A mom asked me for books and book series recommendations that were like Junie B. Jones in reading level and interest. (About a first-grade reading level.)
I actually don’t like the Junie B. books. The grammar? I just can’t do it! Her sass? Hate it.
BUT, lots of kids like her. And if kids are reading, I’m (mostly) good with it. Plus, I can’t turn down a parent request to recommend books . . . 🙂
So if your child loves Junie B. Jones, here are the best book series ideas to keep her reading.
(Even better, these books don’t have bad grammar or sass like Junie!)
Books Like Junie B. Jones
Dory Fantasmagory Dory Dory Black Sheep by Abby Hanlon
Piper Morgan Joins the Circus by Stephanie Faris, illustrated by Lucy Fleming
Olive & Beatrix The Super Smelly Moldy Blob by Amy Marie Stadelmann
It’s science fair time and these twins, one who is a witch and one who is a super smart science nerd, are in it to win it. Except disaster happens when the girls fight and their projects combine to form a huge green blog that absorbs everything. It will take both their skills to fix this slimy problem. An enjoyable book series for 5- and 6- year old readers a bit easier than Junie B. Jones.
Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe by Susan Nees
This is a great easy chapter book for kids just beginning to read chapter books with bright and friendly illustrations to match. If you’re a fan of Junie B. Jones’ antics, Missy’s will also entertain.
Bink & Gollie Best Friends Forever by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile
The second book of funny Bink and Gollie (mis)adventures in friendship and life filled wonderful color illustrations. Get the first book here. This popular series is a favorite with many girls.
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
In a word: Hilarious. We all think Bad Kitty is very naughty. But, oh so funny. This book series is kind of like Junie B. Jones in the humorous elements.
Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqui, illustrated by Hatem Aly
Yasmin is an exuberant girl who is interested in everything from exploring to building to fashion. This book tells four short stories from Yasmin’s life, all in chapters with lively, full-color illustrations. Each story shows Yasmin as a creative problem solver even when things get hard. Her Pakistani American culture is embedded throughout the story such as the foods Yasmin’s family eats like naan or how she calls her father Baba. I LOVE the diversity, the gutsy main character, and the beautiful design of the entire book.
Daisy Dawson by Steve Voake
Daisy can talk to animals. You’ll love her free spirit personality and her kindness in all sorts of adventures.
Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Erwin Madrid
Jessica Finch is a delightful early chapter book like Junie B. Jones (but better) with exceptionally pleasing and colorful illustrations. Jessica wants nothing more than a pig for a pet. For her birthday. When a misunderstanding happens with her best friend, Judy Moody, she learns a valuable lesson about not making assumptions and calling people names. This is one of my top picks for an early chapter book, I loved it! BOXED SET
Kylie Jean by Marci Peschke
Kylie Jean is all Texas, determined and spunky! These are very cute books with a lovable heroine.
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
This daring duo seems an unlikely pair which makes their adventures all the more entertaining. Fu stories for kids who like Junie B. Jones.
Whatever After by Sarah Mylnowski
Once upon a time, a regular girl and her brother accidentally went into a fairy tale. And messed it all up. Whoops. We loved these mixed-up stories!
Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon
Talk about a HILARIOUS remix of Sleeping Beauty! In this (much better) retelling, the princess realizes she can’t die until she’s 18 so she concludes that she must be INVINCIBLE and acts accordingly. IF you like the humor of Junie B. Jones, I think you’ll enjoy these even more.
Rainbow Street Shelter by Wendy Orr
Fantastic stories of mystery and compassion toward animals — great for any animal lover or Junie B. Jones fan.
Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst
Lulu is kind of sassy like Junie B. Jones. But without the bad grammar. In this story, she learns her valuable lesson in this hysterical story. You’ll laugh through this one!
Perfecto! My Vida Loca is a warm-hearted beginning chapter book about the adventures of a spunky girl named Sophia — from her singing (that annoys everyone except abuela) to a cooking mishap of arroz con leche that her familia helps her fix. I love the bright pink text that indicates the Spanish words (maybe 1 or 2 a page). Illustrations are fun, capturing the emotions and action perfectamente.
The Perilous Princess Plot (Buckle and Squash)
Very sarcastic and funny humor will keep you entertained throughout this book about a silly sister obsessed with princes and her more steady sister who rescues her silly sister from a kidnapping plot. Also, the great illustrations will help beginning readers enjoy this beginning chapter book.
The Greatest Star on Earth (Three-Ring Rascals)
When a newspaper reporter decides to write about the greatest star of the circus, all the performers worry so much that they end up sabotaging their own acts. Soon the circus is left with no performers and a stand-in ringmaster (who is helped along by the smart book-writing mice.)
The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Big Birthday Bash
In this Salem adventure, Salem predictably makes disasters happen everywhere she goes. She has some trouble with making things (herself) gigantic and other things (the birthday party kids) small. Hilarious, wacky, and totally enjoyable.
Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe by Norah Z. Jones
This is a funny series that messes up familiar fairy tale stories. The cartoon-like illustrations and speech bubbles make it especially fun to read.
Which of these book series do you already know and recommend to other kids?
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