Books for little readers.


Well hello there Wednesday.

Today’s post is about books for little readers.  Now…I’m basically doing this post so that you awesome people will share your recommendations with the group.  #prettyplease  I have two little readers at my house and I try as hard as I can to encourage them to find books they love so that they continue to want to read.  I am having an easier time with Kensington…it’s harder for me to come up with boy books for Smith.  So, I’m begging for suggestions.  #pleaseandthankyou


So, let’s start with Smith.  Mr. Smith has recently become a fan of chapter books.  Now, I am encouraging this with good old-fashioned bribery.  I bought him a little book light and a super hero book mark that he LOVES.  At night, I’ll let him turn off all of his lights and read in bed with his little book light.  He thinks this is so cool, so score one for mom.  His books of choice right now are any sort of Ninja Turtle or Lego book.  I mean…the school sends home those Scholastic Book Club flyers every month, and he picks those every time.  I’m totally fine with those choices because he’ll read them, but seriously, if you have other chapter book recommendations for young boy readers, I would love some!  He basically checks the same things out at the library too…so, I’d love to be able to suggest some other books to him.


Now, this girl is easier.  These are the books she loves to read right now:

Junie B. Jones (it’s a series)
American Girl books (any of them)
Katie Woo (also a series)
Ramona books (good old-fashioned Beverly Cleary from back in the day)

These little books and series are her favorites and she almost always has one with her. #likemotherlikedaughter  If you have any other girl suggestions for this age, again, please share!!

So, that’s it…I’m hoping you take the lead and share some great choices to encourage all of our little readers.

And one last note…I don’t often ask for prayer requests here in online world, but I’m asking today.  I have two.  Sweet Ashby is having yet another procedure this morning.  You know the drill: hospital all day, home with her hand and arm wrapped and in a sling for about 10 days, lots of pain and pain meds.  Prayers for our sweet girl please.  Pray for her mental strength.  I don’t know how many of these she’s going to be able to do before it just breaks her down emotionally.  These procedures are working (PRAISE JESUS!) and she needs them to protect against blood clots…but she’s four and this sucks, so we need prayer.  And finally, I have a sweet four-year old boy in my family that needs your prayers BIG TIME today.  I can’t go into details because it’s not my place, but I know my family would greatly appreciate them.  Please pray for this little man who is so special and needs the Lord to move in a BIG way today.  Two four-year olds, one mighty God.


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  • Michelle November 16, 2016 at 4:44 am

    My son is obsessed with the geranimo Stilton series.

    • Andrea S November 16, 2016 at 6:51 am

      My girls love Kylie Jean. Heidi Hecklebeck too. And also the weird school series (all titles have rhyming names like ms klutz is nuts)- which is probably great bot boys too!

      • Cindy November 17, 2016 at 6:19 am

        I’m a first grade teacher and totally agree about Heidi Hecklebeck! For boys, Eerie Elementary, Dragon Masters, The Calendar Mysteries- These are series as well, and my students love them! They are so awesome for boys!

    • Michelle November 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      I second that suggestion. ( and my name is Michelle, too lol) The books are so cute and fun to read and there’s a ton of them! And spinoff series books geared towards girls, too. Also, My son liked (and still does now that he is 12) the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. We started when they first came out and I read them to him and I didn’t get bored at all. Now he reads them on his own and I kind of miss them.

    • Tisha Ward November 17, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Mine too

  • Sally Hepworth November 16, 2016 at 4:46 am

    My seven year old boy LOVES Roald Dahl. He started with Fantastic Mr Fox, then The Twits, then James and the Giant Peach and the BFG. The Witches freaked him out so he abandoned that and now he’s reading Charlie and the Chocolate factory. I highly recommend any Roald Dahl. His books are as good as I remember as a kid, maybe better

  • Dawn November 16, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Sending love and prayers for both of those sweet littles, and their families <3 For Kensington, the Ivy & Bean book series, and the Nancy Clancy Series (It's Fancy Nancy slightly more grown up), are two favs of my daughters, and she's starting to get into the Cupcake Diaries too…Baking + Reading = Winning! My little guy is 5, so I'm hoping to see some good boy suggestions on this one, for now we are still at the I Can Read books with him 🙂

    • Cara Zimmer November 16, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Dawn thanks you for the cupcake diaries suggestions, just ordered some!!!

