New Easy Books for Growing Readers Ages 5 to 8
The books in this section have only a few sentences per page.
A Magic Spark (An Acorn Book) by Jessica Young, illustrated by Marie Vanderbemden
The Great Bunk Bed Battle (An Acorn Book) by Tina Kugler
When fox siblings Fritz and Franny go to bed, they don’t actually go to sleep. They compare which bunk bed is best and imagine adventures through a forest with a castle, a moat and a boat, a submarine, and a volcano on their beds. Simple text in speech bubbles and a relatable topic makes this a sure-fire hit with new readers.
Mister Shivers Shadow in the Woods and Other Scary Stories (An Acorn Book) by Max Brallier
Yes, some kids like scary stories. (I’m surprised because I don’t.) But if you know a child who does, this book with easy-to-read text and short, illustrated stories will become a much-loved favorite.
See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Kids who like silly stories will want to read this story again and again! A playful remake of the Dick and Jane stories— with a narrator and dog who argue about the story. Because there is no “blue cat in a green dress” argues the dog! Until…a blue cat in a green dress appears! The repetition of words and similar short text structure makes this a fun new choice for beginning readers.
New Beginning Chapter Books Ages 6 to 9
Geeger the Robot Goes to School by Jarret Lerner
Monster and Boy by Hannah Barnaby
A charming story told by a narrator who speaks directly to you, the reader, about an unlikely friendship between a monster and a boy. The monster wants the boy, whose bed he sleeps under, to know that he’s real. But, the monster eats the boy to make sure he doesn’t scream. And things get complicated. Nevertheless, the two become friends and, with the advice of the boy’s little sister, get the boy back to his regular size outside of the monster’s tummy.
The Princess in Black Giant Problem by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Princess Magnolia and the Princess in Black are having a playdate when a giant arrives and starts stomping on things, yelling, “SQUASHY.” They call the other princesses for help. Together, the princesses and their pets try to stop the giant. It turns out that he’s a baby giant and his mom comes to get him.
Dot: For Pet’s Sake based on the character created by Randi Zuckerberg
Friends bring one pet after another and Dot happily watches them all with the help of her Pet Pall app and her friend Hal. But soon, mayhem ensues and the pets escape. This is an adorable and funny story for kids who love animals.
Stink and the Hairy Scary Spider by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
12th in the series, this book is all about Stink facing his fear of spiders. When he finds a pink spider, Stink freaks out! Luckily, his friends and his sister help him learn about tarantulas…and he wants to keep the pink-toed tarantula as a pet but instead, he finds the owner and returns her. Well-written and engaging.
Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery by Renee Treml
Dialogue-only, this graphic novel is narrated by the skeleton of a frogmouth whose sidekick is a stuffed parrot named Watts. A raccoon named Grace arrives just after the Royal Blue Diamond goes missing. Together, they’ll all work to solve the mystery so the museum doesn’t close. I didn’t love the small text size and that there was no transitioning text. It’s a decent mystery but too long.
Some Pigtails by Jonathan Eig, illustrated by Alicia Teba Godoy
Lola uses a literary character role model to advocate and persist when she feels something is unfair. Lola wants pigtails and her mom is too busy so she asks her grampa — who makes red, white, and blue handlebar-like pigtails. She loves them! In fact, she decides to keep trying unusual hairstyles with grampa. But, that all stops when her school principal bans any unusual hairstyles. Lola thinks of how in Charlotte’s Web, Charlotte the spider uses words to try to change the situation. So first, she talks to the principal. That doesn’t work so next, she organizes the students to start distraction days. Those don’t work either. Finally, she tries a petition which leads to a compromise. A fantastic first book in the series!
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