Se7en of the Best Bazillion Chapter Books – A Book Bonanza!!!

Well after writing about books for the last couple of weeks…

I thought I would whip up a list of chapter books that we love. Well it is harder to do than you might think. Turns out that there are so many books that we love… we wanted to choose books that we literally couldn’t put down once we had started. We have carefully chosen chapter books ranging from beginner chapter books as well as chapter books for older kids, ones that are great for reading aloud and savoring, as well as ones that have to be read alone at maximum speed just to inhale the story fast enough!!! These books are all unputdownable to some, if not all members of our family… enjoy the feast… A banquet of books to fill the tank of the avid reader…

    "My Family And Other Animals" (Gerald Durrell)

  1. Se7en of the Best Animal Stories:
    1. The Best of Olga Da Polga by Michael Bond: These books are just lovely, must reads. The sweet story of the life and times of a guinea pig called Olga Da Polga.
    2. The Ralph Mouse Collection by Beverly Cleary: My beginner readers have all loved and adored Beverly Cleary.
    3. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien: This is the story of a widowed mouse with a sick son, she turns to the rats of Nimh for help. Some hair-raising adventures ensue!!!
    4. The Nine Lives of Aristotle by Dick King-Smith: Really anything by Dick King Smith is totally brilliant.
    5. Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight: This is the story of Joe and his dog Lassie who become separated when Joe’s family can no longer afford to look after the dog and it is sold to a duke in distant Scotland. the courageous dogs escapes many less than honorable humans as it bravely crosses miles and miles to return to it’s rightful owner… gripping, sad, and eventually wonderful!!!
    6. Watership Down: A Novel by Richard Adams: This is a story of a warren of rabbits that are threatened by developers and they decide to move away… and their bravery and courageous and and the trials make for some really compelling reading.
    7. The Story of Doctor Dolittle Hugh Lofting: I had to include this and the rest of the series, my Dad read these to me when I was a kid, what can I say … great memories of the good doctor rescuing animals and getting into all sorts of scrapes while he was at it.

    "Hobbit" (J R R Tolkien)

  2. Se7en of the Best Fantasy Stories:
    1. The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi : Stories from a whimsical world filled with goblins and elves…dwarves and trolls… the list goes on and the adventures are high!!! three children living in an old house discover the lives literally turned upside down by the hidden “creatures” that lie between the pages of the book.
    2. A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket and Brett Helquist: My guys simply loved and adored Lemony Snicket and all that the Unfortunate Events had to offer.
    3. The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques: This is the saga of some peace loving mice that live in the medieval world of Redwall Abbey. Of course their peace is not permanent and the series consists of “horrific deeds” and “terrifying villains” all thwarted and overcome by sheer bravery and honest decency!!! My guys would not put these down and have read them again and again and again.
    4. The Series of the Unicorn’s Secret by Kathleen Duey This is the first in an easy chapter book series that my kids quite literally inhaled. It is the story of orphaned Heart and her quest to find her roots… The descriptions are beautiful, this is the book filled with everything that you want to read about!!!
    5. The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke. A compelling series where the line between reality and the book is crossed time and time again… if you don’t bite your nails you will after reading this!!!
    6. The Children of Green Knowe by L. M. Boston I loved these books as a kid… I still want to go and live at Green Knowe.
    7. The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper: This set of five books makes my list of all time favorite books – I lived these books as a child, quite convinced I lived in them. They are set in Cornwall and Wales and may well be why I think those spots are quite the most beautiful on the world.

    7 Books in 1: The Railway Children, Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Story of the Amulet, The Story of the Treasure-Seekers, The Would-Be-Goods, and The Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit

  3. Se7en of the Best Classic Stories:
    1. The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley:This was my favorite classic books as a kid, I read it and read it and read it… convinced that I could see water babies floating in the river that flowed through the neighbors garden.
    2. Mary Poppins by Dr. P. L. Travers: This is such a family favorite that I could probably read it in my sleep.
    3. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: You may be forgiven for thinking this was an animal story… it isn’t these animals are true to life and have the caricature personalities of many people that you already know!!!
    4. Peter Pan (100th Anniversary Edition) by J. M. Barrie: Flying, pirates, fairies and high adventure… what’s not to love!!!
    5. The Sword and the Stone by T. H. White: Is a delightful romp through medieval England. Arthur known as Wart discovers Merlin. Magician Merlin turns wart into a number of different animals as he learns a number of life lessons preparing him to be the king.
    6. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire: Because everybody loves Greek Myths and these ones are simply the best!!!
    7. The Dutch Twins Lucy Fitch Perkins: These are not your typical classics but they certainly are old enough to be classics… Part of a series of twins from around the world and their life and times… I totally loved these as a kid!!!

