33 Wholesome Beginner Chapter Books for Boys (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

This post may contain affiliate links.

A reader who works at a conservative school asked me for wholesome beginner chapter books for boys who are reading beginning / early / easy) chapter books that do NOT have potty humor or rude characters with sass and would interest boy readers. So, I made this new list specifically for that. These books are my choices for boys ages 6 – 9, with nice kids and plots that are decidedly lacking in toilet jokes.

An important element on this list is that the kids are not rude or sassy. I totally get this. And I really look for this in books with my own kids. It’s why I dislike the Junie B. Jones books. And it’s why my kids don’t watch the tween Disney TELEVISION shows.

That being said, I am not saying that kids who love potty humor are not nice. Not at all. I’ve been struggling to find a descriptive word that perfectly describes this book list. A reader on Facebook suggested wholesome, which I think is an apt word for these books! Thank you for the suggestion.

Want a similar list but for girls? Go here.

If you want wholesome chapter books for ages 9 – 12, visit this post.

Wholesome Beginner Chapter Books for Boys

A Wholesome Beginner Chapter Books for Boys

Charlie & Mouse is written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes. With just a few sentences per page, this is a very easy chapter book collection of stories about two brothers and their childhood adventures. It is relatable and endearing, with a touch of humor.

BUY THIS BOOK FROM

Amazon
Bookshop


Frank and Bean Food Truck Fiasco written by Jamie Michalak and illustrated by Bob Kolar is a laugh-out-loud, sweet story about good friends, Frank and Bean, who enter a food truck contest. Bean’s truck is donuts, and Frank’s is oatmeal. Their biggest competition is Mad Dog’s Cupcakes. They become each other’s customers and invent a new food to sell — Friendship Bowls. A darling series for new readers.

BUY THIS BOOK FROM

Amazon
Bookshop


Pigsticks and Harold and the Uptown Thief written by Alex Milway shows the detective friends solving the case of the disappearing statue. The pair looks for clues and interviews suspects. Fantastic, colorful illustrations aid readers in solving the crime –maybe even before Pigsticks and Harold do. I enjoyed the story so much. It’s a great book to get kids thinking and interacting with the text while reading.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Good Dog written by Cam Higgins and illustrated by Ariel Landy is sweet illustrated chapter book written from Bo the dog’s point of view! Enthusiastic and full of personality, Bo adores his loving family and his life on the farm. But he worries when his dog tag goes missing. He searches the farm with the help of all the farm animals and his spider friends help him find it. Your readers will love this new series with a darling doggie narrator! Get the first 4 books in 1.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea created by Ben Clanton is one of the most popular chapter books at our library. Narwhal is exuberant to meet Jellyfish, his new imaginary friend who is imagining Narwhal at the same time. Although Jellyfish is more serious, you’ll love their adventures, including forming a pod, having parties, eating waffles, and imagining. This is a feel-good friendship adventure told in graphic (cartoon) format that I absolutely loved. 5 and 6 year olds will, too! (Next in the series: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt.)

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Cornbread & Poppy by Matthew Cordell is about
Poppy and Cornbread, two mice friends, who like different things and have different personalities but love each other and love doing things together. (Yes, this sweet book of friendship stories feels reminiscent of Frog and Toad.) So even when Poppy doesn’t prepare for winter like Cornbread does (and reminds her), Cornbread joins her to search for food. In desperation, they bravely venture up the dangerous Hollar Mountain, where they find a warm welcome and a new friend.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters) written by Tracey West and illustrated by Graham Howells is one of my favorite book series on this list. In the times of castles and kingdoms, Drake learns he is a dragon master (and that dragons are real!) He must train with the other kids to master his dragon, an earth dragon. This is an adventurous fantasy chapter book that will interest almost any child as it has just the right amount of conflict, adventure, and excitement.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


magic tree house

The Magic Tree House written by Mary Pope Osborne is a wholesome, magical, and historical adventure series about siblings Jack and Annie whose forest treehouse transports them back in time where they’ll solve a problem. Each trip involves reading a book left by a mysterious librarian that gives them clues about solving their mission. Kids will learn about history while enjoying these historical, magical stories.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


A to Z Mysteries written by Rob Roy is a fantastic mystery series that will keep your kids reading for hours, days, and months. My kids read all of the books in this series more than once! We highly recommend this series, especially for kids around age 7.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


In Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by Marc Simont, Nate introduces readers to how to be a detective and find things– even if it’s for small cases such as a friend’s lost picture. Don’t miss the learning activities located at the end of the book.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Our Principal is a Frog written by Stephanie Calmenson and illustrated by Aaron Blecha is an engaging story about a fantastic school principal who is accidentally turned into a frog by a bumbling magician. Whoops! But, this is one dedicated principal. He finds a way to keep running the school — even as an amphibian.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Ivy Lost and Found written by Cynthia Lord and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin is a heartwarming story about the life of an old doll who gets a new life as a book buddy! Ivy’s been in the attic for years until her girl, now an adult, donates Ivy to the Book Buddy’s shelf at the library. That’s when a lonely girl named Fern borrows Ivy. Fern is visiting her dad and his new family, she needs a friend like Ivy because she feels so many feelings about her dad’s new family. Then, when Ivy gets left outside in the rain, she has a surprise adventure of her own.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Marco Polo Brave Explorer written by Cynthia Lord and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin is about a brave explorer named Marco Polo, a former Christmas ornament, who has become a book buddy at the library. A boy named Seth chooses Marco because of his small size so he can be a secret buddy for a sleepover birthday that he’s worried about. At the sleepover, Marco is stolen by the family cat — and he has to figure out how to rescue himself in an ingenious way! Marco learns that friends make adventures better. Relatable and entertaining.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey and illustrated by Garry Parsons is written in increasingly funny (and alarming) letters to Uncle Morton who left his pet dragon with Edward and his mom and sister withpout directions!! The dragon poops in their shoes, eats their pet bunny, and causes all kinds of destruction, which all are the subjects of Edward’s letters to his nowhere-to-be-found uncle. Finally, Edward hears from his uncle who suggests feeding the dragon chocolate. Will Edward’s mom lose her mind? Will the chocolate work to tame the dragon?

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Another QUIX book, Dig to Disaster: A Miss Mallard Mystery written by Robert Quackenbush is an exciting mystery adventure. Miss Mallard is on an archaeological expedition in the jungles of South America, but someone is trying to scare the group off. Not to worry. Miss Mallard is the duck for the job. She follows the clues in order to capture the sneaky treasure hunter.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Digby O’Day and the Great Diamond Robbery written by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy is filled with charming illustrations in red and yellow colors that will help readers enjoy this story about Digby’s memorable vacation. He and Percy visit the fancy Hotel Splendide. While there, the singer Peaches Meow’s diamonds are stolen! With the help of a new friend on the island, Percy and Digby catch the thieves.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


David Dixon’s Day as a Dachshund is the second book in the Class Critters series written by Kathryn Holmes. David is a boy full of ideas that often cause chaos, like bringing his new puppy to school for show and tell. When the puppy escapes, David turns into a dog, too. The two dogs race in and out of the school with playful joy until David’s best friend catches Bandit the puppy, and brings them back inside. The class guinea pig Bagel helps David learn how to think through ideas before he acts– and that’s when he turns back into a boy. Delightful!

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


The Last Firehawk: The Ember Stone is written by by Katrina Charman and illustrated by Jeremy Norton. Tag, an owl, is in training to become an Owl of Valor. One day, while playing tag with his squirrel friend, Skyla, Tag finds a golden egg that hatches into a Firehawk, the last one alive. Tag and friends must keep the Firehawk, Blaze, safe. Then they’ll quest to find the magical stone that may save their land from the Vulture and his army of tiger bats. This easy chapter book introduces kids to epic fantasy stories with the theme of good vs. evil.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Detective Gordon A Case in Any Case by Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Gitte Spee feels cozy, like a warm blanket or a cup of cocoa. Maybe because it’s about a kind-hearted mouse, Police Chief Buffy, and her best friend, retired police Detective Gordon. Together, they learn big lessons about friendship and wisdom as well as rescue two missing Kindergarten students who had ventured off to build a farm. Talk about a wholesome beginner chapter books.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


So many readers love The Storm (The Lighthouse Family) by Cynthia Rylant. It’s about Pandora, a kindhearted cat who lives in a lighthouse all alone. Seabold lives on a boat all alone, too. Until one day, a storm shipwrecks him at the lighthouse. Soon, a friendship develops, and the lighthouse isn’t lonely anymore, especially after the friends rescue a family of orphaned mice. Kind characters and a cozy family theme with a gentle adventure make this a wholesome reading choice for young readers.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Galaxy Zack by Ray O’Ryan shares a fun concept for an illustrated chapter book — moving to a new planet! I enjoyed reading Galaxy Zack. It’s fun and relatable. Boys (and girls) are sure to devour this far-out series.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Bark Park by Brandi Dougherty, illustrated by Paige Pooler, shares the story of Scout’s life which is filled with mystery and adventure as she helps her dog friends. Charming characters and gentle storylines.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Puppy Problem by Laura James and illustrated by Charlie Adler is the sweet story about teamwork, friendship, and the power of writing! Gizmo meets a new friend next door, a wolfhound named Jilly who shows him what to expect in the country and introduces him to more friends. Gizmo helps Jilly in return when Jilly’s worried about her humans selling her puppies to people far away. Gizmo finds a way to help — with persuasive writing!

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Dragon Kindom of Wrenly: The Coldfire Curse by Jordan Quinn is an exciting beginning graphic novel. When Cinder’s father crashes, it’s clear he’s sick from the dreaded “cold curse,” so Cinder must ask the king for help. Cinder flies to the castle of the human king and meets a red dragon named Ruskin, the pet of the human king. Cinder, Ruskin, and Groth travel to the fairies in order to get the ingredients to cure the curse. But the witch-dragon is NOT pleased with their success. A fast paced story that will keep you reading the series!

