My daughter and I decided we wanted to read more in 2013. I challenged Hannah to read 25 chapter books, and she challenged me to do the same. Before we reached the half-way point, we’d both met our initial goal of 25 books. I shared my list HERE. I had several readers ask me to list the books my daughter chose to read.
Hannah is 7 years old, and will be in the 2nd grade this fall. The books Hannah read are great picks for girls in K-3, although several of the books would appeal to older girls and/or boys as well.
1. Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny by Barbara Park
In the 27th Junie B. Jones book, Lucille is having an Easter Egg Hunt at her rich expensive mansion! And guess what? The winner gets a play date to swim in Lucille’s heated indoor swimming pool! Only, here is the problem. How did Junie B. get stuck wearing a big dumb bunny suit? And how can she possibly find eggs when she keeps tripping over her huge big rabbit feet? Being a dumb bunny is definitely not as easy as it looks. Will Junie B. end up with egg on her face? Or will the day deliver some very uneggspected results?
Admittedly, Junie B. is not my favorite. She can be disrespectful and bossy, and since the books are written from her perspective, proper grammar and sentence structure is not always modeled. However, this is a great first chapter book series for girls. The simple text and shorter chapters can help an emerging reader feel successful. As a parent, the books also provide great opportunities to discuss better ways for Junie to act and react. The teachable moments and beginning reading level make these books worth checking out!
2. Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch by Barbara Park
Something very wonderful is happening to Junie B. Jones. And it’s called she’s getting to help in the school cafeteria! And that means hanging out with her friend Mrs. Gutzman. And working behind the counter. And even getting to wear a real actual hair net! Who knows? Maybe one of these days she’ll be the boss of this whole entire operation!
3. Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy by Barbara Park
What’s the bestest job ever? A beauty shop guy, that’s what! And Junie B. Jones is going to be one when she grows up. But first she needs a little practice. And a few volunteers. Like her bunny slippers. And her dog. And maybe even…herself? Is Junie B. on her way to a great new career? Or is she about to have the worst hair day ever?
4. Judy Moody by Megan McDonald
To start, Judy Moody doesn’t have high hopes for third grade. Her new desk won’t have an armadillo sticker with her name on it. Her new classroom will not have a porcupine named Roger. And with her luck, she’ll get stuck sitting in the first row, where Mr. Todd will notice every time she tries to pass a note to her best friend, Rocky. An aspiring doctor, Judy does have a little brother who comes in handy for practicing medicine, a cool new pet, and a huge Band-Aid collection.
She’s spunky, fun, and full of creative ideas. This is a wonderful first-series for elementary school readers.
5. Judy Moody Gets Famous by Megan McDonald
Everyone knows that Judy Moody has a mood for every occasion, and this time she’s in a jealous mood. Jealous of classmate Jessica Finch, that is, who gets her picture on the front page of the newspaper, just for winning a spelling bee. But when Judy Moody sets off in pursuit of her own fame and happiness, watch out! She is so determined, she just might find it – or will she merely become more infamous than ever?
6. Judy Moody: Girl Detective by Megan McDonald
Judy Moody is in a mood. A sleuthing, Nancy Drew kind of mood. So what’s a WBMS (world’s best mystery solver) to do? Go find a mystery, that’s what! And she doesn’t have to snoop for long: when Mr. Chips, a beloved crime-dog-in-training, goes missing, Judy Drewdy and her chums, agents Dills Pickle (Frank), Spuds Houdini (Rocky), and James Madagascar (Stink) find themselves smack-dab in the middle of a reallife, scare-your-pants-off whodunit. Was Mr. Chips stolen by dirty dognappers? And why are chocolate-chip cookies disappearing all over town? Watch out for red herrings—along with clever references to classic Nancy Drew mysteries—as Eagle Eye Moody and company are hot on the case!
7. Clementine and the Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker
Clementine’s having a nervous breakdown. The FAMILY MEETING! sign is up in her house, and she just knows she’s in trouble for something. Has she been too mean to her little brother? Too sloppy? Eating too much junk food? Try as she might to find out what’s on the agenda, her parents won’t reveal anything before the meeting. As far as Clementine is concerned, the agenda should be something like: “We’re getting a gorilla.” But no, it’s something entirely different. “We’re talking about a new baby,” says her father. “A brother or sister for you two. What do you think about that?” NO THANKS! is what Clementine thinks. After all, four is the perfect number for a family. There are four sides to a table, not five. Will Clementine learn to make room for one more?
