They’re writing full sentences. They’re making puns and cracking jokes. They’re oh-so-curious about bugs, or planes, or presidents. They might even have the attention span for 15 minutes of uninterrupted reading! If any of this sounds like your 6- to 10-year-old, we have good news: your budding reader is probably ready to enter the imagination-swirling world of chapter books.
Chapter books are the first “big kid” reading level. With minimal pictures, their riveting stories ignite young imaginations and encourage empathy, wordplay, and concentration. To help your little sprout take this pivotal step, we’ve assembled some fascinating stories that thrill sans visuals. Before you know it, they’ll be nose-deep in one of these best chapter books for kids.
The Land of Roar
Crawl inside the creaky bed in grandad’s attic and enter a secret world: The Land of Roar. With soaring dragons and crafty wizards, twins Arthur and Rose created Roar as their own make-believe playground. But when Grandpa disappears into the bed, the lines between fantasy and reality blur. Can they save Grandpa from the magical world they designed? Hitting the sweet spot between childhood and teenhood, Jenny Mclachlan’s captivating fantasy is a tale of vivid language and heart. Middle-grade readers will learn to believe in the power of imagination—and more importantly, the power of familial love.
The Lost Property Office
Thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles can find just about anything. A missing diary? No problem. A lost family locket? Easy peasy. But when Jack’s dad disappears, he is thrust into the most important search of his life. Now, Jack must enter The Lost Property Office (a secret society of British detectives) to save his father—and the entire city of London. Riveting and complex, The Lost Property Office blends history, mystery, and old-fashioned problem-solving. Young readers will learn problem-solving and puzzle decoding with every step through James R. Hannibal’s literary maze.
Ways to Make “Sunshine”
Ryan Hart is like most fourth-graders. She rolls her eyes at her bossy older brother (ugh); she practices her class speech on wobbly knees (eek), and she can’t believe her family is moving (oh no!). But no matter what life throws her way, Ryan knows she can always “make sunshine”—finding the positive in every single day. In this slice-of-life series, Renee Watson teaches young minds that happiness is a practice. Ways to Make “Sunshine” is one of the best chapter books for younger readers, showing them that all emotions help pave the road to happiness. Watch your child make their own sunshine with this relatable and accessible tale.
Revenge of the Witch (Last Apprentice #1)
It’s not scary enough that the world expects Tom, a regular 12-year-old, to take over the job of the Spook. Now he has to confront age-old witches and save the human race, too? The Spook’s job is to ward off ghosts, goblins, and other evil entities from the town—and as the seventh son of a seventh son, he must step into these fateful shoes. Between creepy suspense, clever character development, and imagery that’ll have them skeptical of their own basement, Revenge of the Witch is ideal for inspiring your middle grader to read independently. We promise they won’t be able to put this one down (or the rest of the books in the series).
The Inheritance Games
We’re inviting Jennifer Lynn Barnes to our next Escape Room party, because she is a master of puzzles. This fast-paced chapter book fuses mystery, suspense, and romance into its 400 pages of meticulous thrill. Avery Grambs is prepared to walk (or stumble) down her graduation stage like any other high school senior—until she receives a hefty fortune from a billionaire she’s never met. But that’s not even the best (or worst) part. She must unweave this billionaire’s tangled web of cryptic messages in his very own estate to claim her prize. The Inheritance Games is perfect for burgeoning true-crime lovers or readers who need a little motivation to share what they’re learning with you.
For fantasy adorers, hopeless romantics, and fans of the stellar work of Sarah J. Maas, Shadow Queen offers no shortage of mystic twists and turns. Meet Lorelai, a magic-wielding princess and fierce trailblazer of paths less traveled. When her father is taken from her and the throne is taken from her people, she’ll have to battle the dangerous and cunning Queen Irina—who has some tricks of her own up her sleeve. As Lorelai stands bravely in the face of dark magic, forbidden love, and everything to lose, your reader will soak up lessons about following your instincts, tuning your moral compass, and leading with your heart.
Literati Book Clubs: Your Reader’s Next Best Chapter Books
Whether your growing reader is dipping their toes or diving like a pro into the picture-free pool, these best chapter books for kids will keep them swimming excitedly. With each stroke, they’ll strengthen their metaphor muscles, solo-reading skills, and language comprehension—and Literati will be poolside with a towel, a snack, and a glittery sign at the finish line.
At Literati, we help support your child’s learning by sourcing valuable reads for every level. From tactile infant board books to thrilling young adult mysteries, our books are meant to build a life-long love of reading and discovery. Join the Literati Kids Book Club, and your child will receive specially selected stories to support their unique education. Take our personalization quiz to find the reading level that will nourish their imagination and skills the best.