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It can be hard to know where to look when wanting good books for early readers. Here’s a list of early chapter books just for girls (find the boys’ list here).
I’ve been a big reader since I was young. In fact, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a reader. I never struggled with it and usually always had a book nearby (and still do!). Having said that, my oldest has been struggling and I’ve known many others, including my husband and father, who also had troubles with reading growing up. Generally, all it takes is finding the right book to spark their imagination!
It isn’t easy to find books for younger readers. They are in a transition, working their way from picture books to chapter books. But where to find early chapter books that fit their level? Here are some great early chapter books for early readers from first grade and up that should help inspire your young reader! They include princesses, fairies, dragons, mysteries, and animals for your little girl. It’s also a great place to find books if you already have a little reader who needs something new.
In no particular order…
Sassy Fancy Nancy is now a detective! Kids who grew up with Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy picture books can spend some quality time with their BFF because Nancy Clancy is now starring in her own chapter books!
This owl-dorable, collectible boxed set includes paperback editions of books 1-5 in the series: Eva’s Treetop Festival, Eva Sees a Ghost, A Woodland Wedding, Eva and the New Owl, and Warm Hearts Day. This series is written as Eva’s diary — with Rebecca Elliott’s full-color illustrations throughout!
The Cam Jansen books are perfect for young readers who are making the transition to chapter books, and Cam is a spunky young heroine whom readers have loved for over two decades.
Read about four best friends who band together to form a rescue shelter to save lost and lonely animals in their town. Amy, Ellie, Liz, and Marion each have different personalities and interests, but they all have one thing in common: a serious love of animals. Together they help a lost puppy, abandoned bunnies, a wandering turtle, and a litter of kittens, all while conquering the stage, summer school, and a horse competition! Join The Critter Club and fall in love with this fun flock of friends.
Join the WellieWishers on their adventures in Aunt Miranda’s garden! From learning what birds love to eat to planning a special party and putting on the greatest of shows, the Wellie Wishers are here to play in their whimsical stories of fun and friendship.
The #1 bestselling chapter book series of all time celebrates 25 years with new covers and a new, easy-to-use numbering system! Meet Jack and Annie! Jack and his younger sister, Annie, are just regular kids. But when they discover a tree house in the woods, something magical happens. Jack and Annie are whisked back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs, a medieval castle, ancient pyramids, and treasure-seeking pirates. Every visit to the magic tree house leads to adventure!
Laugh yourself silly with the world’s funniest kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Perfect for the first day of kindergarten, preschool and kindergarten graduation gifts, and birthday and holiday gifts for the young readers in your life!
Stella is upset when she finds out she needs glasses. But then it turns out her new glasses are magic! When she wears them, Stella can see the sparkly night sprites. In this first book, Stella meets Trixie, a knit-knotter sprite. Trixie seems nice, but she ties knots in kids’ hair to make it all tingly-tangly. If Trixie doesn’t stop tying knots, Stella will have to get a haircut! Can Stella stop her magical new friend from turning her hair into a tangled mess?
Twin sisters Olive and Beatrix don’t often get along. Olive is “ordinary” and loves science. But Beatrix is a witch! She has a brain full of tricks, and she uses her magic powers to play pranks on Olive and her best friend, Eddie. In this first book, Beatrix ruins Olive and Eddie’s latest science project. So Olive and Eddie play a prank on Bea. They rig up a bucket of spiders over her bedroom door. But when the spiders crawl into one of Bea’s magic potions…WHAM! Giant spiders are on the loose! These sisters will have to work together to shrink the not-so itty-bitty spiders down to size!
Missy is a very creative girl who does everything in her own super duper royal deluxe way! This first book is about Missy’s school picture day. Despite Missy’s keen fashion sense, her mother insists on choosing her picture-day outfit for her. But Missy thinks it’s the most boring outfit EVER! She simply must find a way to make her picture-day outfit her own. With her trusty friend Oscar and her cat named Pink by her side, Missy is sure to come up with an outfit that’s truly super duper royal deluxe! Full-color illustrations throughout.
In the Land of Fake Believe, Princess meets a strange girl named Moldylocks. When Princess’s stomach grumbles, Moldylocks takes her to the home of the Three Beards. The girls sit in the Beards’ chairs, eat their chili, and jump on their beds. The Three Beards are not happy when they get home–and they are very, very hungry! Will Moldylocks and Princess go into the chili pot? With easy-to-read text and engaging full-color artwork throughout, kids will be drawn right into this very funny land of fractured fairy tales!
Nine-year-old crime reporter Hilde Lysiak is starring in her very own early chapter book series — inspired by news stories Hilde wrote in real life! In this first book, there’s been a break-in on Orange Street! Cupcakes have been stolen, and soon a pie goes missing, too. Hilde and her sister/photographer, Izzy, must interview witnesses and follow the clues. Can Hilde crack the case in time to post her news story online? Joanne Lew-Vriethoff’s personality-filled illustrations appear on every page, bringing Hilde’s adventures to life for young readers!
