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Great Chapter Books for Developing Readers


Do you have a developing reader who is transitioning into reading chapter books? Here are some of our favorite early chapter book series for kids who are ready to take that leap. These books feature simple text and illustrations that support the developing reading experience, and they are jammed with enough fun, funny, entertaining and exciting content and characters to keep kids coming back for that next title in the series. Each of these books listed is the first in their series, so if it works for your child, there's plenty more goodness in store for them!

Five Stories
Alter, Anna, 1974-
From the Sprout Street Neighbors series. In the tradition of classics such as The Wind in the Willows and Winnie-the-Pooh comes Anna Alter’s chapter book series. Henry, Violet, Emma, Wilbur, and Fernando are neighbors in the same apartment building and they are also friends—though they have very different personalities and interests.
Eerie Elementary. 1, The School Is Alive!
Chabert, Jack, author.
From the Eerie Elementary series. Sam Graves discovers that his elementary school is alive and plotting against the students, and,as hall monitor, it is his job to protect them--but he will need some help from his friends.
Night Of The Living Worms : A Speed Bump And Slingshot Misadventure
Coverly, Dave, author, illustrator.
From the Speed Bump and Slignshot Misadventures series. What's a bird to do when his sibling is a big-time celebrity? It's a question Speed Bump has to deal with every single morning because his brother happens to be the one and only Early Bird. But he has a great buddy, the ever-hungry Slingshot, who knows how to lift his spirits. Together, they end up on an adventure deep in the nighttime forest, where they're forced to confront something more terrifying--and slimier--than they've ever imagined.
The Chicken Squad
Cronin, Doreen.
From The Chicken Squad series. Dirt, Sweetie, Poppy, and Sugar might be chicks, but they sure aren't chicken. They're the Chicken Squad, and it's up to them to figure out what Tail, the not-so-brave squirrel, is so afraid of. When he describes it as BIG and Scary, that doesn't give much insight as to what is lurking beyond the coop. Can our fecklees, fluffy heroes defeat something that could very well be--gulp--from out of this world?
Monsters In The Dark
Davidson, Zanna, author.
From the Billy and the Mini Monsters series. Billy is trying to stay awake so the SCARY creatures of the dark won't come. But then he hears a squeaky little voice and notices some tiny purple footprints. Not only that, SOMETHING has ATTACKED his cheese sandwich. What could it be? Does Billy dare find out?
Mouse Scouts
Dillard, Sarah, 1961-
From the Mouse Scouts series. Meet Violet, Tigerlily, Hyacinth, Petunia, Junebug, and Cricket, six new Mouse Scouts who are trustworthy and strong, thrifty and brave . . . and destined to be friends to the end! Best friends Violet and Tigerlily can’t wait to start earning their merit badges. But their troop leader, Miss Poppy, is one strict rodent. And earning their first badge—planting a vegetable garden—is hard work. Will the troop drive unwanted pests from the garden and earn their Sow It and Grow It badge? And will they ever get Miss Poppy to smile?
The Quest For Screen Time
Dumas, Marti, author.
From the Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest series. Giant Afro. Even Bigger Brain. Jaden Toussaint is a 5 year-old who know it all. I mean, really knows it all. Animal Scientist. Great Debater. Master of the art of ninja dancing. There is nothing Jaden Toussaint can't do. The only problem is that grown-ups keep trying to convince him that, even though he's really smart, he doesn't know EVERYTHING. The thing is...he kind of does. This time our hero must use all his super-powered brain power to convince the grown-ups that he needs more screen time.
Tales Of Bunjitsu Bunny
Himmelman, John, author, illustrator.
From the Bunjitsu Bunny series. Introducing Isabel, aka Bunjitsu Bunny! She is the BEST bunjitsu artist in her school, and she can throw farther, kick higher, and hit harder than anyone else! But she never hurts another creature...unless she has to. The lively story about a kind and wise rabbit, with two-color illustrations, will appeal to young martial arts fans.
Zapato Power : Freddie Ramos Takes Off
Jules, Jacqueline, 1956-
From the Zapato Power series. Freddie finds a mysterious package outside his apartment containing sneakers that allow him to run faster than a train, and inspire him to perform heroic deeds.
The Infamous Ratsos
LaReau, Kara, author.
From the Infamous Ratsos series. Louie and Ralphie Ratso's dad, Big Lou, always says that there are two kinds of people: those who are tough and those who are soft. Louie and Ralphie are tough, tough, tough, just like Big Lou, and they're going to prove it. But every time they try to show just how tough they are, the Ratso brothers end up accidentally doing good deeds instead. What'll Big Lou do when he finds out they've been acting like softies all over the Big City?
The Un-friendship Bracelet
Maker, Martha, author.
From the Craftily Ever After series. Best friends Emily and Maddie spend all their time together making crafts, but when Maddie begins spending more time with gadget whiz Bella, Emily worries that she is losing her best friend.
Stealing The Sword!
Mass, Wendy, 1967- author.
From the Time Jumpers series. At the flea market nine-and-a-half-year-old Chase and his younger sister Ava acquire an old suitcase filled with rows of carefully packed strange objects, and when they handle one of the objects (a dragon-headed doorknob) they find themselves in King Arthur's castle, on a mission to save the King--and pursued by a strange man whom they first saw at the flea market, who is after their suitcase.
Fergus And Zeke
Messner, Kate, author.
From the Fergus and Zeke series. Fergus, the pet mouse in Miss Maxwell's classroom, stows away in a backpack on a field trip to the museum. He makes a new friend, Zeke, another mouse, who shows Fergus many interesting exhibits, but now he wonders how to get back to school.
The Haunted House Next Door
Miedoso, Andres, author.
From the Desmond Cole, Ghost Patrol series. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers. When supernatural things start happening in the house timid Andres and his parents just moved into, next-door-neighbor Desmond Cole, eight, comes to the rescue.
The Big Secret
Pearl, Alexa, 1967- author.
From the Tales of Sasha series. Sasha has always felt a little bit different from the other horses in her home of Verdant Valley. She loves running and jumping and the feeling of being in the air, and she longs to explore the forest beyond her valley. One day during class, the white patch on Sasha's back gives her an itching feeling that makes her want to soar, and she leaps over a big rock. When she lands, she realizes that her patch is sparkling! But what does it mean?
The Major Eights. 1, Battle Of The Bands
Reed, Melody, author.
From The Major Eights series. Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together in Jasmine's basement. Even though they may not have the best equipment, or an audience, they have fun making music to their own beat. But when Jasmine's brother tells her about an upcoming Battle of the Bands competition, Jasmine thinks this could be their chance to prove they're a real band. Now she just has to convince the other girls...
The Bad Butterfly
Rippin, Sally.
From the Billie B. Brown series. Brave, brilliant and bold Billie B. Brown has started ballet classes. She wants to be a famous ballerina, but can she? One of a series full of down-to-earth, real-life, fun and funny stories that children can enjoy and relate to. With word art or illustrations on every second page, and no huge blocks of text or intimidating words, they're perfect for newly independent readers.
Rise Of The Earth Dragon
West, Tracey, 1965- author.
From the Dragon Masters series. Eight-year-old Drake is snatched up by the King's soldiers and taken to the castle where he is told by the wizard Griffith that he has been chosen to be a Dragon Master like Ana, Rori, and Bo--and his first task will be to discover whether his dragon, Worm, has any special powers.

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