Best Books for Beginning Readers
My pubic library creates a great list for summer reading and this is the list I need for my rising 2nd grader. My library doesn’t like Scholastic beginning chapter book series like Ninjago, Rainbow Fairies, Hiro Quest, or My Weird School. My kids’ first grade teacher does not love them either. Finding really good easy chapter book is tough which is probably why this list is so short. It’s culled from mostly newly published books.
As your child works up to chapter books, a great author for 3rd grade and up is Roald Dahl. It seemed like PickyKidPix‘s entire 3nd grade class was happily immersed in Roald Dahl that year. The BFG, Mathilda and George’s Marvelous Medicine were favorites of theirs.
What are your favorite easy chapter books? Please share and I’ll add to this list.
p.s. I have another list here with some classics that still endure like the My Father’s Dragon series.
Ivy and Bean try to make money editing a newspaper about Pancake Court but neighbors are unhappy reading about themselves.
I really like the Ivy + Bean series that gently presents issues of friendship mixed with sweet little adventures that appeal to little girls. We read these when PickyKidPix was in 2nd grade and 3rd grade.
Eight-year-old Donahue “Dessert” Schneider is feeling completely ignored and unloved at home, but she is certain that will change when her invention wins the Thomas Edison Contest at school.
When a little girl gets a plush stingray for her birthday, it befriends her other toys as they experience the world of real people.
Horrible Harry series by Suzy Kline
Teacher turned author Suzy Kline uses her years in the classroom as the basis for her Horrible Harry series. Song Lee is an actual student that she adored. Other characters including Horrible Harry (who isn’t that bad of a kid) are compilations of kids she taught. As an author who visits schools, Suzy talks about story seeds, a word or a two that she jots down in an ever-present notebook that become the basis of her books. Pencil stub, yellow scarf, purple hanger, June Box are all actual story seeds that are now books in her popular Horrible Harry series which is now published in several languages. See if you can discover each of her story seeds as you read her books.
When her second-grade classmates are envious of the three students who are going away on winter vacation, the creative and ingenious Gooney Bird Greene thinks of a geography activity to cheer them all up.
The Secret Dinosaur series by NS Blackman
My son spent a preschool year obsessed with dinosaurs and we read nothing by dinosaur books for an entire year. His interests eventually switched to Pokémon, but he’s always been fond of dinosaurs. This series is perfect for him for first grade when he started to read independently. Mechanical dinosaurs come to life in this easy chapter book action adventure series! [early chapter book, ages 6 and up]
When Wilfong the wolf fails to blow down the house of the Pygg brothers, he stays outside their door all winter learning their games and listening to their jokes and stories, but although he claims to be reformed, the pigs are reluctant to offer friendship.
When Eleanor’s babysitter moves away to care for her sick father, Eleanor spends the summer adjusting to a new babysitter while mourning the loss of her old one.
Any child who has had a beloved babysitter or nanny can relate to Eleanor, who misses her old babysitter. Her new babysitter is equally wonderful and helps her to understand that you can still accept and even love your new one. The cartoon illustrations help to break up the text which makes this especially appealing to reluctant readers.
Spending the whole summer at the beach, Daisy, who can communicate with animals, and her new friends, a dancing crab, and two baby rabbits join forces to help a dolphin in distress.
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