Here are more than 25 great Chapter Book Series Book Recommendations your 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade student will love to read themselves or have read aloud to them.
Chapter Books for Kids
Once your children discover the love of reading they will want to read lots of books to not only satisfy their newfound interest, but to keep it growing to create a lifetime love of reading.
Sometimes it can be hard, really hard, to continually find great books for your kids to read. That is where chapter book series come in. Series will keep your child’s interest book after book as they are already familiar with the characters while enjoying new story lines. It also makes it very easy to just pick up the next book in a series to keep your kids reading all year and summer long!
The following list contains both childhood classic books as well as new well-loved series. They work great to read aloud with your K-3rd grade child or for confident readers in first grade, second grade, and thrid grade students to read by themselves. (Note: For a convenient list to to take with you to the library, don’t forget to download the free printable bookmark below!)
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Chapter Book Series for Kids
Here are some of the BEST chapter books in print. You can conveniently order them from Amazon using the links provided, so your child to read over and over to achieve fluency, OR print the convenient free printable book reading list at the bottom of the post. Simply print the pdf file for an easy way to get a fantastic chapter books for kids recommendations free from your local library.
Books are listed in no particular order; find a book that looks interesting and read it. If you like it there are many more in that book series for kids!
Henry Huggins by Beaverly Cleary. Kids will be delighted to read about the stories of Henry whose life is turned upside down when he meets a four legged friend.
Humphrey Series by Betty G. Birney. Follow the adventures of this much loved class pet. Humphrey is a clever hampster that will learn to read, write, and charm everyone he meets.
Boxcar Children by G. Warner. Follow the adventures of four closet-knit children in this series that has been capturing the hearts of readers since 1942.
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary. Ramona is finally about to start Kindergarten, but things don’t always go as planned. Although not always ideally behaved, children tend to relate to this girl who is unapologetically herself.
Ready Freddy by Abby Klein. Kids can relate to the daily struggles for this 1st grade boy as he goes to school and has struggles just like you and I.
Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne*. This series claims to be the #1 bestselling chapter book series of all time. I can see why; my children loved this series and couldn’t put down the books. Each book follows the adventures of Jack and Annie. These regular kids have at treehouse in their backyard that takes them to different places from medieval castle, ancient pyramids, and treasure-seeking pirates. This series really lets kids imaginations soar!
Magic School Bus Chapter Book Series by Anne Capec*. The Magic School Bus series is another favorite with my students. Join the zany teacher Miss Frizzle takes her class on some truly unique and amazing adventures! This book combines science and adventure for an educational book that is sure to delight your young reader!
A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy*- This captivating book series helps kids solve a mystery. Each book from A to Z features a story with characters kids enjoy reading and suspense; your reader wont be able to put it down. My young reader loved the sketches throughout the book making it a great stepping stone up from picture books.
There are several editions of this so you can pick the one that resonates most with your family. Please note that there are a couple of titles we opted not ot read because our family doesn’t talk about Vampires for letter V. So you may want to just read over their book title to give you an idea of the subject matter.
Capital Mysteries by Ron Roy*. This series is by the author of the popular from A to Z Mysteries; it has a similar tone, but these early chapter book mystery series feature fun facts and famous sites from Washington, D.C! Each book in this wonderful series highlights one of the famous museums, buildings, or monuments from the Washington area and includes a map and a two-page fun fact spread with photographs.
Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol*. I remember reading these books when I was a kid; Now my kids are gobbling up these fun books too. The main character is Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown. This 10 year old detective, with an uncanny knack for trivia, solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. I love that the these mysteries about everyday things kids will experience like a missing bike. Plus I love that this boy wants to be like his Dad, a police officer. Your kids will love reading the clues and trying to figure out who did it; each book has ten mysteries to solve.
Who Was Biographies (lots of people by various authors including Who Was George Washington, Who was Milton Hirshey, Who was Princess Diana, Who is Bill Gates, etc.)*. This series has done a phenomenal job of making biographies of famous people from the past, and who are still living, interesting and engaging to young readers. Kids will enjoy reading about the background and what made the person famous in an easy-to-read format with some black and white illustrations throughout. We have also enjoyed that What Was Series from the same publisher that helps us learn about places we are headed on fieldtrips – What was the Alamo, What was the Holocaust, or What is Nasa for example. Both these series are fun to listen to on audible for car rides!
