All the cool kids read “chapter books”

My almost seven year old (specifically, she’s still six for 8 more days) really likes to read. I mean, it’s like I’ve done something right when it comes to parenting or something, a feeling I’m so not accustom to feeling.

Her teacher says shes excelled far and above the expectations for her age and grade. (shameless toot!)

After school, she reads books to her siblings while I get dinner ready. Stuff like Dr. Seuss, Madeline, and A Baby Sister for Frances.

6306570614 e5103e1b9d All the cool kids read chapter books

Then at night, we let her read “chapter books” on her own. Currently, books of the Roald Dahl variety are her favorites.

But I need help.

Shamefully, when it comes to Pipers education, I’m finding myself out of touch. With her birthday and Christmas just around the corner, I would love to place an order on Amazon and get her some challenging books all her own.

So what are your thoughts? What “chapter books” are appropriate for around the 3rd grade reading level, but still not “adult” in nature.

Is Harry Potter too scary? Are the Little House on the Prairie series too lame? Should I dig out my Babysitter Club book collection out of storage? And oh my, when would it be a good time to hide my copy of Are you there God, it’s me Margaret?

Help me out. What books are your kids totally into these days? I’m looking at you, home school folks….

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    Captain Underpants
    LIttle house on the prairie

    All good series.
    monstergirlee recently posted..305:365 November 1 Lines

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  2. I would hold off on Harry Potter just yet – the books are pretty intense, and she’s a little young for that. Good choices along with the ones monstergirlee posted – Junie B. Jones,
    Judy Moody,& the American Girl books (there are zillions of those!)

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  3. My daughter (7) LOVE LOVE LOVES the Junie B. Jones books (Barbara Parks) She eats them up and there are a million of them.

    Also, after seeing Indian in the Cupboard we started in on that series and both she & the younger two are digging that at bed time.

    Magic Tree House books are a big hit all around at our house with all three as well.

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  4. My stepdaughter is older now, but she loved the Boxcar Children and the Magic Tree House books around 3rd grade. There is also Junie B. Jones, which she liked because the girl was so obnoxious in them. Some parents are opposed because of Junie’s behavior and bad grammer though. My stepdaughter isn’t a big reader so I was actually just glad she was reading at all so I overlooked that.

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  5. I don’t know much about current “girl” books…but is Junie B Jones age appropriate for her? I think our friend’s daughter was obsessed with them around that age. Little House on the Prairie jumped out at me, but I don’t remember how difficult they are.

    Also, Nancy Drew, but I think those are better maybe when she’s a little older?

    I don’t think Harry Potter would be too scary, but some of the language and words are really difficult, so she might have trouble reading it on her own!
    Meghan recently posted..Phoning It In

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  6. I’m in the same boat, except mine is 7, almost 8. He’s past his grade in reading and I’d like to get him some chapter books. He’s really into the Junie B. Jones series, but I know they’re too easy for him. I did look into the Captain Underpants books, they may be worth checking out. But I’ll be back to see what everyone else suggests!
    C @ Kid Things recently posted..The Stories We Tell Over Breakfast

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  7. sorry, don’t know why i’m commenting since i’m certainly not one to know what kids these days are reading (mine’s a little young). i just love books, and have fond memories of my days as a book worm when i was her age. i loved the boxcar children series, anne of green gables series, and american girl books (yes, they existed when i was little! although the series was much smaller then). i also loved roald dahl anything, and read a ton of judy blume and beverly cleary (ramona quimby books are great, and they can’t be THAT outdated since they just made a movie out of them, right?!).
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  8. Ash is reading Black Beauty right now. She also likes the Romana and Beezer books and the Junie B Jones series. Isn’t it just amazing! Jenna and Ashtin read to each other now :)

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  9. I’m in the same boat with my oldest. He loves to read and reads well, but some of the ‘easy’ chapter books (like Junie B. Jones) don’t keep his attention. At the same time, he’s not quite ready to read HP or Chronicles of Narnia on his own yet. (We have read one Chronicles book together.)

    We’ve had success with the Ramona books. Every now and then there’s a big word in there that he needs help with, but it’s a good challenge.

    And we love the junior novelization books. They take books/stories most of us already know and make it a little easier to read than the original.

    Magic Tree House. Flat Stanley. Judy Moody. E.B. White books. OOOOhhhh…Pippi Longstocking! She’d LOVE those!

    Ok, so my book nerdiness is kinda showing, huh?
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  10. My daughter loves the Little House books. She also really liked: the “Betsy-Tacy” series; “Pinky Pye”; and the Ralph S. Mouse books. I loved “Freckle Juice,” “Encyclopedia Brown” and “Bunnicula” when I was that age. There’s also a series about a girl named Piper Reed that she might find interesting, but I haven’t read it so I can’t vouch for it.
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  11. I agree on Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, and would add the American Girl series (the drawback is that it takes you down that doll road, but we’ve not had to go too far down it).

    Also Chronicles of Narnia.
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  12. My 6yo is in the same place. He loves the Magic Treehouse books, Ready Freddy and the Black Lagoon chapter books. Also, those scholastic book orders they always send home? If you log on to their website, you can choose to find books by reading level. I always avoided those things but found I had a gap of books between picture books and harder chapter books.

