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Best Read-Aloud Chapter Books for Pre-K through Grade 3 (Part I)

March 3, 2021

If you’re looking for a way to spark your child’s love for reading and appreciating a good story, it’s time to incorporate read-aloud chapter books into your child’s everyday routine. Not only will your child get lost in the world of the story as you tell it, but it provides an awesome opportunity to ask the questions necessary to improve reading comprehension skills. 

Why Read-Aloud Chapter Books? 

You probably already know that reading aloud to your child can benefit him or her even more than by simply speaking in everyday conversation. Books, even children’s picture books, often include vocabulary your child wouldn’t be exposed to in everyday discussion. Reading aloud to your child is beneficial no matter what children’s title you choose. 

But let’s think deeper than merely learning language. Of course, learning to read is a huge milestone, and it’s one skill that your child will need for every other endeavor in life. Children’s picture books and leveled readers are crucial to your child’s developing literacy skills, and Kids Academy has a wide assortment of print and video resources that help kids learn to decode and read words. However, learning to read is hard work, and kids need to experience the joy that is getting lost in a good book! That’s where chapter books come in. Let’s take a look at of the best read-aloud chapter book titles and series that both you and your child will love! 

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

This title likely needs no introduction, as there’s no doubt you may fondly remember this classic tale from your own childhood. Rediscover this classic book, and take your child on a trip to Zuckerman’s farm to visit Wilbur and his dear friend Charlotte.

This heartwarming tale will entertain your child, while teaching lessons about friendship and love. Introduce the concept of theme, and discuss the life lessons that can be found within the pages of this charming classic. Easy to read, and enjoyable for both children and adults, Charlotte’s Web is one of the top read-aloud books for 1st grade and up. 


Stuart Little by E.B. White

Accepting others for who they are is an important life-lesson and theme that can be explored in this classic children’s book, also authored by E.B. White. Loved by generations of kids, Stuart Little has been the inspiration of several film adaptations, but the original text remains much-loved and endlessly exciting. Adopted by a human family, Stuart Little embarks on a series of adventures while trying to seek out his dear friend, a songbird that stayed with the family and befriended him. While along for the ride, use this book to talk about overcoming adversity, showing courage, and accepting others, big and small. 

The Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osbourn

Get ready to follow Jack and Annie on their enchanting adventures with a magical tree house! Immerse your child in a magical world that isn’t just limited to the space of one book. If you’re ready to engage your child in a reading adventure, start with picking up The Magic Treehouse Series. This captivating book series features a number of books— 31 to be exact, with #31 arriving in January of 2019! 

And don’t just stop there; if your child loves these books, explore the topics presented in greater depth with the non-fiction companion series, The Magic Treehouse Fact Trackers. Once your child is older or more advanced at reading, continue on to The Magic Treehouse Merlin Mission series, meant for older children. When you begin reading this series to your child, get ready for it to grow with your child and watch as his passion for reading grows with each new title, making this one of the best read-aloud chapter book series for elementary kids of all ages! 

Reading outdoors

Nikki and Deja Series by Karen English

It’s a tough task to find classic read-aloud chapter books that feature a diverse set of characters that appeal to today’s American children. The Nikki and Deja series is a contemporary and highly relatable choice. Help your child explore common elementary school struggles, particularly when it comes to friendships.

Nikki and Deja are two heartwarming African American girls who live next to each other and are the best of friends. Together, their friendship grows as they overcome common challenges they face in the 3rd grade. This adorable series will capture your child’s attention as they learn about real friendship and how to overcome sticky social situations they may encounter at school and in life. 

Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald

We’ve all read or heard of Dicken’s holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. But let’s face it, considering the tale is basically a ghost story about Christmas, it can be downright frightening for young children! Instead, let’s take a look at Christmas read-alouds that entertain without scaring the spirit right out of your kid! 

Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday is a hilarious holiday tale that will have your child wishing for snow this Christmas! Celebrate the holiday season with a little humor and an exciting story with this popular title from the larger Judy Moody series! 

Judy Moody by Megan McDonald

Speaking of Judy Moody, the holiday book above is part of a much larger series. In fact, much like The Magic Tree House series, there are multiple series within the Judy Moody enterprise. Alongside Judy Moody titles, you’ll find an array of series, including Judy Moody & Friends, Judy Moody and Stink, and especially for boys—the Stink series, which features Judy Moody’s brother, Stink. No matter your child’s age, Judy Moody and her comical brother will delight your young reader with humor and fun. Each book by Megan McDonald includes lighthearted comedy and silly situations to keep young readers coming back for more! 

Children reading

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene

Does your kid love a good mystery? The Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew collection is the ultimate book series for mystery-solving sleuths. Satisfy your child’s curiosity with the childhood version of Nancy Drew. Complete with 40 compelling titles, box sets are easy to find and will keep your children’s curiosity piqued.

Perfect for helping your child make predictions, reading mysteries offer the opportunity for kids to read closely, look for clues, and master story sequencing, developing critical analysis skills. Keep your child curious and engaged while reading, and improve reading comprehension easily and effortlessly with this fun-filled chapter book read-aloud series! 

The Hardy Boys Secret Files Series by Franklin W. Dixon

Awesome for boys who love mystery, but not Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys Secret Files Series is yet another awesome choice for mystery-loving children. The Secret Files series feature brothers Joe and Frank Hardy, who are determined to be just as good of a detective as their dad! The first book in the series takes your child to the arcade to solve a mystery, while other books solve crimes and quandaries of all kinds around town! With 20 books in the series, your child will have plenty of mysteries to crack while improving story comprehension and analysis skills! 

Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park

Junie B. is a cute “almost six year old” when she starts her very first day of kindergarten starting with the first book in the series. This hilarious chapter book series for kindergarteners on up is a joyful read for both parents and kids alike! Keep reading all 27 books in the series, all of which highlight the humorous adventures of Junie Beatrice Jones.

If you have a child who is hard to engage or struggles in reading or following plot, this series will delight with nonstop comedy and a relatable character. Keep your child motivated to read with this exciting and funny book series, which is popular with kids from ages 5-9! 

With so many amazing options to choose from, it’s safe to say that you’re sure to find a book or series that you and your child will enjoy together. By incorporating read-aloud chapter books into your daily reading routine, you can ignite your child’s passion for reading. Used in conjunction with learn-to-read resources, like leveled readers, instructional storybook videos, and educational apps, chapter books can supplement your child’s reading education by improving comprehension and developing critical analysis skills.

Last but not least, your read-alouds will motivate your young reader to master word decoding and fluency so he or she could read independently, all the while enjoying quality time spent reading with mom or dad!

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