March is Reading Month – Chapter Books

As promised, here are a few online story sites for those readers well past their primers, but not quite ready for the world of Harry Potter and Mark Twain.

Walks with Red Dog
The memoirs of a naturalist and his farm dog, Red Dog. Most of the stories are just a few paragraphs long, so you can cover one or two in a sitting. Better suited for fourth grade and up (mostly due to the vocabulary and longer sentence structure), these stories could also work well with older elementary students reading to younger students. Most of the stories take place while master and pet are on a walk outdoors, so there’s plenty of wildlife discussed for those students interested in nature and one dog’s misadventures with it.

A short story that follows Celeste, a young women struggling to support herself and win guardianship over her young foster-care brother, TK. TK, a young genius, spends his days confined to a wheelchair while taking online courses from the local college. Their world is dusty, uncultured, and uninspiring until one day the Bikesters roll into town, and challenge all the local bikers to a “Run what ya’ bring” midnight match race. This story is a bit gear-headed when it comes to describing the motorcycles and the racing, but it’s a pretty captivating read as TK explores just how high-tech the world of bike racing is, and Celeste tries to make a better life for the pair.

The Adventures of Banph
If you’ve ever enjoyed any of Brian Jacques stories of the animals of Redwall, then the adventures of Banph are right up your alley. This story revolves around the unlucky ant warrior Banph (the only one to be born without wings), and his attempt to defend the Carpenter Empire from its enemies. If your students enjoy reading tales of anthropomorphic critters, they should enjoy reading about the medieval world of Banph. The images are wonderfully drawn, fully colored, but you might want to save this story for some more advanced fifth or sixth graders as the vocabulary is a bit challenging at times.


    Be careful who you suggest this to, but here’s an online horror book:

    Super cool graphics, excellent coding, slick art, what’s not to love about this site? But I must say that I’ve only made it through chapter 1. He’s made it so that if you click through pages quickly, you die (almost in a choose-your-own-adventure way) and there’s no way to continue where you left off within a chapter.

    Though the writing is a bit cheesy at times, if it’s passed on to the right student, this could really get a kid hooked. I don’t think I’d ever publicly advertise the site to my students. I’d bring it up on a computer for a student to read (you know they are reading far worse topics than that site in Stephen King novels, so I wouldn’t flinch to offer it) and leave it at that.

    Should I throw that onto the Fresh Links page? And I know you will likely address high school readers later, but I just remembered this site while poking around here and thought I’d throw it down before I forgot.

  2. Yeah, sorry about not getting to Adolescents and High School yet. I was planning on doing that tthis coming week.

    That DeadEnds site is amazing. I see what you mean about not publicly advertising it with your students (some of my students would love the horror of it, but might not be able to handle the language). Go ahead and put it on the Fresh Links page, or I’ll get it up there by the this evening if you don’t get a chance. Like you said, if you’ve seen or read worse in a Stephen King novel, then this book would appeal to someone, especially in high school. With very little guidance provided at times for books to read for personal enjoyment (I would have never picked up any of the books I read in American and British Lit. on my own) this would be exactly the kind of book that could hook a student.

    I also enjoyed the serial nature of the story; it looks like the next chapter won’t be out until June. That would be a reason to get students to keep coming back to check on it, giving them a reason to read at least every few months. Thanks for sharing it before you forgot, as someone out there will get some use out of it.

  3. It’s posted.

    No need to appologize. I’m sure you’ll get to high school. I’m anticipating that entry, as so much of what’s cool about learning tools fade away by the high school level.

  4. Oh! And I just heard on a commercial for a supermarket chain that March is also Frozen Food Month. Now we have 2 reasons to celebrate the month of March. I’ll work up an accompanying series about frozen foods for emergent, established, and advanced eaters.

  5. An article on emergent eaters, fantastic! My daughter is just progressing from the Gerber 1st foods to the 2nd foods and I really wasn’t sure which of the frozen veggies and fruits were “developmentally appropriate” for her 🙂 My wife and I feel that the food she’s eating is far below her ability level, but without teeth yet she’s been at a severe eating disability compared to other infants her age, haha 🙂

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