Early Chapter Book Series for Beginning Readers
I was determined that I was never going to learn to read.
My dad always read to us, every night without fail. We didn’t have a lot of books in our house, but he read them over and over without complaint.
When I was in kindergarten, I was sick quite a bit and ended up in the hospital three times—twice for pneumonia and once to have my tonsils and adenoids removed. My parents used to come together to visit me until it became clear that one of them had to read to me during their entire visit, and the other had to sit quietly. I would also complain if a doctor or nurse would interrupt my reading time by trying to talk to Mom or Dad about my health.
That was also the year that I started twice weekly allergy shots. Mom and I would have to stay at the clinic for thirty minutes to make sure I didn’t react to the shot, and I demanded that she read to me then, too. I remember someone asking if I was looking forward to being able to read by myself. “No!” I answered. “Then no one will read to me!”
Well, I did learn to read, and I was right, no one did read to me again…though I do remember moving swiftly from listening to picture books to reading chapter books by myself. My older son was a lot like me, in that he liked to read independently already in first grade. My younger son, however, was a little less sure of himself, and most of the time we read to each other well past that age.
The chapter books below are part of current and entertaining series. Whether your brand-new readers need a little help or are charging off on their own, these stories should keep them asking for more.
Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman. 2014-2016. Gr 1-3.
- Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny. 9780805099706. 2014.
- Bunjitsu Bunny’s Best Move. 9780805099713. 2015.
- Bunjitsu Bunny Jumps to the Moon. 9781627797320. October 2016.
The Chicken Squad Adventure by Doreen Cronin. 2014-2017. Gr 1-4.
- The Chicken Squad : The First Misadventure. 9781442496767. 2014.
- The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken : The Next Misadventure. 9781442496798. 2014.
- Into the Wild : Yet Another Misadventure. 9781481450461. 2016.
- Dark Shadows : Yes, Another Misadventure. 9781481450492. March 2017.
Dory by Abby Hanlon. 2014-2016. Gr 1-3.
- Dory Fantasmagory. 9780803740884. 2014.
- Dory and the Real True Friend. 9780525428664. 2015.
- Dory Dory Black Sheep. 9781101994269. September 2016.
Lola Levine by Monica Brown. 2015-2017. Gr 1-3.
- Lola Levine Is Not Mean! 9780316258364. 2015.
- Lola Levine, Drama Queen. 9780316258432. 2016.
- Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme. 9780316258449. 2016.
- Lola Levine Meets Jelly and Bean. 9780316258531. February 2017.
Pigsticks and Harold by Alex Milway. 2014-2016. Gr 1-3.
- Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey. 9780763666156. 2014.
- Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Thief. 9780763678098. 2015.
- Pigsticks and Harold and the Pirate Treasure. 9780763681579. August 2016.
The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale. 2014-2017. Gr K-3.
- The Princess in Black. 9780763665104. 2014.
- The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party. 9780763665111. 2015.
- The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde. 9780763665135. 2016.
- The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation. 9780763665128. November 2016.
Super Fly by Todd H. Doodler. 2015-2017. Gr 1-3.
- Super Fly : The World’s Smallest Superhero. 9781619633797. 2015.
- Super Fly : Revenge of the Roach! 9781619633827. 2016.
- Super Fly vs. Furious Flea! 9781619633858. October 2016.
- Super Fly : Rise of the Evil Army. 9781619633889. February 2017. (no cover photo)
Tales from Deckawoo Drive by Kate DiCamillo. 2014-2016. Gr 1-3.
- Leroy Ninker Saddles Up. 9780763663391. 2014.
- Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon. 9780763668860. 2015.
- Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? 9780763673116. August 2016.
Sometimes authors will take one of their popular series (or book) and write it for younger readers. The Hank Zipzer series, the According to Humphrey series, the Judy Moody series, and the stand-alone Masterpiece were the inspiration for these early chapter book series:
Here’s Hank by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver. 2014-2017. Gr 1-3.
- Bookmarks Are People Too! 9780448482392. 2014.
- A Short Tale about a Long Dog. 9780448482408. 2014.
- Stop That Frog! 9780448482415. 2014.
- Fake Snakes and Weird Wizards. 9780448484747. 2015.
- There’s a Zombie in My Bathtub. 9780448485133. 2015.
- How to Hug an Elephant. 9780448486574. 2015.
- You Can’t Drink a Meatball Through a Straw. 9780448486598. 2016.
- The Soggy, Foggy Campout. 9780448486611. 2016.
- Always Watch Out for the Flying Potato Salad! 9781101995846 January 2017.
Humphrey’s Tiny Tales by Betty G. Birney. 2014-2016. Gr K-3.
- Humphrey’s Really Wheely Racing Day. 9780399252013. 2014.
- Humphrey’s Playful Puppy Problem. 9780399252020. 2014.
- Humphrey’s Creepy-Crawly Camping Adventure. 9780399172274. 2015.
- Humphrey’s School Fair Surprise. 9780399172298. 2016.
- Humphrey’s Mixed-Up Magic Trick. 9780399172304. August 2016.
Judy Moody and Friends by Megan McDonald. 2014-2016. Gr 1-3.
- Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble. 9780763657185. 2014.
- Rocky Zang in the Amazing Mr. Magic. 9780763657161 2014.
- Amy Namey in Ace Reporter. 9780763657154. 2014.
- Frank Pearl in the Awful Waffle Kerfuffle. 9780763657178. 2014.
- Stink Moody in Master of Disaster. 9780763672188. 2015.
- Triple Pet Trouble. 9780763674434. 2015.
- Mrs. Moody in the Birthday Jinx. 9780763681982. September 2016.
The Masterpiece Adventures. by Elise Broach. 2014-2017. Gr 1-4.
- The Miniature World of Marvin and James. 9780805091908. 2014.
- James to the Rescue. 9781627793162. 2015.
- Trouble at School for Marvin and James. 9781627793186. April 2017. (no cover photo)
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