Early Chapter Books

Books for newly independent readers.


Congratulations! Your young reader has graduated from the leveled easy reader books and is now ready to try chapter books. These are some suggested Early Chapter book series for you to try.

The Early Chapter books on this list have larger text, fewer words on the page, and more pictures compared to other chapter books aimed towards older or more advanced readers.

The Ready list has the easier titles, the Set list has slightly harder titles, and the Read list is the hardest of the Early Chapter books.
Diverse: These books are pulled from the other lists but feature characters that are children of color.
Graphic novels: These easy graphic novels are remarkably similar to early chapter books with lots of pictures and larger fonts.


The books featured on the lists are the first book in a series. The series don't need to be read in order.


Illustrated boy reading

Image credit: Britannica ImageQuest

Five Finger Test

Not sure if a book is right for your reader? Try the Five Finger Test.

  1. Open the book to the first page.
  2. Have the reader read the page out loud.
  3. Hold up a finger for every world they don't know or struggle with.
    1.  0-1 fingers: Might be too easy
    2. 2-3 fingers: Perfect fit.
    3. 4-5 fingers: Might be too difficult or a book to read with a buddy.


Remember: Don't feel like you have to walk away from a book because it's "too hard". If a child is very interested in a subject, their motivation can help them persevere through a more "difficult" book. 

Printable List

Printable bookmark with titles & call numbers