24 New Books for Growing Readers (Ages 5 – 9)
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Need a good book that will hook your growing reader? Discover the best, new easy readers and beginning chapter books for ages 5 to 8!
Easy Readers for Ages 5 to 7
Also Read: ALL Easy Readers for Ages 5 and 6.
Nick and Nack Fly a Kite by Brandon Budzi, illustrated by Adam Record
Highlights Puzzle Readers Level 1
I LOVE these new Highlights Puzzle Readers! Nick is a boy and Nack is a robot. After a windy day, they pick up sticks and use them to make a kite. But first, they need to find all the supplies. The best part of this story is that as you read, you’ll get to help them find their supplies. For example, “Find 5 bottles of glue hidden in the picture.” After you finish, use the directions at the back to make your own kite. Fun, right?
Nick and Nack Build a Birdhouse by Brandon Budzi, illustrated by Adam Record
Highlights Puzzle Readers Level 1
Clever Nick and Nack eat a lot of ice pops then use their popsicle sticks to build a birdhouse. Help them find the materials they need by searching for the hidden objects. I’m impressed with the combination of an interesting story with a diverse main character, the interactive hidden pictures, and the integration to STEM concepts.
Kit and Kaboodle Take the Train by Michelle Portice, illustrated by Mitch Mortimer
Highlights Puzzle Readers Level 2 Let’s Read
Your kids will love this interactive reading experience. Perfect for beginning readers, read the story of two good friends taking a very fun train ride to Sillyville. As you read the story, find the hidden pictures on many of the two-page spreads.
Kit and Kaboodle Go Camping by Michelle Portice, illustrated by Mitch Mortimer
Highlights Puzzle Readers Level 2 Let’s Read
These two friends pack for a camping trip then set off on a hike into the forest. They play games, eat snacks, look at clouds, and set up their camp. Help them find what they need in their backpacks by searching for the hidden pictures. What a fun book!
Too Many Jacks by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
What About Worms? by Ryan T. Higgins
Tiger is big and brave and not afraid of anything except readers will infer that there IS something Tiger is afraid of. As Tiger lists what he loves like flowers and apples and books, each time he starts thinking about them, he panics that there will be worms. “Worms ruin everything,” Tiger says. The Worms love the apples and dirt and books that Tiger left behind. They’re so appreciative of his kind gifts, they rush off to give Tiger a big worm hug. Elephant and Piggie fans will laugh at this silly ending and Tiger’s crazy antics.
Bat and Sloth Hang Around by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Seb Braum
Level 2 Reader
Bat makes a new friend when Sloth joins him on the tree branch. Their friendship is spent playing, eating, and even disagreeing, but always spending time together. Interesting and relatable.
Beginning Chapter Books Ages 6 to 8
Also read: Best Books for 7 Year Olds, Best Books for 8 Year Olds
Happy Paws: Layla and the Bots by Vicky Fang, illustrated by Christine Nishiyama
Layla wants to help her amusement park owner friend keep the park open. She investigates the problem then figures out a solution…people want to bring their dogs. She brainstorms ideas and invents new rides that help solve the problem. An entertaining, STEM-focused story.
Find more STEM Chapter Books for Ages 6 to 12.
Charlie & Mouse Outdoors by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes
Three short stories of bravery and adventure about Charlie’s family camping trip which explore telling a story, roasting marshmallows, nature, and family. Charming.
Egg or Eyeball? Chick and Brain by Cece Bell
If your reader likes weird, quirky, and silly stories, they will love this book! Brain finds an eyeball. But Chick and Spot try to explain that it’s actually an egg. Back and forth they go with misunderstandings, lessons in manners, and goofiness. Four chapters written in comic panel format that are perfect for growing readers with plenty of repetition of words and phrases, who wouldn’t love this quirky cast of characters and the surprising ending?
Fergus and Zeke and the Field Day Challenge by Kate Messner, illustrated by Heather Ross
These two mice make their own mouse-sized field day activities but they’ll need to think creatively to get back inside their school when they get locked out. Cute!
Fox and Rabbit by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Gergely Dudas
Reminiscent of Frog and Toad, these are darling stories in graphic novel format about two best friends who have wonderful adventures.
