If you have a child who is beginning to read, you’re looking for engaging books. You want to find the best early readers and easy chapter books.
But, I must add that there is no need to rush into chapter books. Picture books are always marvelous – and often get forgotten when kids start chapter books. Don’t forget them. Please?
Ride, Fly Guy, Ride! by Tedd Arnold
Is there a bad Tedd Arnold book? I think not. This is another super Fly Guy story that engages early readers. We love these books!
Pinkalicious I Can Read Level 1 by Victoria Kann
JJ (7-years old) likes these early reader books better than the original picture books. She loves stories that she can read by herself and anything about pink is good in her book. (She’s waaaaay into pink!)
The New Puppy (Bob Books) Level 1 by Lynn Maslen Kertell, illustrated by Sue Hendra
This new, harder series for Bob Books keeps the same simple stick-figure illustrations but adds color and tells a relatable story about children who want a puppy. A fine book for beginning readers.
LEGO Ninjago Reader by Tracy West
My friend, Mia, aka. Pragmatic Mom says her son LOVES these early reader books. Read her review here.
National Geographic Readers
These non-fiction easy readers rock! Enough said. Try to make sure your kids practice reading non-fiction, too. Let them pick a subject they’re interested in. Choice is essential.
Easy Chapter Books
Zeke Meeks vs the Gruesome Girls by D.L. Green, illustrated by Josh Alves
I’m a big fan of Zeke Meeks easy chapter books. This is another funny adventure where Zeke is being tortured by the girls in his life – his mom, sister, and now his new neighbor. Great cartoon illustrations, too!
A Topps League Story: Book One: Jinxed! by Kurtis Scaletta illustrated by Eric Wight
This is an early chapter book story that will appeal to kids even if they don’t love baseball as much as Chad, the main character. He’s thrilled to be a bat boy for the summer but can’t understand why his classmate Dylan isn’t as thrilled. Nor can Chad figure out how to help his favorite player who can’t seem to stop all his bad luck. Is he jinxed?
Welcome to Silver Street Farm by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Katharine McEwen
Several mixed-up events happen to give these three best friends enough animals to start a city farm — not a country farm mind you. The kids have the perfect spot – the abandoned train station. But will the city council abandon their plans for a parking garage? This is an early chapter book series.
Duck for a Day by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Leila Rudge
Abby is so excited that her teacher has a class pet, a duck! She and all the other students eagerly hope they will be allowed to bring the pet duck home for an overnight. Mrs. Melvio insists on specific guidelines for the ducks care. When Abby gets to bring the duck home, he escapes. Getting him back means she’ll have accept neighbor, Noah’s, help. Everyone, even Mrs. Melvio, learns a lesson.
Sadie and Ratz by Sonya Hartnett illustrated by Ann James
I just love Hannah, who has the naughtiest hands, Sadie and Ratz. Her hands are quite fed up with little brother, Baby Boy, and seem to always get into trouble.
Hooey Higgins and the Shark by Steve Voake illustrated by Emma Dodson
Hooey is a thinking kind of kid – he’s got plans to achieve his goals and is the kind of character I adore. To make money to buy a huge chocolate egg, Hooey decides the perfect plan is to (got to love his kid logic here) capture a shark and charge people to see it. Brilliant, right? Hooey will not be deterred in his goal to buy the egg – no matter what. A very funny, charming easy chapter book story.
Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater illustrated by Adam Stower
Nick and Maxine’s parents tell their kids not to visit or bother the old lady in the cute little house behind their apartment building. Of course, the kids do and are delighted to find a kind woman named Mrs. Noodlekugel who has tea with half-blind mice and talking cats. When the children confess to their parents, the parents said that they wanted the kids to disobey them. I’m still a bit puzzled by it. You’ll have to tell me what you think after you read it. Seems weird to me.
Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst and Lane Smith
Want to teach young writers about voice in writing? Use this book! I loved that Viorst interjected throughout the story of a spoiled brat named Lulu. Lulu is so mad that her parents won’t give her a Brontosaurus for her pet that she runs away to find one for herself. Which she does. Only he wants her to be HIS pet. What will happen? Will Lulu learn her valuable lesson? (Of course she will.)
Olympia the Games Fairy by Daisy Meadows
(also new are the Magic Animal Fairies)
I’ve said this before, and here it is again. Gack. These are totally predictable and mind-numbing but for some reason, my kids love them. So, we own hundreds. (I even ordered some from the UK just to keep my reluctant reader reading.)
Books for 8-year olds
Books for 9-year olds
Books for 10-year olds
Books for 11-year olds
Books for 12-year olds