    The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, … Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside) by L.M. Montgomery

  4. Se7en of the Best Family Stories:
    1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: Everybody needs to read this book in their life it is just too good to miss.
    2. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner: THis is part of a series, and one of the first chapter books that my children read… and it inspires them to play and play and play!!!
    3. The Family from One End Street: And Some of Their Adventures by Eve Garnett: Eve Garnett is one of our favorite authors, Her books have a sweet ring to them!!!
    4. The Moffats by Eleanor Estes: There are a couple of books in this series and you have to love the Moffats!!! Just a regular family that does slightly irregular things and we love them!!!
    5. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild: There is a series of “shoe books and all of them lovely… these are books you just want to read!!!
    6. All About the Bullerby Children by Astrid Lindgren: We love these books so much that we read them out loud every school holidays!!! Seriously the whole series!!! Love the lot of them.
    7. Tales of Magic Set by Edward Eager: The story of an ordinary family that has extraordinary things happen to it!!! Four children discover a magic charm, but it is old and tired and only produces half of its wishes!!!

    "Amazing Story Of Adolphus Tips" (Michael Morpurgo)

  5. Se7en of the Best War Stories:
    1. The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum: Two young boys living in occupied Holland during World War II use their windmall to send signals to the Dutch resistance. The fear and hunger and the suffering of everyday war life is right there and you can’t help but be taken back in time.
    2. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: Grab the tissues…this is a great read!!! The story of two boys who are best friends on either side of a fence… one a Jewish inmate at Auschwitz and the other the son of the Nazi camp commandant.
    3. Victory by Susan Cooper Actually anything by Susan Cooper is hard to put down!!! Here is a trip through time to the Battle of Trafalger.
    4. The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill: This book is a true story of escape from a World War Two camp, by digging out a tunnel.
    5. Biggles’ Big Adventures by Capt. W. E. Johns: I read these when I was a kid, my kids have read them… they are those kind of books… just about everyone has read the stories of flying ace, James Bigglesworth as he travels the world at the time of the world wars.
    6. I Am David by Anne Holm: This is the story of the epic journey of David who for some inesplicable reason is able to escape from his concentration camp and travel across Europe… It is more than his journey across Europe, it is a journey through life.
    7. The Upstairs Room (Trophy Newbery) by Johanna Reiss: The story of two Jewish sisters who hide in a room upstairs of a family in Holland during World War ii, you get to peek into their lives and the long hours of nothing to do. literally whiling away months with nothing to do.

    "Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior" (Chris Bradford)

  6. Se7en of the Best Adventure Stories:
    1. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome: My father read this entire series to me when I was a kid and I still love them and could read them again and again and again!!! No parents in sight, just a couple of kids holidaying in the Lake District. Camping and exploring and sleeping in the great outdoors!!!
    2. Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer My kids love Eoin Colfer, they were lucky enough to meet him at a book signing and that just sealed his books into their heart!!! Fletcher Moon is a 12 year old detective of mazing skill!!!
    3. Stormbreaker, in fact the entire Alex Rider Adventure Series by Anthony Horowitz: Here’s another author my guys have met!!! And they love Alex Rider!!! One of my boys thinks he is Alex Rider!!!
    4. The Indian in the Cupboard Trilogy by Lynne Reid Banks: The plastic Indian toy turns out to not to be quite the most boring birthday gift that Omri thought it was!!! In fact when his Indian comes alive the whole world becomes quite a different place to the one he is used to!!!
    5. Amazon and South Sea Adventures (The Adventure Series) by Willard Price: This is a series about Hal and Roger Hunt as they follow their zoologist father around the world. Inevitably the boys are left to their own devices and numerous incidents and adventures leave you dying to read more!!! These books are filled with wild life tit bits and any young naturalist will be intrigued.
    6. Operation Red Jericho of The Guild of Specialists Series by Joshua Mowll: Just the presentation of this book is enough to intrigue… packed with maps and envelopes and secret letters… Oh my goodness!!!
    7. Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan: Oh this series is set between modern times and Ancient Greek Mythology… if you are looking for high adventure then look no further.

