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Chapter Books for Beginning Readers

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Is there a thread already about this? I tried searching with no luck.....


But I have two kiddos who are emerging readers. One is 1st grade and one is 2nd. They are ready for some easy chapter books and I need a bunch of ideas! One is a girl and one is a boy so I'd love recommendations for all types of books. I'm trying to find them a few series that they enjoy so I can encourage them to keep reading!


I need a big list of your favorites! I have some Magic Treehouse but we need others!

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My first grade goof ball adored Mr. Putter and Tabby.  No other chapter book got him that excited lol and those ones were a perfect transition from picture to novel.  He's now reading a Dick King Smith book (I think that's the one.  It's called Billy the Bird, and he also wrote Sophie's Snail series)

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At the time when the girls were reading Magic Treehouse, they also enjoyed


Ruby Lu

Keena Ford

Nikki and Deja


The Stories Julian Tells

Zapato Power

Horrible Henry

Rapunzel's Revenge



Bink and Gollie

Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same

The Secret Science Alliance (a little harder)


Other books at that level (more or less) include:


Calvin Coconut

Lulu and the Duck

Milo and Jazz Mysteries

Anna Hibiscus

The No. 1 Car Spotter

Katie Woo

EllRay Jakes

Sophia Martinez

The Princess in Black


however, I haven't read all those because they mostly weren't out or easy to find yet when the girls were that age!

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For very early chapter books, I found Clifford chapter books (but he may be a little young for yours...), Ling and Ting, Amelia Bedelia treasuries, Frog and Toad...


For some that are more on-level with Magic Treehouse, there's A to Z Mysteries and Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy (got both my olders really hooked).  The Stories Julian Tells and related books were good.  Boxcar Children are on a 3rd grade level, once your kids are able to stomach a longer chapter book.


I found that my kids were (DD is still) very sensitive to text size and white space, so books like My Father's Dragon were easy enough but too visually busy for them to feel able to handle.

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Dragon Masters

The Kingdom of Wrenly


These are books that my ds is devouring right now.


I have become addicted to looking through book lists compiled on Pinterest- there are so many! Books for girls, books for boys, adventure books, dragon books, books by grade level, etc! Many also include reviews.

Edited by T'smom
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Past threads:

Quality beginning chapter books

Good wholesome chapter books for about 1/2 grade level?

What other good chapter books for kid reading Magic Tree House?

Beginning chapter books (series)

Book list for 1st grade independent reading

Books on a Magic Tree House reading level?


Beginning chapter books (for a young girl)

Beginning chapter books for girls


Beginning chapter books for boy

Early fun chapter books for boy

Books for little boys (similar to Junie B. but for boys)

Chapter book suggestions for reluctant 7yo boy

Chapter books for boys?



Individual title ideas (mix of 1st & 2nd grade):



- Flying Horse: The Story of Pegasus (Mason)

- Snake Hair: The Story of Medusa (Spinner)

- Monster in the Maze (Spinner)

- The Blind Men and the Elephant (Backstein/Mitra)

- Sim-Chung and the River Dragon (Schecter)

- The Warrior Maiden (Schecter)

- Peach Boy (Hooks)

- A Grain of Rice (Pittman)



- The Littles series (Peterson)

- Magic Tree House  (series)  (Osborne)

- Toots and the Upside Down House (Hughes)

- Dragonslayer Academy  (series)  (McMullan)

- Catwings series (LeGuin)



- Amelia Bedelia (Parish)

- Commander Toad series (Yolan)

- Riddle series (Eisenberg & Hall) -- each on a related topic (i.e., puppies; rabbits; etc.)

- Fly on the Ceiling (Glass)

- Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares (Murphy/Walz)

- Flat Stanley series (Brown)

- The Bears on Hemlock Mountain (Dalgliesh)

- The Whipping Boy (Fleischman)

- McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm (Fleischman)



- Detective Dinosaur (and sequel) (Skofield)

- Inspector Hopper (Cushman)

- Aunt Eater Detective series (Cushman)

- A to Z Mysteries series (Roy)

- Nate the Great series (Cushman)

- Jigsaw Jones  series (Prellar)

- Cam Jansen series (Adler)

- Third Grade Detective series (Stanley)

- High Rise Private Eyes series (Rylant)

- Invisible Inc. series (Levy)



- Billy and Blaze series (Anderson)

- Light at Tern Rock (Sauer)

- The Robinson Crusoe Reader (Cowles)



- The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Standiford)

- Balto and the Great Race (Kimmel)

- Five True Dog Stories (Davidson)

- Buddy, the First Seeing Eye Dog (Moore)

- Barry, the Bravest St. Bernard (Hall)

- Follow My Leader (Garfield)

- Seven True Horse Stories (Davidson)

- Nine True Dolphin Stories (Davidson)

- Thornton Burgess series



- Viking Adventure (Bulla)

- Minstrel in the Tower (Skurzynski) l

- The Sword in the Tree (Bulla)

- The Minstrel in the Tower (Skurzynski)

- Pocahontas and the Strangers (Bulla)

- A Lion to Guard Us (Bulla) 

- The Courage of Sarah Noble (Dalgliesh)

- Phoebe the Spy (Griffin) 

- The 18 Penny Goose (Walker) 

- Sam the Minuteman (Benchley) 

- George the Drummer Boy (Benchley)

- The Drinking Gourd (Monjo) 

- The Secret Valley (Bulla) 

- Chang's Paper Pony (Coerr) 

- The Long Way to a New Land (Sandin) 

- The Long Way Westward (Sandin)

- Hannah (Whelan)

- Silver (Whelan) 

- Pioneer Cat (Hooks)

- Riding the Pony Express (Bulla)

- Wagon Wheels (Brenner) 

- The Josefina Story Quilt (Coerr) 

- The Big Balloon Race (Coerr) 

- The Little Riders (Shemin)



- Brendan the Navigator (Fritz)

- Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky

- Marco Polo (Graves)

- Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie (Roop)

- The Story of Thomas Alva Edison (Davidson)

- Helen Keller (Davidson)

- Helen Keller's Teacher (Davidson)

- Helen Keller: Courage in the Dark (Hurwitz)

- Louis Braille (Davidson)

- The Wright Brothers (Reynolds)



- Magic School Bus chapter book series 

- True Tales chapter book series

- Usborne science titles

- Let's Read and Find Out About Science series

- science books by Gail Gibbon

- Greg's Microscope (Selsam)

- Hill of Fire (Lewis)

- stepped readers

Edited by Lori D.
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