      Shay, just said some prayers for those sweet 4 year olds…

    • Tasha November 16, 2016 at 7:49 am

      Ivy and Bean, and Nancy Clancy were going to be my recommendations too!

      Also Princess in Black for girls a little younger, and the Babysitter Club graphic novels for girls a little older.

  • Heather Elkins November 16, 2016 at 4:51 am

    I teach 2nd grade and my students love the Magic Tree House series.

    • Trish November 16, 2016 at 6:36 am

      Magic treehouse series is a huge hit in our house too!!

      Pete the Cat books as well and anything Robert Munsch =)

    • Katie November 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

      I second the Magic Tree House!

    • Dana carter November 16, 2016 at 7:25 am


    • Michelle N. November 16, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Yes, I was going to say the Magic Tree House series also. My son liked those. He did also like the Beverly Cleary books, Henry Huggins…
      oh crud I can’t remember the names. I loved that her characters were all living in the same neighborhood and overlapped in the books. We also listened to each and every one of them on CD in the minivan and if we got in one day and dad had popped the CD out to listen to the actual radio…EEEKKK!!

    • Lauren LeCroy November 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

      My first grader loves the magic tree house series. I think boys and girls would both enjoy, and the books teach them a little history in a fun adventurous way!

    • Shana November 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      I have three boys and they all LOVED The Magic Treehouse series, too! My youngest, who is eight, loves the Geronimo Stilton books, also.

  • Kate H. November 16, 2016 at 4:53 am

    I know this isn’t for the older kids, but I just recently discovered this book and flipping through it in a store brought me to tears. This will be a gift to our foster son when we hopefully adopt him. 🙂

  • Kacy November 16, 2016 at 4:54 am

    Boys books- The Hardy Boys (they are old school but worth it)

    Girls- Amelia Bedelia, Fancy Nancy, and Heidi Heckelbeck (super cute!). My 8 yr old daughter loves all of them 🙂

    Will be praying for your family! Xoxo

  • Stacey November 16, 2016 at 4:55 am

    Heidi Hecklebeck series is great for girls, and Ivy and Bean as well.
    What about Magic Tree House series or The Who am I books? Those are great biographies and they have so many different ones to choose from!

  • Danielle November 16, 2016 at 4:57 am

    My son loves the revamp on the Hardy boys series and box car children series….both are mystery books. There is another series that both might like it’s called The Magic Tree House series….it fits for boys and girls the themes of the book are all different and they range in reading level from 1st to almost 4th grade reading level. My son loves Diary of a wimpy kid, not my personal favorite. Hope that helps!!

  • Eileen November 16, 2016 at 4:58 am

    Sending prayers to you and your family.

    My daughter is 1 year older than Kensington and these are some of her favorites:
    * Ivy and Bean series
    * Whatever After series
    * Who Is/Who Was biographies (she is obsessed with these)
    * Clementine series
    * Amber Brown series
    My daughter read them in 2nd grade and couldn’t put them down. My daughter hasn’t read them, but the Gooney Bird series by Lois Lowry looks cute.

  • Kathie November 16, 2016 at 5:01 am

    For Smith, I recommend the Ready Freddy series by Abby Klein. They are chapter book similar to Junie B, but Freddy is a first grade boy (he moves on to second grade). They are a little easier to read then Junie. We love them.

    • Brittni November 16, 2016 at 5:34 am

      I second the Ready Freddy series for boys! They are short chapter books with some illustrations. I love that there’s one for basically every holiday.

  • Natashajk November 16, 2016 at 5:01 am

    I don’t know what reading level your kids are at but my seven year old son loves Roald Dahl and Pseudonymous Bosch. You could also try Geronimo Stilton. These are all series which is good for Sam because he will read everything. We also discovered The A To Z Mysteries by Ron Roy and The Magic Tree House books.

    For Kensington try the early Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace or anything by Jean Little, an excellent Canadian author. Also The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are really good for younger girls, especially the earlier ones.

    I’m looking forward to getting some good suggestions for my son so thanks for opening up this conversation.

  • Alyssa November 16, 2016 at 5:02 am

    My 9yr old daughter LOVES the Whatever After series and I have to say I really enjoy reading them with her. Very age appropriate!

