What age/ORT level were your DC before they started reading chapter books for fun?(30 Posts)
I have a very reluctant reader in my 6yo DD1 & I want to try & get her to read more out of school for fun (at the moment it's a struggle just to get her to read her weekly school book). I'm looking therefore for some recommendations for books that might get her more interested in reading.
I know Horrid Henry & Rainbow Magic books are supposed to be quite good but what ORT level do you need to be to be able to read these? I'm worried that if I pitch it wrong I'll put her off reading even more so I'm looking for something that will be relatively easy for her to start off with to build a bit of confidence before moving onto some more challenging stuff.
My DD1 is on ORT10.
DS2 is in year 2 (level above lime) he has just really started reading chapter books like Beast Quest (boys Rainbow fairies equivalent?) for fun. He has been capable of reading them for a while but much preferred dipping in and out of non-fiction books.
I think he started the chapter Early Readers when he was around Orange/Purple type levels, but read them with me, not off his own back.
try oxford reading tree Biff, Chip and Kipper but as older children on adventures. still lots of pictures so not too scary in terms of chapters.
I leave books by ds's bed and he thinks he's being sneaky reading them with a torch after lights out. he gets quite excited if it is a good book and will come and offer to read it to me. bless.
DS2 is Year 2, and reading pretty much anything (technically a "free reader" at our school, and has a choice of either chapter books, or top level scheme books, and usually chooses Ruby level non fiction scheme books).
He does read Jeremy Strong, but prefer to read the Beano. My eldest was the same - enjoyed non fiction history books, and didn't really enjoy non fiction until year 3.
I wouldn't push it, tbh. Just make sure there are lots of books around.
It was year 3 when my daughter started reading chapter books on her own and enjoying them. She had been a "free reader" for at least a year before that, but it was all still hard work.
I think easy, flattering books are the way to go. Build up confidence! They soon look for more and more as they feel ready.
A good starter series is the "Magic Treehouse" series of books by Mary Pope Osborne. They look like proper chapter books but have big type as well as pictures now and then. There is an adventure in every book and a mystery that slowly unravels as you read the series.
An oldie but a goodie is "The Boxcar Children" by Gertrude Chandler Warner. She went on to write a series, but the first is the best, imo. It looks like a proper chapter book with few pictures and smallish type, but really it's a bit of a cheat! A school teacher wrote it in 1924 for her students. She was careful to choose simple words that most children would already know by sight. The book looks difficult but a beginner reader can handle it. The story is a thrilling tale of 4 orphans making their way on their own and eventually being reunited with their kindly grandfather in the end. Generations of Americans remember this as the first "real" book they ever read.
Also, you could try really good dramatised audio books (famous fives or whatever, BBC ones often very good). These might fire her imagination and she'll want to read the books herself just to get more of the same.
Agree re Happy Families books for starters, and also the early reader Horrid Henry.
Have you considered trying comics? Beano? Old annuals?
Try the Happy Families books ( mr Creep the Crook etc) not chapter books but levelled at stage 8 ish and they are fab.
She probably just still loves the illustrations and who can blame her. Books now are so beautiful. When we were children (well those of us who are old anyway) you went from a limited selection of picture books to plain chapter books. there wasn't an in between. now the picture books are stunning.
Start with some like the Lighthouse Keeper, Katie Morag, Katie in the art gallery ones which have beautiful pictures and in the art gallery ones the pictures are as important as the story so she might really enjoy talking about them. The stories are longer than a lot of picture books so they are a bit more grown up. Borrow some early readers/usborne young reading type books where the picture are colourful and in many cases humorous and see what she likes.
My daughters were not interested in Roald Dahl at all, but they couldn't get enough of Naughtiest girl. They are now listening to The Worst Witch. It really is just finding what captures her imagination. Once you get that then you can read to her, she can read the odd paragraph and then she will realise that she can and wants to read it herself.
Thanks for all the ideas guys - I see a trip to the library in my future .
DD1 loves being read to & I did start reading some Roald Dahl books to her but after a while she got fed up of them & reverted to her old picture books so I think maybe the shorter 'early readers' books might be the way forward. Just hope I can find some that can capture her interest...
At this age, reluctance is often because reading is still quite hard and tiring for them. Just keep going with the practising and reading to her and she'll come to reading books for pleasure when she's ready.
Usborne see inside and Usborne beginners are good non fiction ones that might appeal more.
what books do you read to/with her? If you move on to reading chapter books to her then she might then want to do the same. My daughter's love the Naughtiest Girl in the School books, perhaps try those.
