Juvenile Pile: Back to School, Back to Chapter Books

Christopher started 2nd grade on September 5th, and like past years, he’s supposed to be reading 15-20 minutes every day. As you know, we were struggling to get him to read over the summer, so we were allowing a lot of picture books. Now that school has started, I want him to be reading things that are more on grade level, i.e. chapter books, but he was still reluctant, at least at the start.

We’re trying to get back into our school year routines, which has been challenging with all of my traveling for work and Isagenix eating schedule. I’m trying to commit to eating a family dinner each night. And we typically do homework immediately following dinner – sometimes Christopher does his homework while Jim and I finish eating. We’re trying to do the required reading time as part of homework time, so he’s more awake than at bedtime.

For nights that he has drum lessons (he started in September) or soccer practice that doesn’t always work out. What I’m finding works well lately is alternating pages with chapter books. It helps to have me start the book to hook his attention. Or else for longer books, alternating, with me reading more than one page at a time, is helping us get through the books quicker.

Here are some books we have been reading lately.

The Fenway Foul-Up (Ballpark Mysteries #1) by David A. Kelly

I can’t remember where I heard about this series, but I thought it might be of interest to Christopher since he’s pretty into baseball right now. The story is about two cousins – Kate and Mike – and their trip to Fenway park. The star Red Sox player’s bat has been stolen during batting practice, and the kids are determined to solve the mystery. The clues were pretty obvious to me, but Christopher didn’t figure it out. I loved the suspense. It helped hold his attention.

4 Stars

Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2) by Jeff Kinney

We watched these movies recently because I was hoping they’d spark Christopher’s interest in the books, and it worked. He brought this book home from the school library, and he was determined to finish the whole book. I love the mix of text and pictures. But I don’t love Greg’s attitude. He’s not the nicest kid – even to his friends. Christopher enjoyed reading this book, but I may let him read the others in the series on his own.

3 Stars

Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder (Junie B. Jones #20) by Barbara Park

I read this book to Christopher over the course of a few nights. Junie B. loses her first tooth, and she is afraid to leave it for the Tooth Fairy because she doesn’t understand what the Tooth Fairy does with all of the teeth. It made me a little nervous because I thought it would prompt questions about the Tooth Fairy (which we do, but I hate because of the lying), but it didn’t. We both found this book fun and funny like others in the series.

4 Stars

Into the Wild (Warriors #1) by Erin Hunter

Christopher picked this book out at Powell’s on our vacation in Portland. It’s a graphic novel about a cat who used to live in the wild among a warrior clan of cats, but he’s since been captured by humans and semi-domesticated. He’s trying to find his way back to his clan. He read most of this first book (our book has the first 3 books in it), but I read a couple chapters. He seems to be enjoying the series, and I found it to be a decent read, but not amazing. I like how the humans are called “two-legs.” And I like that he’s fairly interested in reading this book. We’re struggling to find books that hold his attention.

3 Stars

What are your children reading?

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