    "Around the World in Eighty Days (Signet Classics)" (Jules Verne)

  7. Se7en of the Best History Stories:
    1. Theras and His Town by Caroline Dale Snedeker: This story is set in the Ancient World at the time of clashes between the Athenians and the Spartans. I read this book as a child and as a result I slept on the floor for weeks… trying to be a super strong Spartan.
    2. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy: This is the story of Sir Percy Blakeney as he tries to help the French aristocracy to escape the guillotine during the French Revolution. It is packed with suspense and in places hysterically funny. Read it!!!
    3. Detectives in Togas and Mystery of the Roman Ransom by Henry Winterfeld: These books are a pair of mysteries set in Roman times – lots to learn and lots of creepy intrigue, we loved them!!!
    4. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green: This is an epic of note!!! It uses folklore and turns the fifth century English history into a world you can simply step into… the chaos of conflict and family intrigue is quelled by Arthur when he becomes king and establishes the knights of the round table.
    5. Pagan’s Crusade: Book One of the Pagan Chronicles by Catherine Jinks: The Pagan Chronicles tell the story of a street child, Pagan, in Jerusalem at the time of the Crusades. He is employed by a Temlplar, Roland, as his squire and their two very different personalities squirm their way through the saga. Roland tries to teach Pagan about war and Pagan tries to teach Roland how to be streetwise… a great step back in time.
    6. Children on the Oregon Trail by A.Rutgers Van Der Loeff: This is a story, set in the mid 1800’s, of a family of se7en children who are traveling through the hostile north western United States when their parents die, the children are left to fend for themselves. The eldest John, leads them on their way through the most incredible hardships… they are “helped” by Indian Guides en-route but eventually they are forced to go it alone… and yes they make it but you will be biting your nails all the way.
    7. The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff: “Warrior Scarlet”, “Mark of the Horse Lord” and “Knight’s Fee” Anything by Rosemary Sutcliffe is brilliant… high adventure, living characters and packed with historical fact. My history whizz loves her books!!!

    "Black Beauty (Puffin Classics)" (Anna Sewell)

  8. Se7en of the Best Horse Stories:
    1. My Friend Flicka by Mary O’hara: This is the first in a trilogy and the story of a boy Ken and his horse Flicka as they grow up together on a ranch in Wyoming… you have to read them!!!
    2. I Am The Great Horse by Katherine Roberts: This is the story of Alexander the Great seen through the eyes of his famous horse, Bucephalas. This book is tricky in places, but my older boys loved it.
    3. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley: Oh this is the start of a great “un-putdownable”series…
    4. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry: Even if you aren’t horse mad this series is a must read… the free spirits in this book and the excitement of penning day are more than enough to have you coming back for more.
    5. National Velvet by Enid Bagnold: One of the greatest horse stories ever written. The story of Velvet Brown and the love for her horse. She will not be contained by the societies norm of the day that young ladies don’t race horses, especially not in the Grand National. Velvet finds a way and you can’t help catching her invincible spirit.
    6. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo: I have said it before and I will say it again… read everything you can by this man – he is so good. You will cry his books are moving in the extreme and you will live the moment through them… This is the story of Joey a farm horse, who leaves the love of his life Albert, the farmers son… and is thrust into the frontline of battle during World War I, told by the horse you will see a picture of war first hand. You will not be able to put this one down.
    7. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand: Forget the movie, just read the book. A story of the underdog triumphing… A horse who really should never have “made it” but was showered with love and affection and managed to out perform anybodies expectations of him!!!

    "Old Grandfather Mantis" (Jenny Seed)

  9. Se7en of the Best South African Authors for Kids:
    1. Old Grandfather Mantis by Jenny Seed Anything by Jenny Seed is great, historical fiction for kids!!!
    2. Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales (Aesop Accolades (Awards)) by W. W. Norton & Company: These are not sweet fairy tales!!! But my kids love them!!!
    3. Famous South African Folk Tales by Pieter Grobbelaar (Human & Rosseau) All South African Children should read this book – everything they need to know!!!
    4. The Diary of Iris Vaughan by Iris Vaughan: This has to be my favorite South african book ever… My teacher read it to our class when I was in Primary school and I remember rolling out of my desk onto the floor laughing!!! It is the story of a young girl during the Boer War, who writes everything down in a ledger that her father, the town magistrate has given her… to prevent her for telling the truth to their guests he tells her to write the truth in her journal… she has so much truth to write about and it includes lots of South Africanisms.
    5. African Animal Tales by Jay Heale: These Animal Tales are great and we have used them time and time again for school and art projects.
    6. When Bat Was A Bird by Nick Greaves: More animal stories, I know, but we seem to read heaps of South African animal stories!!!
    7. Fynbos Fairies by Antjie Krog: This book is just delightful… Each type of Fynbos (indigenous Cape plant) has it’s own special fairy associated with it. The drawings are true botanical drawings with very busy fairies amongst them. Lovely.

