Stumped about what to offer your young reader for their ‘to be read list’? Check out this list of fun chapter book series perfect for early readers just moving into chapter books. With several books in each series, they’ll have plenty of reading material to keep their growing mind full.
Every night for the last several years, the boys and I cuddle up on their bedroom floor and I read to them before bed. Some nights we squeeze in one book each when bedtime starts late. Other nights we read a half dozen books if we have the time.
Each one picks up a book and sits on my lap while I’m reading their choice. It’s one of my favorite things to do with them and a perfect way to end the day.
After hundreds of nights of reading to them, the tables are turning. Many nights, they insist on reading to me! It lights up my heart to see their love for reading emerge and their skills progress.
T has just started to read early chapter books, and he can’t get enough of them. He asks for new books almost every day (thank goodness for our local library).
In an effort to keep his ‘to be read’ pile stacked high with options, I’ve been on the hunt for awesome early chapter books series. He might just get hooked on a certain character or story line and be further encouraged to stick his nose in another book. Book series also make it easier for me to replenish the selection of books available for him to read.
He doesn’t read every book I offer him and he doesn’t finish every book he starts, which is fine by me. I love that he’s exploring the options and realizing the wealth of different types of books out in the world that can entertain him for years to come.
Because I don’t want him to lose steam, I request loads of beginner chapter books from the library to give him plenty from which to choose. Here are a few of our favorite series that you can check out from
FYI: I know it’s tempting to buy books through Amazon, but there’s a better way. Check out this post all about alternative options to buying books from Amazon and why it matters.
Our Favorite Beginner Chapter Book Series for Early Readers
Sofia Martinez by Jacqueline Jules
Sofia is a young hispanic girl who loves to dream big and have fun adventures. The stories are great and sweet. There are a few Spanish words mixed into the text. The story provides context to understand what they mean, but there is no lost message if the reader doesn’t know the word. I also love the colorful illustrations that offer just enough visual cues to guide the reader through the story though the pages, still full of text, definitely feel like “big kid” chapter books.
The Marigold Messby Jacqueline Jules
Every day is an adventure with Sofia Martinez. Today she is super excited to wash the car. But when Sofia starts to clean the car, she makes a muddy mess of her mom’s marigolds. Read about all her fun adventures.
My Family Adventureby Jacqueline Jules
Little Sofia Martinez has a big personality and big plans, which makes every day memorable. Between her sisters and cousins, her family is the focus of her many adventures. Sofia loves her family and loves her life.
Hector’s Hiccupsby Jacqueline Jules
Sofia has tried everything to cure Hector’s hiccup problem. But nothing seems to work. Check out the book to see if they find a way to cure his hiccups!
Nate the Great by Marjorie Wienman Sharmat
In each story, the young boy detective solves a simple mystery in his neighborhood. He’s typically searching for something that has gone missing. These books are a bit older and have stood the test of time. They are great for young readers or as audio books for little ones not quite ready to read the stories on their own.
Nate the Greatby Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Nate the Great has a new case! His friend Annie has lost a picture. She wants Nate to help her find it. Nate the Great must get all the facts, ask the right questions, and narrow the list of suspects so he can solve the mystery.
Nate the Great Goes Undercoverby Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Somebody has been raiding Oliver’s garbage can each night. How can Nate narrow the long list of suspects down to one? Nate the Great might just have to go under cover . . . under cover of the garbage can lid, that is!
Nate the Great and the Big Sniffby Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Nate the Great solves crimes with his dog, Sludge. But this time, Sludge can’t help. Sludge is lost! Nate looks high and low. But every clue leads to a dead end until . . . Nate realizes Sludge can help after all!
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
You might remember this classic series from you childhood. Frog and Toad are best friends, and each book tells stories about Frog and Toad’s everyday adventures together. These also come in audio version for youngsters not quite ready to read on their own. (We recently borrowed the audio CDs with corresponding books that the boys can use to follow along with the narrator.)
Frog and Toad Togetherby Arnold Lobel
Frog and Toad are best friends—they do everything together. When Toad admires the flowers in Frog’s garden, Frog gives him seeds to grow a garden of his own. When Toad bakes cookies, Frog helps him eat them. And when both Frog and Toad are scared, they are brave together.
Frog and Toad Are Friendsby Arnold Lobel
From writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other—just as best friends should be.
Days with Frog and Toadby Arnold Lobel
Frog and Toad enjoy spending their days together. They fly kites, celebrate Toad’s birthday, and share the shivers when Frog tells a scary story. Most of all, they have fun together—every day of the year.
Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi
Yasmin is an upbeat and curious second-grade girl always on the lookout for ways to solve life’s little problems. She is a Pakistani American living with her family and sharing her fun adventures with readers through a host of simple stories.
Meet Yasmin!by Saadia Faruqi
Yasmin is a spirited second-grader who’s always on the lookout for those aha moments to help her solve life’s little problems. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and her big imagination, she boldly faces any situation, assuming her imagination doesn’t get too big, of course.
