25 Top Chapter Books to Read With Your Child at Bedtime​

mom reading to her daughter

Chapter books. Two words that are harder on parents than one would expect. Sure, we're proud when our kids "graduate" from picture books, but all too soon we know they won't need us to come into their bedrooms at night for a bedtime story.

I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to give up that special time at night without a fight. And according to the experts, you shouldn't either. Even when your kiddo is zooming through chapter books, it turns out they still need Mom or Dad to read to them at night.

"As children become proficient readers, they begin to place an emphasis on comprehension. While this is extremely important, children may overlook proper reading expression," explains Laura Bailet, PhD, operational vice president of the Reading Bright Start! program at Nemours Children's Health System.

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That's why it's crucial for parents to continue reading aloud to their bookworms.

"As a parent or caregiver, reading aloud continues to provide a model for good reading practices in fluency, inflection, and rhyming," Bailet explains. "It also serves as a great opportunity to introduce new words/meanings and texts beyond their reading level."

Makes sense, doesn't it? And yet, some two thirds of parents of kids 8 and under admit they don't read to their children every night.

If your child bristles at the idea of being read to, Bailet suggests a little role reversal. Let your child read to you, and ask them questions about the author's purpose in including certain storylines or characters. Query them on unfamiliar words and discuss important topics. You can also try switching back and forth between parent and child from chapter to chapter or night to night.

Still struggling to keep bedtime stories fresh and exciting (hey, you've been doing this for years!)? Maybe this will help: The Stir asked parents, teachers, and even a few librarians to suggest the very best chapter books for reading aloud to kids and to explain why they're worth adding to your kids' bookshelves (or at least hitting the library for a copy).

Some tackle tough subject matter that's best for kids to encounter with a little adult guidance (although they're all kid-appropriate). Some have historical references that might need to be explained to kids. And some? Well they're just plain fun to read out loud!

chapter books to read aloud to kids

Have you read #18 to your kids yet? Which is your favorite?

 

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