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Chapter books for first and thrid grades


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I am finalising my order for books and games etc for next year for my girls and am after suggestions on books to buy for them. I am specifically after pleasure reading novels/chapter books for my girls to read independently. Next year they will be starting 1st and 3rd grades in january.  I already have quite a few books in my cart for the then 3rd grader (who is currently reading Roald Dahl, I am guessing about 4-5th grade level reading) but I am completely stumped on good chapter books for dd5 who will be starting first grade in january. She is advanced in reading, probably around an early 2nd grade level currently at half way through her kindy year. So I am really looking for the very best in chapter books for a 5-6yo girl who is a good reader. Ones she will enjoy reading. She is not quite reading our easiest chapter books independently but can read them perfectly fine, just lacks ot confidence to do so on her own. She should be easily reading early chapter books independently by christmas.


So please, please hit me with your best suggestions for favorite chapter books for girls, especially for my almost first grader but also for the 3rd grader.


I am sure this has been asked before but a search is bringing up nothing, links to old threads also appreciated :)



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My 6 year old has read the first two Boxcar children books.  She started Paddington Bear but didn't love it.   She is currently reading a Happy Hollisters book.  She likes the Cobble Street Cousins series by Cynthia Rylant.  Those are pretty short, but the content is good for that age.  It is hard to find chapter books for that age.  I like to encourage them to read good picture books.  They have richer vocabulary than the intermediate fiction (and sometimes children's fiction).  My Father's Dragon and sequels are a possibility.  I like some of the books written by Ted Lewin.  They are non fiction science picture books with lots of text and great writing and challenging vocabulary.  Elephant Quest, Top to Bottom Down Under, Lost City.  Tooth and Claw is a longer one that is not a picture book.  The text isn't as challenging, though definitely not intermediate level.  


Just a few off the top ideas



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Farrar has some good ones, I might add Dodsworth, Ivy & Bean and the Underpants on my Head series (can't remember the author right now).


You might also look at the Gooney Bird Greene series by Lois Lowry. Each book has a different subject, poetry, the human body, storytelling, etc. The reading level is a bit higher, though.

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DD absolutely loved the Bink and Gollie series by Kate DiCamillo. There are only three out right now and they are on the short side, but so worth checking out. There are high-quality color illustrations throughout. Very fun and interesting. Although they are second grade level, there are some pretty challenging words sprinkled in that you'll likely have to help with.




You might check into Scholastic Branches. Don't limit her to the ones with girl protagonists, though. I think the non-girl ones are better and more interesting.



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The Cobble Street Cousins

The Jewel Kingdom books (not my choice - sigh - they came in through relatives, but my daughter likes them)

My Naughty Little Sister series

The Children of Noisy Village

Magic Treehouse (my DD did not like these much)

Various Enid Blyton books

The Magic Finger

Many of the early reader Dick King Smith Books - some are more difficult than others and some are very easy

Sophie's Adventures is a girly Dick King Smith series that is suitable

Greg's Microscope

Amber Brown - the penguin young readers Level 3 books (NOT the older more difficult ones - they are not suitable for younger children)

Animal Ark books (possibly for later)

The Boxcar children (weren't a big favourite of my DDs though)

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Thanks :) Looks like I am on the right track here as I already had a few of those suggestions in my cart. It is such a difficult stage, i want her to enjoy reading and not be reading books that are too young or easy but i really don't need any more "junk" books in the house either, she is really wanting to read "real" books lol and keeps trying to read Roald Dahl which she can read perfectly fine except for his long made up words. she has so far turned her nose up at all the early chapter books we own as they look too babyish and not like a "real" novel to her but she is just not quite there to read the books she wants. Hopefully some of these suggestions will appeal. And thanks pitterpatter for the scholastic branches link, i have never heard of those series but that looks about what i need. We are bored with "readers" but not quite at real novels and that inbetween stage is so tricky.

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