Books for Young People (Big List)

Here is a list of books that my children have enjoyed reading, listed from easier to more difficult (for a shorter list of math and science books, see here.). We have marked some of our favorites with one, two, three, or four stars. We’ve tried to put them roughly in order of increasing difficulty, but many are no doubt horribly misplaced in this regard. In most cases we’ve found its easy enough to order them from our local library.

Books to read to your child

One can read books of very different levels of difficulty to your children from a young age, which will help them to learn to enjoy reading. Some of our favorites have been Who Says Quack,  Big Red Barn, Maisy, Boxcar children, Miss Pickerell, and Cardamom Town.

Just starting to read

*Margaret Hillert (e.g. *Dear Dragon)

*Paola Opal (*Simply Small Series)

Sandra Boynton (e.g. Blue Hat, Green Hat)

*Dick and Jane (still works well!)

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Pete the Cat books

**Mo Willems (e.g. **Elephant and Piggie series, *Pigeon series, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs)

Dr. Seuss Beginner Books (e.g. One Fish, Two Fish etc.)

A bit harder

Dr. Seuss Classics (e.g. The Lorax, Yertle the Turtle, etc.)

*Amelia Bedelia

*Young Cam Jansen (David A. Adler; also the author of Bones series).

Topsy and Tim

*Bernstein Bears

Arthur books

Adventures of Benny and Watch Series

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

*Ordinary People Change the World Series (e.g. I am George Washington)

Dodsworth Series (Tim Egan)

A bit harder

**Magic School Bus (easier ones)

**Sophie Mouse

*Fancy Nancy

Cam Jansen (chapter books)

Bernstein Bears (chapters books)

Nate the Great

**Math Matters Series

*Science Solves it Series

*The Mysterious Tadpole

Jigsaw Jones

The Littles

Ursula LeGuin  (e.g. Catwings series)

Theodore Turtle (Ellen MacGregor)

Mr. Pingle and Mr. Buttonhouse (Ellen MacGregor)

Secrets of Droon books (Tony Abbot; cf. here)

Anna Hibiscus books

Daisy Meadows Fairy books series

Ivy and Bean

Beverly Cleary (e.g. ***Ramona books)

A bit harder

*Magic School Bus (chapter books)

Cynthia Rylant (e.g. *Cobble Street Cousins, Annie and Snowball)

Cam Jansen (chapter books)

Nancy Clancy (Fancy Nancy chapter books)

*Recipe for Adventure (Giada De Laurentis)

*Encyclopedia Brown

*Ron Roy (e.g. *A to Z Mysteries, *Calendar Mysteries, *Capital Mysteries)

Bailey School Kids

*The Macbears series (Richard Bauckham)

*Andrew Lost

**The Fantastic Flying Journey

Doyle and Fossey, Science Detectives

Einstein Anderson (cf. here)

The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow (Tim Kehoe)

* Sir Cumference series (Cindy Neuschwander)

Women Who Broke the Rules Series (e.g. Sonia Sotomayor)

George E. Stanley (e.g. Adam Sharp, Third-Grade Detectives, etc.)

Sports Mysteries series (T. J. Edwards)

Ballpark mysteries (David A. Kelly and Mark Meyers)

Elen Conford (Jenny Archer, Annabel the Actress)

Wiggy and Boa (Anna Fienberg)

Elvis and Olive (Stephanie Watson, x2)

Beany Series (Susan Wojciechowski)

Barbara Park (Junie B. Jones series)

Just Grace Series

Basil of Baker Street Series 

The Royal Rabbits of London

A bit harder

Mary Pope Osborne (e.g. **Magic Tree House, Tales from the Odyssey, etc.)

Kate McMullan (e.g. **Dragon Slayers Academy)

Jon Scienzka (*Time Warp Trio, Frank Einstein)

Jarrett Lerner (e.g. Enginerds)

*Spiderwick Chronicles

*Key Hunters Series

Astrid Lindgren (e.g. *Pippy Longstocking, Noisy Village series, etc.)

Sven Nordquist (e.g. Findus and Pettson series)

*Marcia Williams books (e.g. Shakespeare etc.)

Mary Norton (e.g. The Borrowers Series, Are All the Giants Dead)

Kendall Haven (e.g. Marvels of Math, Marvels of Science)

Hazel Richardson (e.g. How to Live on Mars, How to Build a Time Machine)

Clive Clifford (e.g. How to Build a Robot, How to Meet Aliens)

Roald Dahl (e.g. James and the Giant Peach)

A bit harder

*Cardamom Town

****Boxcar children

*Bobbsey Twins

*Wizard of Oz series

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Paidraic Column (e.g. The Children’s Homer, The Golden Fleece and the Heroes who lived before Achilles)

**The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)

*A Series of Unfortunate Events Series

Enid Blyton (here; e.g. Famous Seven, Famous Five, Barney Mysteries)

*Nick and Tesla

A bit harder

**Eva Ibbotson (e.g. Abominables, The Secret of Platform 13, Island of the Aunts, etc)

Jessica Day George (e.g. Tuesdays at the Castle, Dragon Slippers; cf. here)

**The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

**Miss Pickerell series (e.g. Goes to Mars,  Moon, Geiger, goes undersea)

**Penderwicks series

*Puzzling World of Winston Breen Series

*Blue Balliett books (e.g. *Chasing Vermeer, *The Wright 3, The Calder Game, Hold Fast, Out of the Wild Night)

Caroline Lawrence (Roman Mysteries Series)

A Problematic Paradox (Eliot Sappingfield)

*Sisters Grimm series) (Michael Buckley)

Nancy Drew

Trixie Beldon

Hardy Boys

Georgia Byng (e.g. *Molly Moon book series; cf. here)

Liesl Shurtliff (e.g. Rump, Jack, Red etc.)

Marvin and the Moths (Matthew Holm/Jonathan Follet )

Lucy&Stephen Hawking (George’s Secret Key Books)

Mark Kelly (e.g. Astrotwins Series)

Wendy Mass (e.g. The Candymakers; cf. here)

A bit harder

S. L. Engdahl (e.g. Enchantress from the Stars)

Louisa May Alcott (e.g. Little Women, Little Men, etc.)

Mark Twain (e.g. Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, etc.)

Jinx series (Sage Blackwood)

Gary Blackwood (e.g. *Mysterious Messages, Around the World in 100 Days)

John Claude Bemis (e.g. The Wooden Prince, Lord of Monsters)

Kate Milford (e.g. **Greenglass House; cf. here)

* The Phantom Tollbooth

Madeline L’Engle (e.g. **A Wrinkle in Time)

*The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland Series

Natalie Lloyd (e.g. *A Snicker of Magic, The Key to Extraordinary, *Problim Children)

George Hagen (Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle [there is also a sequel])

Colin Meloy (e.g. *Wildwood Chronicles; cf. here)

Karina Yan Glaser (e.g. *The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street)

*The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place

Adrienne Kress (e.g. Explorers Society series)

** Land of Stories Series

***Percy Jackson Series (cf. here)

**Henry H, Neff (e.g. The Tapestry Series; cf. here)

Trenton Lee Stewart (e.g. ****Mysterious Benedict Society Series, **Secret Keepers)

****Harry Potter series and related books

Tonke Dragt (e.g. The Letter for the King)

Robin Stevens (e.g. The Guggenheim Mystery)

Alan Cumyn (North to Benjamin)


If your child likes learning new words, we also recommend:

Vocabulary Cartoons: Elementary Edition