You Can Do It, Yasmin! by Saadia Frauqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly
Yasmin is all about trying new things! These darling illustrated stories tell about growing plants, writing an essay about her hero (her mama), and solving problems with her friends. Another hit for this excellent series.
Scaredy Monster by Meika Hashimoto, illustrated by Steve Lambe
Read about a lovable monster with a typical kid life. The stories are about losing a tooth, riding a bike, and going to a slumber party. I particularly love the sweet relationship he has with his mom. Sure to be a new kid-favorite beginning chapter book.
Katie Woo’s Neighborhood by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Laura Zarrin
Short stories about cheerful, positive Katie, a girl who visits the dentist, bakes cupcakes, visits a farm, and rescues a kitten.
Danger on the Reef by Jake Maddox
What an exciting adventure with great pacing. Jasmine and Arjun are siblings with scientist parents who are helping explore and clean up a coral reef. Arjun misbehaves while diving, putting himself and his sister in danger from a shark. It’s up to Jasmine to save his life and help him do better. In addition to a great adventure, you’ll also learn about ocean pollution and coral reefs.
Bark Park by Brandi Dougherty, illustrated by Paige Pooler
Scout’s life is filled with mystery and adventure as she helps her dog friends. Charming characters and gentle story lines.
The Story of Olympic Diver Sammy Lee by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Dom Lee
Don’t miss this interesting biography about a Korean American diver, Sammy Lee. Growing up, Sammy could only use the swimming pool one day a week, the day it was for people of color. During the rest of the week, he used a sand pit in his coach’s backyard. Gack! His hard work paid off and you’ll read all about his many challenges leading to eventually competing in the Olympics. He was the first Korean American to win gold for the United States. This biographical book is an amazing example of growth mindset.
The Story of Environmentalist Wangari Maathai by Jen Johnson, illustrated by Wellington Sadler
Absolutely inspiring with beautiful African-inspired illustrations, this exceptional narrative biography story is about a woman named Wangari who studied biology in her native Kenya and later in the United States. When she returned to Kenya, she realized that the deforestation was ruining farmer’s ability to grow crops so she started a tree-planing movement. Facing lots of opposition, Wangari was arrested and jailed. Once released, she continued her work of planting trees and eventually won the Nobel Peace Prize. Helpful informational insets detail facts about deforestation, school in Kenya, and more.
Lily and the Great Quake: A San Francisco Earthquake Survival Story by Veeda Bybee
In the early 1900s in San Francisco, California if you were of Chinese descent, it was illegal to live anywhere else except for Chinatown. When a huge earthquake hits California, its destruction caused fires to burn Chinatown to the ground. The earthquake’s destruction forces young Lily and her family to leave Chinatown for Oakland amidst the chaos. Throughout her story of life in Chinatown and evacuating during the fires, we see the prejudice she faces due to her looks and culture. Very well done.
Anna Finds a Friend by Kate Egan, illustrated by Elizabetta Melarance
A lovely story of Anna who makes up a friend to write letters…and surprisingly, she gets letters in return. Who could be writing back when she just made up a friend? As Anna searches for answers, she also finds a way to reconnect with her sister who is just as lonely as Anna is.
The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane by Nikki Shannon Smith, illustrated by Mari Lobo
8-year-old Azaleah helps her little sister find her favorite stuffed animal even though she needs to work on her diorama for the upcoming zoo field trip. It’s a sweet story about mysteries, family dynamics, and life.
Jax Protector of the Ranch by Catherine Stier, illustrated by Francesca Rosa
Jax is a Great Pyrenees dog who guards the farm’s sheep from predators. It’s a busy and dangerous job we learn when coyotes and a bobcat attack but Jax and the other dogs keep their sheep safe. In this story, kids will also learn about animal instincts as well as dog training.
Mary and the Trail of Tears A Cherokee Removal Survival Story by Andrea L. Rogers
This is a historical fiction beginning chapter book that may be too mature for most growing readers. It is all true and well-written but it’s very realistic making it more challenging for sensitive readers who may be affected by the death, murder, and trauma that happens when the Cherokee Nation’s homes were taken by force.
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