A chapter book is any book where the story is broken into different parts, called chapters. Chapters can make reading and telling the story easier by jumping to different characters, different times and different places. A chapter book can be short, with three or four chapters, or it can be very long with hundreds of chapters and pages.
Anh Do is one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors. He released his first book, The Happiest Refugee, in 2010 as an autobiography. In 2011, a children’s version was published titled The Little Refugee. In 2013 Anh Do released WeirDo, a chapter book which became the first in an 18-book series (at last count)! He has gone on to write picture chapter books that are enjoyed by children around the world.
Novels expand on the content and structure of chapter books. The subjects in novels are more complex than chapter books. Novels are usually longer, with stories that include many more characters and themes. Usually novels don’t include many pictures or any pictures at all. In a longer book, the author has more chance to use descriptive words to allow the reader to imagine the world of the book and its characters.
- As a class reading activity, choose a chapter book that is relatively simple and read it as a class. At the end of each chapter, ask the students to think about and summarise what happened. As the book progresses, ask them to summarise each chapter. Ask them to note if the story changes location, point of view, time or place. At the end of the book. Collate the summaries:
- Identify which character each chapter focused on.
- Identify in which location each chapter took place.
Ask the students to retell the entire story in one page.