18 Christmas Chapter Books for Kids and Families

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While there is never a bad time to encourage your children to read, Christmas time is an especially great time and these Christmas chapter books are perfect for developing a healthy reading habit.

The weather has cooled, the days are shorter and kids are likely spending more time indoors. It’s easy to fall into bad habits of playing video games and watching TV to pass the time.

But time spent reading is critical for brain development and helps kids to learn perspective, problem solving, empathy and piques creativity and imagination. Increased vocabulary is just the cherry on top.

Encouraging Children To Read with Christmas Books

Good reading habits are often built young but it’s never too late to make some improvements. This time of year, the magic of Christmas is all around us. It’s the perfect subject to excite a child’s interest in reading.

  1. Involve Your Child – Grab this list of Christmas themed chapter books and sit down with your child. Discuss each book and make a list of several that sound interesting.
  2. Choose a Family Read-Aloud – Select a book that would be great for a family read aloud. Even older children benefit from being read to and 10-15 minutes reading together as a family next to the Christmas tree can be a wonderful bonding time.
  3. Make a Quiet Reading Choice – Help your child choose one or two that he can read independently.
  4. Create a Reading Nook – A cozy Christmas reading nook with pillows, blankets and some twinkle lights is perfect for cuddling up with a book.
  5. Encourage Re-reading – Did your child love your family read-aloud of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever? Encourage them to reread their favorite Christmas story independently.
  6. Discuss – Talk about the theme, the main character, and how they feel about the book.
  7. Model – Select your own books to read so your child sees how important reading is.

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Christmas Chapter Books

Grab your local library card because it’s time to get some books! This list of 18 Christmas chapter books includes some great individual choices and a few that are perfect for a whole family read-aloud.

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Every Christmas Eve an envelope would arrive containing Letters from Father Christmas. The magical tales told of life in the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place or how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room. This classic holiday book will delight children and adults alike.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

When the Herdmans, "the worst kids in the history of the world," show up at church and take over the annual Christmas pageant no one expects anything to go well. But Christmas magic abounds and perhaps the Herdmans just needed a little Christmas in their hearts. It turns out that it may just be The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

(Such a great book and one of my favorites when I was a young girl!)

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The Christmas Genie by Dan Gutman

Alex, Chase, and the rest of Mrs. Walter’s fifth-grade class can't wait for the final bell to ring. It's the last day of school before Christmas vacation but things are not going as expected. A meteorite crashes through the window along with The Christmas Genie who will grant one wish for the class to share, but they must agree before the final bell rings.

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Christmas Classic: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

When he becomes an adult, Claus an orphaned boy raise in an enchanted forest must go live with mortals. He becomes well-known for his kindness to children, and this enthusiasm leads to the invention of the first toys. Claus eventually makes it his life’s mission to bring joy to children, and this unfolds into an entertaining explanation of many Christmas traditions, including the hanging of stockings, Christmas trees, and gift-giving. This is The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.

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Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Annie's dog is unhappy. When Fang is unhappy, everyone is unhappy. Especially Nate the Great. So Nate agrees to sniff out Fang's mysteriously missing Christmas mail. It's cold and snowy. In Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas, Nate and his dog, Sludge, will try to solve this holiday case in time for Christmas.

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Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald

In Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday, all Stink wants for Christmas is snow. But it hasn’t snowed on Christmas in Virginia in more than a hundred years, so what are the chances that that will change?

Enter the new mailman, Mr. Jack Frost, who not only looks like a jolly old elf but also seems to know a lot about weather patterns, has a fondness for the cold, and works looooooong hours during the holiday season.

(This book is a personal favorite and is a great choice for a little girl or boy.)

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Amy's Very Merry Christmas by Callie Barkley

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, Amy notices that Ms. Sullivan seems a little lonely. In Amy's Very Merry Christmas, Amy has devised a great plan to give Ms. Sullivan some cheer—and some company—on Christmas!

Be sure to check out the rest of The Critter Club series!

