Good Chapter Books to Read to My Kindergarten Son

Updated on November 15, 2012
X.O. asks from Naperville, IL
18 answers

My son is a pre-reader, and we have hundreds of books in the house, but none are children's chapter books. I think he is ready to sit and listen to some longer stories that we can read daily. Any suggestions? I don't want to do anything that has storylines that he's already familiar with (so, no Disney/Pixar, comic book heroes, things like that...)

What do you read to your kids, age 5-7, or what are they reading for themselves?

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So What Happened?

Thank you SO MUCH for the great recommendations! We have a very long road trip coming up next week, and I'll be sitting in the 3rd row with my son so I can start reading to him. I think we'll start with Narnia & the Magic Treehouse, and see which he takes to more.

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answers from Dallas on

The books listed so far are fabulous, but if you want something shorter, Frog and Toad books are wonderful! I do LOVE the Narnia books, though. :)

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answers from Dallas on

Charlotte's Web (We watched the movie after reading the book)
Boxcar Children
Encyclopedia Brown
Magic Tree House
Junie B Jones (some moms think this character is a too disrespectful)
Hank the Cowdog
Nancy Drew Clue Crew series
Charlie and the CHocolate Factory
James and the Giant Peach
The Borrowers
The NEverending Story
Harry Potter

ANd it's not a chapter book, but my kids love anything by Shel Silverstein

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Salt Lake City on

You've already had some great suggestions. I do have a few titles to add for reading aloud. At that age, my kids loved the Flat Stanley books. We also visited Narnia for the first time around your son's age. The Borrowers are good. And my son (yes, my son) was an avid Fancy Nancy fan. The real Alice in Wonderland and the real Peter Pan (not the disneyfied ones) are both lovely read-alouds. The Wind in the Willows is fun. You could try anything Beatrix Potter (and there's so much more than the one everybody knows, Peter Rabbit). James and the Giant Peach is good. And lastly, I'll second another mom's recommendation of Winnie the Pooh (again, the original).

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answers from Youngstown on

We are reading the Chronicles of Narnia to our 5 & 7 year olds right now. It is a little above the 5 year old but still great stories.

Boxcar Children, Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, Winnie the Pooh, Encyclopedia Brown,

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answers from Missoula on

My son loved the Ramona books. We have read the first four, I think there are four more. I would also try:
Stuart Little
The Mouse andt the Motorcycle
The Chocolate Touch
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (series)
The Little House on the Prarie series
Pipi Longstocking

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answers from Chicago on

I read these to my Seven year old:
Chronicles of Narnia C.S. Lewis
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy J.R.R. Tolkien
Prydain Chronicles(The Black Cauldron) Lloyd Alexander
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Grimm's Fairy Tales

He reads Dr. Seuss on his own, with his current favourite being The Lorax

The Railway Series(Thomas and Friends) by Rev W Awdry Peep Peep!

Beatrix Potter--My Mother learned to read--she was working on her naturalization studies at the time, and taught me at the same time with these. We also got into a discussion in Immigration/Naturalization, and the fact that she taught me to read while learning her self.

Having his librarian at school track down one of my fave kid series: The Boxcar Children

Hugs to you Mama and keep reading!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I read Charlotte's web to my son and he liked that. You might also want to try the Mouse and the Motorcycle and others in that series.

There are also chapter books meant to be read by kids as they transition from picture books to chapter books (my librarian sister calls them Transitional Chapter Books). Examples of these series include Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, and Arthur Chapter Books (latter by Marc Brown; not sure offhand of the other authors). Other Beverly Clearly books (Ramona series) are great too.

My son really likes to read mysteries. We currently read Young Cam Jansen and Nate the Great. I know there are regular Cam Jansen books that are longer and more difficult. The "Young" series are more like Level 2 Readers and the regular ones are full chapter books.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

The very first chapter book I read to my son at that age was Treasure Island. He loved it!

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answers from Chicago on

Little house on the prairie books are awesome for that.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I second Frog and those little stories. I also loved reading the Junie B. Jones books to my kids. Yes I know some will say she's a little rude...but I think you can use that as a teaching lesson.

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answers from Orlando on

I just asked my friend "the librarian" this same question! She suggested Magic Tree House series. She made it sound wonderful. I can't wait to find it and get started! Here's a link to check it out :)

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answers from Bellingham on

Enid Blyton books such as The Magic Faraway Tree, the Amelia Jane series etc.

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answers from Chicago on

My kids enjoyed Magic Tree House and Flat Stanley.

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answers from Columbus on

I read my 4 year old the Magic Tree House books, he liked them up to the one about ancient Egypt, and the stuff about mummies & ghosts was too scary.

More recently we read the first Narnia book, the Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe, and he loved it so much he wanted to dress up as a knight/prince for Halloween.

We also read Castle in the Attic, that one might be harder to find. I'm thinking of reading the Indian in the Cupboard series to him next.

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answers from New York on

I LOVE all the books everyone has suggested. I just wanted to add one more.

When my son was a pre-reader, our local librarian recommended Three Tales of My Father's Dragon. My son had me read it to him cover to cover constantly -- that was all he wanted to do all summer. By the time we were done every word in that book was a sight word for him, and he was reading fluently.

He's now a little older than your son, and these are the series he's loved (some have more literary value than others):

Magic Tree House
Captain Underpants (sigh...)
Beast Quest
Secrets of Droon
Geronimo Stilton
Wayside School
Percy Jackson (and anything by Rick Riordan)
Harry Potter

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answers from Chicago on

Magic Treehouse
A to Z mysteries
Can't remember if Boxcar children is available on CD/Tape but that is a great series for when he starts reading these books himself.

I'd go to your library and ask them for suggestions too. Or check out the books on CD for kids that they have in their catalog - you might get some great new ideas there too.

Enjoy - my kids love reading and sometimes they have read a book by themselves and done it again with reading and listening. Wonderful way to foster reading.

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answers from Milwaukee on

magic tree house books are great....and it's a huge series!!!

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answers from Jacksonville on

When mine were that age, they enjoyed condensed versions of the children's classics: White Fang, Treasure Island, etc.

They also loved the Stories from Wayside School books. They are technically chapter books, I think, but each chapter is a self-contained story. And they are FUNNY.

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