  • Alison November 16, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Thoughts and prayers for your family. Lots of love sending your way.
    I have children of similar age and there seems to be less chapter books for boys that he enjoys at this age; some too challenging others too easy. My son (6 yrs) is an amazing reader and LOVES the Magic Tree House series (it is about a sister and brother and they go on magical adventures). I enjoy reading them with both children too – I learn something new every time! A recent favorite is Quinny and Hopper. My daughter (8 yrs) loves the above and Heidi Heckelbeck (series); Ivy and Bean (series); Rainbow Magic fairies (each book about a specific fairy); Goddess Girls (series) and The Never Girls (fairy adventures) just to name a few. Keep encouraging that reading! Best!

  • Kathie November 16, 2016 at 5:04 am

    For Smith, I recommend the Ready Freddy series by Abby Klein. They are chapter book similar to Junie B, but Freddy is a first grade boy (he moves on to second grade). We love them. The Magic Treehouse books are good too.

  • Megan Fulton November 16, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Magic Tree House, Geronimo Stilton, Ready Freddy, Calendar Mysteries…I’m a teacher and these are all popular!

    Prayers for Sweet Ashby!

  • Sarah Neas November 16, 2016 at 5:07 am

    When I was that age, I liked The Boxcar Children and The Hardy Boys. Nancy Drew is also a good series!

  • Karen Davis November 16, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Your daughter (and you) would like Diva and Flea. It’s set in Paris. Mo Willems (who wrote Elephant and Piggie) is the author but it’s a chapter book.

    • Ariadna November 16, 2016 at 9:31 am

      I just looked up your suggestion and it looks so cute!! I need to remember this book for when my daughter starts reading! 🙂

  • C Haines November 16, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Greetings from Somewhere series (great since you love to travel!), Mercy Watson series, Who was… series, Flat Stanley books, The Littles series. All of these are great for 1st -2nd grade readers.

  • Hekla November 16, 2016 at 5:11 am

    I have three sons and they all read Harry Potter from start to finish. And they all like books by David Walliam such as Gangsta Granny or Billionaire boy.
    My favorite to read to them and they read as well are books by Astrid Lindgren; Emil, Pippi Longstocking, The Brothers Lionheart, Ronia the Robber´s daugther and all the other great books that she wrote.
    Since I live in Scandinavia all of those books are European 🙂

  • Brenda November 16, 2016 at 5:13 am

    My son loves loves loves the magic tree house books. They are chapter books that would be good for boys or girls. My son read a set of 49 in six months! We started out reading them together, but I couldn’t keep up with him. We got them from the scholastic book forms they send out.

    His second favorite is the Buck Wilder series. I think there are 6 of them. Great boy books!

  • Katey November 16, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Series are great for early readers! How awesome that your kids love to read! My third graders love the following series:
    Magic Tree House, A-to-Z Mysteries, Big Nate, Mighty Robot, Geronimo Stilton, My Weird School Daze, Horrible Harry.
    Any book by Judy Blume or Roald Dahl is also a fan-favorite in room 12.

    Kensington may like The One and Only Ivan, Sarah Plain and Tall, or Chocolate Touch.

    Praying for your sweet family today!

  • Catie November 16, 2016 at 5:14 am

    First up, prayers for precious Ashby and the other four year old in your family. I know from experience that there is nothing that makes a mama feel so helpless as seeing your child in a hospital and connected to tubes and machines. I am thankful that in those moments Go so gently reminds me that they are HIS. And He cares for them deeper than I ever can. Many prayers coming your way today!!

    Books for boys. My twins are 7 and they love The Magic Treehouse series. They also enjoy boxcar children. There is another series of shorter books called “Who Would Win” and it is awesome for little boys! It pairs two animals (think lion v tiger, python v alligator, etc), gives lots of facts about each, and then at the end of the book tells you who would win if they fought each other. So informative and entertaining for my guys! They even think the fact quiz at the end is a fun game to play ;). And last but not least, my personal favorite for little boys is My Father’s Dragon. So good! It is a super cute story that is full of humor and adventure and there is a picture on every page! It is in a series of three books and the other two are good too, but the first one is my favorite. Happy reading!

