ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kids Fiction Chapter Books That Improve Vocabulary By Defining Words Within the Text

Updated on January 18, 2019

Reading is a great way to improve a child's vocabulary because it exposes them to many unfamiliar words. When parents read to kids they can define the meaning of these new words or kids can figure out the definition based on the context. Of course, another option is checking a dictionary. The problem is kids will often skip over an unfamiliar word instead of taking the time to figure out the meaning. The good news is that there are some books available that provide definitions within the story. The best thing about these kinds of books is that they can expose children to more challenging words than other books aimed at a particular age group precisely because they explain the meaning within the text. The bad news is that I haven't been able to find very many book that do provide definitions within the story. These are some you can look into.

Martha Speaks Series

The Martha Speaks chapter book series is a great example of this. Here's an excerpt from Martha Speaks: A Pup's Tale where the word autobiography is defined within the text itself.

"You're going to write your autobiography?" asks Truman.

"No, my life story," says Martha.

"That's what an autobiography is−a book someone writes about her own life."

Martha is a dog who has an unusual gift. She can talk. Sometimes she's unsure of the meaning of words and the people around her have to help her out. The books are fun and educational. The Martha Speaks chapter book series is aimed at 6 to 9 year old children, but should also be appealing to 4 and 5 year olds. Each book is about 90 pages of colorful pictures and short chapters. There are 14 books in the series. There are also picture books aimed at younger children.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket is a series of 13 chapter books aimed at 8 to 12 year olds. The books often define words or explain the meaning of expressions. Sometimes the definitions are direct like this example.

"...he had read so many books that he frequently used words like "compatriots," which is a fancy word for "friends."

Other times they're more indirect like this example.

"...but since then the count has pursued them with dogged determination, a phrase which here means "everywhere they went, thinking up treacherous schemes and wearing disguises to try to fool the three children.""

However, not every word is defined. In this example, treacherous and schemes aren't defined. Not every challenging word is defined, but many are. There are 13 books in the series.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Story

The great thing about The Pied Piper of Hamelin: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Story is that it's only 99 cents or free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. The story is a humorous retelling set in a modern day Hamelin. While the book is aimed at younger kids, approximately 5 to 9 years old, it defines several challenging words. Here's an example.

"Ben and Frank announced their upcoming summer visit to Hamelin in the most nonchalant of tones. Nonchalant means to act like something is no big deal. But Ben and Frank knew a visit to Hamelin was a very big deal."

Fiction books that provide definitions within the story are a great way to improve vocabulary
Fiction books that provide definitions within the story are a great way to improve vocabulary

Do you know any children's books that provide definitions within the story?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      As a writer of some children's books I found this very interesting, especially the fact that there are not many that provide definitions within the text. Thanks for sharing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)