Chapter Books to Read Aloud

At night when sunshine goes away,
And it's too dark for me to play,
I like to come inside, and look
For new friends in a story book.


What books do you read to your class?

That's always a popular question on the KinderKorner Mailing List, and on many of the other teaching lists I belong to.

I've compiled a list of books suggested by teachers all over the world, to help you make your selections.  Many of these books may be available in your school library, or through the Book Clubs like Scholastic and Troll.

What is the purpose of a read aloud book?  Enjoyment?  Comprehension?  The introduction of "good" literature?  Another way to reinforce the curriculum you're teaching?  I think all of the above reasons are valid.  I also think that, by choosing good read alouds for our students, we build a desire for them to go read more books on their own.  That's one of the reasons that series books, like Junie B. stories, are so popular.

When we were children, we got hooked on Henry and Ribsy, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and more.  Today's kids are more likely to read The Boxcar Children, Animorphs, The Babysitters Club, GooseBumps, and other newer stories.  Many of these series are above the level of our emergent readers, but because they like the stories, they're motivated to try.  In many ways, reading is reading is reading, and if they want to try harder books on their own, it's terrific.

So here -- in no particular order -- is a list of the most frequently mentioned titles when kindergarten, first,  and second grade teachers are asked "What do you read to your class?"  The great news about paperback chapter books is that they're almost always less than $4, which is much less than some of the picture books we buy for kindergarten, first, and second grade.  Enjoy!


"Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books are great to read to first graders."
Leah T.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic



"Start with something short like Frog and Toad,
then move them to longer books."

Frog and Toad
Are Friends

Frog and Toad

Frog and Toad
All Year

Days With
Frog and Toad



"My favorite chapter book to read aloud to first grade is All About Sam by Lois Lowry. It's the story of a little boy (from birth to pre-school) told from his point of view. My kids LOVE it! They roar whenever he does something funny... or wets his diaper. You know how they are about anything to do with the bathroom! :-) They are also very motivated to hear it. They choose to hear the story over extra recess even!"   Beth /1/MA

All About Sam
Under $4

See You Around, Sam
Under $4

Attaboy, Sam!
Under $4



George and Martha Story Collections

George and Martha

George and Martha
One Fine Day

George and Martha
Back in Town



"At the beginning of the year my students always love the Sweet Pickles
series.  They were my sister's books years ago.  Later in the year my students
took to the Polk Street School series and became obsessed with the
Junie B. Jones books."

Note from Victoria ~ I checked Amazon, and the Sweet Pickles books are all out of print.  There were many requests/reviews posted to the site, begging the publisher to reprint these books.  Now my curiosity is up, and I'll have to try to find one and see what all the fuss is about.

Polk Street School Books ~ All Under $4

Write Up a Storm with the Polk Street School

Count Your Money with the Polk Street School

Pet Parade

The Secret at the Polk Street School

Turkey Trouble

Show Time at the Polk Street School

Look Out,
Washington, D.C.!

Next Stop,
New York City!

Oh Boy,

Let's Go,

Green Thumbs,

Postcard Pest



Junie B. Books ~ All Under $4

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus

Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business

Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying

Junie B. Jones and that Meanie Jim's Birthday
Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth
Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake
Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren
Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed
Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook
Junie B. Jones Is a Party Animal
Junie B. Jones Is a Beauty Shop Guy
Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy

Here is the URL for Junie B. Jones Pen Pal Club at Random House:


"My kids love The Twits ... had a senior last year come back and ask if I
still read that to my kids.  He still remembered loving it in first grade!"

The Twits
By Roald Dahl
Under $4

"I start the very first day with Matildaby Roald Dahl. I read it the last two
years and the kids fall in love with what I call "Chapter Book Time."  I
usually read one chapter a day. Yes, it sometimes takes a while to get
through books, but it is worth it. They get to know many authors this way.
While I am reading, they draw/write in their "Chapter Book Reading Response
Journals" (I know it's a mouthful!). One page a day, about what they are
hearing me read. It is a very relaxing time for the kids!"

Matilda and more ~ Chapter Books by Roald Dahl



Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

James and the
Giant Peach



"I read the Little House series to my class.  I also read Mr. Popper's
Penguins and The Secret Garden.  After we were done with The Secret Garden we watched the video ... they liked comparing the book and the movie and were very excited to tell me what the differences were between the two."

Little House Chapter Books ~ All Under $4

Little House Farm Days

Adventures of Laura and Jack

School Days

Christmas Stories
Little House Friends
Farmer Boy Days
Hard Times On
The Prairie
Laura and Nellie


Mr. Popper's Penguins
Under $4


The Secret Garden
Under $4

The Secret Garden
Video Tape


"My 2 favorite chapter books to read to first graders are
My Father's Dragon and Trumpet of the Swan.
My Father's Dragon is shorter and better for the first half of the year -- I
have never seen kids so excited about a book as they are with that one.  I
usually start reading the book 2 weeks before the Christmas break and for
Christmas I give all the kids a copy of the book -- I can't even describe the
joy they and I get when they open them!"


My Father's Dragon

Elmer and the

The Dragons
of Blueland

Three Tales of My
Father's Dragon
50th Anniversary


Classics from E.B. White

The Trumpet
of the Swan

Charlotte's Web



"My class loved Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey."

The Adventures of
Captain Underpants
Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies From Outer Space

Captain Underpants
and the Attack of the Talking Toilets



More Favorite Chapter Books

The Mouse and the

Henry and Ribsy

Henry and the

Henry and Beezus

The Boxcar Children


The Boxcar Children Surprise Island

The Boxcar Children Schoolhouse Mystery

The Boxcar Children Tree House Mystery

Sideways Stories From Wayside School

Wayside School Is Falling Down

Wayside School
Gets A Little

Sideways Arithmetic
From Wayside


"The first chapter book I read is Belinda's Hurricane,
a wonderful adventure story about a young girl and her Grandmother
on an island in Maine."   Alison/Illinois/1st

This title is currently out of print.


Looking for more ideas?

My bookstore pages have lots of information on how I use various materials in my classroom, and on activities you can do with your students.  The thematic pages are complete unit resources, with lots of poems, songs, and links on each page.  Make yourself comfortable and take a look around!

Choose from the categories below.
Underlined subjects are links, the other ones are coming soon!

Top 10
Must Have
Phonemic Awareness
Integrated Curriculum
Balanced Literacy
Mini Books
for Emergent
Pat Cunningham Books &
4 Blocks Books
Writer's Workshop
Guided Reading
How to
Trade Books
and others
Pocket Chart Resources
 Songs and
About Me
Back to School
Marvelous Math Books
Read It!
Draw It!
Solve It!
What's In A
Literature for Math
I Love
Monthly Themes
Their Way
Bears Everywhere
Down on the Farm
Rain Forest
Going Buggy!
Chapter Book
Read Alouds
Spring Has Sprung!
Come Into
A Camping We Will Go!
Under the Sea
A Rainbow of Colors
I Lost
Me & My
 Special Books for Special People
reading for pleasure
Coming Soon!

These pages are updated often,
so please come back soon to see what's new at KinderKorner!


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This page went online on July 30, 1999

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are copyright by Victoria Smith, 1998 & 1999.
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