Blogger Jennifer Schultz

Get Them Hooked: Chapter Book Series for New Readers

Do you remember what it was like to finally be able to read a book with chapters (or when your child/niece/best friend’s child did so)? It’s such a big deal. HUGE. However, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed at this stage. Mercy Watson and Cam Jansen remain popular with young readers, but here are some of my more recent addition to the easy chapter book crowd:

izzy barr

(image taken from Macmillan website)

Claudia Mills’s latest chapter book series, Franklin School Friends, is a winner; one of her best, in my opinion. Each title in the Franklin School Friends series features a child with a special talent, beginning with Kelsey Green (reading), then Annika Riz (math), and lately, Izzy Barr (running). The value of each ability is celebrated without being didactic or too obvious. Simon Ellis (spelling) and Cody Harmon (pets) will join the Friends later this year.


(image taken from Simon & Schuster website)

Galaxy Zack is sheer fun for young science fiction fans. Despite the fact that Zack lives on another planet, he experiences things that every young earthling will recognize (moving to a new place, making new friends, etc).


(image taken from Lin Oliver’s website)

If the Hank Zipzer series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver is popular, you will definitely want to get Here’s Hank for your collection. Here’s Hank follows Hank throughout the ups and downs of second grade. While Hank appeals to many readers, struggling or reluctant readers will definitely identify with Hank.


(image taken from Scholastic website)

Shelter Pet Squad is a very new series by Cynthia Lord (the second addition will be released this fall). Featuring a group of animal-loving friends who volunteer at the animal shelter, this delightful and realistic series has already gained many fans impatient for its continuing adventures. While the tone is upbeat, more serious touches of everyday life make the storyline authentic (Suzannah lives in an apartment that forbids animals and a beloved animal is tearfully surrendered when its young owner moves overseas).

What recent series have caught your (and your patrons’) attention? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Renee Perron

    I have a 2nd grader at my library who loves to read but often struggles with reading because he has dyslexia. He LOVES the Here’s Hank series! His mom was the one who first told me about the series and that the books are written in a special font called dyslexie, which is supposed to make it easier to read for anyone with dyslexia. I ordered them for the library and when they came it, I showed the boy that we now have them at the library. And even though he owns all the books at home, he looked in awe and hugged the new library books I showed him. And he even picked out which book in the Here’s Hank series he would like our Book Club for Kids group at the library to read. It is great to see him smile, share his love for the series with the other kids, and gain some confidence as a reader!

  2. Leslie Guhl

    I would suggest The Critter Club by Callie Barkley, and Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows.

  3. Sue Foote

    Thank you for this list. It’s just what I needed to refresh the beginning chapter book section at my elementary school. The Bailey School Kids, A to Z Mysteries, and Polk Street Kids are gathering dust. Ivy and Bean and the Magic Tree House are the series that are most frequently checked out, but I need a wider selection.

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