    "Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye (Geronimo Stilton, No. 1)" (Geronimo Stilton)

  10. Se7en of the Best Character Stories:
    1. The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook by Joyce Lankester Brisley: For anyone dreaming of life in the English countryside – then these sweet stories are for you.
    2. My Naughty Little Sister: A Treasury Collection by Dorothy Edwards: These books are about ordinary everyday life and they are darling… Well anything illustrated by Shirley Hughes is going to be wonderful.
    3. The Flat Stanley Series by Jeff Brown: This is another great beginner chapter book series that my kids have loved.
    4. Just William by Richmal Crompton: William is one of those boys that can’t help himself and always ends up knee deep in pranks that have to be “resolved.”
    5. Clarice Bean: The Utterly Complete Collection by Lauren Child: If you haven’t read Clarice Bean then you haven’t lived her dry sense of humor that will have you in stitches.
    6. Mrs. Pepperpot Stories by Alf Proysen: Mrs Pepperpot has the spontaneous habit of shrinking in size – these stories are so sweet and always have a twist in their tail.
    7. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren:Everyone needs the nutty Pippi Longstocking to lighten their day!!!

    Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

  11. Se7en of the Best Mystery Books:
    1. Cairo Jim on the Trail to Chacha Muchos by Geoffrey McSkimming: Cairo Jim is really Tintin in a chapter book… as he travels the world and solves mysteries.
    2. S.T.O.R.M. – The Infinity Code by E. L. Young: E.L. Young is a journalist for New Scientist and let’s just say if you are into gadgets then these are for you… packed with science and technology…
    3. Spy Mice by Heather Vogel Frederick: These mice are part of a series and they are on a quest to rid the world of scheming rats… brilliant bond like stories for juniors.
    4. Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner: Just thought I would toss in a classic!!! Who didn’t love the story of Emil, whose money, that was pinned in his hat, disappears at the same time that the man in the bowler hat disappears while he takes a nap on a train ride. And of course… the mystery is on…
    5. Arsene Lupin by Maurice LeBlanc and Edgar Jepson: Another classic… my oldest has just discovered Arsene Lupin… he is a wonderfully crafty gentleman thief… set a thief to catch a thief and all that!!!
    6. Nancy Drew Mystery Stories : The Secret of The Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene: Who doesn’t love this spunky detective. All sorts of adventures discover her, sleuthing and solving crimes seem to be around every corner!!!
    7. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin: My older boys insisted that I include this book!!! Sixteen folk gather to hear the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will and he appears to play one last trick on the listeners. You need to pay attention to every single detail as you read… amazing mystery!!!

    "Collection of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories" (Rudyard Kipling)

  12. Se7en of the Best Story Collections: These story collections need no introduction… they are simply the best…
    1. "Stories from Shakespeare" (Anna Claybourne)
    2. "Puffin Treasury of Classics " (Puffin Books)
    3. "Around the World in 80 Tales" (Saviour Pirotta)
    4. "Roald Dahl Treasury" (Roald Dahl)
    5. "The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh" (A. A. Milne)
    6. "The Hutchinson Treasury of Children’s Literature" (Alison, Editor. Foreword By Quentin Blake Sage)
    7. "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Complete Collection" (C. S. Lewis)

That’s enough already!!! Hope you enjoy them all… I tried to cover all the categories you all requested when I asked for ideas a couple of weeks back. We especially tried not to use too many books from the Sonlight Catalog, because you know we shop there for the best books and we figured you could go there and choose your own. We also left off quite a few greats – Enid Blyton being one of our favorites where there are just too many to choose from!!! Also we could think of hundreds more and don’t get us started on picture books!!! This will have to do for now – hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend of reading.

43 Replies to “Se7en of the Best Bazillion Chapter Books – A Book Bonanza!!!”

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and LOVE it!

    I wanted to mention a chapter book series you guys might like – The Mysterious Benedict Society. It’s the story of 4 gifted kids who go on a secret mission to stop an evil mastermind’s plot. There’s 3 books in the series, and my two boys have loved them.

  2. Hay Karen M… Glad you liked it!!! We had a lot of fun putting it together… memory lane and all that!!! Hope you have a great weekend!!!

  3. Hi Carolyn, Love meeting readers that are loving our blog!!! No we have have not met the Benedict society – thanks for the tip, they look great!!! Hope you all have a fun weekend!!!

