What Are Chapter Books?

Reading is an important part of everyone’s childhood. Not only is reading fun, in that it opens up exciting new worlds you can explore in your mind, but it helps you develop important language comprehension skills. Reading a lot helps your brain to grow and actually makes you smarter!

Most parents read to their kids from an early age. Eventually, children learn to read on their own and begin pouring over simple picture books that focus more on vivid, evocative illustrations than text. Eventually, usually sometime between the ages of 7 and 10, a child is ready to move on to what are popularly called chapter books.

What are chapter books? Chapter books are books written for readers who have outgrown picture books but are not yet ready to move on to adult-sized novels. Although they still usually contain large amounts of illustrations, chapter books primarily tell their stories through the text rather than with pictures.

In addition, their stories are divided into sections called chapters, which make them easier to read and digest. These chapters are usually much shorter than those in novels and other books intended for adults. Chapter books are also often released in a series centered on a specific character or group of characters, making them fun for kids to collect and read.

Children’s Chapter Books

If you’re a kid interested in children’s chapter books, or a parent interested in getting your child to read chapter books, here is some information you’ll probably want to know.

  • Where can I find chapter books?
  • What are some popular titles?
  • Chapter books for girls
  • Chapter books for boys

Kids Chapter Books

You can find kids chapter books anywhere you find books in general. First, check your local library. Most public libraries have an extensive children’s section, and chapter books will usually be located somewhere between the picture books and the young adult books.

Public libraries are a great option, especially during times when money might be tight, if you want to get through a lot of books but don’t necessarily have the cash to spend on buying them. The only drawback is that you won’t be able to keep the books to read again later.

Used book stores, be they brick-and-mortar independent book dealers or online sites such as Alibris.com, are a good option for the cash-strapped that still want to keep their books and build a library of their own. If you’re buying more than one chapter book at a time from a used bookseller site like Alibris, try to buy as many from one dealer as you can, otherwise shipping charges might add up.

If money is no object, large chain bookstores will also usually have a chapter book section, although the selection available might depend on the store’s location. Stick to stores close to residential neighborhoods where many families with children might live. Stores in downtown areas or close to universities probably won’t have the selection of chapter books you’re looking for.

What Are Some Popular Titles?


The titles available in chapter book format are as varied as the genres available in literature that is more grown-up. Many titles focus on investigating science and the natural world, such as The Magic School Bus series.

These books feature the adventures of elementary school teacher Ms. Frizzle and her students (as well as their class pet, Liz the lizard) as they learn about science with the help of their transforming school bus. The books use a combination of humor and straightforward science to entertain children as they learn.

Another type of chapter book you will commonly see are those that deal with life situations that children will commonly face. One excellent example of this type of book series are the Arthur books by author Marc Brown. These books follow the adventures of anthropomorphic aardvark Arthur Read.

In the series, Arthur faces a series of problems, such as dealing with a new puppy, coming down with the chicken pox, celebrating holidays, or going to camp. Children reading the Arthur books will learn successful ways of dealing with these life issues while being entertained as well as developing their reading skills.

Chapter Books For Girls and Boys

While there is absolutely no reason that children of different genders can’t both enjoy the same books, it is true that at the age children are beginning to read chapter books their interests might start to divulge a long gender lines.

If you’re a particularly girly girl or boyish boy (or buying gifts for children of this nature), then here are some specific titles you might want to investigate further.

Chapter Books for Girls

The Weather Fairies: This series centers on the seven Weather Fairies who control the weather of Fairyland. Each book in the series details the their attempts of the fairies and their friends to get back one of seven magical feathers stolen the evil Jack Frost and his goblins

Pony-Crazed Princess: These books center on the adventures of Princess Elle and her love of ponies. Although she is a princess, Elle is the type of girl who just doesn’t like pink. This is an excellent series for the little girl who loves horses but may also be a bit of a tomboy.

Chapter Books for Boys – Pokemon Chapter Books and Scooby Doo Chapter

Pokemon Adventures: Among the most popular manga to ever come out of Japan, the Pokemon Adventures series follows the exploits of pocket monster trainers as they collect, battle, and train their creatures in an attempt to become the master Pokemon trainer.

Scooby-Doo Readers: The iconic 1970s Saturday-morning cartoon about mystery-solving hipsters and their big, goofy dog has been transformed into a series of chapter books released by the publisher Scholastic. Many titles in the series are original, although some are adapted from existing Scooby-Doo episodes.

If the child in your life is ready to make the jump to chapter books, than they are about to leap into a world of adventures above and beyond what they’ve previously experienced. Reading chapter books can help you learn about the world around you or how to deal with new situations in your life, while still entertaining and further developing reading skills. Enjoy, and learn a love of reading that will last a lifetime!