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Reading Tips

What is a book?

A book is pages, pictures and words,
A book is animals, people and birds;
A book is stories of queens and kings,
Poems and songs—so many things!

Curled in a corner where I can hide,
With a book I can journey far and wide;
Though it’s only paper from end to end,
A book is a very special friend.

Written by Lora Dunetz

Transition Books:
For students making the leap from picture books to chapter books.

Reading, like any skill requires practice. When students are learning to make the transition from picture books (the “E” section of the library) to chapter books (the “FIC” section of the library) they need a lot of practice with beginning chapter books. Look for short chapter books with large print, controlled vocabulary, some illustrations, and of course, a great story. Here are some excellent authors and series to try.


Just Grace series by Cherise Mericle Harper
Nibble, Bites and Chomps series (various authors)
Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
Horrible Harry series by Suzy Kline
Orca Young Readers (various authors)
The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
The Secrets of Droon series by Tony Abbott
Rainbow Magic by Daisy Meadows
Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton
The Pain and the Great One series by Judy Blume
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
Mr. Gum series by Andy Stanton
Howling Timberwolves series (hockey) by Sigmund Brouwer
Canadian Flyer Adventures series by Frieda Wishinsky
Animal stories--The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, The Cat Who Wanted to go Home, etc. by Jill Tomlinson.
Melvin Beederman series by Greg Trine
Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown
Beastquest series by Adam Blade
The Littles by John Peterson
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
Heidi Heckelbeck by Wanda Coven

Old favourites such as:  The Jacob Two Two series by Mordecai Richler, Freckle Juice by Judy Blume, and the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary still remain as popular as ever.
Scooby-Doo, Pokemon, SpongeBob Squarepants, Captain Underpants and Baby-sitters Little Sister, can also help beginning and reluctant readers make the leap into chapter books.

Popular Series & Authors for intermediate students.
Getting hooked on a series or author is a great way to keep up the reading habit. Here are a few suggestions for intermediate students.
Graphic Novels:
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Bone series by Jeff Smith
Ramp Rats series by Liam O'Donnell
Fashion Kitty by Charise Mericle Harper
Babymouse by Jennifer Holm
Jellaby series by Kean Soo
Sardine series by Emmanual Guibert
Graphic Dinosaurs (non fiction) various authors
Binky the space cat by Ashley Spires

Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Katherine Lasky
Star Wars (various series including Star Wars Jedi Apprentice and Star Wars Jedi Quest) by various authors
Deltora Quest and Rowan of Rin series by Emily Rodda
Warrior Cats by Erin Hunter
Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo
Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles) by Suzanne Collins
The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart
Alanna series by Tamora Pierce
Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
Silverwing series by Kenneth Oppel
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
The Lightning Thief series by Rick Riordan

Authors to look for: Eva Ibbotson, Cornelia Funke, Diana Wynne Jones and Angie Sage.

Historical fiction:


Dear Canada series (various authors)
Our Canadian Girl series (various authors)

Authors to look for:  Kit Pearson, Julie Lawson, Eric Walters, Karleen Bradford, Karen Cushman, Barbara Haworth-Attard, Constance Horne, Sharon McKay and Anne Walsh.

Animal fiction:


Pony Pals by Jeanne Betancourt
Heartland by Lauren Brooke
Animal Ark series by Ben Baglio

Authors to look for: Shirley Wood and Dick King-Smith.



The 39 Clues series
Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew by Franklin W. Dixon & Carolyn Keene
Tom and Liz Austin mysteries by Eric Wilson
Authors to look for: Sigmund Brouwer, James Howe, Peggy Parish, Avi and Arthur Slade.



Choose your own adventure series.
Take it to the extreme by Pam Withers

Authors to look for: Scott O’Dell, Eric Walters and Gary Paulsen.



Screech Owls Hockey mysteries by Roy MacGregor

Authors to look for: Matt Christopher, Sigmund Brouwer & Eric Walters



Abby Hayes series by Anne Mazer
Amber Brown series by Paula Danzinger
Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald

Authors to look for: Gordon Korman, Richard Scrimger, Judy Blume, Barbara Park, Roald Dahl and Louis Sachar.

Movie tie-in:


Read the book FIRST, THEN see the movie.
There’s a reason these were made into movies—they are great stories!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Holes by Louis Sachar
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Matilda by Roald Dahl
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Redwall  by Brian Jacques
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate diCamillo

Canadian authors:


Here are some Canadian authors that were not included above and are worth seeking out.

Karen Autio, Kristin Butcher, Christopher Curtis, Deborah Ellis, Polly Horvath, Monica Hughes, Marthe Jocelyn, Jean Little, Janet Lunn, Carol Matas, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Rosemary Nelson, Andrea Spalding, Sharon Stewart, Nikki Tate, Maxine Trottier, Irene N. Watts.