The Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Best First Chapter Books

Cute child, boy, reading a book at home, happy to learn

A child’s first exploration of chapter books is exciting. However, you need to make sure that the chapter books they are reading hold their attention and foster their love for reading. Going from picture books with simple words to books that have longer chapters, more words on the page and fewer pictures can be a little overwhelming. In this list, we will present you with a few of the best first chapter books available. From fantasy to mystery and adventure, kids are sure to be intrigued. These boxed sets of books are excellent for encouraging your child’s love of reading and keeping them excited for the next book.

Fast-Paced

Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book Box Set: Books 1-4 (Paperback)


List Price: $23.96 USD
New From: $16.76 USD In Stock
Used from: $7.77 USD In Stock

“Amelia Bedelia” and her exploits have been beloved by children for years. This chapter book box set contains books one through four and will delight a child who is reading chapter books for the first time. The chapters are short and full of adventure, fun and friends on every page. The books include black-and-white illustrations that make them even more fun for a beginning reader. This set is recommended for children from ages 6 to 10.

Best Fantasy

The Never Girls Collection #1 (Disney: The Never Girls) (Paperback)


List Price: $23.96 USD
New From: $14.92 USD In Stock
Used from: $13.97 USD In Stock

“The Never Girls” collection gives readers books one through four and whisks first-time chapter book readers off to Neverland for a fantasy adventure. In the story, four friends have their wish granted as they are transported to Neverland, which is full of fairies and much more. Children will love going on adventures together with Tinkerbell and her friends and meeting a cast of varied characters. This is the perfect set to take a beginning reader to the next level and foster their love for reading. This set is recommended for children ages 6 to 9.

The perfect series for transitioning into chapter books, the “Magic Tree House” series combines excitement and history inside each chapter. This book set includes the first four books in the series and will delight children as they go on adventure after adventure through history with Jack and Annie. This series is recommended for 8- to 9-year-olds.

Best Fun

Junie B. Jones’s First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)


List Price: $19.96 USD
New From: $9.98 USD In Stock
Used from: $4.22 USD In Stock

The “Junie B. Jones’s First Boxed Set Ever” follows Junie B. Jones through her comical first years in school. This boxed set features books one to four and will have beginning chapter readers laughing out loud as they read. This is a number one New York Times Bestselling chapter book series that delivers in comedy and enjoyment. Children will love following along as Junie B. gets up to more and more shenanigans as the books progress. This is the perfect series for a 6- to 9-year-old’s first foray into chapter books.

Best Imagination

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish Boxed Set: (My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish; The Seaquel; Fins of Fury) (Paperback)


List Price: $20.97 USD
New From: $13.65 USD In Stock
Used from: $8.65 USD In Stock

The “My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish” series follows Tom and his brother, an evil scientist, along on their adventures. Tom and his zombie goldfish, which he brought back to life with a battery, work hard throughout the books to thwart the plans of his evil big brother. This box set is a funny pick for first-time chapter readers ages 7 to 10 to dive into.

Expert Commentary

“The transition from children’s storybooks to chapter books is critical for parents of young readers. Finding the right, age-appropriate chapter book that excites your child can place them on a path of a lifetime of reading. When you are not familiar with a book series, I suggest reading ahead of your child to ensure all material is both age- and ability-level-appropriate.”

Our Expert Consultant

Emily Watts

Emily Watts is a mother of three (she has two adopted children and one foster child). She also is a licensed teacher with experience educating children in complex life situations. Emily has over seven years of experience in alternative education. She is passionate about children and specializes in helping those who may need a little extra attention or special care.