    • Amy November 16, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      My 7 yr old has the same taste! He loves Magic Treehouse (Merlin’s Missions are the slightly more advanced ones in the series) as well as the “Who Would Win” and My Father’s Dragon is an absolute family favorite- we reread it every year! He also likes graphic novels like “Hilo”, “Bone” as well as “Captain Underpants” which is silly but pretty innocent despite the name:) He is reading the 1st Harry Potter but knows he has to wait another year before he can read the next (we are making him read them once a year for now since they getting pretty scary!) For Kensington- all the “Shoes” books (Ballet Shoes, etc) were my absolute favorite as a girl and my nieces love them now.

  • Michelle November 16, 2016 at 5:14 am

    My son’s favorite series is My Weird Schol Daze. He also likes Magic Tree House books and said he liked Katie Woo as well. Another couple to try are Flat Stanley and Marvin Redpost.

    Your four year olds are in my prayers.

  • Narci November 16, 2016 at 5:17 am

    Smith should borrow one of Luke’s Hardy Boys books! I bet he would like those! Also, we are praying for your family and our precious Ashby. Ashby Shull, we love you so much!!!

  • Katie November 16, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Sending thoughts and prayers to your family today
    My daughter is 7 and that the moment she loves;
    Harry Potter series – she’s upto book 2.
    Billie B Brown series
    diary of a wimpy kid series
    And anything Enid Blyton

    • Wendy November 16, 2016 at 8:25 am

      You must be British to know about Enid Blyton!! I think my heart skipped a beat when I read her name on your comment. My mom is Scottish and nothing made me happier when I was a kid then when she would go home to visit her family and bring me back a few Enid books. The Famous Five series, Mallory Towers series and The Twins go to St. Clares series were my absolute favorites, but I also liked the Secret Seven series, Naughtiest Girl series and the Adventure series. Such happy memories laying in bed, reading and eating British Smarties. Sadly, neither of my girls (they are now 20 and 14) enjoy reading, but I still have all my Enid books.

  • Carrie Marshall November 16, 2016 at 5:18 am

    The Magic Treehouse, Bailey School Kids, and A to Z mysteries are good for boys and girls. Beverly Clearly has the Henry Huggins series and Mouse on a Motorcycle that Smith may like.

  • Jenny November 16, 2016 at 5:19 am

    My almost 8 year old son loves the Mighty Robot books by Dav Pilkey. These were the first books that he really got into and he’s blown through the series really quickly. Now we’re back to the drawing board, trying to find another series that interests him.

    Will keep those kiddos in my thoughts and prayers…

  • Toni :0) November 16, 2016 at 5:20 am

    I’m sure Smith would love Captain Underpants. They are a great series for boys and very funny. Kensington is already reading all the girl’s books I would reccomend.

  • Beth November 16, 2016 at 5:20 am

    You are getting some great recommendations! My kids liked Hank the Cowdog, and Magic Treehouse were always a hit as well. When they were a little bit older, 39 Clues. I prayed for Ashby and the four year old little man this morning.

  • Kim Clark November 16, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Praying for the sweet ones in your family today.

    I second the recommendation for the Ready, Freddy series for Smith. Also, my now 14- year old didn’t like reading much, but at that age he read the entire My Weird School series!!!

  • Marla November 16, 2016 at 5:22 am

    Praying now and will continue to do so. It is always an honor to pray for others so thank you for asking.

  • Jessica Strickland November 16, 2016 at 5:22 am

    Prayers for your sweet 4 year olds! I don’t have any kiddos of my own, but am a 1st grade teacher and have followed your sweet blog for several years 🙂 My students love Henry and Mudge (early chapter book series) and there is also a “girl” series called Annie and Snowball, Cam Jansen (mystery chapter book series), Minnie and Moo (early chapter book series), Magic Tree House, and of course Katie Woo!

  • Darbi November 16, 2016 at 5:23 am

    My 7 year old son is obsessed with the Action Bible! It is a Bible for kids written in comic-book superhero style, and he will sit and read it for hours. He knows SO many Bible stories from this and has also become such a good reader!

  • Mary November 16, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Such a great post and please know that so many prayers are headed your way! As a former elementary school teacher (and an avid reader!), some favorites of mine that have not been mentioned (and that are boy-friendly!) are The Boxcar Children series, The Chocolate Touch, and Horrible Harry series. Also, Kensington would love the Dear America series if she likes the historical American Girl books.

  • Laurie November 16, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Ready Freddy, Cam Jansen, Stink and Flat Stanley are all boy books that come to mind. Prayers for Ashby and your other intention!

