lately at the rate she is flying through books these days. If you are looking for more good recommendations for middle grade books I have lots here.

     

    Independent Books to Read for 8-12 Year Old - Great middle grade novels

     

    INDEPENDENT READS FOR 8-12 YEAR OLDS

     

    I created a reading challenge for myself this year and my daughter decided she wanted to participate, this was her choice for a book with a color in the title.

    Ruby Holler

    Brother and sister Dallas and Florida are the “trouble twins.” In their short thirteen years, they’ve passed through countless foster homes, only to return to their dreary orphanage, Boxton Creek Home.

    Run by the Trepids, a greedy and strict couple, Boxton Creek seems impossible to escape. When Mr. Trepid informs the twins that they’ll be helping old Tiller and Sairy Morey go on separate adventures, Dallas and Florida are suspicious.

    As the twins adjust to the natural beauty of the outdoors, help the Tillers prepare for their adventures, and foil a robbery, their ultimate search for freedom leads them home to Ruby Holler.

     

    The Dark Hills Divide

    Inquisitive twelve-year-old Alexa Daley is spending another summer in the walled town of Bridewell. This year, she is set on solving the mystery of what lies beyond the walls. Legend says the walls were built to keep out an unnamed evil that lurks in the forests and The Dark Hills. But what exactly is it that the townspeople are so afraid of? As Alexa begins to unravel the truth, pushing beyond the protective barrier she’s lived behind all her life, she discovers a strange and ancient enchantment — and exposes a danger that could destroy everything she holds dear.

     

    If you haven’t had a chance to see a physical copy of Brian Selznick’s books, you need to. They are a mix of a novel and an illustrated book, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret

    Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

     

    Matilda

    Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

     

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

     

    Half Magic

    It all begins with a strange coin on a sun-warmed sidewalk. Jane finds the coin, and because she and her siblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen. And something does: Her wish is granted. Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true. It turns out the coin grants wishes—but only by half, so that you must wish for twice as much as you want. Wishing for two times some things is a cinch, but other doubled wishes only cause twice as much trouble. What is half of twice a talking cat? Or to be half-again twice not-here? And how do you double your most heartfelt wish, the one you care about so much it has to be perfect?

     

    Little House in the Big Woods

    Little House in the Big Woods takes place in 1871 and introduces us to four-year-old Laura, who lives in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. She shares the cabin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their lovable dog, Jack.

    Pioneer life isn’t easy for the Ingalls family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But they make the best of every tough situation. They celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do their spring planting, bring in the harvest in the fall, and make their first trip into town. And every night, safe and warm in their little house, the sound of Pa’s fiddle lulls Laura and her sisters into sleep.

     

    This has been one of our family favorite audiobooks to date, my daughter loved it so much she has already re-listened to it and wants to read the physical copy as well since I told her about the hilarious footnotes they have.

    On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

    Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog, Nugget.

    Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

     

    A great middle grade fantasy book that reminds me a bit of Alice in Wonderland crossed with Greenglass House.

    Nevermoor

    Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
     
    But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
     
    It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each with an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

     

    It took her a few months but she actually finished this book! She plans to start The Two Towers next month.

    The Fellowship of the Ring

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them

    In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.

    In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

  • The Best Audiobooks for Preschool to Adult
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary

    12 Novels for Grade One

    My son is in grade one this year, when my daughter was this age she was reading novels, he’s not quite there yet but that hasn’t stopped him from taking in a lot of novels this year thanks to audiobooks.

    I asked him to tell him his favorite audiobooks he has listened to this year and he came up with this list! He’s got quite the sense of humor so there are a lot of silly books on this list.

    I have made a couple of other lists of novels for grade one over the years, you can also check those out:

    + Grade One Read Aloud Novels

    + More Grade One Read Aloud Novels

    + 8 More Grade One Read Aloud Novels

    + Classic Novels for Grade One and Two

     

    We listen to audiobooks most through our library’s Overdrive and Libby apps as well as with our subscription to Scribd (you can get your first two months of Scribd free here).

