25 chapter book series for young readers
Do your kids love books and are ready to discover the world of chapter books, reading with you or maybe by themselves? If they do and if you are looking for inspiration to keep up with your voracious reader, here are 25 chapter book series your child will love to discover! Some of the series are old, some are new, some are short and some are really long. What they have in common though is that they are full of adventures, igniting the kids imagination!
So, let’s dive into the list of chapter book series! The first part contains books read by my son (he’s just turned 6), therefore more detailed and with photos taken by me. The second part includes books recommended by dear friends, followed by the third part containing books from my kids’ wishlist.
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Dixie O’Day – Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy (Shirley’s daughter)
Everyone knows the books of Shirley Hughes, so Dixie O’Day doesn’t need too much of an introduction. This is a series comprised of 5 books, each dedicated to a certain adventure through which the main characters go. “A thrilling series of adventure stories”, as it is described on the website dedicated to Dixie.
Dixie O’Day is a dog who loves red and has a red old car. He has a best friend called Percy. In the first book, “In the Fast Lane”, published in 2014, Dixie and Percy sign up for a car race and they have a rival, Lou Ella, who is as confident she will win the race as the rabbit is in “The Tortoise and the Hare” fable. But things are not as simple and straight forward as in the fable, and Dixie and Percy go through all sorts of situations during the race, some of them are full of “what will happen next? how will they get out of this one? I need to know NOW!” and some of them talk about humanity being more important than winning a race.
At the end of the book there is also the first chapter of the next book in the series, which means the curiosity will make you buy the next ones in the series:
- Dixie O’Day and the Great Diamond Robbery
- Dixie O’Day: Up, Up and Away!
- Dixie O’Day and the Haunted House
- Dixie O’Day on his Bike
Mammoth Academy by Neal Layton
May I just say that my son just picked up one of these books and read it again today? I asked him ‘how come you’re reading it again?” “Because I really like it, mum!”. But of course!
So, Mammoth Academy is a series of four books written and illustrated beautifully by Neal Layton, award-winning illustrator and author of children’s books from Portsmouth. The books are full of adventures that let the kids’ imagination go free and make them see things from a different perspective: the main characters are mammoths with proper names and friendships and going to school schedule and all, and the humans are presented at “Ugh” who would eat mammoth if they could. The books are about friendship and helping others, and they are also relatable – for example in Surf’s up, Oscar, the main character, has to present homework to school but he doesn’t, so he invents all sorts of excuses, and I certainly recognized some of them from back when I was a school kid, so it’s that relatable!
So, the books in the series are:
- Mammoth Academy
- In Trouble
- On Holiday
- Surf’s Up
Magic tree house by Mary Pope Osborne
This is a wonderful series packed with adventures. It contains 55 books split into 2 sub-series, one is “Magic tree house the books” with 28 books and one is “Magic Tree House Merlin Mission books”. Starting with August 2017, four more books have been added to the first sub-series. The books are proper chapter book, with very few images and a bit lengthy, perfect to get kids used to reading a book throughout more days.
I will talk more about the first mini-series as it makes more sense to start at the beginning, right? So, the main characters are two siblings who have a lovely relationship, a boy called Jack and a girl called Annie (which makes this book relate-able for all kids). They find a tree house full of books. Magic books. Because once you open a book and put your hand on an image, in the next second you can be in that story! So these kids travel through time and go back to the times of the dinosaurs, in England in the Middle Ages, in Ancient Egypt to help a queen, they encounter some pirates in the Caribbean Sea and so on and so forth. But through their adventures, they present real pieces of history and civilization and life, which is absolutely amazing! My son really loves these books, and I know some of his friends who also enjoy reading this series. I love it too if it counts!
An Ada Lace Adventure Series by Emily Calandrelli
You might know Emily Calandrelli as she is the host and producer of Xploration Outer Space. Starting with 2017, she is also the author of Ada Lace series which contains chapter books meant to introduce young kids to science and technology. The latest book of the series is “ADA Lace and the Suspicious Artist”, published on 12th of February this year.
In the first book of the series, “Ada Lace is on the case”, we meet Ada, a girl who loves science. Ada moves to a new town but is bound to stay indoors for a while as she has a cast on her leg. She starts to keep a field guide (sort of a fact journal) as she observes her new neighbourhood from her bedroom window and she also makes a new friend. And things begin to be quite challenging and the adventure and suspense begin when a neighbour’s dog goes missing. But Ada Lace is on the case!
The adventures keep the kids intrigued throughout the book and in the meantime, they also learn new things, like what a Drone or an Ecosystem
So, the whole series includes the following volumes:
- ADA Lace, on the Case
- ADA Lace Sees Red
- Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader
- Ada Lace and the Impossible Mission
- ADA Lace and the Suspicious Artist
Bear and Rabbit by Julian Gough and Jim Field
This is a series of 3 currently, with the 4th is due to be published in August this year! These books are so loved in our home, and if I think about it, I think the first book my son read with Bear & Rabbit is also the first book that actually made him burst out laughing! I had to read it too, I couldn’t miss out on the fun!
The bear and the rabbit are friends though they are different. The bear is wise and calm while the rabbit is a bit more volcanic, even stating at some point “I’m angry! And I want to be calm! So I’m angry that I’m angry!”. The conversations between them are funny too but sometimes they get quite philosophical, and the illustrations are simply beautiful. And I have to mention also that the text is clear and this book can easily be among the first chapter book a child reads alone.
The books in the series are:
- Rabbit’s Bad Habbits
- The Pest in the Nest
- Attack of the Snack
Nothing to see here Hotel by Steven Butler and Steven Lenton
This is a series of two books so far (the ones in the photo below), written last year, but with the third being released on March 21, 2019. These books describe a crazy invented world but anchored in reality (the hotel is supposedly in Brighton, for example) and the characters are simply brilliant. Nothing is absurd in this world and anything is possible, even for Yeti to come in a snowstorm to the hotel in Brighton.
And just to be warned, not only the world is crazy, for there are many magical creatures and invented words in these books! The first book of the series is the first one ever that my son has read alone 3 times in a row. Because he really loved it!
Catstronauts by Drew Brockington
We discovered this series in Brighton, in a comics book store, and we had to buy the first one right there right then! So we currently only have the first one in the series, “Mission Moon”, therefore I will talk about it.
As you might have guessed already, Catstronauts is a comic book and the main characters are cats, the best space cats on the planet. The goal in this first book is to set up a solar power plant on the moon in order to save the Earth from darkness. And the mission has to be completed by the fearless commander Major Meowser, brave and hungry pilot Waffles, genius technician and inventor Blanket, and quick thinking science officer Pom Pom.
The series contains 5 books:
- Mission Moon
- Race to Mars
- Space Station Situation
- Robot Rescue
- Slapdash Science
Swashbuckle Lil by Elli Woollard
The series contains three books, my son found the first one at the library and borrowed it, the title was “The Secret Pirate”. Written in rhymes, the book was full of adventures, with easy to read
Great Mouse Detective by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone
We currently have the first book of the series – which contains six with the 7th to be available to purchase in
The case they need to solve this time is a kidnapping case of two twin mice, which may lead to talks about stranger danger and kidnapping. The actions happen in the UK around the year of 1880, therefore the book exposes kids to slightly different writing and talking style than the modern one, which I loved.
The other books in the series are:
- Basil and the Cave of Cats
- Basil in Mexico
- Basil in the Wild West
- Basil and the Lost Colony
- Basil and the Big Cheese Bake-off
Up until here, all the books mentioned have been read by us, but I also have lovely friends who offered to share their kids’ favourite chapter books through my post, so here they are (I haven’t read them, so I will write what I know/read about them).
Rover Adventures by Roddy Doyle
With short chapters and black and white drawings, the books in this series are four – “The Giggler Treatment”, “Rover Saves Christmas”, “The Meanwhile Adventures” and “Rover and the Big Fat Baby” – and they seem to be packed full of bizarre humour and imagination as some of the reviews state.
The three wishes by David Melling
You have to know David Melling because of the adorable huge bear Hugless Douglas! And this book with the three wishes is part of a trilogy, the other two books being “The Kiss That Missed” and “Good Knight Sleep Tight”. The stories are full of humour, charm and magic and feature a prince and his horse.
Bear Grylls Adventures by Bear Grylls
The author needs no introduction, I am sure, so I will just say this series has 12 titles so far (the latest was published in Jan 2019) and in each book, Bear and a boy named Charlie have amazing experiences while learning a lot of interesting things about the nature, the world and about surviving in any condition (I guess it’s a perfect series for explorers, scouts and nature lovers).
Bad guys series – Aaron Blabey
The series contains 6 titles or 6 episodes if you read the covers. These books seem to be funny and naughty. The main characters are 4 bad animals –
In the wishlist
Every time we enter a bookshop or a book is recommended to us, we use the wishlist. And I say “we” because we all do this in our family when it comes to books. So I thought I’d share with you some titles from the kids’ wishlist, I will write it as a short list as we haven’t read them, therefore I have no opinion or photos of them. So, here they are:
- Fables from the Stables by Gavin Puckett and Tor Freeman – rhyming books for young readers, ‘a selection of the weirdest’ fables – the series contains 4 titles and each book is dedicated to a certain type of horse: “Hendrix the Rocking Horse”, “Murray the Race Horse”, “Poppy the Police Horse” and “Colin the Cart Horse”
- “Sam Wu is not afraid of” series by Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang contains 4 books dealing in a hilarious, sensitive and accessible way with the common childhood fears like spiders, ghosts, sharks and dark
- “Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa” series by Erica Silverman and Betsy Lewin containing 6 books
- Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon is a series of 4 books with the 5th due
October,2019 – the main character is the 6 years old Dory which is imaginative and inventive, she has siblings and the family dynamics are humorously true-to-life
- Dog Man by Dav Pilkey – you might know the author because of “Captain underpants” – we’ve seen the first book of the series (which contains 6 titles) in the
Brigtoncomic bookstore I mentioned earlier in this post, therefore it is a comic book and seems to be funny and perfect for children who are just starting to read independently
- “Dragon Masters” by Tracey West and Graham Howells is an 11 books series which involves a kingdom that needs protection, a boy named Drake and… dragons!
- “A to Z Mysteries” by Ron Roy and John Steven Gurney – this series contains 26 volumes (one for each letter of the alphabet) plus 10 more in the ‘super edition’, and Wikipedia says “The series is generally considered among the best ‘easy readers’ for young children.”
- “Shelter Pet Squad” by Cynthia Lord and Erin McGuire – this time it’s three books beautifully illustrated and clear text (using the ‘Look inside’ feature on
amazonhere) and the first book in the series has Suzannah as the main character and she loves animals and wants a pet but she can’t have one, so she volunteers at a local pet shelter
Mr.Putter & Tabby” by Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard – a series of 23 stories featuring Mr.Putter, an old and lonely man, who adopts from the shelter an old yellow cat, Tabby
- “Masterpiece Adventures” by Elise Broach – a series of 6 books about a special friendship between a boy named James and his best friend Marvin, a beetle, and their adventures together – reading the reviews, this sounds like a lovely series for young readers
- “The Princess in Black” by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham is a series of four volumes, with short chapters and a girl as a superhero lead
- “Nate the Great Detective Stories” contains 29 volumes written between 1972 and 2019, which is impressive – the main character is Nate, a detective, who solves crimes with his dog, Sludge. In some of them at least, the phrasing is short and the picture are colourful, so they seem to be ideal for young readers transitioning towards chapter books
I do get inspiration from friends and the library, but we also check two websites to which I turn to read about books, get ideas and find out about new books:
Common Sense Media – I visit this website to check for age appropriate movies too, and I strongly recommend it
Booktrust – it’s a lovely resource and you can use it to find books by using filters like age and book type, so I do visit it often too
Hope you found some new ideas in this post and please let me know in the comments below what chapter book series is your child’s or your favourite (yes, you’re right, I am looking for titles to add to our wishlist)!