Books For Early Advanced Readers

Please share books that may appeal to children who are reading ahead of their chronological age, with content that is appropriate for younger readers.  (To add another line to the table, just put your cursor in the last box and hit tab. To add in the middle right click.)


I’ve chosen to use Lexile because that seems to be a better measure of difficulty than grade level. If you’re interested, here’s a conversion chart for Lexile-Grade Level.  3rd grade is about 600-730 for reference.


Author Title(s) Description Lexile Age Range Suspense? Violence? Mature themes?
Adler, David Cam Jansen Series A girl with a photographic memory solves mysteries with the help of her friend, Eric. A good first series for kids ready to tackle chapter books. ~320-450 age 4-7 Mild None No
American Girl Various Series about girls in various periods of American history.  600-750 age 6-9 None None No, but note connection to dolls and cross-marketing
Atwater, Richard & Florence Mr. Popper’s Penguins An underemployed housepainter with dreams of adventure, receives a gift of a penguin from Admiral Drake. The first penguin is joined by a second, and then a whole family of penguins has adventures in the Popper’s house. 910 age 5-10 None None No
Baglio, Ben Animal Ark Series Series centered around a vet clinic — the daughter of the vets and her best friend, James, have adventures rescuing and caring for animals.  ~650-720 age 5-10 Mild None No
Baker, E. D. The Wide-Awake Princess A different take in the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale; kids who love princess stories might enjoy this one: Annie, Sleeping Beauty’s younger sister, can’t be touched by magic and remains awake when everyone else in the castle falls asleep. It’s up to Annie to find a way to save her sister. 890 age 10 and up Mild Mild One prince is suggested to be a drunk. Rupunzel had more than once prince coming to call.
Barrows, Annie Ivy & Bean, Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go, Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record, Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter, Ivy and Bean: Bound to Be Bad, Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance, Ivy and Bean: What’s the Big Idea?, Ivy and Bean: No News Is Good News Stories about two girls who are very different, and yet good friends. 519-580 age 5-7 None-Very Mild None No
Baum, L. Frank The Wonderful Wizard of Oz The book upon which the famous movie was based. 1000 8-12 Moderate Mild No
Birney, Betty The World According To Humphrey, Friendship According To Humphrey, Trouble According To Humphrey, Surprises According To Humphrey, Adventure According To Humphrey, Summer According To Humphrey The tales of a classroom hamster, told from the point of the view of the hamster. Humphrey begins to understand both the world and the people in it, and sometimes steps in to help his human friends. Not gender specific. 670-730 age 5-9 None – Very Mild None No
Bond, Michael A Bear Called Paddington, More About Paddington, Paddington Helps Out, Paddington Abroad, Paddington at Large, Paddington Marches On, Paddington at Work, Paddington Goes to Town, Paddington Takes the Air, Paddington on Top, Paddington Takes the Test Classic stories about a stowaway bear who goes to live with a family in London. Cute, gentle stories. May be harder for some younger US readers because of cultural differences between US and UK. 750-1150 age 5-11 Very mild None No
Broach, Elise Masterpiece Marvin the beelte shows an amazing talent for drawing, which is attributed to his human friend, James. Together the two of them help solve the myster of missing Dürer paintings at the art museum. 700 age 8-10 Mild None No
Brock, Betty No Flying in the House The story of a girl who discovers she’s a fairy. 710 age 7-10 Mild None No
Burnett, Francis Hodgson The Secret Garden A girl arrives at her uncle’s house after her parents die in the Indian Mutiny to uncover a secret garden and a sick cousin who grows better through the garden 970 age 7-10 Mild None Death of parents
Caudill, Rebecca Did you Carry the Flag Today, Charlie? The adventures of a young applachian boy’s first experiences with school. 640 age 5-8 Mild None No
Cleary, Beverly Ramona series, Henry Huggins series Ramona and Henry stores are stories about kids growing up during the 1950s — family ‘drama’, funny scrapes that the kids get into and have to get out of. ~600-850 age 5-10 None None No
Cleary, Beverly The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph, Ralph S. Mouse 3 stories about a mouse who lives in a hotel and can talk to the boy who lives there. Gentle, cute stories. 850-890 age 5-10 Mild None No
Dahl, Roald Charlie & the Chocolate Factory & Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator A poor boy gets a chance to tour the mysterious chocolate factory in town. 720-810 age 8-12 Mild Mild Poverty, greed (but mild)
Dahl, Roald James & the Giant Peach, Matilda, George’s Marvelous Medicine, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Witches and more Stories of misfits and odditiesd having adventures and overcoming difficulties 720-900ish age 8-12 Mild Mild No
DiCamillo, Kate Mercy Watson books (6+) Stories of a the adventures of a pampered pig, Mercy Watson. Clever, funny stories and marvelous illustrations with short chapters make this a good choice for first chapter books – either to read aloud or to read on your own. 380-450 ages 5-8 None None No