Yasmin the Explorerby Saadia Faruqi
Every explorer needs a map. Baba encourages Yasmin to make one of her own. But when Yasmin loses sight of Mama at the farmer’s market, can her map bring them back together?
Yasmin the Builderby Saadia Faruqi
Everyone seems to have a great idea for the makerspace project — everyone except for Yasmin All the good ideas are taken. Luckily, recess solves everything Inspiration strikes and Yasmin creates something that brings the whole class together.
Ling and Ting by Grace Lin
Two identical twin sisters, Ling and Ting, explore their world and share little stories of everyday life. I love that each story in the book can stand alone but also connects with other stories in the book through small references. It’s perfect for little ones just learning to comprehend a longer book with interrelated chapters.
Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Sameby Grace Lin
Ling and Ting are two adorable identical twins, and they stick together, whether they are making dumplings, getting their hair cut, or practicing magic tricks. But looks are deceiving–people can be very different, even if they look exactly the same.
Ling and Ting Share a Birthdayby Grace Lin
Ling & Ting are twins. They share a birthday. They bake cakes, and they make birthday wishes. They tell stories and wrap gifts. They also share a birthday secret!
Ling & Ting: Twice as Sillyby Grace Lin
Ling & Ting are twins. They like to be silly. They like to tell jokes. Most of all, they like to laugh together.
Frances Books by Russell Hoban
Each book shares a story about Frances and simple topics all too familiar to kids: bedtime, picky eating, birthday parties, best friends and more.
Bedtime For Francesby Russell Hoban
It may be bedtime for Frances, but before Frances can sleep, she needs a glass of milk, a kiss from Father, one from Mother, her teddy bear, her doll, another kiss from Father, and another one from Mother. Will Frances ever go to sleep?
Bread and Jam for Francesby Russell Hoban
Frances is a fussy eater. In fact, the only thing she likes is bread and jam. Unless Mother can come up with a plan, Frances just might go on eating bread and jam forever!
A Birthday for Francesby Russell Hoban
Frances is jealous of her sister’s birthday, but the birthday spirit moves her to reluctantly give her a coveted gift.
Zapato Power by Jacqueline Jules and Miguel Benitez
Freddie Ramos receives a pair of special shoes from Ms. Vaslov, a neighbor. The shoes allow Freddie to run lightning fast and feel like a superhero. He uses his special powers to help others in his community.
Freddie Ramos Makes a Splashby Jacqueline Jules
Freddie Ramos’s adventures continue! When a bully shows up at Starwood Park, his superpowered zapatos go missing. Is the bully to blame? And how can Freddie investigate without his super speed?
Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescueby Jacqueline Jules
Things are not going well at Starwood Elementary! A squirrel is running through the halls. A tree fell on the gym. The principal is acting weird! Can Freddie save the day with his Zapato Power?
Freddie Ramos Springs Into Actionby Jacqueline Jules
Freddie has shoes that give him super speed. It’s hard to be a superhero and a regular kid at the same time, especially when your shoes give you even more power!
George and Martha by James Marshall
These books about two hippos are quick reads but have a couple of interrelated stories in each book. They are perfect as a youngster’s very first chapter book series they can read on their own.
George and Marthaby James Marshall
Two lovable hippos teach the meaning of friendship in five separate vignettes: “Split Pea Soup,” “The Flying Machine,” “The Tub,” “The Mirror,” “The Tooth.”
George and Martha One Fine Dayby James Marshall
Five new episodes in the friendship of two hippos: “The Tight Rope,” “The Diary,” “The Icky Story,” “The Big Scare,” “The Amusement Park.”
George and Martha Back in Townby James Marshall
Five additional stories about the friendship between two hippos: “The Box,” “The High Board,” “The Trick,” “The Job,” “The Book.”
The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin
Four chicken work together to solve mysteries. The books are silly but definitely a bit more complicated than some of the other recommendations on the list.
The Chicken Squadby Doreen Cronin
They’re darling. They’re daring. They know their shapes! They’re chicks on a mission—and on this, their first (mis)adventure, the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition.
The Chicken Squad: The Case of the Weird Blue Chickenby Doreen Cronin
The Chicken Squad is back for their second (mis)adventure, and this time they’re solving the mystery of a kidnapped…HOUSE? Dirt, Sugar, Sweetie, and Poppy are the four members of The Chicken Squad, and business is booming. There is something NUTS about this story that the squad can’t quite put their feather on…and oh, brother, is it key to solving the case!
The Chicken Squad: Into the Wildby Doreen Cronin
The Chicken Squad is back for their third (mis)adventure, this time facing off with whatever’s hiding in a mystery box in the backyard. A hilarious chapter book in what has been called “a lip-bitingly funny series”.
Do your young readers have any favorite chapter books series? Be sure to share them in the comments!