    I have a post I titled the Ultimate Guide to Using Audiobooks in Your Home with lots of audio tips and tricks.

     

     

    12 Great Novels for Grade One - great for read alouds or read alones

     

    12 NOVELS FOR GRADE ONE

     

    Pippi Longstocking has by far been his favorite audiobook of the year. He guessed he’s listened to it 80 times and while I think that’s a little high I know it’s been at least a couple of dozen times. I’m sure he’s drawn to it for the silliness factor and I know he loves that he has the same name as Pippi’s father (Efraim/Ephraim).

    Pippi Longstocking

    Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!

     

    I love that the Magic Tree House series has taught both of my kids so much about history in a really fun way. Sometimes I am amazed that they know about certain people or events and it comes out that they learned it through these books.

    The Magic Tree House

    Meet Jack and Annie! Jack and his younger sister, Annie, are just regular kids. But when they discover a tree house in the woods, something magical happens. Jack and Annie are whisked back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs, a medieval castle, ancient pyramids, and treasure-seeking pirates. Every visit to the magic tree house leads to adventure!

     

    a to z mysteries

    He just breezed through listening to these ones!

    A to Z Mysteries

    A to Z Mysteries have a mystery for every letter of the alphabet.

     

    Another series he breezed through, he claims he likes these ones even more than A to Z Mysteries.

    Calendar Mysteries

    Similar to A to Z Mysteries except there is a mystery for every month of the year!

     

    This is a hilarious and totally ridiculous book that had us all laughing when we had it for a family read aloud and since then both my kids have gone on to listen to the audiobook multiple times.

    The Witches

    This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

    Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

     

    This book makes my son giggle to no end.

    George’s Marvelous Medicine

    A taste of her own medicine.

    George is alone in the house with Grandma. The most horrid, grizzly old grunion of a grandma ever. She needs something stronger than her usual medicine to cure her grouchiness. A special grandma medicine, a remedy for everything. And George knows just what to put into it. Grandma’s in for the surprise of her life—and so is George, when he sees the results of his mixture!

     

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

    Two is a crowd when Peter and his little brother, Fudge, are in the same room. Grown-ups think Fudge is absolutely adorable, but Peter and his pet turtle, Dribble, know the truth. From throwing temper tantrums to smearing mashed potatoes on the wall, Fudge causes mischief wherever he goes!

     

    Going, Going, Gone, with the Pain and the Great One

    THE PAIN AND the Great One are going places! In these new stories the kids are on the go—the Pain needs a trip to the emergency room; the family goes to the mall and not everyone stays together; the kids visit a county fair and want to ride the Super Slide; and a beach outing includes a boogie board. Lots more action and adventure for the dynamic duo who never stay still.

     

    Cool Zone with the Pain and the Great One

    The Pain and the Great One hardly agree on anything. But deep down, they know they can count on each other, especially at school, where it often takes two to figure things out. Like when that first baby tooth falls out on the school bus. Or when an unwanted visitor on Bring Your Pet to School Day needs to be caught. Or worst of all, when a scary bully says you’re burnt toast. On days like these it can feel good not to go it alone. (And don’t forget Fluzzy the cat, who knows a thing or two himself.)

     

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins

    A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations.

     

    Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great

    Who is Sheila Tubman? Even Sheila isn’t sure. Sometimes she feels like confident Sheila the Great, and other times she’s secret Sheila, who’s afraid of spiders, swimming,and, most of all, dogs. When her family decides to leave the city for a summer in the country, Sheila will have to suffer everything from long-eared dogs to swimming lessons to creepy spiders. That’s enough to drive a city girl nuts! If she survives at all, Sheila may be forced to admit that she’s no supergirl.

     

    This classic is a family favorite!

    Charlotte’s Web

    Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

     

    What have been some of your kids’ favorite novels when they were in grade one?