In addition to your favorite Thanksgiving picture books, try out some Thanksgiving chapter books this year. Here are a few that are great to read aloud and provide the kids an entertainment alternative to football on the big day.
Molly’s Pilgrim. Technically, this isn’t a chapter book, but it reads like one. Molly is a Russian-Jewish immigrant who is mercilessly teased by her classmates. During a class project about Thanksgiving, the teacher helps Molly and the other children see the parallels between Thanksgiving and the Jewish harvest traditions, and between the experience of the the Pilgrims and Jewish immigrants. Beautiful. A must-read; it will give you lots to discuss around the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Turkey Monster Thanksgiving. Katie lives with her single dad and younger brother. Usually they have pizza for Thanksgiving but this year Katie is determined to have a “real” Thanksgiving with a turkey, homemade decorations and a few guests.
Thanksgiving on Thursday. You’ve heard of the Magic Tree House series, right? Intrepid siblings Jack and Annie travel back to 1621 to learn about colonial life and the first Thanksgiving.
The Hoboken Chicken Emergency. This was on my list of Classic Children’s Books from the 1970s. Arthur’s mom sends him out to find a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. When no turkey are to be found, brings home a 200-lb live chicken. Besides be a bit on the hilarious side, this is a story of loyalty and friendship.
It’s Thanksgiving! OK, this is not a chapter book. But it’s poetry! It’s Jack Prelutsky! It’s fabulous and it’s packaged as an easy reader. Read some aloud while you are making pie.
Gooney Bird and the Room Mother. Newbery medal winner Lois Lowry’s Gooney Bird Greene wants to play Squanto in her second grade class play. This is a great early chapter book series to check out.
Amber Brown Is Feeling Blue. Amber needs to decide if she is going to spend Thanksgiving with her mom in Washington or her dad in New York City. Bonus: her new friend is named “Kelly Green.” How can you not love that?
Nate the Great Talks Turkey. Perennial favorite, Nate the Great is on the case of a giant turkey.