chapter book Series
This is a list of my favorite chapter book series for children reading on grades 3-6 levels. I’ve included the title, the author, a brief description, the Lexile levels, and the AR levels to help you find a series that will be perfect for your child. Most of these books can be found in your public library, but if you’d rather purchase one of these chapter book series, I’ve included Amazon links. I’ve also divided the list by genres including realistic fiction, graphic novels and fantasy.
Encyclopedia Brown by Donald Sobel; Lexia 580 – 720; AR 3.9 – 5.2. Each book contains ten stories and always begins the same, with an explanation about who Encyclopedia is. Therefore, the books can be read in any order, which makes it very easy when checking them out from the library or buying the book. Encyclopedia is a fifth grade super detective who always solves the mystery by the end of the chapter. Readers can check their own solutions with Encyclopedia’s, which are found at the back of each book.
Great Illustrated Classics; various authors; AR 4.2 – 6.0. These are abridged versions of the classics that include an illustration on every other page, which always holds the kids’ attention and makes them want to read another one in the series.
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall; Lexile 800 – 940; AR 4.7 – 5.6. This is a fun chapter book series about four sisters, a very interesting boy and two rabbits. The books are heart warming stories, which are full of adventure.
Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R.S. Spratt; This is such a new series that it doesn’t yet have a lexile or AR level, but I think it will be for grades 4 – 7. I’m including it because I think it’s going to be very popular and is the perfect choice for those voracious readers who enjoy a good mystery. It got starred reviews in Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly, which is always a good sign.
Swindle Series by Gordon Korman; Lexile 720 – 830; AR 4.6 – 5.2. This series follows Griffin Bing, the “man with a plan” and his friends’ adventures in middle school, which usually involve a mystery and rescuing someone (boy or animal) who is in trouble.
Clementine Series by Sara Pennypacker and Marla Frazee. Lexile 670 – 720. AR 3.9 – 4.6. A very funny series about Clementine, who has ideas “constantly springing up in her brain” which very often lead to a trip to the principal’s office.
The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Lexile 770 – 850. AR 5.3 – 6.0. The Borrowers, who are the Clock family, are tiny people who live beneath the kitchen floor of a English country manor. All is well until one of them is discovered upstairs by a human! Will they be allowed to stay?
A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy. Lexile 410 – 550. AR 3.4 – 3.9. Third Graders, Dink and his pals Josh and Ruth work their way through the alphabet mystery series for young detectives.
Ivy and Bean by Anne Barrows. Lexile 490 – 550; AR 3.2 -3.9. The series follows the adventures of best friends, Ivy and Bean, as they solve one mystery after another.
Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey. Lexile 530 – 850; AR 4.3 – 5.1. These are funny, action packed chapter books filled with lots of illustrations on each page, as well as a bonus comic section, which help to draw in a reluctant reader.
Ballpark Mysteries by David A. Kelly and Mark Meyers. Lexile 540 – 590. AR 3.7 – 4.0. These are fun, puzzling mysteries, with two nine year old detectives as the main characters. Every story is set at a different ballpark and includes historical details about the park.
Sports Illustrated for Kids Chapter Book series by various authors. Lexile 500 – 570; AR 3.0 – 3.7. These are short, easy to read chapter books, each focusing on a different sport
Sideways Stories by Louis Sachar. Lexile 440 – 550 ; AR 3.3 – 3.8; Wayside School was supposed to have 30 classrooms all on one floor, but the builder made a mistake and put them one on top of each other, so the school is 30 stories high. And all sorts of strange and funny things happen in those rooms, especially on the 13th floor!
Judy Moody by Megan McDonald. Lexile 490 – 590; AR 2.9 – 4.2. Judy is a third grader with lots of dilemmas, but she always seem to devise an intriguing solution to every problem. These are fun to read easy chapter books to entice early readers.
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Lexile 550 – 790; AR 4.7 – 5.3. Laura describes her family life in Kansas after her father moves them to the prairie to begin a new life. These are true pioneer stories full of thrills and adventures that appeal to both boys and girls.
Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. Lexile 670 – 800; AR 4.9 – 6.2.Alex Rider is the 14-year-old hero of British author Horowitz’s spy thrillers. After his uncle is killed, Alex learns that his uncle and guardian was actually a British spy, rather than the banker he always believed him to be. Now the government wants Alex to continue his uncle’s work.
Middle School series by James Patterson. Lexile 520 – 750. AR 4.1 – 4.7. Rafe is starting middle school and has to try to find a way to cope with all the changes. To accomplish this, he decides he will try to break every rule of conduct that the school has. This of course leads to lots of consequences both at home and school!
The Year of… series by Andrea Cheng (realistic fiction). Lexile 590 – 690; AR 3.9 – 4.3. This charming series is narrated by 11 year old Anna who exhibits thoughtfulness and understanding of others in each book.
The Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick. Lexile 800 – 890; AR 4.6 – 5.1.Realistic fiction; Each book in the series focuses on the book being read and discussed by the mothers and the sixth grade daughters in the group, such as Little Women or Pride and Prejudice. The stories explore the relationships between the mothers and daughters, the daughters relationships to one another and their growing up experiences.
