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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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What We Are Reading Right Now: The Chapter Book Edition…

August 28th, 2016 · 5 Comments

Some weekend reading for you all… A couple of our kids are in the chapter book reader stage of reading, they all still love reading easy chapter books and there are so many great and creative books in that category that I don’t rush them to move on. This possibly the hardest stage of reading for parents as their kids step out into reading on their own and suddenly the shear volume that they get through means that you can no longer veto every book they read and you have to have taught your children some discernment.

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This is the season of endless series and even the plodding readers tend to get into a series and then read themselves through them. I can’t love all the series they choose to read and I mostly don’t read these to them at all, except just to start them off. In fact, I tend to leave them to it at this stage and let them wind their way through to the next series. I have to say I am just happy they are reading, building fluency and launching their reading career. An amongst all the endless series there are sone genuine gems, this is a level of book that is not to be missed out on, there is a lot of new material produced at this level, and a lot of it is well worth discovering.

Se7en + 1 of the Latest Chapter Books


Alfie Onion written by Vivian French and illustrated by Marta Kissi: This is really a great book for gaining confidence for an emerging chapter book reader. It is a fairytale, filled with lurking trolls, ogres and forests, not to mention every one has a funny “vegetable” related names. Alfie is on a journey, really his brother
Magnifico Onion is on an adventure, and Alfie is there to carry the luggage. It turns out that Magnifico, who has hero status because he is the seventh son of a seventh son, is not quite the great adventurer that he thought he was and he has to rely on Alfie to save the day. Alfie is definitely the underdog, and has the special ability that he can talk to animals. This is pure fun… and of course everyone lives happily forever after. You can discover Vivian French over here and Marta Kissi over here.


The 52 Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton: This is part of a series… and if you haven’t read The TreeHouse Series then we highly recommend them… higher than highly!!! In fact these would be my absolute go to book gift for kids, boys especially (my girls read them but my boys loved them) who are a little bit nervous to dive into chapter books. These books are literally inhaled in our house, lovely fat chapter books, illustration rich and the story of the combined author/illustrator’s magnificent treehouse. The author/illustrator team live in this incredible treehouse and every book in the series adds another crazy thirteen stories to the treehouse… in this one there are genuine snakes and ladders, and a ninja snail training academy, as well as a high-tech detective agency. These books are slapstick, they are silly, they are hilarious and packed with good clean fun. They are great for building confidence in beginner readers… everybody wants to say they have read a fabulous fat book. Our reviews of The 13 Story Treehouse and The 26 Story Treehouse and The 39 Story Treehouse and their very own website over here.


The Parent Problem by Anna Wilson: This is the story of Skye Green, a twelve year old girl who has always wanted to write a book and to this end she keeps a diary, that she hopes someone discovers and publishes someday. Pages of her journal are interspersed throughout the book… and you get a real insight into her life because of it. She has an extremely annoying younger brother called Harris… and then her mother launches onto the scene in a bright and glitzy outfit that goes against all fashion sense… Skye describes her life as mortifying. While Skye is mortified by her mother’s antics, and doubly mortified that the hulky teenage son from next door comes over to babysit her and her brother… her mother isn’t actually at dance class, she is goAnd then new neighbours move in… and more mortification occurs… it is out-loud-laughing funny… there are lots of peaces to the puzzle about and it all comes together at the very end. You can read Anna Wilson’s Blog over here.


Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo: Kate Di Camillo, we love… and Raymie Nightingale is a walk down memory lane for her… so we love it too. This is the story of a ten year old girl called Raymie, whose father has run off with the dental hygienist and her quest is to get him back. Her “well thought out” plan is to enter a talent pageant, The Little Miss Central Florida Tire Competition, and win… and then her father will notice her in the paper and come back to her… But on entering she gets far more than she bargained for, and here in lies the story, true friendship can be found in unexpected places. Her two friends are complete opposites, between stubborn Beverly Tapinski and dramatic Louisiana Elefante, they all have to learn a lot more than twirling batons. They have have to learn to depend on each other and be there for each other through thick and thin. This is a poignant funny read that like all Kate Dicamillo’s books will appeal to far more than just those who see themselves as the main character. (Spoiler alert) When you read the second to back page, there is a list of things that happened in Kate DiCamillo’s life that were very similar to Rymie’s… that list and possibly that she never could twirl a baton, are the keys to why so many people will love this book… it makes everything relatable.


Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess by Meg Cabot: Hood #6 absolutely loving this series and has slowly worked her way through them. In the first book in this series, Olivia finds it hard to believe that she is an actual princess, when in fact she always thought she was just a regular school girl with a regular life. In the second book, Olivia is invited to join the extended family as they prepare for an elaborate family wedding and every thing starts to go terribly wrong. The question is, can Olivia save the day? Meg Cabot has written quite a few series… including her hugely popular (especially in our house) teen reads the Princess Diaries, this series is really something she has written for her primary school audience to enjoy. Meg Cabot is popular for a reason, her books are excellent reads.


Funny Stories for 7 and 8 Year olds selected by Helen Paiba: These books are collected short stories by the “best of the rest” children’s writers and would make great gifts… the only problem with them is that they have an age on them… which means that my nine year old, who would enjoy them… won’t touch them. Authors like Magdaret Mahy, Michael Bond and Dick King Smith, Anne Fine, P.L.Travers, Judy Blume and many more. The stories are indeed funny and a really worthy selection of tales to be told, but I used them as fillers for a quick read, when we found ourselves between books.



Fairy Dust, Fairy Treasure and Fairy Dreams by Gwyneth Rees: This is light chapter reading, very definitely for girls who like fairy stories. In each book there is a girl going through a difficult time. In Fairy Dust, Rosies parents split up and she moves to an island in Scotland and the new elderly neighbour says, “Watch out for the fairies. And then Rosie starts to discover fairies everywhere. In Fairy Treasure, Connie is sent to stay with her boring aunt and uncle for the summer… her uncle suggests that if she is bored, maybe she should go down to the lake to look for fairies and Connie thinks he is a little bit mad. And then she meets a book fairy, she is a little distressed because she doesn’t love books at all, and so the story winds on. In Fairy Dreams, Evie is sent to stay with her Grandma, her Grandma is very ill. Evie discovers that fairies live at the bottom of her bed and rather than the bottom of the garden. These books are fairly easy reads that my girls enjoyed because they are stories about real children just like them, and the fact that there were fairies who helped each of the girls with their troubles meant they enjoyed the stories better.




Thank you so much to PanMacmillan South Africa for the copies of these books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to create it and the opinions expressed are as usual, our own.

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Tags: Brilliant Books

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Christi {Jealous Hands} // Aug 28, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    All of these sound so fun! The only problem with so much new material coming out all the time… Now my boys are too old to want to go back and read these!

  • 2 MrsFF // Aug 29, 2016 at 6:49 am

    These books looks amazing. Will have to check out some of them. I can hear my wallet screaming don’t do it 🙂 🙂
    I love having a kid that loves reading. We are doing everything we can to cultivate the habit and so far it is paying off so much so that even on nights when we are too tire she insists on “reading” just one more page before bed time

  • 3 catjuggles // Aug 29, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    A is a huge Meg Cabot fan and even did a talk about her this year
    catjuggles´s last blog post ..The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music….

  • 4 se7en // Aug 30, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Hay Cat, I know about Meg Cabot… Hood 3 and now Hood 6 are huge fans, love her work. Hope you have a good week!!!

  • 5 se7en // Aug 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    MrsFF, you are so right, reading is the best… you are lucky to have a long reading journey ahead of you with your sweet gal… hope you have the best week!!!

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