  4. Awesome awesome list! Many confirmations that we are reading great stuff already and loads of newbies to look for at the library! Very exciting!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  5. Oh Taryn… I am glad you like it!!! This post took years off my life as so many books were hotly debated (!!!) and then what about all those books that didn’t make it and what about all the other categories that we could have included and what about… and what about… And boy do my kids have heaps of books under their belts and they have an opinion about every single one of them!!! It was fun thanks for asking me about what we read!!! Hope you have a great weekend!!!

  6. Oh this is just heaven! I cannot even imagine all the work you all did to make your lists, but thank you so much! Lots and lots of new ideas for books, some that we have read or plan to read, and then some that I have wondered if they were worthwhile or not. Thanks again all the way from Texas!

  7. wow – this is an amazing resource! thanks for all your hard work so we can all enter exciting unexplored literary worlds. looking forward to many years of reading.

  8. What a fantastic list!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all the time and work and insight! This post is PRICELESS! I am looking forward to using this reference for my own boys as they grow!

  9. Amazing list! Lots of memories for me – BUllerby Children being the main one that I had forgotten … but I’m also pleased that you didn’t utterly forget Enid Blyton!!!

  10. Hay FloridaMom2Se7en… My replies seem to be being eaten up by the internet today!!! So glad you liked the list!!! We had a lot of fun plotting and planning it!!!

  11. Hay Kimberly, All the way in Texas… so glad we could inspire you with our list!!! Hope you are having a brilliant weekend!!!

  12. Hay Deb… Glad you like it!!! Hope it gets read all over the blogosphere!!! We had such fun picking and choosing categories and books!!! Hope you have a great weekend!!!

  13. Denise, I am so glad you liked our list!!! Really glad!!! I know a couple of books have been slipped under the covers and are being re-read tonight as my kids have been reminded of them!!! Have a great day!!!

  14. Oh Cilla I could never ever leave off Enid Blyton… I think we could make a list this long just of her books … The adventure series, the mystery series, Mallory Towers… I will stop but I needn’t!!! Frankly I don’t think I would read at all of it wasn’t for Enid Blyton!!! And Little Lotta from the Bullerby’s is so like my three year old it is just not funny!!! Hope you have a fun weekend!!!

  15. Really appreciate how long this post must have taken to put together. We are building up a list of books to read, at the moment, so I am totally lifting some from you list! Some old favourites and some I now want to look at. Thank you for this list.

  16. Hay Cheryl… This post was sheer madness – it grew and grew – it would not stop!!!! Lift away I hope you find some favorites in there!!! Lots of love and have a great weekend!!!

  17. Cool book list. It makes me just want to read and read…… By the way, another suggestion is The Ranger’s Apprentice series. Have you read any of it? It’s adventure set in the middle ages and my kids are LOVING it. 🙂

  18. Hi LindaOz… It makes me want to read and read myself!!! My guys have enjoyed some of the Ranger’s Apprentice but couldn’t get the whole series from the library… they are chomping at the bit for it to be in!!! Hope you have a brilliant week!!!

  19. Wow, this is fabulous!! My kindergartner is reading only a little so far, but he loves to hear us read aloud and always has two chapter books going–one with each parent. Thanks for the ideas! Here are some of our favorite chapter books–I need to write a sequel to that list. We just started with Enid Blyton’s books; he is loving them, and I’m having fun reading them again!

  20. Hi Becca, Glad you liked the post… And thanks for the ideas, I just love book ideas… Have a great day!!!

  21. As we are just going into summer, I just cut and pasted this book list for my kiddos to refer to. Thanks so much. I know that these blogs take a lot of time to write, so a huge thank you.!!!

  22. Hi Whit’s End Mum!!! So good to hear someone is using our resource… we are headed into winter over here and so wish it was summer!!! Hope you enjoy heaps of good reading and lots of lazy days over the coming weeks… Have a great summer!!!

  23. This list is amazing! I am in awe of how much reading you and the kids must manage daily!! I am looking for a really good Afrikaans beginner reader set for children ( to help my kids with Afrikaans as a second language at school). Any recommendations?

  24. Oh Nita… How do I answer this one… except to say that my children learn a smattering of Afrikaans and Xhosa for school and it is all oral. True confession time!!! So I do not know of any easy Afrikaans readers, other than to say that our library is packed with a section of beginner reading books and they seem to buy the series… and we take out heaps of them. For almost every English series there is an equivalent Afrikaans series and right now the Usborne Easy readers are extremely popular in our house… with varying degrees of difficulty, ranging from super easy to short chapters… In our defense they all attend French school when they get to high school, and do speak another language well!!! Hope that helps even slightly!!!

  25. Thanks Marcia, we had such fun putting that post together, you have no idea!!! So glad you enjoyed it and hope you have a great week!!!

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