3 Chapter Books Series We Love + a FREE Reading Log

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There’s nothing more special than snuggling up with your children with a good book. Our family loves to read, but we’ve really struggled to find chapter books that keep our children engaged and interested in what happens next. Perhaps that’s due to their young ages or short attention spans, but we’ve started and stopped too many books to count.

3 girls library book

Most often we have stopped a chapter book because of one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Too long
  2. Too descriptive
  3. Used too advanced or unfamiliar language
  4. Had too few pictures or none at all
  5. Had unidentifiable, unrelatable characters

So, I want to share three chapter book series we’ve found that fulfill the qualities of a good chapter book according to my 5.5 year old and 3.5 year old girls. These qualities include the following:

  1. Short chapters
  2. Lots of illustrations
  3. Characters they could relate to
  4. Vocabulary not too simple but also not too far beyond their comprehension
  5. An interesting plot and/or lesson learned

Thus far in our short exploration into the world of chapter books, we have found 3 series that have fulfilled all or most of these criteria. I’m sharing them with you today in hopes that some of you who also may be struggling with reading lengthier books may find a new series of chapter books to share with your children.

3 Chapter Book Series + a Free Reading Log

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1. The Millers Series by Mildred A. Martin



While I’m not sure if these would be considered “chapter books,” this series of stories with a Biblical message has brought so much joy to our girls. I bought the entire set last year after Jacinda at Growing Home recommended them in her post, and we have not been disappointed.

If you’re looking for solid literature filled with scripture and a Christian message in every chapter, I would highly recommend investing in this series. The writing is not preachy or stuffy but filled with beautiful lessons that my children still recall when they face similar struggles. (Note: Due to the somewhat violent nature of  Missionary Stories with the Millers, I would recommend pre-reading the book before sharing with your young children; the stories can be a little frightening for little ones.)

The Millers series would make great literature for morning devotionals. We usually read one chapter during breakfast time.

2. The Cobble Street Cousins by Cynthia Rylant



We found this sweet series of chapter books at our local library last summer. The charming illustrations, lovable characters, short chapters, and moral message of each book endeared my girls to them. When we very quickly finished reading all 6 of them, the girls were devastated and still ask about the Rose, Lily and Tess books.

I *highly* recommend this series for young girls just starting out with chapter books.

3. The Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne

What we love about this series is how the historical & geographical information we learn piques our curiosity, often leading us on educational rabbit trails. We also love the characters Jack and Annie, and there are lots of pictures to keep little listeners engaged. Plus, we won’t be running out of books to read any time soon.

{I know some people object to these books because of the “magic” element. We don’t. We discuss with our girls anything that conflicts with the truth of God’s Word (which I honestly haven’t found yet in our readings of them) as well as what is historical and what is mythology and fiction. I’ve only been recently introduced to the Imagination Station books, a Christian alternative to the Magic Tree House series, but I’m eager to check them out. }

{All three of these chapter book series are excellent for girls and boys, but I would recommend Cobble Street Cousins for a female audience/readers because most of the characters are female.}

A Free Printable Reading Log

Now that we’re reading more chapter books together, I want to keep a record of them. In the past, I’ve tried to keep up with the books we read by listing them in a notebook or pinning them on Pinterest. However, after reading Kelly’s post on end-of-the-year portfolios, I thought a pretty reading log would be a nice touch and a great way to keep track of the books we read each month.

If you’re interested, here’s the Reading Log I made for us. You can fill in the top blank with either your child’s name or the month, printing off a new log as needed. At the end of the month, I plan to put our reading log into our homeschooling portfolio. But you can also use it to keep track of summer reading.

Click on the link below for your free PDF printable reading log.

Reading Log

Reading Log

 We’re always on the lookout for new chapter books for read aloud time.

What are your children’s favorites? 

If you’re looking to set some summer reading goals with your children, be sure to check out this post.

If you want to create a library of good children’s literature, check out this post of 75+ classic books for kids.

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Comments

  1. What a great list, Kerri! I haven’t heard of the Cobble Street Cousins, but am excited to check them out. We were introduced to the Millers Series just a few months ago, and have yet to delve into them. However, they’re wonderful books that we’re looking forward to adding to our collection. I’m with you on the Magic Tree House, we love the books, but haven’t found them to be questionable, so we use them.
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  2. Hi Keri, thank you for mentioning my post! The reading log you created is very cute and I love your post on all the suggested chapter books. My boys are still under five years old but my husband and I bought them the first book in the Magic Treehouse series so I am excited to have that be a fun, summertime read. Hope you have a wonderful week 🙂

  3. We have the first two series you listed and love them both! The third one that I would add with your criteria are the Boxcar Children Mysteries. This is what prompted my daughter to want to read. I would recommend starting with book one since it is a favorite and cements the interest of the children. They are wholesome, easy to read mysteries with the siblings all getting along and including the younger brother in everything. Thanks for linking your list with the Art of Home-Making Mondays :_)
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    • I have heard of the Boxcar Children series but for some reason thought they were for children a little older. We will have to give them a shot. I love mysteries and would like to pass down that interest to my children, especially if they are wholesome reads. Thanks, JES, and thanks for the link-up.

  4. I had never heard of the Cobble Street Cousins. I will definitely check those out.
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