This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! DRAGON MASTERS has it all! Dragons, a Dragon Stone, a king, a wizard, and magic!
The New York Times–bestselling tale of four orphaned siblings who will do anything to stick together, featuring more than thirty original illustrations. Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden take care of one another. They have no parents, no other family—except for a grandfather they don’t care to see—and no home . . . until the night they find the boxcar. Old, rusty, lonely, and abandoned in the woods, it’s the perfect home for four brave children on their own.
Kiki, Coco, and Lulu are the BEST of friends. They even have their very own club! But Mika, the new girl, is shaking things up on Lotus Lane. This first book is written as Kiki’s diary–with illustrations and doodles throughout. Kiki LOVES creating cool outfits, hanging out with friends, and collecting fun facts.
Tori is super-excited to spend the summer at Gran’s ranch–where there are lots of beautiful ponies! But she is NOT excited to share a room with her younger sister, Miranda. Miranda likes everything pink, and she loves puppies. Tori does not like pink, and she loves ponies. Tori soon falls in love with a rowdy pony named Jewel and she wants to ride her. But Gran says that Jewel is TOO rowdy. Will Tori and Jewel ever get to ride together? And when one of the ranch’s puppies goes missing, can Miranda and Tori find the puppy and bring him back home?
Meet the amazing Stardust Girls — Marlo, Bella, Carly, and Allie! They all live and work at the Stardust Circus. Marlo, the new girl, is eager to make friends. The other girls welcome her and she tries everything to fit in — trapeze, tightrope walking, juggling, and even dog training — all with hilarious results. Marlo wants to shine in the spotlight, but what will her special talent be? With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this glittery series is full of sparkle and friendship!
Having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona isn’t always easy for Beezus Quimby. With a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos, Ramona makes it hard for Beezus to be the responsible older sister she knows she ought to be…especially when Ramona threatens to ruin Beezus’s birthday party. Newbery Medal winner Beverly Cleary delivers a humorous tale of the ups and downs of sisterhood. Both the younger and older siblings of the family will enjoy this book.”An important reminder of the good that can come when you throw yourself fully into any situation and draw outside the lines,” says Brightly.com in their article “12 Girls from Fiction Who Are Their Own Heroes.”
Short, fast-paced chapters, tons of friends and funny situations, and black-and-white illustrations by Lynne Avril on every page make the Amelia Bedelia chapter books an ideal choice for readers of the Ivy + Bean, Magic Tree House, and Judy Moody books. Each book features a guide to the idioms introduced in the story. The Amelia Bedelia chapter book boxed set makes a great gift and a wonderful way to introduce newly independent readers to a favorite character!
Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.
Meet Ivy and Bean, two friends who never meant to like each other. The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn’t be friends. But when Bean plays a joke on her sister, Nancy, and has to hide quick. Ivy comes to the rescue, proving that sometimes the best of friends are people never meant to like each other. Vibrant characters and lots of humor make this a charming and addictive introduction to Ivy and Bean.
Misty Wood is a very magical place, it’s so magical that all the animals who live there fly like fairies, and every animal has a different pair of fairy wings!
The Adventures of Sophie and Scottie (Ages 8-12)
It’s finally summer at Shear Heaven Ranch, and Sophie and Scottie are looking forward to swimming in the cool ponds, climbing the huge oak trees, riding their horses, and taking care of their ewe, Fuzzy Mama. Scottie tells Sophie that she feels as if “something is going to happen to us,” and says they should both be alert to things on their ranch that don’t seem normal. An enchanting story highlighting the beauty and balance of nature, the Mexican culture, and the bravery that girls can display, especially when they work together, Sophie and Scottie’s Adventures of the Monarch Mystery will delight fans of magic and mystery of all ages. This Book 1 is perfect for middle grade readers ages 8-12.
Wayside Stories (8-12)
Bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author Louis Sachar knows how to make readers laugh. And there are laughs galore in the Wayside School Collection Box Set, which contains all three Wayside School paperbacks! There’d been a terrible mistake. Wayside School was built with thirty classrooms one on top of the other instead of next to each other! (The builder said he was very sorry.) That may be why all kinds of funny things happen at Wayside School…especially on the thirteenth floor. You’ll meet Mrs. Gorf, the meanest teacher of all; terrible Todd, who always gets sent home early; and John, who can read only upside down—along with all the other kids in the crazy mix-up school that came out sideways. But you’ll never guess the truth about Sammy, the new kid…or what’s in store for Wayside School on Halloween!
These are always a favorite! 1. The Witches, 2. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, 3. Matilda, 4. The BFG, 5. Going Solo, 6. George’s Marvellous Medicine, 7. Danny the Champion of the World, 8. James and the Giant Peach, 9. The Twits, 10. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, 11. Boy Tales of Childhood, 12. Fantastic Mr Fox, 13. Esio Trot, 14. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and 15. The Magic Finger
What other books do your kids love too? I will continue to add to this list as I find more books! Let me know your favorite early chapter books in the comments!