This continues the list of all my recommendations and reviews for easy chapter books for children who are learning to read and ready for chapter books, ages 6 years old. (See previous list here.)
More Chapter Books for First Grade
These are a bit harder than the first list so be sure you do the five finger test to make sure the books are just right for your reader. Remember, if you get a book that is too hard, wait and soon it will be just right.
Snoop Troop It Came from Beneath the Playground by Kirk Scroggs
Comic-book style illustrations with lots of interactivity in this interesting story totally impressed me. I know your kids will love this book, too. As a reader, you get to play a part in solving the crime by looking for clues in the pictures, drawing the culprit based on the description, and so on. Isn’t that cool?
Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time by Marti Dumas, illustrated by Marie Muravski REALISTIC
What kid doesn’t want more screen time? Jaden has a plan for convincing his parents that he needs more time — and he’s going to use his big brain and his fellow kindergarteners to help. Not only is this a fantastic story, I love that we see a family with cultural diversity!
Three Tales of My Father’s Dragonby Ruth Stiles Gannett FANTASY
This is one of the classic adventure / fantasy stories for beginning readers. The first story is about a boy (now a father retelling the stories to his son) who rescues a dragon held hostage on a wild island.
The Oodlethunks: Oona Finds an Egg by Adele Griffin, illustrated by Mike Wu
Oona brings home a gigantic egg that she hopes will hatch into a wonderful pet. At school after her opposable thumb exercises and tall tale telling, she learns that Egg needs a habitat so she makes Egg a habitat. A wild adventure of stolen Egg and hatching at the neighbors who wants to keep him, Oona gets to keep her new pet Steg! I love this story and adore Oona’s family because they defy all stereotypes about cave-people — the dad is quit the cook (crepes with mushrooms, anyone?) and the mom is the hunter / gatherer for the family.
Mouse Scouts: Make a Difference #2 by Sarah Dillard REALISTIC
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi REALISTIC
An unlikely friendship of a small, pampered dog and a savvy street cat teach the friends new things about their worlds with a very satisfying ending.
The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham ADVENTURE
Amazingly enough, this princess is able to fight monsters and have a fun birthday party — even though it keeps getting interrupted.
Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke REALISTIC
Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa but in this story, she goes by herself to visit her Granny Canada in Canada where it’s snowy and cold. Anna gets to wear warm clothes and eat new foods. She even gets comfortable with Granny Canada’s dog and makes new friends. This is a delightful story of a sweet girl on an exciting new adventure.
Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale MYSTERY FAIRY TALE
The Big Bad Wolf aka. Wolfgang is the only suspect in the destruction of the Little Pigs house. And he doesn’t have an alibi. But he didn’t do it either so he partners with the cheerful 4th Little Pig, Ferkel, (who knew!?) to find the real culprit. I love this humorous fairy-tale mash-up and can’t wait for more adventures in this series.
Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve, illustrated by Sarah McIntyre FANTASY
Unicorn Magic: Bella’s Birthday Unicorn by Jessica Burkhart FANTASY
The pacing is a bit slow in this story about Bella’s 8th birthday when she gets to (hopefully) be matched with her own unicorn. Bella’s evil aunt reveals herself at the end of the story and we are left thinking something bad will happen . . . in the next story. A decent but not stellar read for kids who like magic and unicorns.
Space Taxi Archie Takes Flight by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer
It’s an exciting night for Archie – his first ride in his dad’s taxi all night! What he doesn’t expect is that his dad is a SPACE taxi driver who drives around aliens. And, it turns out that Archie has inherited his grandfather’s map reading skills so he’ll be able to copilot his dad’s space taxi in the future. But this is a night of more surprises. Archie helps the Intergalactic Security Force cat catch a criminal who just so happened to be riding in Archie’s dad’s taxi. What a night! I like the story alright but wish there were more illustrations.
Princess Posey and the First Grade Boys by Stephanie Greene, illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson REALISTIC
I loved the life lesson, the relatable characters, and the excellent pacing. Great white space to text to picture ration, too!