    • Melissa November 16, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Ditto on these boy book recommendations! Also, Diaries of a Minecraft Zombie (if he likes Minecraft – not my fav but READING!). He also likes Calvin & Hobbes (although he doesn’t get all of the jokes yet). Theres also a series called Greetings from Somewhere about 2 kids who travel around the world with their parents (the mom is a travel writer). Seems fitting for your kids! Prayers for your sweet 4 year olds!

  • Erika Slaughter November 16, 2016 at 5:33 am

    This is a fun post and perfect for Christmas coming up! Nixon reads enough to complete his homework and that’s about it. But Ebby Lee reads a lot on your list and she’s also a big fan of Kylie Jean books.

  • emily @ a little bit of emily November 16, 2016 at 5:36 am

    When I was younger, I loved reading The Saddle Club books, The Babysitter’s Club Little Sister, and Nancy Drew. Also, Sweet Valley High – I think they had a Jr. High series. Sending lots of prayers your way.

  • Jessi Allen November 16, 2016 at 5:37 am

    I just love your precious heart. I hope you know that your posts give strength to your readers in ways you will never ever know. I also hope we give just a little portion of that strength back to you. If anyone can handle this it’s you and that sweet Ashby. God holds every situation in His hands.
    Isaiah 41:13

    Books- Oh Mercy Usborne books. Their shine a light series will be perfect. You read the book and then shine a light to see what secret lies behind each page. Perfect for Smith! They also have a lot of activity books- how to fold 100 paper airplanes (they are big in my house now) step by step how to draw animals, dinosaurs, etc. There are books for the little girls that include soft animals that go with the stories like cuddle bear and Mr. Nibbles. Also for the little girls the wipe it clean ones that teach you how to draw your letters. My 4 year old LOVES them, she calls it doing her homework while big brother does his????
    People have online parties all the time and I just ignored them, but seriously they are such awesome books. You can YouTube videos of people showing you certain books & you can even search for books by age. There’s even a book with a piano attached to it for learning how to play. Seriously, Santa shopped at Usborne this year????

  • Kate November 16, 2016 at 5:39 am

    For Smith
    -The Hometown Hunters series by Lane Walker. The author is a man from Michigan who recently started writing books for kids to capture his love of hunting and the outdoors. You can find the books on Amazon. There are 6 so far.
    -The Sugar Creek Gang series. This is an old series (my 28 year old brother read them when he was Smith’s age). My brother never liked to read but my mom got him these books and he couldn’t put them down. These are the books that turned my brother into a reader
    -Ronald Dahl books are fun (Fantasitx Mr Fox)
    -Sideways Stories from Wayside High by Louis Sachar is another fin chapter book

  • Karen November 16, 2016 at 5:43 am

    Hi Shay,
    Try the Scholastic Branches series foe your son. Notebook of Doom, Eerie Elementary, Looniverse, etc…

  • Jen November 16, 2016 at 5:43 am

    My son love the Magic Tree House series. He’s a first grader, and after he finished one book, he’s excited to start the next one.

  • Aja November 16, 2016 at 5:45 am

    It mostly depends on reading level. My 2nd grade son is a HUGE reader and he’s into Diary of a Wimpy Kid right now. His favorite book of all time is The Last Kids on Earth (now a series). When he was younger he did all the Berenstain Bears, Geronimo Stilton (now a fav of my Kindergartener), Henry and Mudge, Magic Treehouse, A-Z Mysteries.
    Our state also has a program called Sunshine State Readers where 10-12 books are chosen in different levels (K-2, 3-5, 6-8) and those are usually great books. He’s read all the K-2 and 3 or 4 3-5th level (some are a little heavy for him and I won’t let him read them yet). You can google that program and those books or maybe TX has a similar program. My son loved Pet Wars and Dinosaur Boy this year.

  • Meredith November 16, 2016 at 5:45 am

    All three of my kiddies (girl, boy, girl -aged 6, 8, 10) LOVE the 13 Storey Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths. But, we’re in Australia, so I’m not sure if you get this series there? xxx

  • Sarah November 16, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Magic Treehouse and Bailey Schoolkids were my two all-time favorites in lower elementary grades! They each have several books in the series, so you’ll never run out of new titles! Kensington might like American Girl chapter books! Years ago they wrote six books each for all the original girls (Samantha, Kirsten, Molly, Felicity, Josefina and Addy) They’re based on each doll’s period in history! I read them all as a child and as an adult still own my American Girl books!

