Ready to open up a new world of adventure, exploration, and imagination for your little tyke? Early chapter books are the perfect place for your young reader to turn the pages and discover even more of what books have to offer. The best early chapter books for kids help them transition into independent readers. They’ll also invite fresh perspectives, complexity, and problem-solving challenges to encourage your budding learner to reach for the stars. (Or the moon, or the magnifying glass, or the building tools.)
Sounds amazing, right? We wholeheartedly agree. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best early chapter books for kids from 6 to 8 years old (but don’t be surprised if you catch yourself reading over their shoulder). From artistically-inclined mice to fort-building entrepreneurs, these books explore a wealth of different worlds, each with a unique spin to keep your child engaged from cover to cover.
Wild Honey from the Moon
By Kenneth Kraegel
Warm, sweet, and a little bit cosmic, Wild Honey from the Moon takes the reader on a journey of epic proportions. Over the course of seven imaginative chapters, a mother searches for a miraculous cure for her sick son: the coveted wild honey from the moon. Her quest launches her into the star-lit sky to encounter a ravenous owl, a herd of “night mares,” and buzzing bees—all eager to stand in her way. Your reader will gain a new idol watching the mother conquer obstacles with creativity, wit, and unstoppable love. (Because, after all, nothing can stop a mom on a mission.)
A Nest for Celeste
By Henry Cole
Meet Celeste, a homesick mouse who learns an important lesson about where home truly is. Upended from her quiet life by the arrival of some unlikely friends, Celeste searches far and wide—from warm boots to shirt pockets—for a place to belong. Along Celeste’s riveting and heartfelt journey, your child will learn about history, art, and science with help from characters like John James Audubon. This whimsical tale pairs breathtaking narrative with gorgeous black-and-white illustrations to deliver a message about friendship that tugs the heartstrings of your first, second, or third-grade reading stars.
My Haunted House (Araminta Spookie No. 1)
By Angie Sage
Does your child prefer creepy skeletons over furry friends? Whether it’s the Halloween season or just a dark, stormy night, My Haunted House lends a healthy dose of fun and fright. Young Araminta Spookie is determined to stop her family from moving out of her beloved haunted house—no matter what her crabby Aunt Tabby says. Enlisting help from some ghostly friends, hijinks and horror ensue along her journey, filled with slimy goo and shrieking ghosts. This adventure-packed tale shines candlelight on lessons of determination, imagination, and appreciation for what we have. (Making it one of the best early chapter books for kids who might have a rather long birthday wish list.)
Surfboard to Peril: A Miss Mallard Mystery
By Robert Quackenbush
When she isn’t out solving cases, world-renowned detective Miss Mallard kicks back in sunny Hawaii. But her vacation is cut short when the case of a lifetime floats into her lap. An ancient artifact that belongs to the Hawaiian natives goes missing—and it’s up to Miss Mallard to solve the mystery. Our hero uses her intelligence, problem-solving skills, and intuitive grit to crack the case—all before cracking a few more coconuts. This thrilling, fast-paced novel encourages readers to put on their detective hats and take a magnifying glass to every detail.
The Birthday Castle: Fort Builders, Inc. 1
By Dee Romito
This first entry in the Fort Builders, Inc. series invites young readers to join Caleb on his mission of imagination and teamwork. In an effort to raise money to buy the next edition of his favorite book series, Caleb runs into a small problem: he’s out of allowance. With his best friend Jax and a gaggle of neighborhood kids, Caleb uncovers his entrepreneurial spirit and creates his very own business, Fort Builders, Inc. Of course, running a business isn’t going to be a walk in the playground. It’ll take collaboration and communication to finish their first project in time.
Find the Best Early Chapter Books with Literati Book Clubs
The best early chapter books for kids are a pivotal part of the literary development of young readers, taking them from picture-book beginnings to new, dynamic twists and turns. They’re a place where interests are honed, lessons are learned, and diving head-first into imaginations is gleefully encouraged. Today, there’s no better way to expand your child’s literary universe than with Literati.
Join the Literati Kids book club for hand-picked books, curated for your child based on their reading level and interests. Our team of literary aficionados is dedicated to supporting your child on their literary journey through eye-catching, mind-expanding, kid-approved books from our outstanding collection. Get started with our personalization quiz to discover your child’s next all-time favorites.