20 Best Chapter Books for Kids

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Reading is crucial for the education and cognitive development of children. Reading helps kids build a literacy skillset and it also helps create language acquisition.

When your child is engaged in a book, they learn how to pronounce words, form sentences and even use their imagination effectively. Furthermore, when you read aloud with your child, not only does it help the two of you bond, but it also allows them to work on communication and listening skills. 

Best Chapter Books for Kids

Once your child’s reading level has progressed passed picture books, it’s time to transition to a kid and young adult chapter books. On our list are the 20 best chapter books for kids, along with a brief description of each and what age it may be most appropriate for. 

The Magician’s Nephew

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The Chronicles of Narnia series is well-known and extremely popular. The sixth book in the series of seven, The Magician’s Nephew, will captivate you with a fantastical plot of alternate worlds and exciting characters.

Appropriate for ages 9+

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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This must-read chapter book is about a young wizard’s adventures in the magical school called Hogwarts. Throughout the entire Harry Potter book series, Harry and his close friends face many life-changing lessons. J.K. Rowling published seven total Harry Potter chapter books. 

Appropriate for ages 9+

Holes

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Holes is the story of Stanley Yelnats, a boy who is falsely accused of theft and ends up at Camp Green Lake in Texas. The book is about Stanley’s experiences at the desert juvenile facility, and it will make you laugh and cry! 

Appropriate for ages 10+

Charlotte’s Web

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Charlotte’s Web is a classic book about a loveable pig named Wilbur who befriends a barn spider named Charlotte. The book features delightful livestock friendships that will teach compassion and acceptance. 

Appropriate for ages 8+

James and the Giant Peach

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This children’s chapter book is one of Roald Dahl’s most beloved works. In the story, James is forced to live with these cruel Aunts, but he soon finds solace when he discovers a large enchanted peach. James quickly finds himself surrounded by a friendly crew of insects that accompany him to New York City while inside the giant peach.

Appropriate for ages 6+

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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This timeless novel was written in 1964. The story revolves around Charlie and his adventures of visiting an eccentric chocolate factory run by the infamous Willy Wonka. It’s another one of author Roald Dahl’s best works.

Appropriate for ages 8+

Little House in the Big Woods

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This chapter book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder takes place in the pioneer times of 1871. Four-year-old Laura lives with her family in a Wisconsin log cabin. Throughout the book, we discover that pioneer life can be difficult, but it’s also joyous during harvest time, Christmas and planting season. 

Appropriate for ages 8+

Matilda

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Matilda is a bookworm who is treated poorly by her parents and evil Headmistress, but they don’t realize how much they are underestimating her wit and intelligence. In this heartwarming story, everyone who has done Matilda wrong will soon find out that she has an incredibly special power. 

Appropriate for ages 7+

The Phantom Tollbooth 

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The Phantom Tollbooth tells the story of young Milo who unexpectedly receives a magical tollbooth one afternoon and transports to an alternative kingdom. In this adventurous book, Milo acquires two faithful companions who join him for life lessons, a love of education and an important quest.

Appropriate for ages 8+

Where the Sidewalk Ends

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This collection of poetry written by Shel Silverstein is not a chapter book, but it can be read poem by poem. Silverstein’s poems are full of crucial life lessons and offer a delightful mix of fantasy and reality.

Appropriate for ages 4+

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

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This lovely story is about a humble house painter who unexpectedly acquires a penguin named Captain Cook. Before long, Mr. Popper and his family come into possession of a female penguin from a local zoo.

Little did they know that the two penguins would mate, adding 10 more penguins to the family. Mr. Popper will have to quickly decide how to handle their new household of flightless birds.

Appropriate for ages 8+ 

A Wrinkle in Time

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This book is geared toward older kids who enjoy a science-fantasy theme. The classic novel was published in 1962 and is about three main characters who embark on a journey through different universes. The group of adolescents faces questions of love, spirituality, and conflict. 

Appropriate for ages 11+

The Secret Garden

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Kids will love reading about the adventures of a little girl’s experiences in an enchanted garden. The main character, Mary, faces adversity as she explores the magical garden and befriends helpful hands along the way.

Appropriate for 7+

Beezus and Ramona

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Written by Beverly Cleary, this book focuses on Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice, also known as Beezus. It’s a loving tale of sibling relationships, wreaking havoc and love. 

Appropriate for ages 7+

Bridge to Terabithia 

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For a heartwarming read that will no doubt stir some emotions, this chapter book teaches kids about grief and loss. Two lonely children use their imagination to come together and create a magical kingdom in story courage, bravery, and acceptance. 

Appropriate for ages 8+

The Boxcar Children

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The Boxcar Children series contains over 150 titles. These classic chapter books revolve around four siblings who live in an abandoned boxcar. Your child will love reading about their exciting adventures!

Appropriate for ages 6+

Goosebumps

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If you want to take a walk down memory lane (and if you have kids who appreciate a good thriller), the Goosebumps books by author R.L. Stine are spooky but excellent.

These books may be scary, but they are geared toward children who are curious about the horror genre. There are endless Goosebumps books to choose from, so let your child have some fun with it!

Appropriate for ages 7+

Babysitter’s Club

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Remember the Babysitter’s Club books?! Of course you do! And guess what? Your kids will love them too! Nab one of the 213 novels in the series to read about the adventures of a local babysitting club who deal with a plethora of life issues such as divorce, moving and illness.

Appropriate for ages 7+

The Magic Tree House

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The Magic Tree House is another popular series of kids’ books. There are 28 total books that revolve around two siblings who set out on several missions and adventures in their magic tree house. 

Appropriate for ages 6+

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

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Looking for a cute story of heartwarming excitement and independence? This adorable book is about a house mouse who can speak to children and all of his fun motorcycle-riding adventures.

Appropriate for ages 6+

Reasons Why Reading is Important for Kids

Reading is crucial for your child’s overall brain and cognitive development. Below are some other reasons why reading is important for kids:

  1. Boosts confidence and independence when a child learns to read on their own without the help of a parent.
  2. Expands their vocabulary and improves writing skills.
  3. It enhances creativity and imagination.
  4. Reading is safe and entertaining.
  5. Good reading skills help with future academic success.

We live in a technological world, but the ability to read is still at the forefront of everything we do. Reading skills are imperative for any child’s growth. 

Final Thoughts

No matter what genre of a book your child is most drawn to, reading will help with overall writing, communication and grammar skills. If you teach your child the value of reading, they are more likely to practice and become tremendous readers and writers. Remember to let your child read out loud to you if they please – those are memories you will always cherish!

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