I’m so grateful our kids love to read. There are a few chapter book series that my oldest is really into right now. He looks forward to getting books from the library and can easily spend hours occupying himself with a good book. In fact there are times we have to ask him to stop reading and remind him to go outside for some fresh air! We talk about how to raise a reader in this post.
Of course a love of reading is as good as the content presented. I love to get book referrals from different websites, librarians and friends with kids who are a similar age.
What to Look for in a Good Chapter Book Series
1. Exciting Storyline
I always say a good book is truly able to become an escape. It’s a story that’s so captivating that you can’t turn the pages fast enough. For my son, I find that the books he gravitates towards are those that solve mysteries and books that are adventurous.
2. Maturity level
Not everyone is ready for the Harry Potter series at age 7 or 8. I have read all the books and think they are amazing. But I think for some kids, sticking to more basic and shorter chapter books to begin with can be more fitting before getting into such a large chapter book series.
3. Level of Difficulty
If the story line is complicated or the words are too big, it may turn a child off from wanting to continue reading the book. If a parent skims the first few pages, it should give you a good idea of the level of difficulty.
Recommendations for Boys 7-11
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The following chapter book series have been tried and tested and thoroughly enjoyed by my son:
Mary Pope Osborne takes you away on an adventure in every book (you don’t need to read them in order). There is the Magic Treehouse series, and there’s also the Magic Treehouse Merlin Mission book series. The book series revolves around 2 characters, brother and sister duo Jack and Annie. Each chapter book takes them away on a different adventure and often to the past during a different period of time. There are villains who create problems that need to be solved by Jack and Annie.
The books are not very long and the words are not too big, which is perfect for starting at age 7. My daughter really loves this series as well, so its not that its just for boys. But they were my son’s first real chapter book series that he read and loved.
The Hardy Boys Cluebooks
This is a series written by Franklin W. Dixon. We have another set of siblings here – Frank and Joe. The brothers act as detectives in these classic who-dunnit type of stories that require the boys to collect clues to solve mysteries and crack the case.
This series written by Donald J. Sobol revolves around a boy named Leroy Brown. He was nicknamed Encyclopedia because of his intelligence and knowledge of so many different topics. Each book is typically divided into 10 or more sections with a different story line and mystery to solve. All the clues provided in the story act as information for the reader because in this series, the reader is supposed to solve the mystery! Of course the solutions are provided at the back of the book. But I really love how this really helps keep the reader engaged.
Encyclopedia Brown is actually an older series, with the first book being published in 1963. It was also once a comic strip and a television show. The last book was published in 2012, after the author passed away.
This series is written by Lauren Tarshis. Each book tells a story from the perspective of a child who lived to tell a tale of surviving a horrific and tragic event that actually took place in history. For this reason I would say its more appropriate for 9 years of age and older.
Examples of some of these events include the sinking of the Titanic, Hurricane Katrina, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the Japanese Tsunami and many more.
Each book recounts how the main character ended up in the situation they were in while bringing these real historical events to life. Its an excellent lesson in history, though the events are all unfortunate. The other positive is learning from the character’s bravery, resilience and perseverance to survive the tragic event.
Geronimo Stilton is an Italian children’s book series and was written by Elisabeta Dami. The main character in this series is a mouse. This mouse also happens to be a best-selling author who works as a journalist and editor of a newspaper. The stories are written as if Geronimo the mouse is telling it.
The other characters are family members who together end up in sticky situations that Geronimo really doesn’t want to be in. Although this is a mystery series, the books are quite amusing. You may have gathered that from the fact that the characters are mice!
Geronimo Stilton is also a television show that my kids enjoy.
The Treasure Hunters
This series is written by a very well- known adult author named James Patterson. He is probably one of the best thriller non-fiction novelists there is. So we were happily surprised to recently learn that he also writes children’s books.
The series revolves around 4 siblings who live on a ship with their parents. Life on the ship includes being schooled there, as well as being part of the family business which is to dive into the ocean and find buried treasure. The father has gone missing and the mother was kidnapped by pirates. Its up to the Kidd siblings to use clues to track down their parents.
These books are all about the action, adventure and thrill that we get from his adult books. There’s also the right amount of humor to keep the kids engaged and eager to keep reading.
The books in this series are meant to be read in order. This is different from other series we are used to and ended up reading book 2 first!
These are to 5 chapter book series that are tried and tested by our family. There are many other chapter books series that are appealing to boys in this age range that we can’t vouch for yet. Here is a list:
Feel free to add any chapter book series I haven’t captured here and your kids have enjoyed!