10 Best Chapter Books to Read Aloud

Picture books are a fun way for parents to inspire a love of reading in young children. But if you’re a book lover a heart, chances are you’ve been awaiting the day you can share a beloved novel with your child. Even if their reading ability isn’t chapter book ready, their listening and comprehension may be. Plus, reading aloud to children helps build language and literacy skills, so pick a book you’ll both enjoy and read a chapter every night at bedtime. Check out our list below of the top ten recommended HMH® chapter books to read aloud.

The Hobbit

#10: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

"All those, young or old, who love a finely imagined story, beautifully told, will take The Hobbit to their hearts." ―Horn Book Guide

"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit." So begins one of the most beloved and delightful tales in the English language. Set in the imaginary world of Middle-earth, at once a classic myth and a modern fairy tale, The Hobbit is one of literature's most enduring and well-loved novels

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The Wednesday Wars

#9: The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

"Schmidt...makes the implausible believable and the everyday momentous...a gentle, hopeful, moving story." ―Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

In this Newbery Honor-winning novel, Gary D. Schmidt offers an unforgettable antihero. The Wednesday Wars is a wonderfully witty and compelling story about a teenage boy’s mishaps and adventures over the course of the 1967–68 school year in Long Island, New York.

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Tru & Nelle

#8: Tru & Nelle by G. Neri

"This story is heartwarming, funny, and beautifully crafted; readers will be sucked in from the very first chapter. " —School Library Journal

Long before they became famous writers, Truman Capote and Harper Lee were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama. This fictionalized account of their time together opens at the beginning of the Great Depression, when Tru is seven and Nelle is six.

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Island of the Blue Dolphins

#7: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

"A haunting and unusual story based on the fact that in the early 1800s an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone on a rocky island far off the coast of California . . . A quiet acceptance of fate characterizes her ordeal." ―School Library Journal, Starred

Winner of the 1961 Newbery Medal

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Mary Poppins

#6: Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

"When Mary Poppins is about, her young charges can never tell where the real world merges into make-believe. Neither can the reader, and that is one of the hallmarks of good fantasy."―The New York Times

With a brand new look, this classic tale continues to enchant readers of all ages!

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Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page

#5: Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant

"In the 20 years since the Mr. Putter & Tabby series began, its signature combination of storytelling, wit, and humanity have made it a staple of the beginning reader section." —Booklist

This Geisel Honor-winning addition to the beloved Mr. Putter & Tabby series takes the dynamic duo to the library for storytime.

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The Borrowers

#4: The Borrowers by Mary Norton

"The magic and charm of the writing convince children and grown-ups, too, that Borrowers really do exist."—School Library Journal

Winner of the 1952 Carnegie Medal, a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award Book, this repackaged paperback edition still has the delightful original black-and-white illustrations by Beth and Joe Krush inside. A charmer!

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The Little Prince

#3: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Always welcome is that charming visitor from another planet, Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince...The fable remains as lyrically haunting as ever."—Publishers Weekly

The story of a stranded pilot, an extraordinary little boy, and their remarkable friendship, The Little Prince has become a cherished fable for generations of readers.

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The Giver

#2: The Giver by Lois Lowry

“The theme of balancing the values of freedom and security is beautifully presented.”—The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

In Lowry’s 1994 Newbery Medal–winning classic, twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.

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The Lemonade War

#1: The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

"The basics of economics take backseat to Evan and Jessie's realizations about themselves and their relationship. Davis . . . does a good job of showing the siblings' strengths, flaws, and points of view in this engaging chapter book."—Booklist, ALA

Winner of the 2009 Rhode Island Children's Book Award, 2007 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, North Carolina Children’s Book Award 2011, 2011 Nutmeg Award (Connecticut)

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