Ready, Set, Chapter Books!

Cleveland Park LibraryStaff Picks

Ready, Set, Chapter Books!

Beginning Chapter Books

Looking for something a little more complicated than Elephant and Piggie, but not quite ready to read Harry Potter? Beginner chapter books can be tricky to find especially since in my cases they are on the same shelf as longer chapter books. This guide highlights a few of my favorites of the genre. 

Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro

Zoey and her trusty sidekick Sassafras the cat use the scientific method to help a baby dragon that they find in their yard. This first book in a series will charm any animal lover or budding scientist who picks it up. It is also a great introduction to fantasy- set in what could be our world but with a few magical creatures thrown in for fun. 

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo 

This is always my first recommendation for early chapter books. The brightly colored pages and short chapters are perfect for kids who are transitioning away from easy readers. The story follows rascally Mercy who lives with an elderly couple and loves buttered toast more than your average pig. Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite children's authors and this adorable series is the perfect introduction to her work. 

Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West

The first in the series "Dragon Masters," this book is perfect for fantasy lovers. The main character Drake is sent to the castle to be trained as a revered  dragon master. Each trainee is given a dragon to bond with and tasked with discovering the dragon's special power. More characters and dragons are introduced as the series goes on but they can also stand alone as action packed stories with illustrations on almost every page.

Princess in Black by Shannon Hale

An instant fan favorite, this smart and funny book will delight parents and kids alike. Princess Magnolia seems like an ordinary princess until danger rears it's head -- then she springs into action as her alias Princess in Black. Full of fun illustrations and silly names (like Duchess Wigtower) this book is a must for all early readers. 

Eva's Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott

Eva the owl is in charge of setting up the spring festival at her school but needs to call on her friends for help along the way. This book is definitely the "easiest" of the list, but is a great step towards longer chapter books.