The VERY BEST beginning chapter books


April 13, 2023

There are a lot of options when your reader is finally ready for their first beginning chapter books! I remember trying to help my oldest child navigate this tricky phase of reading, where books can feel a little overwhelming and the text size can feel a little small.

I struggled to find books that would bridge the gap between his easy readers and chapter books. Eventually I found some, but since then (almost 12 years ago!) there have been some awesome books that have been published in this category.

These books are chapter books, but the text is larger with more space between lines of text and plenty of illustrations. Helping them feel less intimidating and boosting your reader’s confidence in their abilities and insuring they become stronger readers and not discouraged.

That is why I think these are THE BEST chapter books to start your child on. The other exciting thing about all of these books below? They are ALL part of series, so your reader has plenty of material to read, if they like one of the books below.

The Critter Club

By: Callie Barkley

Amy and her friends solve a canine caper in this start to a pet-friendly illustrated chapter book series.

Here is a peek inside Critter Club, to give you a feel for the book…

Captain Awesome

By: Stan Kirby

Eugene McGillicudy just happens to be the most awesome superhero of all time…Captain Awesome.

Here is a peek inside Captain Awesome, to give you a feel for the book…

The Data Set

By: Ada Hopper

Danger! Action! Trouble! Adventure! Introducing The DATA Set. A group of kids form the data set when they discover their neighbor is a mad scientist.

Here is a peek inside Data Set, to give you a feel for the book…

Craftily Ever After

By: Martha Maker

Emily and Maddie are best friends and even have friendship bracelets to prove it! But when a new girl moves in everything and changes.

Here is a peek inside Craftily Ever After, to give you a feel for the book…

Good Dog

By: Cam Higgins

Meet the loveable and rambunctious puppy, Bo Davis, in this first book of the Good Dog series! When Bo loses something important, his search takes him all over the farm.

Here is a peek inside Good Dog, to give you a feel for the book…

Simon Seahorse

By: Cora Reef

Simon Seahorse embarks on an adventure to find his lost lucky pearl in this first book in The Not-So-Tiny Tales of Simon Seahorse chapter book series.

Here is a peek inside Simon Seahorse, to give you a feel for the book…

Itty Bitty Princess Kitty

By: Melody Mews

Itty Bitty Kitty is about to become the princess of Lollyland in this first adorable book in the Itty Bitty Princess Kitty chapter book series!

Here is a peek inside of Itty Bitty Princess Kitty, to give you a feel for the book…

Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol

By: Andres Miedoso

Meet Desmond Cole! A fearless eight-year-old who runs his own ghost patrol, looking for ghosts, monsters, and mischief makers everywhere. Oh, and he just so happens to be my new best friend…and thank goodness! Because I’m afraid of everything.

Here is a peek inside Desmond Cole, to give you a feel for the book…

Katie Woo

By: Fran Manushkin

Katie Woo is a smart, spunky, sassy, and stylish schoolgirl that sometimes wonders into trouble more easily than she makes her way out of it. Katie’s heart is always in the right place and young readers will fall in love with her. 

The only thing that drives me a little crazy about this series is the chapters aren’t numbered and I think that is a big part of learning how to read and recognize the new chapter. They do have a chapter names though, so that’s good. I would just be sure your child is also seeing books with chapter numbers AND headings/titles.

Henry Hecklebeck

By: Wanda Coven

Henry is just like any other normal kid. He plays soccer. He isn’t a fan of homework. He even has an older sister, Heidi. What’s not so normal about Henry is his family. His sister and his mom are magic. Not Henry, though. He’s just a normal kid. Or is he?

Here is a peek inside Henry Hecklebeck, to give you a feel for the book…

Mia Mayhem

By: Kara West

Mia Macarooney is a regular eight-year-old girl who finds out that she’s A SUPERHERO! Her life literally goes from totally ordinary to totally super when she’s invited to attend the afterschool Program for In-Training Superheroes a.k.a. THE PITS! 

Here is a peek inside Mia Mayhem, to give you a feel for the book…

Heidi Hecklebeck

By: Wanda Coven

Heidi Heckelbeck seems like any other eight-year-old, but she has a secret: She’s a witch in disguise. Careful to keep her powers hidden (but excited to use them all the same), Heidi’s learning to live like any other kid—who just happens to be witch. 

Here is a peek inside Heidi Hecklebeck, to give you a feel for the book…

Mercy Watson

By: Kate DiCamillo

To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig — she’s a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them.

Here is a peek inside Mercy Watson, to give you a feel for the book…

Ricky Ricotta’s Might Robot

By: Dav Pilkey

Meet Ricky Ricotta, a little mouse with a big problem! Ricky Ricotta lives in Squeakyville with his mom and dad. Ricky has a hard time making friends at school, and the neighborhood bullies are always picking on him. If only Ricky could find someone to be his best buddy and keep those creepy bullies away!

Here is a peek inside Ricky Ricotta, to give you a feel for the book…

The Adventures of Sophie Mouse

By: Poppy Green

Spring has arrived at Silverlake Forest! The animals are coming out of their homes and Sophie Mouse can’t wait to go back to school after the long winter break. Even better, there’s a new student in class—Sophie loves meeting new animals! But the class gasps when Owen enters: he’s a snake! 

Here is a peek inside Sophie Mouse, to give you a feel for the book…

Greetings From Somewhere

By: Harper Paris

When Ethan and Ella learn that their mother has accepted the position of travel writer for The Brookeston Times, they are not happy. Move away from Brookeston? Say good-bye to all their friends? What could be worse?

Here is a peek inside Greetings From Somewhere, to give you a feel for the book…

Isla of Adventure

By: Dela Costa

Welcome to the adventurous island of Sol! For eight-year-old Isla Verde, Sol is the perfect place to live. The sun shines bright, the markets brim with delicious food and music, there are animal friends around every corner, and her best gecko buddy, Fitz, is up for almost every adventure!

Here is a peek inside Isla of Adventure, to give you a feel for the book…

Princess In Black

By: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her

Here is a peek inside Princess In Black, to give you a feel for the book…


25 Days of Kindness

Reading Incentives

DIY Bookmark Printable


send a message
read the blog
get on our list
join book club