Duey, Kathleen American Diaries Historical Fiction: Stories about girls in various periods of American history — ranging from pilgrim times to the 1940s. They have a rnage of cultures and ethnicities represented (A Shoshone girl in Idaho, a former slave girl during the Civil War). 750-850 age 8-11 Mild Mild A few depending on era
Hannigan, Katherine Emmaline and the Bunny Emmaline is the story of a messy girl in a town ruled by neatness – she makes friends with a wild bunny. age 9-12 age 6-9      
Henry, Marguerite Misty of Chincoteague, King of the Wind and other horse books Exciting stories about horses and their interactions with  humans 750-850 age 7-11 Mild Mild None
Lin, Grace The Year of the Dog Pacy and her sister are the only Taiwanese-American kids in school until Melody’s family arrives. Pacy learns to balance her two cultures and becomes friends with Melody. Lots of good information about the Lunar calendar and Zodiac. 690 age 7-11 None None None
Lovelace, Lucy Maud Betsy-Tacy; Betsy- Tacy & Tib and follow up books. The books follow Betsy into adulthood Realistic fiction: A series of girls growing up in a small town in Minnesota in the early part of the 20th century.  600-750 age 7-10  None None Death of baby
MacDonald, Betty Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Sequels Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside down house and has ‘magical’ cures for common childhood problems. 850-1050 age 4-9 None None None
Martin, Ann Main Street (10 books in the series) Realistic fiction: A series about two girls (age 10 & 12) who move to a new tow to live with their grandmother after their parents were killed in a car accident. While the set up is a bit sad, and there are some issues of emotionally ‘hard’ moments, my sensitive daughter loved them. ~500-870 age 7-12 Mild None Death; alcholism (implied)
Martin, Ann Matthews The Doll People A doll house doll’s life gets much more interesting after a new family moves in. 570 age 7-9      
Meadows, Daisy Rainbow Magic Two friends help the fairies solve problems created by Jack Frost and his goblins. Highly predictable stories and text; formulaic. An OK choice for children just making the leap to chapter books. Parents may well go mad after reading just a few of the 100+ books as they all have the same plot. 550-650 age 4-7 Mild None No
Milne, A.A. Winnie-the-Pooh, THe House at Pooh Corner The adventures of a stuffed bear and his friends in the 100 Acre Wood 790 age 4-9 None None No
Monsell, Mary Elise The Mysterious Case of Mr. Pin, Mr. Pin: The Chocolate Files, The Spy Who Came North From the Pole, A Fish Named Yum Mr. Pin is a penguin detective living in Chicago. Told in a ‘hard boiled’ detective voice, but with gentle mysteries for Mr. Pin to solve. Who can resist a detective who says “Crimes of chocolate are what I know best”? ~560 age 7-10 Very mild None No
Norton, Mary The Borrowers, many titles The adventures of a miniature family. More detailed and sophisticated than The Littles. 750-900 age 7-10 Mild Mild No
Pennypacker, Sara Clementine and follow up books The adventures of a 3rd grader with a penchant for trouble. Funny, somewhat irrereverant humor. 750-850 age 7-10      
Peterson, John The Littles, many titles The Littles are mouse-sized people who live in the walls of the house of the Bigs. They have many adventures avoiding the Bigs and their cat. Easy chapter books good for children ready to step into longer books. 250-350 age 4-8 Mild Very Mild No
Pope-Osbourne, Mary Magic Treehouse Series A brother and sister go on adventures in different historical time periods. Predictable structure and text make this a good choice for a first chapter book.  320-550+ age 5-8 Mild None No
Roy, Ron A to Z mysteries  A group of 3 friends solve mysteries. Predictable text and structure good for readers working on fluency.  400-650 age 5-8 Mild Mild No
Seldon, George Cricket in Times Square (and other books) Story of a cricket who ends up living in a subway station in Times square, and how he helps the humans who helps him ~780 age 8-11 Mild None No
Sobol, David Encylopedia Brown  Boy detective solves mysteries using his quick wits and sharp eyes 550-750+ age 6-9 None None No
Stilton, Geronimo Many titles This is a good series for children who are just starting out with chapter books — they are actually graphic novels.  Geranimo Stilton is a mouse detective. The books are funny. 400-700 age 5-10 Mild Mild No
Taylor, Sydney All-of-A-Kind Family and sequels Stories about a family growing up on the lower East Side of NY at the turn of the 19th century.  750+ age 6-9 None None No
Travers, P.L. Mary Poppins A magical, no-nonsense nanny takes on the 4 Banks children and livens up their lives. The movie is far less interesting than the book! 830 age 7-10 None None None
Warner, Gertrude Chandler Boxcar Children series Four siblings solve mysteries. They live with their grandfather after their parents died. The stories are predictable, but are good for readers who are gaining fluency and speed.  ~350-600 age 6-9 Mild None No
White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan Stories about animals, told from the point of view of the animals 680-900 age 6-10 Mild Mild No
Wilder, Laura Ingalls Little House books Story of a girl growing up in the US territories in the 1880s-1890s.  550-900 age 5-10 None Hunting; corporal punishment Portrayal of Native Americans is very biased