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Your kids will zip through the fascinating I Survived adventures by Lauren Tarshis. The books are always about a young person trying to survive a historically important, life-changing event

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Secret Agent, Jack Stalwart: Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur by Elizabeth Singer Hunt is the story of 9-year-old Jack who became a secret agent so he could search the world for his missing older brother, Max. In this adventure, he’s investigating a science fair where an experiment creates a dangerous dinosaur who terrorizes New York. Filled with lots of fun interesting gadgets!

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


The Whodunit Detective Agency The Diamond Mystery by Martin Widmark, illustrated by Helena Willis
Friends and kid detectives, Jerry and Maya, go undercover in a jewelry store to figure out which of the three employees is stealing diamonds from the owner. It’s puzzling since all the employees are searched before they can leave the store. How are the diamonds going missing and who is taking them? This is a well-written, wholesome adventure with good pacing and enjoyable characters.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon


They Didn’t Teach This in Worm School: One Worm’s Tale of Survival by Simone Lia
I LOVED the wry humor in this beginning, hilarious chapter book. It pairs two of the most unlikely of traveling companions together– a worm and a bird. In hopes that Laurence WON’T eat him for breakfast, Marcus offers to help Laurence navigate to Lake Nakuru. As they travel “the world”, the two develop an unexpected, lovely friendship. The reader will crack up at Laurence’s mistaken landmark sightings– is it the Eiffel Tower or a power line tower?

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon


In Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo, a pig named Mercy lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. She eats buttered toast and goes her for drives in the convertible. One night, Mercy gets scared and decides to sleep with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Can you imagine what happens next? Hilarious and quirky, this is a fun series filled with many amazing adventures and excellent illustrations.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Word Travelers and the Taj Mahal Mystery by Raj Haldar and illustrated by Nehra Rawat is a
fast-paced adventure that will immerse growing readers (ages 7 – 10) in both a puzzling mystery and the origin of English words. When Eddie and his friend MJ find his great-grandfather’s big book of words and their history (etymology), they’re magically transported to India, where they help a boy solve the clues and find his family’s missing fortune. As they solve the clues, they learn more words with Indian roots — many are from Hindi, like bangle and bungalow and others are from Sanskrit, like the words jackal and jungle.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


The Vanishing Coin (Magic Shop Series) by Kate Egan and Mike Lane, illustrated by Eric Wight
Fourth-grader Mike can’t sit still, making it hard to get work done, avoid the school bully, and stay out of trouble. It’s such a great story because Mike discovers something that he IS good at — magic. Throughout the book, you’ll learn how to do the tricks, too.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


Dolphin Rescue (Animal Planet Adventures #1) by Catherine Nichols is about siblings Maddie and Atticus They can’t figure out who is dumping trash everywhere. And when they rescue a baby dolphin entangled in the trash, they know they must get to the bottom of this mystery. Full-color photographs with information about dolphins, marine life, and more add bonus information for readers.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon


The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck is a simple but wholesome beginning chapter book about a mouse who grows up at Buckingham Palace longing for an identity. Not only does he not know his parents, he doesn’t even know his name! Happily, his adventures lead him to a very satisfactory conclusion.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


The Philly Fake Ballpark Mysteries by David A. Kelly begins this well-written mystery series. I also loved how the author included so much history within the story. The mystery has a great hook, and the story is wholesome. It’s one of my top picks for early chapter books!

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop


In The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney, Humphrey is a beloved class pet and a favorite book series for many children. Humphrey, our narrator, lives in Room 26 but each weekend, he gets to go home with a student. Get ready for funny (and enlightening) adventures.

BUY THIS BOOK ON

Amazon
Bookshop

Wholesome chapter books for boys

KEEP READING

Best Book Series for FIRST Graders

Best Book Series for 1st Graders (6-Year-Olds)

Best Book Series for 2nd Graders (7-Year-Olds)

best chapter book series for 3rd graders

Book Series for 3rd Graders (8-Year-Olds)

list of books for 1st first grade read alouds

Best Read Alouds for First Grade

Best Read-Aloud Books for Second Grade

The Ultimate Guide to Book Clubs for Kids

funny chapter books for kids

Funny Books

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

30 Comments

  1. The Terra Prime Adventure series is a clean sci-if option for early readers that I highly recommend! My three girls enjoy it.

  2. This list is great! Is there a link to a printable list version like you have for your other lists that I’m just missing?

  3. Aloha from Hawaii! Thank you, this is precisely what I was looking for! I was able to reserve 12 of these titles from our local library right away. I appreciate how you so thoughtfully put together this list to help out parents who desire wholesome books for boys (and girls). I had two homeschooled girls (now older teens), but my 7 yr old boy isn’t interested in the books they read. What a wonderful resource!