An Interactive History Adventure (choose your own history adventure)* This book series just may be my favorite series for young learners. Each book helps kids dive into a different historical even or period of history. Readers will make their way through the event by making choices that will affect what they read (choose your own adventure story). But these aren’t just made up stories – the choices kids make and stories they follow are based on actual people who lived through the even. So as you decide to head west on the Oregon Trail you begin reading (with actual pictures of historical artifacts) and then get to decide will you go by covered wagon or boat. Keep reading and now you will decide to follow the north trail or the straight west trail. No matter what the choices kids will learn about history along the way. My kids loved to go back and read the book again following different paths / choices the next time around!
Ballpark Mystery Series by David A. Kelly. These baseball whodunit books are a great way to get your little baseball enthusiast excited about reading!
Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth Series by Jane O’Connor. Did your daugther enjoy reading the bestselling Fancy Nancy picture books? If so she will love these mystery books where Nancy Clancy is a detective who helps her classmates.
Amelia Bedilia by Herman Parish. Kids will laugh out loud at Amerlia Bedelia’s literal-minded attitude. Join her as she earns money for a new bike, gets a dog, goes on a road trip, and so much more!
Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel* These classic Caldecott Honor books celebrate the power of friendship in five adventurous stories.
Christian Heroes Books by Janet Benge* I love helping my kids learn about missionaries who have taken the Word of God to the ends of the earth. There is no better hero or person for them to learn to immulate than those that have given so much to share the good news.
A Jigsaw Jones Mystery by James Preller. Jigsaw Jones is a 2nd grade Sleuth who will help solve problems like when a new kid moves into town and brings with him a mystery as big as his house! Reggie Armitage the III found a box with a list of codes and a golden skeleton key―but he has no idea what the key opens or how to crack the code.
Geronimo Stilton Series. These funny and adventurous stories are filled with engaging text to engage both reluctant and avid readers alike.
Hank the Cowdog Series by John R. Erickson. Follow the adventures of Hank the Cowdog, Head of Ranch Security. In the pictured book he investigates the murder of a chicken on his ranch.
Soccer Cats Series by Matt Christopher. If your child is a soccer fan, they will surely enjoy reading about Dewey London and Bundy Neel. These two boys are excited about the new summer soccer league, until they learn about the contest to be team captain.
The Baby Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. There are several versions of these books and we prefer the older, classic stories. Need a babysitter? Call the baby sitters club! Thinking it will be boring, there is never a dull moment when you are part of the babysitters club.
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. Kids love the goofy situations and delightful stories in these Flat Stanley books! Even reluctant readers will enjoy these delightful tales. Stanley wakes up one morning after a bulletin board fell on him and now he is only half an inch thick! Kids will be amazed as Stanley gets rolled up, mailed, and flown like a kite. He even gets to help catch two dangerous art thieves. He may be flat, but he’s a hero.
The Hardy Boys Secret Files Series by Franklin W. Dixon. Kids will enjoy solving mysteries along with the Hardy Boys. Again, this classic sleuthing series has been around for decades, pick your edition based on your childs interests and reading level.
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene. I grew up reading Nancy Drew books. Your kids will also enjoy reading along as Nancy and her friends work on solving mysteries. Can you guess who solved it?
The Puppy Place Series by Ellen Miles* Does you dog love animals or dream of owning a dog. Kids will love reading about a family that fosters dogs and helps them find homes. Each book features a different story and a different type of dog.
My Weird School by Dan Gutman. If you have some kids who aren’t fans of school, this series may be just what you are looking for to get them excited about reading and school. Follow the zany adventures of the 3rd grade class in not-so-typical adventures.
Note: If your child is sensitive to reading books that say “hate” this is not a good fit for them. Personally, we don’t use strong words like that in our home so we didn’t like the series, but I know lots of close family friends that felt this series was just what they were looking for!
The Mystery on the Freedom Trail (and other in the series) by Carole Marsh*. I really enjoyed reading this series to my kids. These books incorporate likeable kid protaginists and a mystery to solve that incorporate history, geography, culture and cliffhanger chapters that will keep kids begging for more!
Chapter Books for Kids
Looking for more great book recommendations for kids? We’ve got TONS of chapter books kids will love. Check out some of our favorites here:
- Chapter Books for 1st Graders
- Chapter Books for 2nd Grade
- Chapter Books for 3rd Graders
- Chapter Books for 4th Grade
- Historical Fiction for Kids
- Books for Preschoolers
Download Favorite Chapter Book Series
To make it easies to pick out books at the library I made a printable from this list. Just pick the style you like and print that page. Fold in half and laminate for a convenient bookmark. Use a dry erase markers to cross off series you are finished with or your child didn’t particularly enjoy. You can also have your child note what book they are on in the series to make picking books up at the library a breeze!
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