25+ Classic Chapter Books to Read with 5-8 Year Olds

Following on from the very popular 50 Classic Picture Books list, today I am sharing over 25+ Classic Chapter Books to read with 5-8 year olds. The classic read alouds in this collection have stood the test of time, and the list includes simple novels and a few story collections that children in the early elementary/primary years will enjoy.

All published prior to 1980, these are the books that we loved as children that are perfect for reading aloud to our own kids – though older children will enjoy many of these as independent reads too.

25 Classic Chapter Books for 5-8 year olds

Some see these classic books as not conforming with modern social values so please do take a moment to read reviews and age recommendations for any titles you are unfamiliar with. As with all of our Best Books for Kids collections, each title is linked to an Amazon and Book Depository page where you can find further information (these are affiliate links).

RELATED: Make your read aloud time the most amazing part of your day with this collection on 45 read aloud tips!

I hope this list re-connects you with a story or two that you had forgotten all about and that you will take pleasure in re-visiting at least one of these classic chapter books with the children in your life.

25 Classic Chapter Books for 5-8 Year Olds

Classic children's books: Winne the Pooh1. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. First published in 1926.
Including the original stories from Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, readers will love joining Christopher Robin, Pooh Bear and their friends on their adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood.
Available: Amazon
Classic Books for Kids: When We Were Very Young2. When We Were Very Young (1924) and Now We Are Six (1927) by A. A. Milne
These volumes of poetry by the creator of Winnie the Pooh share fabulous tales of all manner of things in fabulous verse.
Kids Book Classics: The Wind in the Willows3. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. First published in 1908.
This classic tale of the adventures of Mole, Ratty, Badger and the lovable rogue, Mr Toad, is one of our personal favourites. This is a shorter version of the original story with new artwork by Robert Ingpen.
Available: Amazon
Kids Classic Books: The Wizard of Oz4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. First published in 1900.
Follow the adventures of Dorothy and Toto as their Kansas house is swept away by a cyclone and they find themselves in the land of Oz. Here Dorothy meets the Munchkins and joins the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where lives the all-powerful Wizard of Oz.
Available: Amazon
Charlottes Web: Children's Book Classics5. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. First published in 1952.
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s spiderweb as Charlotte shares her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend and the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
Available: Amazon
Children's Book Classics: Raggedy Ann6. Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle. First published in 1918.
The first collection of stories starring Raggedy Ann, the rag doll who comes to live in Marcella’s nursery and quickly becomes a leader amongst the toys. Through all of their adventures, Raggedy Ann remains calm and optimistic, looking for the good in every situation.
Available: Amazon
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie7. The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs. First published in 1918.
The fabulous adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, two gum-nut brothers, who head off on a quest through the Australian bush to see ‘humans.’
Available: Amazon
Peter Pan: Classic Chapter Books for 5-8 year olds8. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. First published in 1911.
One starry night, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland-the island where lost boys play, mermaids splash and fairies make mischief. But a villainous-looking gang of pirates lurk in the docks, led by the terrifying Captain James Hook. Magic and excitement are in the air, but if Captain Hook has his way, before long, someone will be walking the plank and swimming with the crocodiles.
Available: Amazon

