Meet the Chapter Books -- Summer Reading for Grades 1-3

Disclosure: I was sent these books free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Do you have a child who is ready to start reading chapter books? There are some great beginner ones out there and it seems like summer might be the perfect time to make the switch from picture books and beginning readers to easy chapter books. Hazel started reading chapter books pretty young. I had been reading them to her for several years (around age 3). After I read The Princess in Black to her the first time she read it to herself about 100 times now plus all the sequels. My contact at Penguin Kids asked me to join in the Meet the Chapter Books their July Summer Reading Program. She sent me three chapter books that are recommended for grades 1-3. Two of them I will review today and one I will share since it was not in our topic of interest but I know it will be for some plus I am going to share two other fun books also recommended for grades 1-3. We will start with The Kid from Planet Z: Crash! by Nancy Krulik and illustrated by Louis Thomas. 

What happens with Zeke and his family have spaceship malfunctions and crash onto Earth? They have to fit with the strange earthlings while trying to fix the spaceship. It is hard to fit in when you do things differently and have a talking cat. This book is the first in a series and is creative and fun. It is an easy read and has illustrations throughout it. I love how it gets the reader thinking about life other than our own. Are there worlds where other beings are? And of course it is amazing that the Zanders (Zeke's family) happen to speak English. This is a fun book which gets one thinking about other cultures in a new way.

Our next book is The Curse of Einstein's Pencil written and illustrated by Deborah Zemke. I will admit the fact that Einstein was in the title intrigued me. It is not Albert Einstein, though. It is Judith Einstein's pencil. Judith is the smartest girl in Bea Garcia's class. Judith has picked Bea to be her partner in the Top Ten Geography Star Bee. However Bea is now stressed to be perfect like Judith. Since the teacher called Bea's pencil magic because of her beautiful drawings, Bea thinks having Judith's pencil (with the unused eraser) would give her all the answers she needs. However after she "borrows" it her brother and she fight over it and break it. She also has discovered that the borrowed pencil seems to turn her into a monster. What will she do? How will she get through the Top Ten Geography Star Bee? This book is a fun every day book for any child who goes to school. It is about classes, social skills and more. It is a fun book with pictures through out it as well. It is a perfect book for a child ready to start reading chapter books.

The third book in Penguin Kid's Meet the Chapters is the first book in The Escapades of Clint McCool: Octo-Man and the Headless Monster by Jane Kelley and illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner. This is another beginning chapter book with illustrations throughout it. I have not read this one, but the publisher gives this summary:
Clint McCool always has a lot of great ideas. That’s what makes him such a great hero. But sometimes he has too many great ideas. Armed with his super-powered cap, his brain flashes, and his two best friends, Clint is ready to solve any problem and find adventure anywhere. When he runs onto a film set, he gets into trouble. A lot of trouble. Can Clint McCool still save the day?

I thought I would use this time to introduce a couple of more beginning chapter books. The next one is Fergus and Zeke by Kate Messner and illustrated by Heather Ross. The suggested grades for this book is kindergarten to third. It is slightly easier read than the others shared today. It is about Fergus the mouse who is the class pet in Miss Maxwell's room. Fergus does all the things the class does and follows all the rules but is surprised to hear he is not going to the Natural History Museum field trip. He breaks the rule and sneaks in a backpack. At the museum he meets Zeke and they become instant friends. Zeke shows Fergus all around the museum. This is the perfect book for beginning readers. It is a fun story and talks about all the exciting things one can see at a natural history museum. The illustrations are fun and colorful as well.

Our final book is the third book in the Jolley-Rogers series. It is The Jolley-Rogers and the Monster's Gold by Jonny Duddle. Are you ready for a pirate adventure?

Matilda finds a map while fishing for a letter in a bottle from her pirate friend Jim Lad. When she shows it to her friend and his family, they are ready to follow the map and see where it leads. They invite her along and off on the adventure they go. This book is recommended for grades one through three. It is probably the most difficult of the books I am sharing today. Every page has an illustration which is black and white. It is a fun book and perfect for those readers who are into pirates and ships. It is full of adventure and has a girl and a boy for lead characters. 

So if your child is interested in space, school, super heroes, animals or pirates I have some books for them to check out. I hope you will take time to check them out. This week I will be featuring chapter books for different ages. Be sure to check back for even more books to get your kids reading this summer! Also check out our review of these great Christian chapter books,  these multicultural books, a Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure, Oh, Susanna! It's in the Bag and this one for grades 1-3.