Early Chapter Books for First Grade

For kids, moving into the world of early chapter books is kind of a rite of passage. They feel they have been initiated into the world of big-kid readers. When they find that they are able to understand a longer book, it sends them the message, You can read big books. They are not too hard for you. You are smart. Chapter books are a great confidence-builder.

The early chapter books listed here range from very easy readers to longer books with somewhat harder vocabulary. They have short sentences, are easy to read, and have lots of pictures. The books below are listed roughly in order of difficulty, starting with the easiest.

  • Fly Guy, by Tedd Arnold. Fly Guy A young boy named Buzz had a pet fly. No one knows why he had a pet fly. He named him Fly Guy. Every wonder what it would be like to have a pet fly? Kids join a little boy named Buzz in his pet fly adventures in this refreshingly simple chapter book.
  • Mr. Putter and Tabby, Mr. Putter and Tabby by Arthur Howard.
    "Zeke is not a dream dog," Mr Putter said to Tabby. "Zeke is a nightmare!" Mr. Putter is an old guy who lives peacefully with his cat Tabby. But when he offers to watch a neighbor's dog, things go crazy! All the Mr. Putter and Tabby books have great illustrations and fun stories.
  • Days With Frog and Toad, Days With Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel.
    Toad woke up. 'Drat!' he said. 'This house is a mess...' Toad pulled the covers over his head. 'I will do it tomorrow,' said Toad. The adventures of Frog and Toad are familiar and endearing.
  • Young Cam Jansen, by David Adler, Susanna Natti.
    Young Cam Jansen 'Gobble gobble,' Cam Jansen said. She held up her turkey stick-puppet. Each Cam Jansen book is a mystery, and readers are invited to help solve it. The pictures not only help kids with the reading, but they also give important clues for solving the mystery. Each book finishes up with a memory game.
  • Roscoe Riley Rules, by Katherine Applegate. Roscoe Riley Rules How was I supposed to know you shouldn't glue people to chairs? With Super-Mega-Gonzo glue? You've done that, haven't you? Oh. Never? Oh. When you're a kid there are just too many rules. Roscoe Riley is the bad boy you can't help but love.
  • Junie B. Jones, by Barbara Park. Junie B. Jones I like that story a real lot. 'Cause guess why? I didn't even make it up, that's why! Junie B's rambunctious and playful self comes through loud and clear in these whimsical stories, told in authentic kid voice. From kindergarten fears of a monster under the bed, through first grade and later school mishaps, kids will recognize themselves in these pages. Perfect for more accomplished first grade readers or for reading aloud.
  • Horrid Henry, by Francesca Simon. Horrid Henry Henry is a stinker. A brat. A troublemaker. He's the bad kid we can't help but love, and kids love to read about his endless pranks (it's so satisfying to read about other kids getting in trouble)! These funny books will keep kids coming back for more.

Along with the early chapter books listed above, there are several series of easy readers that progress from easy to read books to beginning chapter books. Many of these include favorite characters, and there is a tremendous variety of styles and topics. You can click on the links below to find out more; for chapter books, look for levels 3 or higher.

For more information about any of these early chapter books, or to buy them online, just click on its link or its picture. You will be taken to the Book Depository, where purchases are easy and shipping is always free. Find out more about the Book Depository.)

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Magic Treehouse series 
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“ If we would listen to our kids, we'd discover that they are largely self-explanatory. ”
~Robert Brault