  • Jennifer Jackson November 16, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Have you heard of Usborne books? They are incredible and so interesting for younger readers. There’s a collection called “Shine a Light” that you shine a flashlight for to see more pictures on each page. There’s several types of flap books and they’re all so interactive!! Just a suggestion for your two younger children.

  • Sheaffer November 16, 2016 at 5:48 am

    Smith in the glasses kills me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. He is so dang cute!!!! So many prayers for Ashby and the other little one.

  • Amy Heinl November 16, 2016 at 5:50 am

    The Magic Tree series…the Magic school bus series especially because you kiddos love travelling…maybe in a year or two the Lemony Snippet series….my son really loved those…lifting sweet Ashby and your beautiful family member in prayer

  • JulieL November 16, 2016 at 5:50 am

    My boys love the Big Nate series and Geronimo Stilton series!

  • Erin Carroll November 16, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Praying for Ashby and your family. Love you!!

    Hudson loves Magic Treehouse books and the Boxcar Children series.

  • Jenn B. November 16, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Prayers for your family today! My almost 8 yr old daughter is reading two of the series I read as a child – Babysitters Club Little Sister and Sweet Valley Kids. We are also big fans of Ivy and Bean.

  • Jenny November 16, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Praying for both precious 4 yr olds today! May God bless your family!!!

  • Kelly Honchell November 16, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Roscoe Riley Rules is a great series for Smith at his age. My son who doesn’t enjoy reading read this series in first grade and absolutely loved them! Thanks for this post, I need suggestions for a 9 year old boy:) Prayers for the babies !

  • Megan November 16, 2016 at 5:56 am

    I’m a first grade teacher and some of my students’ favorites are Junie B, Horrible Harry series, My Weird School series, Freddie Fernortiner series, and Geronimo Stilton.

    I especially like Geronimo Stilton for boys since it is part graphic novel and part chapter book.

  • Emily November 16, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Captain Underpants series and Magic Treehouse series have been huge hits with my 7-year-old boy.

  • Tara Hall November 16, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Prayers for your family Shay. I have a 3rd grade son who loves sports. His hands down favorite series is called Ballpark Mysteries. I think there are about 12 chapter books each set in a different ball park that follow 2 kids who solve mysteries at each ball park like a prized bat stolen, etc. In fact I think the first book is called Fenway Foulup! Have I caught your attention yet?! Smith will love them. Another book series he loved in 2nd grade was DragonBreath – I think there are 10 of them as well. He got all the boys in his class reading those last year! I have 3 boys so I don’t have good girl recommendations!! And I just want to thank you for your monthly book review. It has inspired me to get back to something I love – reading. For years I read mainly just children’s books to my kids, but this year I set a goal to read 2 books a month. With the help of your recommendations and goodreads – I have way surpassed that goal and am back doing something I love for myself! Thanks for the inspiration! Happy reading 🙂

  • Elizabeth Feldpausch November 16, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Magic Tree House books would be great for Kensington and admits! National Geographic also has some chapter books that are great if he is into animals.
    I saw someone suggest Who Was books and I LOVE those – I have most of them- but I suggest you read them before the kids do. They are great biographies but also very real- I taught first grade at a Catholic school and was reading one to my class at the suggestion of another teacher and it started talking about someone being unfaithful and getting divorced – luckily I saw it before I read it out loud! (not what my parents wanted me to be reading to their kids)

  • Jenni Young November 16, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Praying for your Ashby and your relative right now! I am a mom of 4 grown ups and a grandmother to 5 precious children. I have read your blog for several years and I so enjoy doing life with you and yours! And I so appreciate the way you so boldly and tenderly point lots of people straight to Jesus! Much love to you today!

  • Julie November 16, 2016 at 6:00 am

    For Smith: Might Robot, Creature from the black Lagoon Chapter Books, Flat Stanley, 8 Class Pets, Notebook of Doom.

    For Kensington: Critter Club, Cupcake Mysteries, Owl Mysteries, a-z mysteries and Calendar Mysteries

    For both, Mercy Watson. My all time favorite! I teach 3rd grade and have 2 boys. Hope that helps!!

