The beauty of a chapter book is it allows a child’s imagination to run wild, creating a unique vision of the author’s depiction and its characters. A series of books, or the continuation of the story they loved, hooks inquisitive minds who are invested in seeing their beloved characters through to the end.
As a mom of three very busy boys, finding books that reel them in for an extended period of time to read can be challenging. Not to mention, in an increasingly digital age, encouraging a child to invest in the written word feels both important and necessary. This guide lists some tried and true titles meant to inspire and delight your children as well.
For more recommendations, ask a librarian at the Johnson County Library for their expert guidance!
Best Chapter Book Series for Boys by Grade
Although boys are sure to love the humor, suspense, mystery, heart and adventure of these books, any reader is bound to connect with the compelling stories the authors bring to life!
Early Elementary Chapter Book Series (Kindergarten-2nd Grades)
Books within this category are meant to hook readers, inspiring them to reach for the next one in the series. Whether it be independent or reading aloud, relatable characters embarking on wacky adventures will have young ears and minds enthralled.
Here’s Hank Series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
For the kids with a funny bone, the main character, Hank, will take them through a series of relatable antics as he tries, and often fails, to save the day.
Nate the Great Series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
This 29 part series is perfect for the budding Sherlock Holmes in your family who loves to solve a good crime or mystery.
EllRay Jakes Series by Sally Warner
EllRay takes kids through the winding road of growing up, as he deals with friendship drama, bullies and attempting to stay out of trouble. He is relatable, smart and insightful.
Caveboy Dave Series by Aaron Reynolds and Phil McAndrew
A graphic novel is often a good way to hook reluctant readers to jump to the next stage of chapter books. This series is a great way to do so, as the author takes kids along as Caveboy Dave tries to earn the respect of his village.
Humphrey’s Really Wheely Racing Day by Betty G. Birney
For the youngest of readers, Humphrey the hamster will delight boys as the author describes all the funny adventures the classroom pet gets to experience.
Dragons in a Bag Series by Zetta Elliott
Fantasy enthusiasts will love Dragons in a Bag, as the main character and his friends must deliver precious cargo to a magical world.
My Weird School Series by Dan Gutman
Short, easy to read and filled with wackiness is what will keep your young reader moving from book to book in this series.
Middle Elementary Chapter Book Series (3rd-5th Grades)
The beauty of a series for this age is that children will bond and connect with beloved characters, inciting a desire to keep reading. As they grow so does their plot structure comprehension, fluency and confidence!
The Wild Robot Series by Peter Brown
This series features short but very compelling chapters, about a robot trying to survive on a wild island. She learns to adapt, but it is no easy feat.
I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis
Although the series is fiction, most of the settings take place during important times or events in history. Lauren Tarshis brings these events to life, by writing captivating stories of amazing kids and how they survived!
Planet Omar Series by Zanib Mian
A book about culture, tradition and personal identity, this book teaches empathy and acceptance. While navigating life at a new school and being labeled as different, Omar uses his imagination to deal with everyday challenges and make sense of the world.
The Endling Series by Katherine Applegate
From the author of the One and Only Ivan, The Endling is a MUST READ! Our family’s favorite set, that is perfect for individual or family read-aloud time together. It captivates audiences with a unique setting, one-of-a-kind animal characters and an action packed story.
Front Desk Series by Kelly Yang
This is a story of Chinese immigrants who arrive in America, but have anything but an easy transition or life. Mia, the main character runs the front desk of a motel for a cruel owner. With the help of a new friend, the motel “weeklies”, her parents and a lucky pencil she sets out for a better life. A beloved character with a heart of gold and a strong will makes this series an important read.
Ghost Series by Jason Reynolds
Sports loving boys will instantly be endeared to Ghost. A National Book Award Finalist, it is a story and set of characters children won’t soon forget.
Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan
Fans of books like Lord of the Rings and fantasy will love the dramatic scenes and complex relationships in this story.
Dog Man Series by Dav Pilkey
This series is all about humor. The point of reading it is to get kids hooked on the humor and encourage them to read for fun.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney
Another graphic novel that is easy to read and has somewhat relatable stories for kids who are about to enter middle school.
Middle School Chapter Book Series (Grades 6-8)
Oftentimes relatable stories of growing up captivate this age of reader. Even a character in a fantasy novel might be dealing with tricky friendships or the want to fit in. When reading becomes a chore due to homework, finding a series to keep them enthralled is a win for everyone.
Middle School by James Patterson
The title itself is relatable! Funny tales of the the main character, and his outlook on navigating these tricky years will have students reaching for the next book.
Theodore Boone by James Patterson
With the same intrigue as his adult legal thrillers, John Grisham perfectly pulls off young adult suspense thrillers as well! The twist and turns will keep everyone on the edge of their seat, racing to finish each book.
Holes Series by Louis Sachar
Holes is a fixture in middle school classrooms, and loved by teachers and students alike. What is not well-known is it’s actually a three part series!
Baseball Genius Homerun Series by Tim Green and Derek Jeter
Baseball legend Derek Jeter has co-written stories about a genius who can predict almost any play on the field, and finds himself playing for the Yankees! Sports fans will get a huge kick out of these books.
Brian’s Saga Series (Hatchet, Brian’s Winter and The River) by Gary Paulsen
Hatchet is a classic, but it is also part of a series. Boys will love following along for tales of wilderness, survival and perseverance.
The Last Kids on Earth Series by Max Brallier
For kids who still appreciate graphic novels, this is a step up from ones they read in Elementary school. A boy and his friends are the only kids left on earth and they must find new ways to fight the zombies who have overtaken the world. The story is shown through written text and black and white illustrations.
The Mysterious Benedict Society Series by Trenton Lee Stewart
Readers will help to solve puzzles as they follow four gifted orphans on a mission where only the most enlightened children can compete.
High School Chapter Book Series (Grades 9 -12)
Teenagers are bombarded with a litany of pressures. Reading for pleasure, especially long-form reading, competes with the compelling lure of social media, creating a space for relaxation and decompression from the instantaneous flashes of the internet.
Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
A New York Times bestseller, Divergent is a science-fiction adventure in post-apocalyptic Chicago centering around morality and choice. It is a conversation starter everyone can partake in after watching the movie based on the series!
March Series by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
For an easy, but important read, the graphic novel trilogy is an homage to the life and political work of late Congressman John Lewis. From his childhood to his role in Selma and the civil rights movement, it covers poignant parts of our history and Lewis’ life.
Carry On Series by Rainbow Rowell
A New York Times best seller, this series has hints of Harry Potter-like fantasy, while also addressing real-world teenage issues.
Heartstopper Series by Alice Oseman
A book on LGBTQ+, mental health and realistic depiction of teenage life melds together for a best selling graphic novel, turned Netflix show. The author covers tough topics in a heartwarming way.
Charlotte Holmes Series by Brittany Cavallaro
A mystery series for teens, the author takes readers along as a descendent of Sherlock Holmes and another of John Watson join forces to solve crimes.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn
In this book, a normal high schooler is left a fortune when a billionaire dies. The catch, however, is the teen must move in to the billionaire’s puzzle-filled house, where his family still lives in order to earn the money.
Maze Runner Series by Eric Carrasco
This five-part series follows teens stranded in a deadly world where they must attempt to uncover the mystery of the maze they’re trapped inside, while also working to find any clues about their own forgotten pasts. It is equal parts adventure and suspense.