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Mr Popper's Penguins: Classic Chapter Books for 5-8 year olds9. Mr Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater. First published in 1938.
House painter Mr Popper dreams of Arctic explorations. When Popper is sent a penguin, life for his family is never quite the same again. They go from one penguin living in the icebox, to housing 12 penguins, all of whom must be fed! “Popper’s Performing Penguins, First Time on Any Stage, Direct from the South Pole” is born and their on tour adventures are captivating hilarious to children.
Available: Amazon
The Adventures of the Wishing Chair10. The Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton. First published in 1937.
When searching for a gift for their mother, Mollie and Peter find a magic wishing chair with the power to grow wings and fly. The chair takes them home and they decide to keep the chair in their playhouse and that is when the adventures really begin!
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books for Kids Aged 5-811.The Tale of Peter Rabbit (and other stories in the series) by Beatrix Potter . First published in 1902.
The original adventures of the cheeky little rabbit who always manages to find himself in a scrape…and always manages to escape.
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books for Kids Ages 5-812. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. First published in 1924.
The adventures of four orphaned children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny who create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest before going to live with a kind uncle.
Available: Amazon
The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies13. The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker. First published in 1927.
Beautiful illustrations and captivating verse, perfect for any fairy lover.
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books: Great Read Alouds for Kids Aged 5-814. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. First published in 1964.
Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last but only five lucky children will be allowed inside! Join the kind and honest Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa as they enjoy the experience of a lifetime!
Available: Amazon
The Enchanted Wood15. The Enchanted Wood (1939), The Magic Faraway Tree (1943) and Folk of the Faraway Tree (1946) by Enid Blyton.
When Jo, Bess and Fanny move to a new home, they find an Enchanted Wood right on their doorstep and in the wood they discover the Faraway Tree! The tree proves to be the beginning of many magical adventures with new friends Silky, Moonface, Saucepan and more. Please note: Modern editions of this series include name changes and changes in character behaviour. For those seeking the original text and illustrations, pre-loved is the way to go.
Classic Chapter Books: Great Read Alouds for Kids Ages 5-816. Milly Molly Mandy series by Joyce Lankester Brisley. First published in 1928.
The simple stories of Milly Molly Mandy’s busy little adventures in a small village in the countryside are completely engaging and satisfying.
Available: Amazon

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Classic Chapter Books: Great Read Alouds for Kids Aged 5-817. The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. First published in 1942.
Cousins Julian, Dick, Anne and George (plus Timmy the dog) always manage to find excitement and adventure wherever they go, starting off with a treasure hunt on a shipwreck!
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books: Great Read Alouds for Kids Aged 5-818. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol. First published in 1963.
The first in the series of 29 Encyclopedia Brown books, sharing the adventures of Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, a ten-year-old star detective who helps solve all manner of mysteries in his town.
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books: Great Read Alouds for Kids Aged 5-819. Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl. First published in 1970.
The adventures of clever Mr Fox, his adoring wife and their four small children as they continually outsmart three nasty, not so bright farmers who have teamed up to stop Mr Fox from stealing their livestock.
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books: Great Read Alouds for Kids Aged 5-820. Tales Of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. First published in 1972.
Fourth grader Peter has many problems but the biggest of them all is his little brother, whom everyone calls “Fudge.” Everyone likes Fudge because he’s the cute one but Peter just finds him and his antics downright annoying.
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books and Novels for Kids Aged 5-821. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. First published in 1965.
When the ever-curious mouse, Ralph, spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come lots of obstacles. Watch out Ralph!
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books and Novels for Kids Aged 5-822. Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers. First published in 1934.
From the moment nanny Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial?
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books and Novels for Kids Aged 5-823. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond. First published in 1958.
A bear on Paddington Station?” said Mrs Brown in amazement. “Don’t be silly – there can’t be.” Paddington Bear had travelled all the way from Darkest Peru when the Brown family first met him on Paddington station. Since then their lives have never been quite the same… for ordinary things become quite extraordinary when a marmalade-loving bear called Paddington is involved!
Available: Amazon
Classic Chapter Books: Ages 5-824. An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Illustrated by Anastasiya Archipova.
Andersen’s fabulous fairy tale classics include The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea and The Emperor’s New Clothes. Stories every child should hear at least once in their lives!
Available: Amazon
25. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. First published in 1950.
When siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia they discover a land frozen in eternal winter thanks to the power of an evil White Witch. But, with the help of the four children, the great lion Aslan will fight to save the land of Narnia.
Available: Amazon

Classic Chapter Book Read Alouds for 5-8 Year Olds

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  1. I love this list. My children are 3 and 5 and we have already worked through a few of these as bed time stories. I note your comments on the Enchanted Wood and the Faraway Tree. We read a more modern edition of the Enchanted Wood, and are now nearly at the end of an older edition of the Faraway Tree. We’ve used the differences in names, and also the way the activities of the girls and boys are differentiated in the older version as talking points on social history!

  2. This is a wonderful list! Sharing it on Facebook now. 🙂

  3. We never got very far reading The Fantastic Mr. Fox. My 6 yr. old found it too disturbing and scary. I would recommend The BFG, or James and the Giant Peach from Dahl instead.

    1. Thanks! My young 5yo is really enjoying reading cheaper books and listening to audio books during quiet time. He’s super sensitive to scary. It’s good to have a list of ideas that he can handle bb

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