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Last Updated: Oct 20, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Beginning Chapter Books Print Page

Beginning Chapter Book Series

When children begin reading chapter books independently, they often find it easiest to read a series. The familiar characters and storylines can help them build confidence and speed as they read chapter books. Here's a list of the first book in some of the most popular beginning chapter book series.

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The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (Secrets of Droon #1) - Tony Abbott; Tim Jessell (Illustrator); Scholastic, Inc. Staff
Call Number: J ABBOTT
ISBN: 9780545010382
Publication Date: 2007-05-01
When Neal and Julie agree to help Eric straighten up his basement, they never imagine that they're in for more than getting a little dusty. But as the three kids follow a soccer ball into the small room under the basement stairs, the floor suddenly evaporates to reveal a rainbow staircase to another world! Before they have a chance to look around, they are caught in the midst of a battle. Shiny red men riding giant lizards are shooting arrows straight at them.

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Ivy + Bean (Ivy and Bean #1) - Annie Barrows; Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)
Call Number: J BARROWS
ISBN: 9780811849036
Publication Date: 2006-04-20
When seven-year-old Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unexpected support for her antics from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected.

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Bink and Gollie (Bink and Gollie #1) - Kate DiCamillo; Alison McGhee; Tony Fucile (Illustrator)
Call Number: J DICAMILLO
ISBN: 9780763632663
Publication Date: 2010-09-14
Two roller-skating best friends--one tiny, one tall--share three comical adventures involving outrageously bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion.

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My Father's Dragon (Tales of My Father's Dragon #1) - Ruth Stiles Gannett; Ruth Chrisman Gannett
Call Number: J GANNETT
ISBN: 9780394890487
Publication Date: 1987-11-12
A young boy determines to rescue a poor baby dragon who is being used by a group of lazy wild animals to ferry them across the river on Wild Island.

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Miss Daisy Is Crazy! (My Weird School #1) - Dan Gutman; Jim Paillot (Illustrator)
Call Number: J GUTMAN
ISBN: 9780060507008
Publication Date: 2004-06-29
Miss Daisy's unusual teaching methods surprise her second grade students, especially reluctant learner A.J

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Alvin Ho - Lenore Look; LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
Call Number: J LOOK
ISBN: 9780375849305
Publication Date: 2009-05-12
A young boy in Concord, Massachusetts, who loves superheroes and comes from a long line of brave Chinese farmer-warriors, wants to make friends, but first he must overcome his fear of everything.

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Judy Moody - Megan McDonald; Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)
Call Number: J MCDONALD
ISBN: 9780763648503
Publication Date: 2010-02-09
Third grader Judy Moody is in a first day of school bad mood until she gets an assignment to create a collage all about herself and begins creating her masterpiece, the Me collage.

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The New Kid at School - Kate McMullan; Bill Basso (Illustrator); Stephen Gilpin (Illustrator)
Call Number: J MCMULLAN
ISBN: 9780448431086
Publication Date: 2003-05-12
Wiglaf is off to Dragon Slayers' Academy and in for a first day of school he will never forget

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Ruby the Red Fairy (Rainbow Fairies #1) - Daisy Meadows; Georgie Ripper (Illustrator)
Call Number: J MEADOWS
ISBN: 9780439738613
Publication Date: 2005-05-01
Rainbow Fairies Rachel and Kirsty must find the other Rainbow Fairies in order to prevent Fairyland from losing its colors and turning gray forever.

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Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth (Nancy Clancy #1) - Jane O'Connor; Robin Preiss Glasser (Illustrator)
Call Number: J O'CONNOR
ISBN: 9780062082930
Publication Date: 2012-04-03
Fans of the Fancy Nancy picture books and beginning readers will be delighted to follow the fanciest heroine into even more adventures!

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Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1) - Mary Pope Osborne; Sal Murdocca (Illustrator)
Call Number: J OSBORNE
ISBN: 9780679924111
Publication Date: 1992-08-25
Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic treehouse, which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.

