Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Read-alones for easy reader graduates - short and snappy chapter books

There is that special stage in the reading life of many kids, right after they've graduated from easy readers but before they are quite ready for chapters books packed tightly with words but lacking in pictures. These kids might be anywhere from 6 to 8 years old - or they might even be slightly older and are looking for a light and undemanding read.

And don't we all need a light and undemanding read sometimes?

I've compiled a short but sweet list of great read-alone chapter books for the discerning reader who wants a lot of bang for his or her reading buck. Some are quite easy, some a tad bit more demanding, but all offer plenty of fun (and not too many words) per page. And remember, there is no rule that says a kid reading at a 6th grade reading level shouldn't read these books just because they're "easy." I read way below grade level on a regular basis - in fact, some of my favorite books wouldn't challenge a 3rd-grader - and my reading skills haven't suffered any, I promise. A child - or adult - who is reading for pleasure should choose any book she wants. What's the point otherwise?

When the book is part of a series, I've listed the first title in the series.

And without further ado:

Applegate, Katherine. Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs (series - "Roscoe Riley Rules")
1st-grader Roscoe can't seem to help getting in the weirdest kind of trouble. (approx. 80 pages)

Blume, Judy. The Pain and the Great One. (series - "The Pain and the Great One")
All about The Pain (a 6-year-old boy) and his 8-year-old sister The Great One. (most about 100 pages)

Cabot, Meg. Moving Day. (series - "Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls)
When 9-year-old Allie moves, it means a new (scary) house, a new school, and new friends. (approx. 225 pages)

Cowley, Joy. Snake and Lizard.
Think Frog and Toad, but set in the desert. (approx. 85 pages)

Denton, Terry. Wombat and Fox: Tales of the City.
Another friendship story, but this one is more urban. (approx. 125 pages)

English, Karen. Nikki and Deja. (series - "Nikki and Deja")
When a new girl joins their class, these two 3rd-grade friends don't treat her well at first. (approx. 75 pages)

Gifford, Peggy Elizabeth. Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little. (series - "Moxy Maxwell")
Too bad almost 4th-grader Moxy is trying like crazy to avoid her assigned summer reading. (approx. 90 pages)

Grimes, Nikki. Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel.
When 3rd-grader Dyamonde moves to a new school, she makes it her goal to befriend a rather cranky boy. (approx. 75 pages)

Hale, Bruce. Prince of Underwhere. (series - "Underwhere")
When a pair of twins and their cat accidentally discover the realm of Underwhere, adventure and undie jokes ensue. (approx. 160 pages)

Harper, Jessica. Uh-oh, Cleo. (series - "Uh-oh, Cleo")
Poor Cleo has to get stitches when her twin brother accidentally injures her. (approx. 50 pages)

Hicks, Betty. Scaredy-cat Catcher. (series - "Gym Shorts")
When Rocky, a baseball catcher, gets injured while tagging a runner out, he is too scared to try it again. (approx. 55 pages)

Kline, Suzy. Horrible Harry in Room 2b (and plenty of others about Harry and his classmates)
Having a friend like Harry isn't easy - but it's never boring.

Lowry, Lois. Gooney Bird Greene. (series - "Gooney Bird Greene")
A new 2nd-grade girl entertains her class with strange but true stories. (approx. 90 pages)

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody. (series - "Judy Moody")
Third grade doesn't start out so well for Judy. (approx. 160 pages)

Moss, Marissa. Alien Eraser to the Rescue. (series - "Max Disaster")
A boy keeps a diary in the form of a comic book. (approx. 40 pages)

Park, Barbara. Junie B., 1st-Grader - Aloha-ha-ha! (series - "Junie B. Jones")
This is one of many in a series about an irrepressible K/1st-grade girl. (approx. 100 pages)

Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine. (series - "Clementine")
8-year-old Clementine deals with troubles with friends and pigeons. (approx. 120 pages)

Simon, Francesca. Horrid Henry. (series - "Horrid Henry")
Honestly, this boy is really badly behaved - especially compared to his oh-so-perfect brother. (approx. 80 pages)

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Villain's Lair. (series - "Gecko and Sticky")
A 13-year-old boy and his talking gecko have daring and magical adventures. (Approx. 200 pages)


  1. My favorite of this type of book is Mammoth Academy, by Neal Layton. Have you read it? It's a great one to give to fans of Ice Age.

  2. It looks like there are some gems in your list. We've done Horrid Henry (eh) and Roscoe Riley (love), but I see a couple more that could stretch Catherine to have some fun. Thanks, Eva.

  3. I have heard of Mammoth Academy - will have to read it - thanks, Charlotte!
    What else has Catherine read and loved?

  4. I stumbled on your blog this morning looking for books for my 8 year old that hates to read. (Gasp!) I'm excited to try some of these books with her. Thanks!!