I have 2 great readers but they have never read chapter books for fun. They love being read to! I have to force them.
DS started in the summer after Reception, so 5.2, when he discovered Magic Treehouse and Beast Quest.
Frog and Toad books are very good.
You could also try her with the easier Roald Dahl books ie The Magic Finger or Esio Trot.
DD is now on gold, level 9, and started reading Usborne Young Readers series 2 in Summer.
She also reads Magic Treehouse on her own.
There is a series called "Early Reader" at our library which has chapters and DD read them when she was on purple/.
We found that DD still needs lots of pictures and a fair large font.
DS is just into Year 2, he's is on White and so well into chapter style books, should I wish to push him, but to be honest, I'd rather leave him to pick out the ones he wants. He chooses non-fiction mostly, and when left to read for pleasure it's solely Lego books, or Star Wars comics. I am firmly of the belief that there's nothing worse than being told to enjoy reading when you haven't chosen it yourself.
Leave her be. Just choose really exciting books to read at bedtime. We read Mr Gum, David Walliams, Dahl, and the Children of adventure series. I read chapter books alone, early, but that's because I had no choice, my parents were rubbish at reading! If you push it, you really do run the risk of putting the child off altogether.
Ds rarely chooses to read for fun (if he does its likely to be magazines or comics rather than books) but still adores being read to. He's reading gold band (not sure what Ort level that relates to sorry).
I had advice from here before about not worrying and just continuing to read to him (plus he has to do his school reading of course). I'm hoping one day he will pick up a book and read of his own accord - I was a real bookworm so it's alien to me, but he is very different and more into numbers and science really.
Have to agree with the not forcing it- let her read anything and everything- my ds is a reluctant reader, reads at the right level for his age but doesn't often choose to read, so we still read to him all the time.
There are various blue and red banana books as Peri says- worth looking out for in the library/charity shops. The Red ones are min chapter books, some are quite hard though, the blue ones are not chapters so much but are often good reads and very approachable indeed. DS read and enjoyed quite a few blue banana books this time last year, then moved onto red and often had Horrid Henry or similar on the go too. I think it takes a while for their maturity to catch up and cope with longer chapters so I wouldn't go for chapters in particular, just any books at the right level that engage her.
I think at ORT 10, she will be capable of reading lots of chapter books, not just early readers. My DD started reading chapter books by herself at ORT level 8 and my DS started reading them by himself at ORT level 10. You gave to find something that really interests and excites her to get her started.
My ds was never keen to read 'chapter books' but once we got a couple of books about his current passions...Minecraft instruction manual and Dr Who annual..he always has his nose in one of those books and is getting pleasure from reading. My dd's were the same...(suddenly inspired by pony club mag and the beano!!..nowadays read avidly) My advice is please don't force it, let it happen at her pace and keep the available books varied and interesting.
oh and Old Bear Stories are good ones, James Mayhew - Katie in the Art Gallery books, Corgi Pups books (Dog on a Broomstick, The Troublesome Tooth Fairy, Happy Mouseday popular here), Laura's Star books - Klaus Baumgart,
The 'Dilly the Dinosaur' stories are also good.
Book Band 10 – White
Dogger – Shirley Hughes
The Quick Brown Fox Cub- Julia Donaldson (banana - early reader type)
The Wrong Kind of Bark – Julia Donaldson (banana - early reader type)
Scarface Claw – Lynley Dodd
Most Usborne Young Readers Series One books
Book Band 11 – Lime
Anna Hibiscus books – Atinuke
Winnie the Witch chapter books – Laura Owen
Horrid Henry books – Francesa Simon
Early reader ones I would recommend
The Kitten with No Name - Vivian French
The 2 Julia Donaldson ones above
Early reader Rainbow Fairy ones - I think there are about 6
The Witches Cat books by Frank Rodgers
The Usborne Young Readers ones are good - humerous too.
The Lighthouse Keeper books are excellent and have been reprinted in an Early Reader style - I would guess they are about book band 10ish too.
Paddington - There are 3 different sorts, the original chapter books which are small print and long so not those yet, there are also some very baby ones but then there are some longer story picture books which are great. Long enough story, hard enough text but lovely pictures and not so long as to be scary.
My daughter is at this stage - reading above 11 but finds many proper chapter books a bit too daunting at the moment, she can read them and she does sometimes but she prefers the early reader format still with the pretty pictures. She was 6 a couple of weeks ago.
My son is on purple band which I think is ORT 9 and he has just started Horrid Henry. I think Rainbow Magic would be more difficult.
Having a book has chosen and really enthused him.
Join the discussion
Please login first.