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  13. All of the Ramona Quimby books, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Muggie Maggie, Ribsy (all Beverly Cleary & Judy Bloom), From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Hank the Cowdog series, the Boxcar Children series, Little House on the Prairie series, Secret Garden, Black Beauty, National Velvet, Nancy Drew (with the yellow covers, like The Secret of the Old Clock & Password to Larkspur Lane), the Bobbsey Twins.
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  14. You’ve got excellent suggestions so far! Here are a few others that were big hits with my daughter who also read a bit ahead of grade level:
    - The Sisters Grimm series
    - The Penderwicks series
    - Ellie McDoodle books
    - the Allie Finkle series
    - Emily Windsnap series
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  15. My daughter has loved all of the “Rainbow Fairy Magic” books, Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, Gironimo Stilton and Weird School. They are all series which is nice because you can get a bunch of them! All of them are in the late second-late third grade reading level.

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  16. I don’t have kids but you should DEFINITELY dig your Babysitter Club books out of the attic! At her age I loooved Boxcar Kids and Little House on the Prairie.
    ClassyFabSarah recently posted..Much Ado About Boots

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  17. Here are a few of my (old) new favs:
    Cricket in Times Square–just re-read this–so cute!
    The Ramona Books

    And..maybe when she is a little older
    Tuck Everylasting.
    anything by Gary Schmit–
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    The Redwall Series

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  18. My daughter is seven too. Books she likes are: Rainbow Fairies, Weird School, Katie Kazoo, Ramona and Beezus, Little House on the Prairie and the Little Sister series of The Babysitters Club (more age appropriate than TBSC) and Judy Moody. I love that my daughter enjoys reading too and I try to encourage it. The public library is a good place to take her where she can pick out a variety of authors and give you an idea of more things she likes and that will challenge her.

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  19. The following are GREAT easy reader chapter books that I suggest for my high flying first grade readers. These are great because they are longer, more involved stories, without surpassing their maturity level.

    Fancy Nancy – http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/fancy-nancy

    Mr. Putter and Tabby – http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/mr-putter-tabby-feed-fish

    Cam Jansen – http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/cam-jansen-and-mystery-writer-mystery

    Nate the Great – http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/nate-great-talks-turkey

    Jigsaw Jones – http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/case-secret-valentine

    Henry and Mudge – http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/henry-and-mudge
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  20. The boxcar children has a large series of mystery like books. A to Z mysteries have been popular with my 8 year old (third grade) girl. The Ramona books, Rainbow Fairies (and holiday fairies, pet fairies etc) Our Harry Potter rule so far has been one book per grade (so HP 1 in first, HP 2 in second, etc). And the Warriors series of books has gotten praise from our school librarian.

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  21. Junie B. Jones and Magic Tree House are popular with kids. But I LOVED Babysitter’s Club, so I’d go with those, personally!
    Jenn Gilman recently posted..Maple Memories

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  22. The one series my 7 year old daughter likes that I didn’t see mentioned is “Dear Dumb Diary”

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  23. History geek warning. Don’t discount non-fiction. This is a great age to start on biography, history, and more.

    We love, love, loved the American Girl series when Anna was this age. {start with Kit}. They have great morals, tight historical fiction, and all the books follow a theme of exploring school, holidays, changes, and more for each of the characters in their eras.

    After Anna independently read the entire Kit series we did purchase a Kit doll {gasp, yes the Queen of Free!}. It’s the only doll she has/plays with and was worth the connection to the books. She takes superb care of it. I have a litany of reasons why I love the dolls {but we’ll only own one}.

    Anna reads on about 7th grade level and just did all of the Little House books this summer and Little Women. She loved them all. Definitely hide “Are You there God” unless you’re ready to talk about puberty. And call when you’re ready to do that bc I have a whole other list of books to suggest. :)

    Check the Newberry List, too. We’re currently reading the Chronicles of Narnia as a family in the evenings because Anna still loves to be read to, too.

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    Mim Reply:

    @Cherie from Queen of Free, I so agree with the American Girl books and dolls! They are the nicest dolls and accessories out there. My now 16yo loved her Bitty Baby for many years and took great care of her look-alike doll. They are the only dolls she put away in her to keep bin when she outgrew dolls. I highly recommend the American Girl products.

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  24. Lots of great ideas shared so far. I agree that HP may be too much for her if she is sensitive. I have a 4th grade student who has read at the middle school level for 2 years now and it is hard to choose books for her. She knew she was scared of villains and HP would be too scary for her. The other day, she told me she thinks she’s ready to read them now. You know your daughter. Could she handle the scary parts?

    One book I didn’t see here was “The Borrowers”. That’s a good one for young advanced readers. I echo the votes for Magic Treehouse series (and the companion nonfiction books), Little House series, and Ramona books.

    For biographies, the Who Was series is wonderful. They are written at about a 3rd grade level and kids seem to really like the funny illustrations on the covers.

