OwnVoices Beginning Chapter Books for Growing Readers Ages 6 – 8
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.
Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time by Marti Dumas
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. Kids love this funny book series.
Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke
Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa but in this story, she goes by herself to visit her Granny 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.
You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke
Too Small Tola by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu
Tola lives in Nigeria in an apartment with her sister, brother, and Grandmommy. Even though she is small, she helps her Grandmommy at the market and carries water in from the pump when their building’s water doesn’t work. (The electricity doesn’t work often either.) Readers feel the love in Tola’s close-knit family and experience her life in her Nigerian community with kind-hearted neighbors and diversity of religion (Eid and Easter) and see that even when you’re small, you can make a difference.
Jada Jones Rock Star by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
Stella Diaz has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez
Power Forward by Hena Khan
Filled with Urdu and Pakistani culture, this is a short beginning chapter book about a boy who loves basketball. Unfortunately, he skips violin lessons and lies to his parents in order to go to extra basketball practices. Zayd learns some hard lessons both about honesty and communication with his family which, in the end, makes his life better.
Magical Land of Birthdays by Amirah Kassem
Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly
If your readers like sweet stories about relatable kid topics like fear over climbing a tree, avoiding a school bully, missing her dad who is working far away, having a parent from the Philippines, and noticing the world around you, you’ll enjoy Marisol’s story. Marisol names everything — even the tree in her back yard that she is too scared to climb. She loves playing and riding bikes with her best friend Jada, even if it’s hard to ride past the mean dog. As we get to know Marisol, we can’t help but cheer her on as she eventually faces her fears about climbing the big tree in her backyard (named Peppina).
Shai and Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! by Quvenzhane Wallis with Nancy Ohlin, illustrated by Sharee Miller
STAT: Standing Tall and Talented: Home Court by Amar’e Stoudemir, illustrated by Tim Jessell
Based on the real story of Amar’e Stoudemire, this is the story of when he was 11, a skateboarder, a basketball player, and a worker with his dad’s landscape company. When other kids start trash-talking his friends, he uses his intelligence and basketball skills to find a solution.
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.