My daughter’s teacher read the class the first book in the series, “Clementine”, so I jumped at the chance to grab this from the book order. Clementine is the “Ramona” of my daughter’s generation. I highly recommend checking out this series from the talented Sara Pennypacker. The chapters are longer and contain more text than a Junie B or Magic Tree House type of chapter book.
8. The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
When it comes to tackling third grade, Clementine is at the top of her game-okay, so maybe not all the time. After her teacher announces that the third and fourth graders will be putting on a talent show, Clementine panics. She doesn’t sing or dance or play an instrument. She can’t even hop with finesse. And as if she didn’t feel bad enough, her perfect best friend, Margaret, has so many talents, she has to alphebetize them to keep them straight As the night of the big “Talent-palooza” draws closer, Clementine is desperate for an act, any act. But the unexpected talent she demonstrates at the show surprises everyone–most of all herself.
9. Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel
The votes are in–it’s a Bad Kitty landslide! It’s time to elect a new president of the Neighborhood Cat Coalition! Who will win the election? The candidate chosen by the kitties on the right side of the street or the candidate chosen by the kitties on the left side of the street? When election time rolls around, one candidate (guess who?) will discover that she never bothered to register to vote and the entire election will be decided by a surprise, last minute absentee ballot sent by Old Kitty.
My daughter came home so excited about Bad Kitty. Her class participated in a school-wide book election, and she cast her vote for this book.
10. Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel
BAD KITTY IS BACK (AND BADDER THAN EVER!) when she is forced to take a bath in this hysterical new illustrated how-to for young readers. The following are some items you will need for Kitty’s bath: one bathtub, plenty of water, dry towels, a suit of armor, a letter to your loved ones, clean underwear (because stressful situations can cause “accidents”), an ambulance in your driveway with the engine running, and, oh, yeah, you’ll also need Kitty…but good luck with that! Since its publication in 2005, BAD KITTY has captured the hearts of cat lovers and haters alike. This time Kitty is at her worst in this riotous how-to guide filled with bad smells, cautionary tales of horror, and hopefully by the end…some soap. The funniest of any of Kitty’s adventures, though don’t tell her that.
11. Magic Tree House: High Tide in Hawaii #28 by Mary Pope Osborne
That’s what Jack and Annie do when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to a Hawaiian island of long ago. They learn how to surf and have a great time—until strange things start happening. Jack and Annie soon discover the cause: A tidal wave is headed their way! Can they help save their new friends in time?
I love the Magic Tree House series! This series will appeal to both boys and girls alike, and is an ideal first chapter book series for emergent readers.
12. Magic Tree House: Midnight on the Moon #8 by Mary Pope Osborne
The Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie off to the moon—and the future. Their mission? To find the last “M” thing that will free Morgan from the spell. Can they do it before the air in their oxygen tank runs out? Will the mysterious moon man help them? And why is Peanut the mouse acting so strange?
13. Jade the Disco Fairy (Rainbow Magic: The Dance Fairies #2) by Daisy Meadows
The Dance Fairies’ magic ribbons are missing! Without them, all kinds of dances are getting off on the wrong foot. Everyone is miserable, except for Jack Frost and his goblins. They have the ribbons . . . and it’s up to Rachel and Kirsty to get them back! The disco at Kirsty’s school is sure to be a disaster without Jade’s magic ribbon. Can the girls outwit the goblins in time?
Your little girl will love the “fairy” books. These are quick reads, full of magic, whimsy, and adorable characters. The reading level is just right for emergent readers. There are lots of books to love in this series, and even series within the series!
14. Heather the Violet Fairy (Rainbow Magic #7) by Daisy Meadows
The seven Rainbow Fairies are missing! Rachel and Kirsty search for one in each RAINBOW MAGIC book. Read all seven books to help rescue the fairies and bring the sparkle back to Fairyland! Fairyland is home to seven colorful sisters. Together, they are the Rainbow Fairies! They keep Fairyland dazzling and bright. But when evil Jack Frost sends them far away, the sisters are in big trouble. If they don’t return soon, Fairyland is doomed to be gray forever! The merry-go-round whisks Rachel and Kirsty away to a magical world. Could Heather the Violet Fairy have something to do with it? Help the girls find the last Rainbow Fairy, and bring the color back to Fairyland!
