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Back to School: Five Chapter Books for Kids

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Ready, set, read

When young readers are ready to begin taking on chapters of their own, few things are better than a new chapter book that piques their interest. Start September off right with a new chapter book or two, and get those neurons firing just in time for the new school year.

Sir Licksalot and the Island Fools, by D.L. Carroll

This is the second book in the Sir Licksalot series, and it arrives with accolades. It was published in June of this year, and already the book has won the Family Review Center's Gold Award. In order to be eligible for the award, books must demonstrate product quality and family friendliness as well as "fill a void." The book follows main character Blaze N. Haught and his friends as they return to Mavericks only to have their plans fall apart leading to lots of fun and adventures. The Family Review Center lauds Sir Licksalot as "a must-read that every child will enjoy."

National Geographic Kids Chapters: Dog Finds Lost Dolphins and More True Stories of Amazing Animal Heroes, by Elizabeth Carney

Not all kids' chapter books need to tell tall tales. The National Geographic Kids Chapters series gives young readers an avenue into nonfiction in a way that appeals to anyone with a natural curiosity. Dog Finds Lost Dolphins will especially interest young (or maybe even not-so-young) animal lovers. The subject of the title story is Cloud, a dog trained to track stranded dolphins.

Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!, by James Patterson

Anyone wary of making the jump from elementary school to middle school might relate to James Patterson's tale of Rafe, a new seventh-grade student who finds a lot more than he bargained for when he's accepted into an art-focused middle school in the big city. The book is a sequel to the New York Times Bestseller, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. One thing that might make it appealing to young readers is that even though it's a chapter book, it doesn't leave illustration by the wayside — the 288-page book includes more than 100 illustrations.

Lego Ninjago: Cole, Ninja of Earth, by Greg Farshtey

Though the Lego Ninjago series probably won't win any literature awards, there is one thing that it might win: the interest of a young reader who otherwise has trouble focusing on a long story. If your young reader is a fan of the Lego Ninjago TV show on Teletoon, these books might be one way to channel his passion for the story from the screen to a book.

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Released in February, Wonder has already earned a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list. It tells the story of August Pullman, a boy born with a deformity that has kept him out of public school - until now. The book switches between multiple perspectives to tell a story about one community trying to find empathy and compassion. Author R.J. Palacio has referred to the story as "a meditation on kindness." It's one book that might deliver a message of acceptance at a time when young readers most need to hear it.

From stories with timely morals to books that entice reluctant readers, these five new chapter books for kids might hold the key to unlocking your young reader's love of literature.

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