Sydney & Simon Full STEAM Ahead! by Paul A. Reynolds, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Amazing! I loved this story and see many possibilities of how it could be used in your STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) homeschool or classroom plans. Sydney and Simon are twins (like the author and illustrator) working on their flower show project. Throughout the book, they work together questioning, predicting, and experimenting as well as using art, music, and technology to make their booth the best it could be. Not only did I love the creative story, but I also loved the beautiful, colorful artwork.
Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend by Anna Branford, illustrated by Alanna Allen REALISTIC
This is such a sweet story about friendship, I think it’s super relatable to kids. Especially because Violet worries that she’s not fancy enough for her new, rich neighbor friend, Rose. But Rose loves everything about Violet. Love!
Super Lexi by Emma Lesko, illustrated by Adam Winsor REALISTIC
As Lexi describes her feelings and reactions, we begin to understand that she has some differences than many other kids such as noises affect her strongly and she has phobias. Sometimes she just curls up into a ball. But she is the same as other kids, too — she has a fantastic imagination, loves art, and likes having a friend. I can’t decide if kids will like this but I think it might be a great book for kids might relate to feeling different from the other kids.
Claude at the Beach by Alex T. Smith REALISTIC
While I liked the previous books better, more silliness ensues in this fun, third adventure of Claude and his friend Sir Bobblysock who (unbeknownst to their owners) are on vacation at the beach. At the beach, Claude rescues a man from a shark, wins a sandcastle contest, and helps his new pirate friends find treasure. All in a day’s vacation for Claude. I found the illustrations to be delightful — black and white with pink and red – and loved the idea of a dog who has adventures without his owners knowledge.
The Chicken Squad The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin illustrated by Kevin Cornell HUMOR
Daisy Dawson REALISTIC
Daisy can talk to animals! You’ll love her free spirit personality and her kindness in all sorts of adventures. I love Daisy!
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham FANTASY
When the monster alarm goes off, the Princess in Black discovers a field of bunnies that look too cute to be monsters. But don’t be fooled like Princess Magnolia. These bunnies eat everything and now they want to eat her. You’ll love this latest entertaining adventure in the Princess in Black series.
The Infamous Ratsos by Kara Lareau, illustrated by Matt Myers REALISTIC
I loved this book! Louie and Ralphie Ratso keep trying to do mean, tough-guy things but every time it ends up helping someone. Ultimately, both boys and their dad decide to go with kindness but before they do, their experiences are very funny.
Posey is worried about first grade; especially worried since she’s not supposed to wear her tutu which helps her be brave, and lets her become Princess Posey. Her boy neighbors tell her all about “the Monster of the Blue Hall” and snakes at the school. Posey is sort of sure they’re teasing but feels more worried than ever.
When Posey sees her new teacher, Miss Lee, in the grocery store, she is scared and tries to hide. Will Miss Lee understand and help Posey feel comfortable about school?
You’ll love the way Miss Lee helps Posey. She’s the kind of teacher everyone would want for first grade – wonderful and kind. This is a sweet book many girls will relate to.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Susanna Davidson, illustrated by Petra Brown
A lesser known fairy tale that will enchant your imaginative emergent readers of beginning chapter books.
The Fastest Pet on Earth
In this beginning chapter book, Wonder Woman’s super-pet Jumpa the Kanga must race the super-villain Chauncey the Cheetah who has criminal intentions.
Pooches of Power
Ace (Batman’s dog) is ready to solve the mystery of the missing sardines at the Gotham City Marina with some help from Krypto the Super-Dog.
The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Kevin Cornell HUMOR
Kids know it’s not the blue chicken (who is a bird, not a chicken) who is weird, it’s the chicken squad — they are downright wacky! In this adventure, the chickens are asked to investigate who has stolen the blue bird’s house. And despite the chickens inability to actually investigate anything, they do discover the culprit and a solution. Very funny.