15. Goldie the Sunshine Fairy (Rainbow Magic: The Weather Fairies #4) by Daisy Meadows
The Weather Fairies have lost their magical feathers! Rachel and Kirsty search for one in each Weather Fairies book. Now available at a special value price! Fairyland is home to the seven Weather Fairies! They use magical feathers to bring all of the weather to Fairyland. But when the feathers disappear, the weather turns wacky. The Weather Fairies must fix it — fast! Goldie the Sunshine Fairy’s magic feather has disappeared. Now Wetherbury is so hot and sunny that the cornfields are turning into popcorn. What a mess! Find one feather in each book and fix the weather in Fairyland!
16. Rihanna the Seahorse Fairy (Rainbow Magic: The Magical Animal Fairies #4) by Daisy Meadows
Rachel and Kirsty are off on another exciting adventure – with the Magical Animal Fairies!Rachel and Kirsty are heading to outdoor adventure camp — and another fairy adventure is just around the corner! The Magical Animal Fairies’ seven animals are missing. The animals each look after a special kind of magic. If Rachel and Kirsty can’t find them fast, nothing will be the same!Bubbles the magic seahorse is somewhere in the lake at camp — but where? Rihanna the Seahorse Fairy is going to take the girls on an underwater adventure to find him. . . .Find the missing magical animal in each book and help save the fairy magic!
17. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books will appeal to both boys and girls alike. The frequent illustrations also help hold a young reader’s interest. Some of the content is not totally consistent with the speech and behaviors I teach my children to use, but again, there are teachable moments and opportunities to talk to your kids about expectations.
18. Secret of the Wings Junior Novelization by Sarah Nathan
The Secret of the Wings is the fourth Disney Fairies movie, coming to DVD/Blu-ray fall 2012. Tinker Bell and the other fairies have always known it was dangerous to venture into the Winter Woods. But what happens when Tink’s curiousity gets the best of her? Girls ages 8 to 12 can find out by reading this Junior Novelization, complete with eight pages of full-color movie stills.
My daughter LOVED this movie, and was so eager to read this book. Books that tie into popular movies and characters are also a great way to motivate kids who have not yet fallen in love with reading.
19. Molly’s Surprise by Valerie Tripp
Molly is a lively, lovable schemer and dreamer growing up in 1944. Her stories describe her life on the home front during World War Two. Molly doesn’t like many of the changes the war has brought, and she especially misses her father, who is away caring for wounded soldiers. But Molly learns the importance of getting along and pulling together — just as her country has to do to win the war As the McIntires face a cheerless holiday, Molly decides to make some merriment of her own — complete with unexpected surprises.
My daughter got her first American Girl doll, Molly, for Christmas. She was so excited to read all about the adventures Molly had. The American Girl books are a great beginning chapter book series for elementary school girls.
20. Aurora and the Perfect Party by Wendy Loggia
Princess Aurora is planning a party. But it’s not just any party–it’s a secret celebration in honor of the fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. Aurora has to sneak out of the castle to gather all of their favorite things to include in the celebration.
Reading about beloved on-screen characters is a great way to get kids excited about reading. The Disney Princess chapter book series is great, and a fun way for your daughter to experience more adventures with her favorite princess.
21. The Candy Fairies: Jelly Bean Jumble by Helen Perelman
An unexpected winter storm has come to Sugar Valley, and the sweet spring crops—including Berry’s jelly bean plants—are on the brink of disaster! Berry feels she’s to blame: Did she plant her crops too early? Even the ever-helpful Fairy Code Book doesn’t have the answer this time. And since the storm has also taken its toll on other fairy homes and surrounding areas, Princess Lolli is worried she won’t be able to visit her sister, Princess Sprinkle. What will Berry and her fairy friends do to save the jelly beans, Princess Lolli’s trip, and the day?
Another fun series for lovers of all things fairy.
22. George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl
George is alone in the house with Grandma. The most horrid, grizzly old grunion of a grandma ever. She needs something stronger than her usual medicine to cure her grouchiness. A special grandma medicine, a remedy for everything. And George knows just what to put into it. Grandma’s in for the surprise of her life—and so is George, when he sees the results of his mixture!
I love Roald Dahl. In the fantasy dinner party game, he’d definitely be a guest at my table. This is a humorous and quick read that children will love. Magic, potions, and one crazy twist will keep kids in stitches! As with most Dahl books, there are a few words you may not love. I did this book as a read-aloud when I taught kindergarten, and just changed a few words.
23. The Beast in Ms. Rooney’s Room by Patricia Reilly Giff