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Maureen Kauzlarich

Children's Author

The Power of Chapter Books

Image by Artturi Mäntysaari from Pixabay 

Chapter books can range from 3,000 to 10,000 words. The age range can be as young as six or as old as ten. Largely seen as series, they have illustrations on most pages but not all. Chapter books are for kids going from picture books to middle grade. In children’s literature, they are an important bridge for the love of reading and learning how to read more. This blog post highlights the power of chapter books for young readers.

 

Building Blocks

Chapter books are the blocks needed to build a bridge—a bridge from visual to imaginative reading. Keeping young kids’ attention longer and building reading comprehension is what chapter books are all about. Reading these types of books aloud when kids are first introduced to them helps their listening skills. They can hear how a book should be read and copy the style when they read to themselves.

 

A Bridge

Going from short picture books to long middle-grade books with minimal to no pictures may be daunting to young readers. The short sentences, simple words, and fast-paced reading of chapter books help. There are still pictures, but not all pages will have them. Chapter books are a bridge for kids in the sea of reading.

 

Confidence Inducer

We have the bridge, but what about those unfamiliar words and longer page counts floating in the scary waters? Reading through at least one chapter book to completion can boost enough confidence so that kids keep going over the bridge. Kids may feel like they are zipping through the short chapters of a chapter book which is good. They will want to duplicate the experience over again until chapter books become all too easy. This is why they are always found in a series!

 

Potential

Chapter books show kids how to read on their own. They’ve got the bridge and the confidence to go over it. Take the same main character/s, sometimes a different setting, and always a different situation to learn from and you’ve got a chapter book series. Most chapter books come in a series, so although they are short, young readers can continue their newfound love with the next book. Classic chapter book series include The Baby-Sitters Club, Magic Tree House, Amelia Bedelia, The Boxcar Children, and Junie B. Jones to name a few. Newer chapter book series come out all the time. There's something for every kid. A series can help the potential of any child to continue the practice of reading and strive to do it all on their own.

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