Reading books on a Kindle or device is a FANTASTIC idea for kids who aren’t reading what their peers are. Ebooks give kids privacy, so to speak. I highly recommend this option because no one will know what they’re reading except for them. Plus, technology adds a coolness factor to reading. Finally, choice, as we know from research and observation, is extremely motivating for all children, too.
Easy Books for Older Kids
If you’re looking for easy readers, I have those listed here.
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot The Voodoo Vultures from Venus by Dav Pilkey, illustrated by Dan Santat
Kudos to Dav Pilkey and Dan Santat for creating such an action-packed, engaging new easy book series for readers with marvelous illustrations. It’s not often you see a book in full color — love that! I predict that once your reader tries this first book, they’ll want all the books in this easy chapter book series. And, their own robot friend, too!
The Infamous Ratsos by Kara Lareau, illustrated by Matt Myers
I loved this book! Louie and Ralphie Ratso try to do mean, tough-guy things but every time they do, their actions help someone. Ultimately, both the boys and their dad decide to choose kindness. Of course, before they decide this, their experiences are very funny.
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.
Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Erwin Madrid
Jessica Finch is a delightful early chapter book 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
Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters) by Tracey West, illustrated by Graham Howells
Notebook of Doom by Troy Cummings
Alexander discovers his new town is FILLED WITH MONSTERS! And, he’s right in the middle of everything especially after he finds an old notebook of drawings and facts about monsters. Fun with an edge of scary. These easy chapter books are hard to put down.
The Toad: The Disgusting Critters Series by Elise Gravel
Visually captivating with interesting, just-right, easy text that is informative and sometimes hilarious. I’m a big fan of this kid-friendly nonfiction book series! (also read: The Worm, The Fly, and The Rat)
The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
A MUST-READ series for all kids! These combine mystery, history, magic, and adventure as siblings Jack and Annie adventure through time. If you love The Magic Tree House series, you’ll also like these books.
A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author by Ron Roy
The A to Z Mysteries series rocks! None of the books need to be read in any particular order, each has a self-contained mystery. My own kids read most of the books in this series –more than once. In this story, a famous writer that is coming to the bookstore doesn’t show up. Dink and his friends, Josh and Ruth Rose, must find out what happened to the missing author. BOXED SET
The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Kevin Cornell
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.
Eerie Elementary: The School is Alive! by Jack Chabert, illustrated by Sam Ricks
Sam isn’t thrilled about becoming a hall monitor. Especially when he discovers that the school is ALIVE and trying to harm him and the other students. Sam has quite a wild adventure trying to save the students from the school. I think kids who like sort of scary things (it’s not too bad) will enjoy this book. Box set of 6 books here.
Judy Moody Was in a Mood by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Want to get your kids reading a great series? Try Judy Moody. She’s a relatable third grader with a big personality, an annoying little brother, the coolest aunt ever, and lots of humorous antics. Box Set Here.
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Get ready to laugh along with these charming young friends who are always involved in funny situations and problems. It’s a fantastic series about two girls with unique personalities.
Planets by Elizabeth Carney
Information, interesting facts, and quizzes make this another win for National Geographic Kids. It has a good text to picture ratio, is interesting and well laid out.
Geronimo Stilton #1 Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye by Geronimo Stilton
Geronimo Stilton is a newspaper writer/adventurist. These books share his adventures with interesting fonts and colorful illustrations. I personally find the design of the books distracting as did my kids but for many kids, the style adds to the engagement and entertainment factor.
The Bad Guys #1 by Aaron Blabey
Dog Man by Dav Pinkey
Weird. Quirky. Funny. I think all three describe this new graphic novel from the creator of Captain Underpants. In the first easy story, a police officer and a dog are joined together — the top from the dog, the bottom from the officer to make: Dog Man. Dog Man solves crimes and has adventures, the likes of which will entertain kids for hours. (These are the MOST checked-out book at many school libraries.)
Zoey and Sassafras Dragons and Marshmallows #1 by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay
This is an entertaining easy chapter book with the coolest mix of science and magic, a diverse main character, and fantastic illustrations that will get kids reading and learning. Zoey, like her mom, can see magical creatures and is tasked to care for any injured creatures that might need help. In this story, she uses her science skills (including research and the scientific method) to figure out how to care for a sick baby dragon.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Old school humor at it’s best! These books describe a wacky school with crazy teachers and even crazier students and events. BOX SET
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
One of our favorite graphic novels, Zita the Spacegirl, is a true friend who not only saves her best friend but the entire galaxy! Struggling readers often find that graphic novels with their picture support are exactly the right fit. BOX SET
Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers by John Dougherty
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
In a word: Hilarious. We all think Bad Kitty is very naughty. And, oh so funny. These books are easy to read and fun to reread, very motivating for older readers.
Weird But True 3 by National Geographic
Kids universally love these weird and random facts but that’s not the only awesome thing about Weird But True nonfiction books! The book makes readers think that they’re NOT reading. Why? Because there are lots of colorful photographs, one sentence facts, and you can flip around to read the pages out of order. Ultimately, these books often entice even the most reluctant of readers. It worked for my oldest daughter!
Crime Biters: My Dog Is Better Than Your Dog by Tommy Greenwald
This is a funny beginning chapter book about a boy who is convinced (rightly so?!) that his rescue dog is a crime-solving, vampire, genius! A great easy book for older readers.
Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book #2: Amelia Bedelia Unleashed by Herman Parish, illustrated by Lynne Avril
These new Amelia chapter books by the original author’s son have an interesting, more mature storyline than the picture books. In this story, Amelia searches for the perfect puppy.
White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan
Zoe’s family rescues dogs in need. A new family has moved in across the street and Phillip, the boy, has stopped speaking. He doesn’t even want to try. But Zoe’s new rescue dog might just help the boy heal and speak. Your readers will appreciate that this easy chapter book is so short yet packs a big emotional punch! (Also on: Best Chapter Books About Dogs)
BUGS! Animal Planet Amazing Animal Facts Chapter Books by James Buckley, Jr.
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
Kids of all ages, even older kids, LOVE this hilarious series about Nate’s life at home, school, and sports. Some, like this one, are written in a combo of text and comics while others are graphic novels such as Big Nate Welcome to My World. BOX SET
Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
If you haven’t read these addictive and hilarious graphic novels, they are a must — anyone who has eaten lunch at school will appreciate the humor. I’ve recommended this series to struggling readers and it’s always been a hit. BOX SET
Doodle Adventures: The Search for Slimy Space Slugs! by Mike Lowery
This book not only hooks the reader with its space-adventure plot and hilarious narrator Carl invites YOU to find the missing priceless artifact requiring bravery, heroism, and drawing. Yes, drawing. Along the journey to retrieve the artifact from Captain Sleezoog (he’s a slug,) you must do your part. So you’ll make sure (by drawing) that you’ve got a spacesuit, you’ve packed everything you need to bring, the rocket design is perfect plus has some silly (bandages!?) extras, and lots more as the adventure ensues. It may sound contrived but it’s a fun, engaging adventure that any kid, artist or not, will love. And there is MORE in the series! Also read: The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate!
Who Would Win? Whale vs. Giant Squid by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Rob Bolster
Teachers tell me that their students can’t get enough of the Who Would Win? books. This book pits two ocean carnivores against each other. First, you’ll learn facts about a sperm whale, then you’ll learn about the giant squid. Finally, read what happens when these two creatures face-off. Can you predict who will win? See all the addicting informational books in the Who Would Win series.
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