I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis. Lexile 590 – 740; AR 3.9 – 6.4. Each book describes an 11 year old boy’s experiences in the midst of a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, Pearl Harbor and the Hindenberg.
Everyday Angel series by Victoria Schwab – realistic fiction, (ages 8 – 12). Lexile 690 – 730; AR 4.6 – 5.1 This sweet three book series focuses on an angel, Aria, who is earning her wings by helping girls who are struggling.
The Rescue Princesses by Paula Harrison. Lexile 630 – 700; AR 4.1 – 4.6. Princess Emily and her three princess friends want more in life than wearing fancy dresses and performing endless curtsies so they join together and save animals who are in trouble.
Stick Dog by Tom Watson. Lexile 600 – 710; AR 4.5 – 4.7.Stories of stray dogs with cartoonish illustrations are very fun for kids.
Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger. Lexile 680 – 760; AR 4.6 – 4.9. Dwight, normally thought of as a loser in the sixth grade at McQuarrie Middle School, leads the class to solve their problems with a wise and all knowing finger puppet, Yoda.
Cupcake Diaries by Coco Simon. Lexile 600 – 780; AR 4.0 – 4.8. When Katie finds herself a bit lost when she starts middle school, she finds three new friends who join her to form a cupcake club that will spread joy and earn money.
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter; Lexia 580; AR 3.7; Piper lives on a island in Maine, takes a boat to school instead of a school bus and and has a magic fairy tree growing in her front yard that leaves her special gifts.
Nancy Clancy series by Jane O’Connor; Lexile 450 – 650; AR 3.2 – 4.3; Fans of Fancy Nancy will be thrilled to discover this series about Nancy and her adventures.
Smile series by Raina Telemeier (realistic fiction, graphic novel) Stories about growing up told with humor and art.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney; Lexile 950 – 1020 (You need not be concerned about this high level, because this is a graphic novel and is enjoyed by all ages. A great choice for reluctant readers!); AR 5.2 – 5.8. This series, which is full of harmless fun, follows Greg Heffley as he records his daily middle school life.
Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce. Lexile 420 – 520; AR 2.4 – 3.5.Big Nate is a mischievous, fun middle school character who encounters a lot of stress because of his teachers, his parents and his annoying older sister.
Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne; Lexile 230 – 540; AR 2.8 – 4.0. This series describes Annie and Jack’s adventures as they fly through time in a magic treehouse.
Half Upon a Time series by James Riley. Jack, son of Jack and the Beanstalk is working to save his family’s reputation along with the help of May who is actually from this world who is very confused that she is in the middle of a fairy tale adventure.
Story Thieves series by James Riley. Owen is bored with his life and is in the library when he sees his classmate, Bethany climb out of a storybook. It turns out she is half storybook character and is searching every book in the library looking for her fictional father. Owen is sworn to secrecy and joins her in her search.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Lexile 880 – 1030; AR 5.5 – 7.2. This series describes the magical adventures of Harry and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Fablehaven Series by Brian Mull; Lexile 700 – 790; AR 4.8 – 5.6. Kendra and Seth are sent to spend the summer with their grandfather, who they barely know. He warns them to stay out of the woods surrounding his house, but of course, Kendra and Seth can’t help but venture into the forest. Their explorations lead them into many adventures after discovering the mythical and magical creatures that live there.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan; Lexile 630 – 790: AR 4.3 – 6.0. This is an extremely popular series with lots of action and adventure involving Greek Gods and monsters.
Heros of Olympus by Rick Riordan; Lexia 620 – 690; AR 5.2 – 6.1. This is the follow-up series to Percy Jackson which includes the same main characters and brings their adventures to a satisfying conclusion.
Tuesdays at the Castle series by Jessica Day George; Lexia 770 – 830; AR 5.2 – 5.8. This series describes growing up in magical Castle Glower that grows new rooms and secret passageways to help the princess and her siblings in their daily adventures.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien; Lexile 790; AR 5.1. Mrs. Frisby is a widowed mouse with four small children and a huge problem. She must move her family to their summer home immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. They are saved by the highly intelligent rats of Nimh who come up with a solution. Mrs. Frisby in turn is able to help them when they are in need. This is the first of three books in the series. If your child enjoys these, you can suggest The Redwall series by Brian Jacques next.
The Never Girls by Kiki Thorpe (ages 6-9). Lexile 500 – 620; AR 3.5 – 3.9. This story is about four real girls in a fairy world.
Storybound series by Marissa Burt. Lexile 670 – 720; AR 4.7 – 5.2. In the land of Story, kids go to school to learn to be a storybook character. They could be a hero, or even a villain.The plots have lots of twists and turns and include a lot of fun and puzzling details, which really make the reader think.
Galaxy Zack by Ray O’Ryan. Lexile 470 – 570; 3.0 – 3.7. This series describes Zack’s adventures after he moves to a new planet.
Daisy Dawson by Steve Voake. Lexile 660 – 740 ; AR 4.0 – 4.4 . Daisy has an amazing gift. She can talk to and understand animals! That is a big help as she continues to encounter animals that always seem to need her help.