Amazing Awesome List of Best Chapter Books for Kids

Amazing Awesome List of Best Chapter Books for Kids

Presenting Portrait of an Adoption’s most amazing list of chapter books for kids! The background on this list?  My young daughter, who is a voracious reader, recently finished all seven of the Harry Potter books.

Desperate to find new and exciting reading material for her, I put out a request on my blog’s Facebook page for top book recommendations.  Each bullet point in the following list is a comment that came from one of my avid readers.  The list includes a wide variety of titles that span a range of reading abilities. I tried to remove any duplicate recommendations, such as the many repeat suggestions to read Percy Jackson or books by Tamora Pierce. Enjoy!

  • The 68 Rooms series by Marianne Malone. Takes place in the Art Institute!
  • The Key to Rondo
  • Percy Jackson series. Great for learning mythology! Any Rick Riordan book is terrific, too.
  • I am Number Four, which is the first in the Lorien series.  It's based on an alien race that has been wiped out, and eleven children of theirs were sent to live on earth, and when the time comes, they are to restart the planet. But of course the aliens that destroyed the planet are locking for them on earth, and they can only be stopped if they're captured in a certain order. It's what a lot of kids move on to after Harry Potter, it's still adventure and mystery but more sci-fi/fantasy than just fantasy. But this is YA reading and not for a 7-year-old.
  • Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society (great for gifted kids).
  • There's a great series called Tunnels. My son got me into them. Very good!
  • A to Z mysteries and Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy
  • Definitely Tamora Pierce. Song of the Lioness. Wild Magic (4 in that series). There are 4 or 5 quartets of books by the author. The Protector of the Small series.
  • The Septimus Heap by Angie Sage books. They are simpler than Harry Potter; sweet stories with magic and adventure and a smart strong girl as one of the main characters.
  • There is a book by Gennifer Choldenko called Al Capone Does My Shirts. It is the first of three books - Al Capone Shines My Shoes and Al Capone Does My Homework are books 2 & 3. They are grade 4 reading level; historical/adventure/mystery genre. I read them and loved them!
  • Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman.
  • Anything by Joan Aiken. Start with the Wolves of Willoughby Chase
  • Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry
  • Hugo, the story of an orphan who lives behind a clock in a train station in the 1930's. The story is wonderful in addition to the pages and pages of charcoal drawings of the happenings in the book!
  • Nancy Drew. Hands down. Strong female character, mysteries, and action and adventure.
  • The Children of the Lamp series is a good one.
  • My reader who simultaneously is working on Harry Potter loves the "Nick and Tesla" series.
  • Any book by Enid Blyton, or Astrid Lindgren. The latter spawned Pippi Longstocking and Ronja the Robber's Daughter (Ronja Rövardotter, rumor has it that Studio Ghibli may be making an animated film about Ronja).
  • Garth Nix, Keys to the Kingdom gets a bit dark, but if she has done Harry Potter, it’s comparable.
  • Encyclopedia Brown series
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Land of Stories trilogy, Mouse Guard graphic novels.
  • Cam Jansen
  • Betsy-Tacy Society
  • Series of Unfortunate Events
  • The Giver trilogy
  • She might be too young, but if she has already finished Harry Potter, maybe not! My daughter LOVED the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. She started it in 4th grade. It is more of a YA series than a children's series.
  • The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques changed my son from meh to READER.
  • The Dark Is Rising Series by Susan Cooper. An 11-year-old boy discovers he's part of an ancient order of wizards who must fight the evil forces of darkness. Sound familiar? Written WAY before Harry Potter.
  • Spiderwick Chronicles.  My son adores these.
  • Anne of Green Gables series!
  • Ella Enchanted is pretty cool, too. Gail Carson Levine has some pretty awesome books. Her book, Fairest, is great, too.
  • Boxcar Children series
  • The Fable Haven series by Brandon Mull is fantastic. My son loves them. A nice bonus is it has a female protagonist.
  • Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer. Her books are amazing, and I still enjoy them as an adult.
  • Artemis Fowl books are popular!
  • 100 Cupboards.
  • Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins.
  • The New Policeman
  • The Maze of Bones is another awesome series.
  • Up and Down the Scratchy Mountain and other books by Laurel Snyder.
  • I can recommend a newly published author. Her name is K. LAMB, she has a new series called DANNY P. MYSTERY. You can find them on amazon. They are for young readers.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, a million times over.
  • Land of Stories series and Sisters Grimm series. Female characters in twisted fairy tales.
  • Try the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flannigan
  • Wings of Fire
  • The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens; the Imaginary Veterinary series; The Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West
  • I really liked a book called The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.
  • My girls loved Percy Jackson, but the author has a lesser-known series called The Kane Chronicles that they liked even more. Archaeologist dad gets pulled back in time to ancient Egypt, brother and sister follow to save him.
