Your 1st grader is just transitioning from picture books to ones with more words and a readable storyline. There are books specifically written for practicing reading and getting kids excited about this new avenue of discovery and entertainment. Here is a list of chapter books we recommend checking out and giving to your little ones to get them started on their magical journey of reading.
1. The Magic School Bus
This wonderful series was popular for my childhood and still holds relevance and excitement today! These kids' chapter book teaches kids about science and discovery in a fun and imaginative way to inspire and motivate your kids to be curious. With each book, Mrs. Frizzle takes her students on a field trip to explore something new about the world we live in.
2. Jigsaw Jones
This original series is full of adventurous stories of 3 kid detectives solving mysteries through puzzle solving. James Preller does a great job in capturing the excitement of adventure and his books will make even the most reluctant reader addicted.
3. The Ultimate Stink-tastic Collection
Megan McDonald is gold in her Stink series for kids where she follows a little boy trying to manage everyday life and problems from the perspective of a child. This means dramatic and exaggerated with new life and new experiences, great for kids to relate and laugh along with!
4. The Judy Moody Most Mood-tastic Collection Ever
These fun books are written for 3rd graders or younger, confident readers that enjoy relatable characters like Moody Judy with her constantly changing moods and desires to change the world. Megan McDonald inspires kids to be their authentic and unapologetic selves through her wonderful books.
5. Junie B. Jones Complete First Grade Collection
These silly stories were another of my favorite series growing up and helped me advance to the next reading level. Junie B. shares her hilarious antics in darling stories that will make your kids laugh and never put her books down, a great addition to any school library.
6. Henry Huggins Series
These classic stories are actually the storyline that led to the Ramona Quimby series, set in the 1950s about a young boy growing up discovering about the world with his dog Ribsy. Beverly Cleary does a great job in painting a picture kids can follow along with and relate to in many different ways.
7. Ramona Quimby Series
This popular series is a must-have for any book list of chapter books for kids. Ramona is an American girl trying to maneuver school with teachers, workloads, and bullies. Very relatable characters and perfect to keep in your classroom library.
8. Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book
This funny reader series follows Amelia Bedelia as she makes friends and goes through the many experiences of being a young girl. This 4-book series is a great addition to your kid's reading list.
9. Horrid Henrys Mischievous Mayhem Collection
Horrid Henry is an incorrigible kid with a perfect little brother that loves to cause mischief wherever he goes. The colorful illustrations and stories in this joke book are cute and fun for any young reader to laugh along with.
10. Nancy Drew Book Collection
Carolyn Keene does not disappoint with her classic books of Nancy Drew mysteries. She has more than 30 books in her award-winning series, great for independent readers who love spending rainy days curled up with a good chapter book.
11. Charlie & Mouse
Laurel Snyder creates magic with two goofy brothers in her chapter books. They create imaginary games, fictitious friends, and have ridiculous adventures that will captivate your young reader and improve their reading comprehension skills, and creativity.
12. Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy's Ultimate Chapter Book Quartet
A spin-off of the Fancy Nancy series Nancy Drew, readers can continue following their favorite private eye as she solves mysteries and makes friends. This cute series includes sweet stories and adorable illustrations.
13. Dog Man: The Supa Epic Collection
These graphic novels were written by the same author who wrote the infamous Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey. This part-dog, part-man, crime-fighting hero has a new and exciting adventure on every page!
14. Everything You Need for a Treehouse
Emily Hughes and Carter Higgens give us this adorable, age-appropriate nature book for kids that shares the magic of treehouses and living close with nature. Giving your 1st graders this single book is sure to inspire them to love and respect nature in the best ways.
15. Pedro, First-Grade Hero
Fran Manushkin gives 1st graders a hero to look up to and learn from in Pedro. His adventures are filled with action and appropriate for your 1st grader's reading level. It's also nice to see more multicultural characters making appearances in children's books.
16. Fly Guy Series
These funny, imaginative, and illustrative stories by Ted Arnold follow an outrageous fly around as he tackles the big bad world around him. This series is great for early readers with lots of pictures and goofy storylines.
17. Hank Zipzer Collection
Henry Winkler gives us Hank Zipzer, "the world's greatest underachiever"! This series gives students some encouragement maneuvering growing up with learning disabilities. A great series for any young reader to learn and understand more about themselves and their peers.
18. Dragon Maters Series
These easy-to-follow grade books are perfect for the blooming independent reader looking for adventure and reading growth. Tracey West does a great job in creating a series students can use to improve their reading comprehension in a fun and engaging way.
19. The Baby-sitters Club Graphic Novels
Ann. M Martin gives us this popular series following the ups and downs of being a babysitter. These books are great for kids growing up and learning about responsibility and the challenges of wanting to make your own money and get more control over your life in a cute and relatable way.
20. Sofia Martinez Book Series
This book series follows a 7-year-old bi-racial girl as she maneuvers the world between her English and Spanish heritage. Her adventures are heartfelt, sweet, and important for the many multi-racial kids growing up in today's international world.
21. Yasmin Boxed Set
Saadia Faruqi gives us magic with her courageous and inspiring 2nd-grade character named Yasmin. Sharing her Pakistani-American family and culture, along with her desire to learn about and explore the world, your students will love to learn from her.
22. Zoey and Sassafras Book Series
This magical series by Marion Lindsay and Asia Citro guides the reader on Zoey's journey as she realizes her family's house attracts sick, magical animals that need her help. Follow along as Zoey uses science to solve mysterious illnesses and saves these fascinating creatures!
23. Penny and Her Sled
Kevin Henkes gives our 1st graders the perfect first books to start their reading experience. These simple chapter books follow Penny the mouse as she goes on cute little adventures and solves basic life problems. Great for reading-aloud practice as well.
24. The Puppy Place Book Set
Ellen Miles gives us complete cuteness with these adorable puppy stories about a foster family taking in new puppies all the time to protect them and help them find new/permanent homes. The series touches on important topics like animal care and the issues of spay and neutering.
25. If I Built a Car (If I Built Series)
The first of 3 books in the series, Chris Van Dusen gives us imaginative stories about big dreams and the inventor and explorer in all of us. These books are great for your 1st graders to read and understand that they can reach for the stars and do anything they set their minds to.
26. Humphrey's Tiny Tales 6 Books Set
Betty G. Birney gives us an adorable series with an adventurous classroom hampster named Humphrey. He is constantly leaving the safety of his cage, meeting new animals, and learning things about the big, big world around him (just like your kids!).
27. Ready, Freddy! #1: Tooth Trouble
Freddy is a quirky 1st grader that always seems to have a new problem to overcome. His goofy antics and relatable stories are perfect for the beginner readers in your life just getting into chapter books and series. Abby Klein is a genius at capturing the silliness and seriousness of being a kid.
28. Piper Green and the Fairy Tree
This chapter book series follows Piper green, a unique young girl living on the coast of Maine. She is honest, and brave and will take your young readers on exciting adventures they will get lost in for days on end.
29. Endling: The Last
This award-winning book is the first of 3 adventure books by Katherine Applegate that will take your kids on one action-packed adventure after another. These fantasy books are a wonderful series with beautiful illustrations and lessons about love, courage, and friendship.