Friday, September 21, 2012

First Chapter Book Ideas for Children

Today, I'd like to welcome guest blogger Heather Smith who is going to discuss ideas for first chapter books for children. Thank you, Heather, over to you.

When I first started reading chapter books I may have gone a little overboard. My first chapter book was The Hobbit. Yeah, I do not really recommend that for anyone else. Instead, kids should start out with something light and adventurous. Something fun to read that is not too long. You do not want them to get frustrated or bored with reading. With that in mind, here are some book ideas you may want to try to get your child to take a look at. Depending on their genre tastes, they may find a new favorite.

1.    Monster of the Year by Bruce Coville – A fun and funny book for all ages, Monster of the Year is the tale of two boys who accidentally start a monster competition in their town. When the real monsters start showing up, the boys must think fast to avoid unpleasant circumstances. Between Dracula’s taste for warm V-8 juice and the Monster from the Black Lagoon’s bathroom issues, kids will be rolling on the floor with laughter. They will also be surprised to learn who ends up winning the completion for the most monstrous of them all.

2.    Chamber of Horrors: Amulet of Doom by Bruce Coville – Would you trust a demon? That is the question kids have to ask themselves in this spooky tale. When a girl inherits a strange ancient amulet, she is in for more than a piece of jewelry. The demon trapped inside asks her to make a terrible choice. Trust him and set him free, or condemn herself to a lifetime of guarding the dangerous receptacle. The content may be scary for some children, so it may be better to wait until they are a bit older for this book.

3.    Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville – When Jeremy comes across a beautiful iridescent egg in the magic shop, he must buy it. He carefully follows the shop owner’s directions on how to care for the egg and is rewarded when something begins to hatch. That something turns out to be a dragon. Easy to hide at first, the dragon grows and grows and grows until he is no longer something that Jeremy can keep hidden. Can Jeremy find a safe place for his dragon or is it going to be taken away from him to be studied? Kids will have to read the magical tale to find out!

4.    Being of Two Minds by Pamela Service – When two children from two different continents, one a regular American girl and the other a prince, discover they have the power to see into each others' lives, no one believes them. Not even their parents. But when the prince is kidnapped, the girl has no choice but to go to Europe to find and rescue him. Their adventure will uncover plots and places no one ever knew about.

5.    The Reluctant God by Pamela Service – The daughter of a famed archeologist always helps her father out during the summer. Only this summer he really found something. Uncovering an ancient tomb, the sarcophagus is removed and brought to the museum to be studied. During the night a lightening storm brings the mummy to life. The girl encounters the mummy who asks for her help to retrieve something that was stolen from him long ago. Without it, his spirit cannot find rest. The two young people go off on an adventure to recover his treasure and return to Egypt before his time is up. A great adventure story with a touch of romance and a lot of history.

6.    Weirdos of the Universe, Unite! by Pamela Service – When the two weirdest kids in school team up for a class project, you know it is going to end up being odd. But stranger things happen still when a lighting strike at the library brings their search of ancient myths to life. From dark and scary witches of Russia to Tribbles, their fables come alive just in time to save the Earth from invasion. Will the children and the fables succeed in stopping the aliens, or will the Earth and everyone on it be destroyed?

7.    Vision Quest by Pamela Service – After her father’s sudden death, a young girl and her mother move to a desolate mining town. There the girl finds a strangely inscribed rock that allows her to communicate with a Native American boy in the past. Together they must solve an ancient mystery and bring peace to the spirit of the shaman.

8.    Storm at the Edge of Time by Pamela Service – The dark is rising, and only one man can stop it. Using his magic powers, he brings forth three guardians from diverse eras in time. One from the past, a Viking boy, one from the present, abrainy girl, and one from the future, a half-alien teenager. Together they must fight the darkness in each age and return the universe to harmony. Along the way they learn about how similar they really are.

9.    Under Alien Stars by Pamela Service – When aliens take over the Earth, most people just give up. But one boy decides he is not going to take this lying down. He tries to kidnap the daughter of the head alien, only to discover there are worse aliens out there, and that she may be Earth’s only hope of survival. They team up to fight their common enemy and end up finding out they have a lot more in common than they ever thought possible.

10.    The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) by Ronald Dahl – The adventures of a little girl who sees something she is not supposed to. One night she sees a giant blowing his trumpet into bedrooms. He notices her and takes her home to where the giants live, explaining he is the only good giant who does not eat people but rather gives children good dreams. The little girl convinces him to give the Queen of England a dream about the bad giants to stop them from eating people. The story is a fun filled fantasy with plenty of potty humor to keep the kids laughing.

11.    The Borrowers by Mary Norton – What happens to all the little things that get lost around your house? Well, they are never really lost at all, merely borrowed by the tiny people that live in your walls. That is the story behind The Borrowers, a tiny family that lives in someone’s house and borrows what they need to survive. Children will enjoy the adventures of the tiny people in a big world.

12.    Charlotte's Web by E. B. White – Everyone knows the story of Charlotte’s Web. When a spider saves a pig’s life, everything will change. This heartwarming tale of friendship is a classic that everyone should share with their children.

13.    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg – The book with a very long name, this humorous tale is all about two run away children. The oldest, a girl, decides she wants to run away in comfort to the Metropolitan Museum of New York. She brings along her little brother because he has all the money. The two children live comfortably there for a little while until they try to solve the mystery of the creation of a beautiful statue. They travel to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’s house to uncover what the elusive widower knows about the statue she donated. Eventually they solve the mystery and get their reward. A great story full of learning and adventure.

These are just a few of the great titles every child should read. There are so many great books to choose from that it is difficult to know where to start. Find out what genre your child is interested in and start from there. Once they learn to love reading, nothing can stop them!

Author Bio
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at]

A few options from Robyn Opie Parnell:
Black Baron   BUY NOW
The story of a great escape by the king of the cockroach racing world and the desperate race against time to save him from extermination!
Black Baron, Jake’s champion racing cockroach, hasn’t lost a race and Jake is on top of the world. But then his “clean freak” mum decides to clean up his bedroom and discovers Black Baron in a shoebox under Jake’s bed. Mum is aghast – how could Jake keep such a filthy pest? Black Baron escapes from his shoebox home, but Jake's mum is not deterred; she calls the pest exterminator and an hilarious slapstick tale ensues.

Stop! Do Not Read This Book
Kindle Price $2.99   BUY NOW
Sam hates to read. She hates books.
Unfortunately for Sam, her family are bookworms, her mom writes children's books and her teacher thinks reading is important.
Every day is a battle for Sam to avoid reading and to keep her secret. Life gets so bad, Sam is ready to move to Antarctica.
Instead, Sam is about to have the most embarrassing experience of her life. Will she survive?
Stop! Do not read this book -- and help Sam keep her secret.

Maya and the Crystal Skull
Kindle Price $2.99   BUY NOW
Move over Indiana Jones... Maya's life has changed. Her mother is dead, killed in a car accident; she's befriended by Ethan, a boy who claims he's from the spirit world; and now her father is missing. What does the legend of the crystal skulls have to do with her father's disappearance? Will Maya travel to Mexico to save him? How can Maya's destiny have anything to do with the future of humankind? The Mexican jungle, ancient Mayan ruins, dangerous bounty hunters and evil kidnappers... Yes, Maya's life has changed. The fate of the world now depends on her.

No comments: