Some New and Noteworthy Kids’ Chapter Books

February 2, 2016


Before I began to write this blog, I followed several people who blogged about adult books and their lives. My two favorites, by far, are Modern Mrs. Darcy and Emily P. Freeman’s blog, Chatting at the Sky. This past Friday, I received an update from Chatting at the Sky, titled “Let’s Share What We Learned in January”. I’m sure I’ll be reading a similar post from Modern Mrs. Darcy in the next few days. I love this practice, because it encourages you to look back and appreciate your experiences. In September, I started keeping lists of what I learned each month. It’s amazing how many things one learns, large and small, each month. This got me to thinking about all the new books from 2015. In an average year over 5000 children’s books are published. That number is always amazing to me! So I decided to put a little bit of a twist on “What I Learned this Month” and change it to “New Chapter Books I have learned about in 2015”.

When I was a school librarian, I always kept up with the new books by reading many reviews from so many sources. I received weekly emails notifying me about what was coming. I was able to keep up to date with my favorite authors and my favorite genres which enabled me to keep the library collection current. Unfortunately, when I lost my school email address I lost touch with those organizations Luckily, now I am renewing my contacts with many sources, and as I do that I am discovering some new kids’ chapter books that I missed. So I decided to share these with you. I hope you might find some special books to share with your child or your class.

Chris Grabenstein chapter books

We’ll start with the chapter book, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. This is a great adventure that reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Mr. Lemoncello, the most creative and notorious game maker in the world, being very similar to Willy Wonka. The characters are led on a wild and crazy game while they are locked in the amazing, state of the art library. Happily, the author, Chris Grabenstein has published two more books, which are equally fascinating, The Island of Dr. Libris and Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics.

mr. lemoncello
Chris Grabenstein Chapter Books

Wendy Mass Chapter books

Wendy Mass has been one of my favorite authors for many years. Her books all contain a surprising twist with a little magic and wonder mixed in! They appeal to both boys and girls. My favorite of all is probably Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. Jeremy and his best friend spend the summer before his 13th birthday searching for the key to a mysterious wooden box which is said to contain the meaning of life. 

I was delighted when I was looking at my local library “Battle of the Books” shelf and discoverd a new book by Miss Mass that I didn’t know about, Pi in the Sky. 

Pi in the Sky chapter book by Wendy Mass.
Pi in the Sky chapter book by Wendy Mass.

She has written so many other notable and extremely popular books as well, such as Every Soul a Star and her Willow Fall Series.

lisa graff chapter books

Lost in the Sun chapter book
Lost in the Sun Chapter Book

I was delighted to see that another favorite author had written a new book, Lost in the Sun. This book has appeared on all of the “Best of 2015 Chapter Book” lists, and I’m not surprised. She has written so many well loved books in the past. Her books can be mystical or they can tug at your heart strings, but they are always memorable.

pam munoz ryan chapter books

riding freedom
Riding Freedom Chapter Book

The first Pam Munoz Ryan book I read was a historical fiction book, Riding Freedom, which described the first female rider for the Pony Express. This book is especially memorable to me, because I partner read this book with my third grade niece, Julia, many years ago. I was taking a Children’s Literature class at the time and one of the assignments, was to partner read a book with a child. Julia was living in New Jersey, but thanks to email, we were easily able to share our thoughts about the book. In fact, if you have a child in your life who is not close by, I highly recommend this method! It is wonderful to have that shared experience and when you do visit with the child, you have so much to chat about.

Echo Chapter Book

Miss Ryan published a highly reviewed book in 2015, Echo. In fact, this is a Newberry Honor book. As a reminder, this is an award given to  the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” There is one winner, as well as three honor authors honored each year.

brian selznick chapter books

Brian Selznick’s previous popular books, The Invention of Hugo Cabretthe 2008 Caldecott Winner for the best American picture book of the year, and Wonderstruck were always difficult to check out in my library, although we had six copies of each title. The kids loved the amazing black and white illustrations on every other page and the intriguing stories. I was so happy to see that Mr. Selznick has published a new book, The Marvelswhere he creates two new stand alone stories, with the first being completely comprised of illustrations and the second an intriguing puzzle in prose. 

sheila turnage chapter books

Odds of getting even
Odds of Getting Even Chapter Book
Ghost of Tupelo Landing
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing chapter book

In 2013, Miss Turnage published an extremely popular book, Three Times Lucky, a Newberry Honor bookThis is a hilarious mystery, with endearing characters. Happily, two more books were added to the series this year, Ghosts of Tupelo Landing and Odds of Getting Even.                                  




rick riordan chapter books

Finally, I want to tell you about a new fantasy series, by Rick Riordan, author of the hugely popular Percy Jackson and Olympus Series books. It is Magnus Chase and the Gods of AsgardAfter his mother’s death, Magnus is tracked down by a mysterious uncle his mother has always warned him about as being dangerous, but his uncle tells him an impossible secret. He confides that Magnus is the son of a Norse God. The second book in the series will be published in October.

I’m afraid this post, has gotten a little lengthy, but there are just so many new books I want to share with you. I’ll do that in the coming months, I promise! Hopefully, some of these titles will be favorites for the children in your life!

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More about Susan

Hi! I'm Susan, a wife, a mom and a recently retired elementary school librarian with 22 years of experience. One of my greatest joys is to connect kids with a perfect book, which then leads them to a lifelong love of learning. Through my blog, I'm hoping to reach parents, their children and teachers to help them find those special books. I’m also hoping to offer some tips and techniques to use with your children as you read aloud.

I appreciate your comments!

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