  • Scavengers by Michael Perry
  • The Golden Compass series is also pretty interesting - books much better than the movies. But probably not for a 7-year old.
  • Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geograpfica series by James A Owen
  • The Redwall books by Brian Jacques; the "Dealing with Dragons" series by Patricia C. Wrede; Animorphs; and Mercedes Lackey's books eventually too.
  • Anything by Rick Riordan is good. He has three series out right now, with a fourth coming next fall.
  • Roland Smith is also another great author.
  • Inkheart trilogy
  • Her Next Chapter, both the book and the website, by Lori Day.  Full of excellent book suggestions for girls.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant, at least the first 3-4 by Derek Landy, and The Hobbit
  • Check out The Great Brain series; I loved that as a kid and a few are being reprinted. See if she likes the Choose Your Own Adventure, each stands on its own but there are a few hundred adventures.
  • Grimmtastic series. My eight-year-old loves them.
  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
  • The A Mighty Girl website has great recommendations!
  • Trixie Belden
  • His Dark Materials
  • City of Ember series (it's a level W though). But if your daughter read all the Harry Potters, she can do these.
  • At the public library, there is a list of Newbery Award books and another award list I can't think of. The books are excellent. A seven-year-old reading Harry Potter is quite advanced.
  • From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • Encyclopedia Brown books are awesome.
  • Lemony Snicket, Ranger's Apprentice
  • Magic Treehouse books
  • Terry Pratchett has a young reader series based on his famous Discworld. Starting with The Wee Free Men and ending with The Shepherd's Crown; there are five books. He's an amazing author, and his stories for kids tackle important lessons like growing up, being true to yourself, standing up for yourself, etc. Definitely check them out!
  • Tolkien
  • Catherine Egan's trilogy, "The Last Days of Tian Di" and anything by Louisa May Alcott - Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys (series), Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom (series) and Jack and Jill.
  • Books by the author E.G. Foley
  • ANYTHING by E.L. Konigsberg or Zilpha Keatly Snyder or Terry Pratchett
  • Horrible History series
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Prydain series
  • Anastasia Krupnik books
  • Stewart Little
  • Charlotte's Web
  • The Doll People
  • American Girl Historical Fiction series
  • Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Sarah Plain and Tall
  • The Tale of Despereaux
  • Walk Two Moons
  • Call it Courage
  • Moon Over Manifest
  • The Graveyard Book
  • Kira-Kira
  • A Long Way from Chicago
  • A Single Shard
  • My Father's Dragon
  • A Whipping Boy
  • The One and Only Ivan
  • Dead End in Norvelt
  • When You Reach Me
  • Good Masters! Sweet LAdie!: Voices from a Medieval Village
  • Criss Cross
  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
  • Edward Eager
  • The Wildwood Chronicles
  • I most recommended that all of you check out Salebooks.com if you're going to purchase books. They have a whole section of children's books and they are deeply discounted brand-new books. No, I am not a spokesperson for them; I have just bought a lot of stuff from them. They also have music, DVDs, and lots of other wonderful stuff.
  • Anything by Margaret Peterson Haddix or Peg Kehret
  • Any of the Anne Mccaffrey Pern books, but these are more for older readers.
  • Do you know about the Geronimo Stilton books? There are dozens of them. My son read them for years. He's a mouse and publisher of a newspaper. Very entertaining!
  • Anything by Michael Morpurgo
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini. There's a series, and the cool part is that the author wrote it when he was 15. Pretty inspiring to a kid.
  • Kingdom Keepers series
  • The Ramona Quimby books
  • Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series mystery series about a girl detective
  • The Clementine books! Also, No Flying in the House
  • The secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flammel:)
  • Lisel and Po by Lauren Oliver on the post itself. Beautifully written ghost story. My 7-year-old Harry Potter fan loved it and I loved reading it with her.
  • The Naitabal series
  • The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read those books quickly at age 10. They gave me a greater understanding and appreciation for the pioneers who settled this country.
  • Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz and the Princess Bride
  • All of a Kind Family series
  • Little Women series by Louisa May Alcott
  • Ralph S. Mouse series by Beverly Cleary
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Lemony Snicket's All the Wrong Questions series.  Allows the reader to act as the detective. My son loves them!
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. My two boys and I were weeping on the couch (4th grade) when we read this book and it remains one of our treasured books.
  • Shadow Children series and The Missing Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Shadow Children series is complete and The Missing has one to go. I've read all of the books myself, and they are really great reads.
  • Enders Game Series (all 8 books) by Orson Scott Card on the list. Those are very fun reads.
  • Warriors series by Erin Hunter (great for cat lovers).

Check out Carrie Goldman's award-winning book Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear

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