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    Kirsten Reply:

    I wholeheartedly support the Who Was biography series. I use them in my classroom all the time. I have also found them to be appealing to reluctant readers because they’re attracted to the “It really happened.” aspect of them.

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  25. Love that your little one LOVES to read!!!! Reading is one of my favourite things to do, and hope someday, will be our daughters too!
    Renee recently posted..Better be safe then sorry, right?

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  26. one of my bffs has an 8 year old who has devoured the Little House books and the Judy B Jones books.

    I read the Baby Sitter Club books and the Sweet Valley Twins books when I was in elementary school.

    Ooo…and I saw someone said Pipi Longstocking…that is another win!
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  27. One I haven’t seen mentioned is the Lemony Snicket series. I personally loved reading them. As for Harry Potter – maybe you can both read it at the same time so you know what she’s reading and what issues she might be seeing and talk about them. I do like the idea of reading one a year. I had friends do that with their children and it was something to look forward to each birthday or Christmas – the new HP book!

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  28. I suggest you stay far, FAR away from Junie B. & her terrible vocabulary. I am sure picky about what I buy for my daughter, who reads like it’s her oxygen. My suggestions are:

    * The Penderwicks & The Penderwicks of Gardam Street
    * Clarice Bean, a series
    * Ivy & Bean, there are 6 or 7 of these and they are hilarious!
    * The “Ramona” series by Beverly Cleary
    * There is a series of books about a girl named, Clementine that are pretty good, they are along the same lines as Junie B. but without the bad English and the word stupid.
    * There is a series of books from American Girl that are a choose your own ending style of book. Really good.
    * Phillipa Fisher & the Fairy Godsister, & Phillipa Fisher & the Dream Makers Daughter
    * The Borrower’s series is good too!

    I could go on, and on, but I won’t! Good luck with your book buying!
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    Kirsten Reply:

    I agree with Clementine. I believe there are 3 in this series so far.

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  29. My 2nd grader is an excelled reader also. She is totally digging the Junie B. Jones books. She is currently LOVING and reading Junie B. Jones the Party Animal. Here is a link to them on amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Junie+B+Jones&x=13&y=15

    Another set of books that Hannah enjoys is the Katie Woo books. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Junie+B+Jones&x=13&y=15#/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_8?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=katie+woo&sprefix=Katie+Wo&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Akatie+woo

    I like the Katie Woo books better than the Junie B. Jones books and Hannah likes the Junie B. Jones more… ha go figure!

    I am not sure that I ever knew when your due date was with the new wee one. So, I just wanted you to consider pushing that bambino out on January 12, 2012. How cool would that birth date be?? 1-12-12 ? sweet! Plus the most important reason for that day is.. It’s my birthday! Yeah.

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  30. Oooh, children’s books – my favorite subject!

    (I’m in school to become a children’s librarian right now :D)

    To echo a few other comments I’ve seen, Junie B. Jones and American Girl are great series. You could try Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, and maybe Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden, although those last two might be a little difficult for her yet.
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  31. Elena was about the same age as Piper when she got into the Warriors series. If Piper likes cats, she’ll be all over it. Along the lines of Ivy & Bean (which are wonderful), the “Just Grace” series, by Charise Maricle Harper, was a big hit as well. Also, keep graphic novels for kids in mind. Elena enjoys those when she wants something to read but needs a break from the heavier stuff. I’d recommend the “Babymouse” series by Jennifer Holm and the “Owly” series by Andy Runton.
    Angie @ Just Like The Number recently posted..Pop Star and Pro Athlete. So Cliche, I Know.

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  32. My son recently turned 8 and I feel like I’ve done something right with him that I missed with the older two because he LOVES to read! He read all of the Diary of a Wimpy kid books, most of the Magic Treehouse, and is getting ready to start book 5 in The Boxcar Children series. We tried Goosebumps but they were too scary.
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  33. Hmm 7 years old. Definitely the Junie B. Jones books, also the Magic Treehouse books. The Horrible Harry books are fun also. I wouldn’t suggest the Harry Potter books or the Lemony Snicket books yet. I think the material is just a bit too mature for a 7 yr. old. The Ramona Quimby books are all fun too. Ramona and Her Father is a good one to read around Christmas.

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  34. Not sure what has already been mentioned but my 2nd grader has read the first 2 Harry Potter books and he was fine with those. He’s also read “Charlotte’s Web” and is currently reading “Ramona the Pest” for school. Magic Treehouse as well…

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  35. Junie B. books are great. My daughter also liked Diary of a Wimpy kid series when she was younger and we all loved EB White books and Anne of Green Gables series.

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  36. Marianne Pate says:

    I read the Baby Sitter Club books and the Sweet Valley Twins books when I was in elementary school. I am not sure that I ever knew when your due date was with the new wee one. History geek warning. I echo the votes for Magic Treehouse series (and the companion nonfiction books), Little House series, and Ramona books.
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  37. Jasmine Byers says:

    {start with Kit}. Elena enjoys those when she wants something to read but needs a break from the heavier stuff.
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  38. I every time spent my half an hour to read this web site’s posts daily along with a mug of coffee.
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