Top 10 (or so) Chapter Books for Transitioning Readers by Arika Dickens

This post was just what I was looking for! My 8 yr old is getting tired of baby books… these would fit him perfectly.

Nerdy Book Club

As an elementary teacher-librarian and a mother of two young readers ages 6 and 8, finding entry-level chapter books that have both a kid-friendly design (white space, font size, spacing, illustrations) and engaging characters/plot has been daunting.  But it can be done.  Below are 10 sure-fire hits in my school and home for the transitioning readers in grades 1-3…plus a couple of bonus picks. The best part: these are books that kids like, not just books that adults think kids should like. The proof is in their quotes.


  1. Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Original and free spirited, Dory drives her family crazy with eccentric, imaginary characters that she brings to life like monster BFF Mary, gnome/fairy godmother Mr. Nuggy, and the villainous Mrs. Gobble-Gracker.  First in a trilogy.


“I liked when Dory and Mary fought Mrs. Gobble-Gracker. It had lots of pictures so I could tell what was really…

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