My son's favorite book of the summer.

My 7yOld Son’s Favorite Books for Beginning Readers

Best Books for Beginning Readers

I was reading a post from Delightful Children’s Book, an excellent kids’ book blog,  when she confesses to hiding the fantasy chapter books her son prefers underneath the realistic fiction that she’d rather he read. I am the same about wanting my kids to read the carefully chosen books that I have selected for each of my kids. It’s just like the cobbler’s kids not having shoes, right? The children’s book bloggers’ kids all want to pick books on their own that are not sanctioned.

And so, in this vein, I am posting the books that my son has chosen to read since school was out. Most of these books, he’s asked me to purchase from the Scholastic flyers that come home or asked for them at the library. This are not the books that I’d have necessarily picked for him but I have decided that it’s all good. Developing a love of reading does entail reading books that your child prefers. I’ve also snuck in picture books for him to review for me by strewing them about my bedroom where they are easy to find since we are lazy at night when we search for a bedtime story.

And so, his reviews are below. My notes are in italics.

Beginning Chapter Books

Hiro’s Quest by Tracey West, illustrated by Craig Phillips

It was awesome. I loved that everyone could turn into their own special animal and it’s not too scary.

He loves anything ninja, I think because he also loves karate. These books are 1 read only so I suggest the library. We have the next two on reserve from neighboring libraries as ours doesn’t tend to buy Scholastic beginning chapter book series. I have to admit that this series is not half-bad and counts as multicultural since it has Asian references.

Underworlds series by Tony Abbott

An easy beginning chapter books series perfect for those newly independent readers who will grow into Percy Jackson in a few years. I like the mythology in this series. We read two of these the last month of school.

I liked it but I stopped at the second book because it wasn’t as interesting as the other chapter books but I liked it but it wasn’t that good of a series.

The Battle Begins

When Monsters Escape

Revenge of the Scorpion King 

Miss Daisy is Crazy by Dan Gutman

I loved it. It was very funny but it was very predictable of what was going to happen next.

Mr. Klutz is Nuts by Dan Gutman

I loved it. It was extremely funny and you can never expect anything that he would do.

Mrs. Roopy is Loopy by Dan Gutman

I really liked it. It was funny that she dressed up as all these different characters from nursery rhymes for nursery rhyme week and she didn’t even know she did it.

Graphic Novels for Little Boys

Cameron and the Dinosaurs by Scott Christian Sava, illustrated by Andres Silva Blanco

I loved it. It was awesome.

Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler

I like it. It’s good but not as entertaining as the other books.

Hardy Boys The New Case Files #1: Crawling with Zombies (Hardy Boys New Case Files) by Gerry Conway

I liked it but I was wondering how the make up made them turn into zombies and I think it was a kind of toxic.

Ninjago, The Challenge of Samukai by Gregg Farshtey and Paulo Henrique

I liked it and how there’s all these different sections and I think it would be great for kids from the middle of Kindergarten to a little bit of first grade.

Max Finder Mystery Collected Casebook Volume 4 by Liam O’Donnell

I liked all of the Max Finder books and some of the riddles were really tricky and I think kids ages 5 to 8 would like this series very much.

Knights of the Lunch Table: No. 1 (The Dodgeball Chronicles) by Frank Cammuso

I loved it but I didn’t like that Arthur lied about he was a master of dodgeball and I never would have guessed that his secret weapon was a pet spider.

Bionicle #1: Rise of the Toa Nuva (Bionicle Graphic Novels) by Greg Farshtey

We had trouble with this graphic novel. It was slightly too scary but the real problem is that we could not keep track of who was who. We mixed up the bad guys with the good guys and the Bionicles are hard to recognize if they are not standing upright. Over all, this was just too confusing.

I think it was a good book but I couldn’t understand it that well. And if I did, I think I would like it a little more.


