Best Chapter Books for Beginning Readers
This list will include a variety of chapter books that I have found to be popular with the new reader crowd. Most of them are funny, and I have tried to include a variety that would appeal to both boys and girls.
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
This is the first series I use with young students as they are venturing into chapter books on their own. This series is great because the books are short and have a variety of situations to which every kid can relate. Most importantly, the books are funny, and that keeps the students asking for more.
Who Was/What Was Series
This series appeals to a slightly older group, but it is one of the first that I use to encourage students to read non-fiction. The books are short biographies of famous individuals, and the students are drawn to them because of the fantastic cover art. The companion series deals with a variety of historical events.
I Survived by Lauren Tarshis
This series is a new favorite among by students. This set is historical fiction, based off signifcant events. Tarshis has used everything from the Battle of Gettysburg to September 11th as topics for her books. The books are all around 100-120 pages, so they aren't intimidating for early readers, and the topics make them appealing enough for older students.
The Magic Tree House
A magic tree house that allows kids to travel through time would appeal to most any student! I like them because they are a manageable length for students, and they are another series that allows the students to learn a bit about history at the same time. Non-fiction companion books can be purchased for some of the volumes.
Geronimo Stilton series
I have mixed feelings about the overall quality of this series, but I am impressed with the results that it achieves, both it getting students to read and inspiring their devotion. The series centers around the adventurs of a news reporting mouse. The books have a significant graphic element that appeals to the students.
While this list is by no means comprehensive, it does provide some good choices for starting your reader into chapter books. The important thing is to find something that is of an appropriate level and size that holds great appeal for the youngster.