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Christmas Stories: A Little House Chapter Book by Laura Ingalls Wilder

In Christmas Stories, join Laura and her family for some pioneer Christmas celebrations. Christmas on the frontier means visits from friends, good things to eat, and presents! For Laura, every Christmas in the little house is better than the one before. Laura and her friends share wonderful adventures in Little House Friends. 

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Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May) by Barbara Park

It's holiday time, and Room One is doing lots of fun things to celebrate. Like making elf costumes! And singing joyful songs! Only, how can Junie B. Jones enjoy the festivities in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May) when Tattletale May keeps ruining her holiday glee?

And here is the worst part of all! When everyone picks names for Secret Santa, Junie B. gets stuck with Tattletale you-know-who! It's enough to fizzle your holiday spirit! 

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Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise by Suzy Kline

It's Christmastime, but with Miss Mackle in the hospital, no one feels much like celebrating. Maybe Harry can think of a way to cheer up Miss Mackle and put the holiday spirit back in Room 2B in Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise.

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Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne

When Jack and Annie receive an invitation to spend Christmas in Camelot - a magical place that exists only in myth and fantasy-they know they are in for their biggest adventure yet. What they don't know is that the invitation will send them on a quest to save Camelot. Can they succeed even though Camelot's greatest knights have failed?

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Stanley's Christmas Adventure by Jeff Brown

Santa Claus is not his usual, jolly self. In fact, he's in a terrible mood. Luckily, his daughter, Sarah Claus, knows who to call for help. The Lambchop family! But can they convince Santa that there are still good children in the world? Just leave it up to our favorite character Flat Stanley in Stanley's Christmas Adventure!

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Journeying with a series of special visitors through Christmases past, present, and future, Ebeneezer Scrooge is ultimately transformed from an arrogant, obstinate, and insensitive miser to a generous, warmhearted, and caring human being. This classic story written by the great Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol has come to epitomize the true meaning of Christmas.

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The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

Then one day just before Christmas, Armand returns to his favorite spot beneath the bridge to find The Family Under the Bridge with three cold and hungry children. Although he has no interest in children, Armand soon finds himself caring for the small family. It does not take Armand very long to realize that he must do whatever it takes to get them a real home. 

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When Santa Fell To Earth by Cornelia Funke

Scared by a storm, Twinklestar, the least reliable reindeer, bolts--causing Santa and his sleigh to crash-land. When Santa Fell to the Earth he dropped into a friendly neighborhood, but still, he's not safe: Jeremiah Goblynch, the ruthless new leader of the Council of Yuleland, is determined to put an end to children's wishes and turn the holiday season into his own personal moneymaking scheme.

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The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling

Jack loves his childhood toy, Dur Pig. DP has always been there for him, through good and bad. Until one Christmas Eve something terrible happens -- DP is lost. But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life... even toys.

And Jack’s newest toy -- the Christmas Pig (DP’s replacement) – has a daring plan: Together they’ll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known...

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How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith

When a mouse named Winston finds a lost letter addressed to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, he sets off on an unforgettable journey to personally deliver the letter to Santa! 

How Winston Delivered Christmas is a heartwarming story, organized in twenty-four-and-a-half chapters, to share during the countdown to Christmas.

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The Light at Tern Rock by Julia L. Sauer

Ronnie and his aunt are tending the Light at Tern Rock for two December weeks while its keeper takes a much-needed vacation. Ronnie learns to love the slap of the waves against the Rock, sleeping in a bunk, climbing the winding staircase, and lighting the great lamp each night, and he looks forward to telling his family about it Christmas.

But the days go by, and the lighthouse keeper doesn’t return to take them home.

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Do you have a favorite Christmas chapter book that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

For some great picture books to read this Christmas season, check out this list of 25 Christmas books for kids!

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As a mom of 4 kids (and the oldest of 4 kids herself), Amanda has over 30 years of parenting experience. A former special education teacher, Amanda has a Master’s degree in Special Education and a second M. Ed. in Educational Leadership.

When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, and long walks through Target.

You can find Amanda on all social media at @parentingnestblog and @amandaseghetti

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