In today’s post Ali of At Home with Ali is sharing a fabulous collection of chapter book series for kids making the move into chapter books.
Chapter book series turned reading from a chore to a pleasure for my eldest daughter. I brought home a Billie B Brown book one day and my daughter really liked it. When she discovered it was part of a series, she wanted to collect (and read) them all. Now my daughter regularly swaps her chapter books with her friends, carefully sorts them on her bookshelves and loves to visit our local book store and library to find more.
There is something about a series with familiar characters and their collectable nature that can spur a young reader on to read more and more. I have talked to my 7 year old daughter and her friends to compile this list of 12 great chapter book series. Some are fairly easy to read and some are more challenging but as a general guide these books are suitable for readers aged 7 to 9 years. Each child makes their own individual journey into reading, in their own time… but finding a series that your child loves might just make it all the more enjoyable!
Books for kids who like mystery
1. A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
These mysteries centre around a group of kids – Ruby Rose, Dink and Josh. A lot of the books are set in the US State, Connecticut, although the gang does get to travel to some real and fictional cities. I particularly like this series because of the mixed gender group – all the kids contribute to solving each book’s mystery! (Note: I buy this series from Amazon as I have not come across the series in book stores in Australia.)
2. Billie B Mysteries by Sally Rippin
This is a spin off from the popular Billie B Brown series which is also great for young readers. In this series, Billy has her very own Secret Mystery Club with her best friend Jack and some other friends. In each book they solve a neighbourhood mystery. The Billie B Brown series is widely available in Australian libraries and in second hand book stores as well. Billie’s best friend, Jack, has his own series too called Hey Jack!
Books for kids who like action
3. Secret Agent Jack Stalwart by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
This is a British series that follows 9 year old Jack Stalwart. Jack travels around the world from England to China to the jungles of Cambodia looking for clues that will help him find his missing brother.
4. EJ Spy School by Susannah McFarlane
These are short and easy stories to read which will give young readers a great sense of achievement as they plough through them. The main character, EJ, attends spy school where she goes on top secret adventures. And if the ‘EJ Spy School’ books become too easy you can graduate to EJ12 which is a more challenging series. This is another series that is easy to find in Australian libraries.
Books for kids who like interesting characters
5. Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows
This is an American series that is becoming more and more popular. Ivy and Bean books are regularly swapped at lunchtime at my daughter’s school. This series is about two very different girls who become firm friends. They combine imagination and bookish knowledge into tonnes of fun involving dirt, ghosts and all sorts of stuff.
6. Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey
My good friend described this series as ‘yuk’ but her 7 year old son loves it and it gets him excited about reading, yay! This book follows two prank-loving boys who create a superhero called Captain Underpants. I think the title said it all really. Interestingly, this is one of the most banned books in America, you can read the reasons why here and make your own judgment.
Book for kids who like to laugh
7. The Tinklers Three series by M.C. Badger
We have just discovered this series. It centred on a family of three kids whose parents are circus performers and often leave them at home by themselves. That sort of sounds alarming but it isn’t. The kids make up all sorts of hilarious rules like ‘You must always eat under the table in October’ and ‘Never do something the ordinary way if there is a more interesting way to do it’.
8. The Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton
The Treehouse series starting with ‘the 13-Storey Treehouse’ is one great big amazing adventure with tonnes of cartoons that make the series super captivating for young readers. I know so many kids who love this series. If you haven’t already tried I urge to go out and find a copy.
Books for kids who like animals
9. Bindi Wildlife Adventures by Bindi Irwin (with other authors)
My 7 year old loves Bindi and I think she is a fabulous role model. I don’t think I need to tell you that this series is all about animals – some set at Australia Zoo and others in far flung places. I have bought all our copies in second hand book shops. And of course, her little bro has his own series too, ‘Robert Irwin Dinosaur Hunter’.
10. Lulu Bell series by Belinda Murrell
Lulu Belle is the eldest daughter of a family who lives behind the family’s vet… so as you can imagine there are lots of adventures involving lost ponies and such things. Great for those kids who adore animals
Books for kids who like adventure
11. Time Hunters by Chris Blake
Another recommendation from a friend – Time Hunters is a fantastical series with the main character, Tom, going back into a different period of time in each book (e.g. Ancient Rome, Aztec Empire, Ancient Egypt) in search for hidden amulets.
12. Zac Power by H.I Larry
One of my daughter’s good friends is working his way through every Zac Power book ever written. Zac is a 12 year old secret agent for a fictitious intelligence agency… he goes on many missions and frequently saves the world!
And of course there are many, many more. I would love some recommendations from you. What are your kids favourite chapter book series?
P.S. It’s always a good idea to take a moment to read reviews and age recommendations for any titles you are unfamiliar with. Each title above is linked to an Amazon page (affiliate links) where you can find further information.