6 Engaging Early Reader Books

These engaging titles are perfect for grabbing your growing bookworm's attention.

By Allison McDonald and Scholastic Parents Staff
Jul 18, 2019



early reader books

Jul 18, 2019

Early reader books are not always the most engaging books on your shelf. As parents, we’ve purchased them in huge packs from discount stores, only to have our kids blow through them and not want to pick them up again.

They were just too boring.

Writing a good early reader is an art. The words need to be simple, repetitive, and easy to decode, yet the story still has to grab the reader. That is why you see so many character-driven books and series for early readers. The stories are lacking, but the characters ensure that kids will pick them up. But will they pick them up again and again?

The books selected here achieve that important goal. For your new reader to really shine, they need practice. And if you can get a few readings (the more the better) out of the same book, your child will have a better chance of refining his or her skills. New readers want to read, and when we as parents provide them with engaging books, that desire to read will strengthen, along with their reading skills.

Explore more children's books by age, plus the best books for learning to read

Here's a countdown of six parent-popular books that won’t bore your early readers.

6. Nate the Great — Boy detective Nate solves many cases. In this book, he's on the hunt for his friend Annie's stolen painting. Simple language and declarative sentences make Nate sound like a hard-boiled detective, and also make this book ideal for early readers. Plus, mysteries put lots of important skills on display — like creative thinking, fact-gathering, and making observations — and make reading through to the end essential. (After all, you've got to complete the book to discover how Nate solves the case.)   
5. Clementine— Clementine, the chatty, spunky heroine of this illustrated chapter book, is not having a good day. Make that a good week. Your kids will be laughing along with the well-intentioned but rambunctious Clementine as she narrates her week's mishaps. We recommend this for fans of Junie B. Jones, Ramona, and other quirky female characters. 
4. Eerie Elementary: The End of Orson Eerie? — It may be an early reader, but it still has an absolutely captivating "eerie" factor to it. This exciting read combines all of the fun parts of spookiness (haunted houses, pumpkins, mad scientists, and a hayride maze) to entrance your beginner bookworm! When Eerie Elementary hosts a haunted house for the town's Eerie Day celebration, the hall monitors have to find a way to save the school and the rest of the town from mad scientist Orson Eerie, who has his own plans for the spine-tingling festivities. If your early reader loves this book, you'll definitely want to check out the rest of the Eerie Elementary books
3. The Last Firehawk: The Battle for Perodia — As part of Scholastic's early chapter book line, Branches, this story features easy-to-read text and a super high-interest plot! Tag, Skyla, and Blaze must call on their friends to help them fight against the mighty vulture Thorn, and his army of spies. Prepare for an epic battle and enchanting magic: In this book, Blaze will finally learn how to use the magical Ember Stone to face Thorn. 
2. I Spy Fly Guy — Buzz and Fly Guy like to play hide-and-seek, but when a garbage truck takes the garbage can Fly Guy is hiding in, Buzz must come to the rescue. This entry in the Fly Guy series will make your kids laugh, and the illustrations, while comical, also help the early reader by supporting the text beautifully. The words repeat often but do it well without feeling like constant repetition. And reading a chapter book (even if the actual chapters are brief) will give your child a boost of confidence. Once they're ready, here are timeless chapter books to stock your child's bookshelf with. 
1. Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls — It's impossible to think about early readers without mentioning the infamous Dog Man! Part dog, part human, and all hero, this fur-ocious character has turned countless children into voracious readers with his action-packed antics and hilarious moments. In this newest installment of the Dog Man series, which is available for pre-order now and will be released August 13, The Supa Buddies help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn into fears, an all-new supervillain makes Dog Man his target! The graphic novel style of this book will help early readers build their skills in a nonintimidating way, and is helpful for overal reading comprehension
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