In addition to reading your favorite Thanksgiving picture books, try out some Thanksgiving chapter books this year. These early chapter books are perfect for newly independent readers, ages 6-9, who are starting out with chapter books.
They also make great read aloud choices as alternative entertainment to football on the big day!
All of these are early chapter books, appropriate for ages 5-10, depending on reading level. Most of them contain a lot of humor and all will get your kids talking about Thanksgiving traditions and ways of celebrating the holiday. I even included a joyous collection of Thanksgiving poetry.
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Thanksgiving-themed Chapter Books for Kids
ZACK AND THE TURKEY ATTACK! by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Is this book about Thanksgiving? Not necessarily... unless you think turkey = Thanksgiving. But it is lots of fun. When a turkey attacks Zack, he decides to build a contraption to keep the bird away from him. But his invention causes further complications and and lots of laughs.
HOBOKEN CHICKEN EMERGENCY by Daniel Pinkwater
With a knowing nod to my neighbors in New Jersey, you have to admit that any book which couples "Hoboken" with "Chicken" in the title has got to be hilarious. When there are no turkeys to be found anywhere in Hoboken for Thanksgiving dinner, Arthur returns home with a chicken. The problem? The chicken is 266 pounds. Hijinks ensue. I read this aloud to my sons and they loved it.
MORE: Listen to some of our favorite Thanksgiving audiobooks!
TURKEY MONSTER THANKSGIVING by Anne Warren Smith
Find it: Your Library | Amazon
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.
MORE: Thanksgiving rebuses and printable riddles
Thanksgiving Books in Chapter Book Series
Almost every large chapter book series, like The Magic Treehouse and Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo has a Thanksgiving book in it. Here are a few to take note of.
KATIE SAVES THANKGIVING by Fran Manushkin
This is a very easy to read chapter book series, suitable for independent reading for children ages 5 and up. First grader Katie comes to the rescue when it seems like Thanksgiving will be missing several important ingredients—and people!
AMBER BROWN IN FEELING BLUE by Paula Danziger
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 by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
This is an easy reader series so it's a great short Thanksgiving for very early readers, or kids in kindergarten through third grade. Everyone's favorite detective, Nate the Great, is on the case of a giant turkey.
THE WISHBONE WISH by Megan McDonald
Stink and his older sister Judy each have their own chapter book series, as well as this series which features both siblings. In this installment, the pair are training to race in the annual Turkey Trot in order to win a large, juicy turkey for their holiday dinner.
MORE: Multicultural Winter Holiday Read Aloud Novels
MORE: We also have an entire post about the best classic and contemporary Thanksgiving poetry to read–and even memorize–with kids!
IT'S THANKSGIVING! by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marylin Hafner
I adore Prelutsky's humorous poetry. This collection is packaged as an easy reader so even young readers can get in on the poetry jam. Have your kids read some aloud to you while you are making the pie.
Molly's Pilgrim sounds amazing. I'll be looking for some of your other recommendations, as well.
Even in Australia says
Along the lines of Molly's Pilgrim I'd recommend Rifka's First Thanksgiving and Hannah's Way. THe latter is not explicitly a Thanksgiving book but is about an Orthodox Jewish girl in the midwest and how her classmates help her.
Mom and Kiddo says
I reviews Rivka over at Storied Cities, but I don't think I've read Hannah's Way. Thanks.
Dang, I forgot about Molly's Pilgrim. I brought it over from the library earlier in the year and decided to bring it back before Thanksgiving. It's a good book! Turkey Monster Thanksgiving sounds intriguing, I'll be checking it out for the next year (if I don't forget, that is)