We also read these picture books from Camp Mom Week 1. Some are old favorites and some were new books to review. He liked all of them but especially the Dinotrux books (dinosaurs and trucks are a good combination for him.). He thought How to Babysit a Grandpa was funny. He loved Wild About Books so the same cast  of animals and author/illustrator) in Zoozical delighted him. You Will Be My Friend also made him laugh.

New Delightful and Funny Picture Books

Picture Books That He Has Loved for Years

More New Picture Books He Liked

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book or purchase at Barnes and Noble by going here.

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Best Early Chapter Books on Pinterest.

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Best Graphic Novels on Pinterest.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Gwen

    Thanks Mia! Just ordered a bunch of these for Colby from the library 🙂

  2. Alison

    Oh, how I can relate…my son (heading into 3rd grade) would read only Star Wars books if he could. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a very close second. He reluctantly started a Saxby Smart mystery and is loving it. We’ve also enjoyed the Timewarp Trio books by Jon Scieszka.

    • Hi Alison,
      Thanks for the book recommendations. I don’t know the Saxby Smart series so we will check those out! My son and I pick very different books but we are enjoying them all! We are currently reading How to Train Your Dragon, book 7, which has great vocabulary so is a little challenging for him. But it’s also funny! It will take is weeks to finish though at the rate we’re going!

  3. Nina

    Keeping this list, via Pinterest for my 5 year old boy reader. I am happy he is reading well but golly it is a challenge to help him like it. We recently discovered the Balloon Toon Series, Benny & Penny and Brave Boy Knight are two favorites. Some aren’t so good but some are great.

    • Hi Nina,
      Thanks for the book recommendations. We liked the Benny & Penny graphic novel too but we haven’t read Balloon Toon or Brave Boy Knight. We’ll have to check those out! Thanks!

  4. Artchoo!

    Some good, fun-looking books here for me to pin for when my son gets a little older. Yay!
    Artchoo! recently posted…Awesome Arty Giveaway for Kids!My Profile

    • Hi Artchoo!
      I hope you son likes them too! The books are all over the map but my son would highly recommend them all. Lately, he’s been insisting on doing a page of MadLibs too, though I have to explain each part of speech over and over. He likes to get as many potty words in as possible. So, he makes pee and poo into nouns and verbs as much as possible. Boys will be boys!

  5. This is such an awesome list. We are absolutely taking it to the library next week. We are ready for this. THANK YOU.
    Catherine/ Mama C and the Boys recently posted…Single Mama gratitude-the larger family editionMy Profile

    • Hi Mama C,
      Glad you like my son’s book list … I’m not sure his first grade teacher would approve but he has enjoyed all the books so I guess you can’t argue with that! It has been fun for me to read books he choses since I would have never have picked them myself. The wide range of book genres too, has been a good way to mix it up. Bedtime reading is one of his favorite things to do after Minecraft!

  6. Vanita

    Great reading list! My teens used to read Dan Gutman’s books. They still have them too.
    Vanita recently posted…Tuesday’s Tear Sheet: New WordPress Design projectsMy Profile

    • Hi Vanita,
      We are slowly making our way through a pile of Dan Gutman’s books. That guy is prolific! I wonder if my son will read the sports books. He guides our book selection and he usually won’t go to the library unless he is seeking a specific book. My kids are so high maintenance!

  7. Ann

    Looks like he has picked some good ones but I know what you mean! Especially with my son, it is the same. I think you take a good approach letting him pick but slipping a few in.
    Ann recently posted…Country RoadMy Profile

    • Hi Ann,
      I have to be sneaky and pile books I want him to read in my bedroom for him to pick but I don’t mind reading his picks as well. It’s so interesting to me that boy book choices are sooo different than girl book choices. His sisters read very few of the easy chapter books he chooses. It’s been very educational for me to see what and how boys read.

  8. Asianmommy

    Love the idea of Camp Mom! You’re so organized!
    Asianmommy recently posted…My First Chinese Reader iBook (Volume 1)My Profile

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge