25 chapter book series for young readers

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Do your kids love books and are ready to discover the world of chapter books for young readers? If you are looking for inspiration to keep up with your voracious reader, here are 25 chapter book series your child might love!

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!

Download the list to keep it for reference

Let’s dive into the list of chapter book series! The first part contains books read by my kids, therefore more detailed. All photos are photos taken by me.

The second part includes books recommended by dear friends, followed by the third part containing books from my kids’ wishlist.

This post contains affiliate links (read more here about what it means).

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 of adventure stories, comprised of 5 books.

chapter books for young readers by Shirley Hughes

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. 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! 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!”. Others talk about humanity being more important than winning a race.

Image from Dixie O'Day book for children

At the end of the book, there is also the first chapter of the next book in the series. The curiosity will make you buy the next ones in the series:

  • The Great Diamond Robbery
  • Up, Up and Away!
  • 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!

recommendations of chapter books for young readers

So, Mammoth Academy is a series of 4 chapter books for young readers, written and illustrated beautifully by Neal Layton, award-winning illustrator and author of children’s books from Portsmouth.

The series is 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, going to school. The humans are presented as “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. 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!

See inside Mammoth Academy chapter books for young readers

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 chapter books for young readers split into 2 sub-series. One is called “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 read a book throughout several days.

Magic Tree House - chapter books for young readers

I will talk more about the first mini-series as it makes more sense to start at the beginning, right?

The main characters are two siblings who have a lovely relationship, a boy called Jack and a girl called Annie. They find a tree-house full of books. Magic books. Once you open a book and put your hand on an image, in the next second you can be in that story!

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.

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 the Ada Lace series which contains chapter books for young readers that introduce children to science and technology. The latest book of the series is “ADA Lace and the Suspicious Artist”.

chapter books for young readers recommendations

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 while she has a cast on her leg.

Ada starts to keep a field guide (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. In the meantime, they also learn new things, like what a Drone or an Ecosystem are (there’s a special section at the end of the book, called “Behind the science”).

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 5 currently, with the 6th due to be published in 2023. These books are so loved in our home. 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. 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.

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 Habits
  • The Pest in the Nest
  • Attack of the Snack
  • A Bite in the Night
  • A Bad King is a Sad Thing

Nothing to see here Hotel by Steven Butler and Steven Lenton

This is a series of four books so far. These chapter books for young readers describe a crazy fictional 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.

Steven Butler chapter books for young readers

And just to be warned, not only the world is crazy! 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.

Comic books for children - recommendations of chapter books for young readers

As you might have guessed already, Catstronauts is a comic book. 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. 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 6 books:

  • Mission Moon
  • Race to Mars
  • Space Station Situation
  • Robot Rescue
  • Slapdash Science
  • Digital Disaster

Swashbuckle Lil by Elli Woollard

The series contains two 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’ text and black and white drawings. The main character is Lil, a girl who is also a secret pirate, so if your kid is into pirates and adventures, this series is a must. And what I love about it is that a girl is a secret pirate, which just makes this ‘job’ universal.

Great Mouse Detective by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone

We currently have the first book of the series which consists of seven chapter books for young readers. The first one is called “Basil of Baker Street” and it’s full of suspense and clues. The main characters are a mouse, the Sherlock Holmes of mice, and his assistant, the Watson of mice.

The Great Mouse Detective - chapter books for young readers

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 1880, therefore the book exposes kids to slightly different writing and talking styles 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 chapter books for young readers mentioned have been read by us. Luckily, I also have lovely friends who offered to share their kids’ favourite chapter books through my post. Here are their recommendations.

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”. They seem to be packed full of bizarre humour and imagination as some of the reviews state.

The three wishes by David Melling

You must 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 are “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 over 12 titles. In each book, Bear and a boy named Charlie have amazing experiences while learning a lot of interesting things about 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 16 titles (or ‘episodes’, as they are called on the covers). These books seem to be funny and naughty. The main characters are 4 bad animals – Mr. Wolf, Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake and Mr. Piranha. They decide to do good deeds and be heroes in order to prove they aren’t as bad as their species’ reputations. And from what I read on the author’s website, seems that this series is suitable for young readers just transitioning to chapter books and for 8-9 old kids too.

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:

  • Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott is a series of over 15 books written in a ‘diary’ style by a sweet owl called Eva, who goes through all the usual ‘adventures’ children go through – having a sleepover, going to a wedding or to the beach, finding a lost pony, making a new friend or getting a new pet
  • Isadora Moon by Harriet Muncaster – the series contains 18 books, all describing the adventure of Isadora, a half-vampire, half-fairy kid, who is proud to be who she is. Her adventures include going camping, going to school, going to the ballet, going to a fair, or having a sleepover
  • 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 who 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 10 titles, soon to be 11) in the Brighton comic 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 amazon here) 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, et al. is a series of over 8 books, 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 pictures are colourful, so they seem to be ideal for young readers transitioning towards chapter books
  • Phoebe and her Unicorn” by Dana Simpson – a series of over 17 comic books, all about the adventures of nine-year-old Phoebe and her best friend, a dazzling but self-absorbed unicorn called Marigold Heavenly Nostrils

Further ideas

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)!

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