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Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (Junie B #1) - Barbara Park; Denise Brunkus (Illustrator)
Call Number: J PARK
ISBN: 9780375868412
Publication Date: 2012-04-24
In her own words, a young girl describes her feelings about starting kindergarten and what she does when she decides not to ride the bus home

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Clementine (Clementine #1) - Sara Pennypacker; Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780786838837
Publication Date: 2008-02-15
While sorting through difficulties in her friendship with her neighbor Margaret, eight-year-old Clementine gains several unique hairstyles while also helping her father in his efforts to banish pigeons from the front of their apartment building

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Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye (Geronimo Stilton #1) - Geronimo Stilton; Matt Wolf (Illustrator); Larry Keys (Illustrator)
Call Number: J STILTON
ISBN: 9780439559638
Publication Date: 2004-02-01
When Geronimo's sister, Thea, discovers an old, mysterious map showing a secret treasure hidden on a faraway island, the gang of the "Rodent's gazette" is dragged into a treasure hunt.


Standalone Beginning Chapter Books

If you're not quite ready to start a series, try these great standalone books!

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Frindle - Andrew Clements; Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
Call Number: J CLEMENTS
ISBN: 9780689806698
Publication Date: 1996-10-01
When he decides to turn his fifth grade teacher's love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control

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Fantastic Mr. Fox - Roald Dahl; Tony Ross (Illustrator)
Call Number: J DAHL
ISBN: 9780140328721
Publication Date: 1988-10-01
Three farmers, each one meaner than the other, try all-out warfare to get rid of the fox and his family.

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The Princess in Black - Shannon Hale; Dean Hale; LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
Call Number: J HALE
ISBN: 9780763665104
Publication Date: 2014-10-14
"Who says princesses don't wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!"

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Dory Fantasmagory - Abby Hanlon
Call Number: J HANLON
ISBN: 9780803740884
Publication Date: 2014-10-09
Dory, the youngest in her family, is a girl with a very active imagination, and she spends the summer playing with her imaginary friend, pretending to be a dog, battling monsters, and generally driving her family nuts

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The Year of Billy Miller - Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
Call Number: J HENKES
ISBN: 9780062268129
Publication Date: 2013-09-17
Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has developed good relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents and learned many important lessons.

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Bunnicula - Deborah Howe; James Howe; Alan Daniel (Illustrator)
Call Number: J HOWE
ISBN: 9780689307003
Publication Date: 1979-03-01
Beware the Hare! Is he or isn't he a vampire? Before it's too late. Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about newest pet in the Monroe household - a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits-and fangs! Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.

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The Littles - John Peterson; Roberta Carter Clark (Illustrator)
Call Number: J PETERSON
ISBN: 9780590462259
Publication Date: 1993-01-01
The Littles are a family of tiny people who live in the Bigg family's house. Mr. Little is only six inches tall, and he is big for a Little. The Littles develop a plan to get rid of the mice in the Bigg's house

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The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook - Joanne Rocklin
Call Number: J ROCKLIN
ISBN: 9781419701924
Publication Date: 2012-04-01
As ten-year-old Oona and her younger brother conspire to break their sick cat Zook out of the veterinary clinic, Oona tells the story of Zook's previous lives.

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Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Louis Sachar; Adam McCauley (Illustrator)
Call Number: J SACHAR
ISBN: 9780688160869
Publication Date: 1998-05-26
Humorous episodes from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of Wayside School, which was accidentally built sideways with one classroom on each story.

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Lulu and the Brontosaurus - Judith Viorst; Lane Smith (Illustrator)
Call Number: J VIORST
ISBN: 9781416999621
Publication Date: 2012-04-03
Lulu wants a brontosaurus for her birthday. Her parents almost always say yes, but what will they do this time? This engaging book will keep surprising you until the end.


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