Favorite Chapter Book Series from Beginner to Advanced


The first years of elementary school are full of learning moments and changes. The transition from picture to chapter books is one of the most excited ones. The process is beautiful but can also be overwhelming as parents try to figure out what their kids like, their comfort with reading, and understanding reading levels. It is very easy to get carried away and jump into books that can overwhelm children which, in turn, demotivate.

When my eldest started to read, we went through all the phases. Getting super excited and finding all kinds of chapter books, only to find out that he was not interested. But as time went by and he continued to practice with picture books, his reading level finally evolved into chapter books and since then he has been unstoppable. 

One thing we have found with chapter book series, is that they tend to progress on difficulty with vocabulary, length, depth in characters, and plot. My son has really enjoyed the continuation of characters and how they move from one adventure to the next, which in turn makes it easier to keep reading new books in the series.

How To Expand Their Selection

As we navigate this new phase with our children, there is much to learn and little time to do so. Thankfully our teachers were great guides on what titles to introduce and what level we should aim for. This online community has also been great at suggesting titles and additional resources, which has also landed me on a very interesting title: “Some of My Best Friends Are Books”. Although the book is geared towards “gifted” children (which is a topic entirely for another post), it is a great companion for parents as we navigate this reading world. The book also has an annotated bibliography to help you identify new titles, so if you find yourself out of new ideas, this is a great resource.

So, after a year of reading fun, we now have a nice selection of books which we hope you find useful. I have broken it down by levels with the help of my son, and he has also added a quick commentary in parentheses on some of the titles. And while this seems like a lot, we have purposely helped it grow to have the books always available to the boys and have different reading spaces. Grandparents and uncles have been great help as we have created an Amazon wish-list for books, which we keep feeding with new titles. We’ve also found that Costco has great offers in their book section.

Magic Treehouse

Beginner Series

Medium Series

Advanced Series

For kids who prefer non-fiction, Scholastic, DK, and other publishers have great collections on biographies, history and animal facts that are perfect to get the little ones into reading. 

Other Favorite Titles From our DC Area Moms’ Writers:

While my kid really enjoys adventure chapter books, there are others who are more drawn to graphic novels. Here are some of the recommendations from our fellow DC Area Moms’ Contributors:

What are your children’s favorite chapter book series?

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Tatiana was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States at age 15. She moved from Houston to DC in 2007 to work for an international organization. She met her husband at work and married in 2011. She has two children: Santiago (2013) and Antonio (2015) and a Masters degree in Conflict Resoliution. After the birth of her second child, she decided to take time off to stay home and focus on the kids. She is passionate about nutrition, self-led weaning and homemade food. The Story of My Table is her Instagram account and blog where she shares her adventures in the kitchen. She strongly believes that a wine a day keeps the doctor away and that the key to parenting two boys is to keep in good shape. She is not a fan of baking, but would occasionally do it to avoid highly processed food. She is an advocate for natural foods, Montessori education and allowing children to get bored. One day she dreams of building an organization where she can combine her passion for food with peacebuilding.