A Chapter Book Moms Support

Alright, true confession time.

I really love the thought of reading chapter books to my 6-year-old at night. There are two small problems. One, it feels like I took a giant sleeping pill the moment I read the first line. Zombie time.

Secondly, we get two chapters into a storyline and I find something inappropriate and I’m ready to toss the book across the room and then tearful Ella is ready to carry on in the adventure.

Can you relate?

Where can I get an innocent adventure tale that is NOT 100 pages long per chapter?

Enter Erin Ulrich. She designed my new web site  (this one courtneydefeo.com is version 2.0 for me) and she has been amazing. During our hectic discussions of bandwidth, servers and more… I somehow discovered she was in the middle of finalizing her first children’s book. What? Who has this many talents?


I begged her to send Begin to me so I could check it out. She never asked me to promote a thing.

I have NOT read the whole thing with my crazy world right now, but I have read it to Ella the last two nights. Guess what? I didn’t fall asleep. The chapters are perfect length. Ella loves it already.

Erin and I chatted on my way back from the beach about Begin, the first book in the series of Growly books. She shared her desire for them to be a wholesome, fun adventure for kids and parents. Like many of us, she’s a mom with a heart for kids to explore reading and adventures that are appropriate for their age.

Check out what this librarian said (she HAS read the whole thing). 😉

“One of the biggest complaints I get from my patrons is that their children are reading above reading level but can’t find appropriate books. They can’t seem to find books that appeal to their young reader that will challenge them without introducing content that they aren’t ready for. Well, The Growly Books by the Ulrich’s are the answer!”

– Sara Figueroa, Youth Services Librarian, Indian Valley Public Library, Telford, PA. Source

I am so happy to support Erin and let you know about a great option for your kids who are reading ages 8-12 or if you enjoy reading aloud to them.


A copy of the book AND one of the illustrations from the book

By telling me your favorite CLASSIC chapter book for kids below


For more information on The Growly Books, please visit the website: www.thegrowlybooks.com.

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  1. I have two. The Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little. My nine year old just finished the first and loved it. I got to re-read Staurt Little along with my older two when they were in 3rd grade. They had a wonderful teacher who had them do an end of the year project with it. They are now in 7th and 9th grade and still remember it!

  2. We love Charlotte’s Web at our house. Also, not sure if this is considered a “classic”, but my daughter loves Superfudge too! Thanks for the giveaway – would love the chance to win this book!

  3. Ooooh this sounds ahmazing! We loved Stuart Little! But also some missionary biographies. I have to edit a few parts sometimes but they are sooo fun for me to read and Marshall is super engaged too! (George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, Gladys Alyward etc.)

    PS-Yay NYC!!!

  4. I have just started reading the Nancy Drew series and Little house on the Prarie with my daughter. You can’t really go wrong with the old classics!

  5. EK loves Imagination Station books by Focus on the Family. And Chronicles of Narnia! Can’t wait to get this one too Court! Thanks for sharing! Go Erin!

  6. Loved me some Little House on the Prairie, share the same b day w Laura Ingles Wilder;) Sure my son will want a different series tho;) would love to win and read it to him one day!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I loved Little House on the Prairie growing up and I look forward to sharing that with my daughter when she’s older. We loved to read and hope to have many good options to share with her too.

  8. Good to know…I’m definitely going to have to check out that book. Ever since I found out I was going to have a girl, I have been counting down the days until I could read her Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, and (my personal favorite of all time ever) the Little House on the Prarie Series. Poor Melody is never going to get a chance to read anything current! I’m too addicted to my own childhood memories when it comes to books! 😉

  9. My childhood favorite is Little House on the prairie! This book sounds perfect for my 6 year old!!

  10. The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary was my favorite as a kid! I love Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. She has book lists by age at the back of her book that I use for all 3 of my kids.
    I always choose read alouds that are above their reading level, since I am the one reading to them. I have also edited (left out) certain things in a few books. I know some feel very strongly about that, but when you’re in the middle of reading to your child, you make the best decision with what’s in front of you!
    My 9 year old is rereading the Ramona series for fun right now. We are having an awesome time reliving memories of our time together reading those books! Enjoy this precious time with your children, it goes by quickly!

  11. One of the first chapter books I remember reading was Matilda by Roald Dahl. A few other favorites were Anne of Green Gables, The Boxcar Children, Little House on the Prairie, and Sweet Valley Twins.

  12. I am so excited! I’ve had the same prob, starting a book and then finding it inappropriate (boys 4 and 6) OR the hero in the story is a girl, which IS important sometimes but not ALL the time. We like Junie B Jones, Encyclopedia Brown and Frog and Toad. I’m really excited to jot down suggestions from other readers, too! Wooohooo!!!!

  13. JUNIE B JONES- we have read them ALL and I laugh out loud!!! Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little of course- One of my faves is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane- a MUST READ!!!!!!!!!

    Amelia Bedilia, Encyclopedia Brown and Clementine are all good books too!

    Boys are a little harder- Ben (he is 9) and I have been reading a CSI mystery books for kids series that is pretty good- and we like the Mike Lupica sports novels- We love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid- What little boy doesn’t???

    Some of these are over 100 pages too- but a chapter a night and something to look forward to isn’t all that bad…
    these are just off the top of my head-
    My oldest is almost 13 so she is into “tween” books- however I still think that it is important to read outloud with her as well- most of the time she tends to read by herself- I need to remember that this summer! right now she is reading “The Shack”- a little deep for an almost 13 – but it’s a good one!

  14. I just saw your scripture cards on The View and can’t wait to get them!
    Such a wonderful website. On another note, can you please tell me where I can purchase the beautiful dollhouse in the photo above?

  15. I have been reading chapter books to my 6 year old for about a year and a half and have had similar issues, she loved Charlotte’s Web and the Disney Faires chapter books have been wonderful we have about 20 of them and are starting through to read them all again.

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