  • Shannon Molenburg November 16, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Magic treehouse or even the good old Hardy books series would be awesome choices for Smith. Praying for sweet ashby today and for a swift recovery with minimal pain!! Also praying for the little boy 🙂

  • Jessica K November 16, 2016 at 6:03 am

    My son loved the Magic Tree House series. If Smith likes sports, he may also like the Matt Christopher books. My son loves his books!

  • Genevieve Perryman November 16, 2016 at 6:03 am

    My 7 year old son loves the Who Is/Was series. There are so many to choose from and he really enjoys learning about different people. There is one about Derek Jeter that I am sure your little Yankee fan would love.. even if it pains you to buy it 😉
    My 9 year old daughter has been reading the Thea Stilton series and loves them. There is also a Geronimo Stilton series that features a male lead character geared to boys.
    Prayers for your family!

  • Darian November 16, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Blessings to you and your family today. For books, a great author for boys is Nathan Hale. He writes graphic novels (books written like comic strips) about great historical events. He has series of stories and the kids love them! Current book on NYT list is Alamo All-Stars but he has quite a few books published and they are all great. He has spoken at the Texas Book Festival in Austin for several years and the kids who read all show up to listen. Nathan is funny, engages kids, and teaches them about history.

  • Beth Miller November 16, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I have a second grade girl as well and she devours Magic Treehouse books! She also loves The Baikey School Kids. Ivy + Bean is a great girl series that’s funny if she likes Junie B. Jones. Can Jansen is a favorite too!

  • Beth Miller November 16, 2016 at 6:06 am

    I forgot the Boxcar Children series! Good, wholesome reading without poor grammar and sass.

  • Sandy November 16, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Smith reminds me a little on my son. He loved the Magic Tree House books. He read them in order an anxiously waited for the next ones to come out. Even now as a very high reading level 7th grader, he would love to get the 2 released this year to add to his collection. The early ones are really easy chapter books. The level increases a little as you get farther in the series. My girls (6 and 9) both enjoy them too.
    I would also suggest the Weird School books. My son liked those too

  • Emily November 16, 2016 at 6:09 am

    My 7 and 6 year old boys love silly, funny “boy” books. They’ve done the Magic Tree house and loved them but much prefer Captain Underpants, Horrible Harry series, Lunch Lady series, Stink series, Ready Freddy, My Weird School and Weirder school series. We’ve also read the I Survived series, if your kids don’t get too scared. They are real life events wrapped up into a story interesting for kids. LOVED them!
    My daughter is younger still, but I can’t wait to read the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and all three actually love the American Girl doll books.

  • Nicole November 16, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Praying with you Shay!!

  • Amanda November 16, 2016 at 6:10 am

    My 8 year old son loves the “I survived” series and my 6 year old likes magic tree house!

  • Jessica November 16, 2016 at 6:11 am

    I”m sure some of these are repeats.
    Whatever After
    Grimmtastic Girls
    Land of Stories
    Fairybell Sisters
    Emily Windsnap Series

  • Christine November 16, 2016 at 6:11 am

    My 8yr old son loves to read, most of these books are decent content wise, im prity picky about what I let my kids watch and read. Enjoy!
    -Imagination station books (they are off of the Adventures in odyssey audio series)
    -Magic Tree house Books
    -Boxcar children series
    – encyclopedia brown
    -Culde sac kids series
    -Jigsaw Jones series
    – Last chance detective series

  • Lisa November 16, 2016 at 6:12 am

    My brother and even the little boy I babysat for loved the weird school books( miss daisy is crazy, miss small is of the wall, etc), captain underpants, and Diary of a wimpy Kid.
    For girls I loved Cam Jansen, Nancy Drew, Magic Tree House, Anne of Green Gables, and anything American Girl

  • Ashton Sansom November 16, 2016 at 6:13 am

    I have three girls so I have more girl book series to recommend than boys. 🙂

    Cupcake Diaries, Whatever After, Heidi Heckelbeck, Ivy and Bean, Dork Diaries, Ramona, Rainbow Magic, Secret Kingdom, Little House on the Prairie, Fairy Bell Sisters

    Series For Girls and Boys:
    Who/What Was Series
    Diary of a Whimpy Kid
    Magic Tree House

  • Sarah November 16, 2016 at 6:13 am

    As a teacher I would have to recommend the Fly Guy series {the boys go wild over it!!}. If that’s too easy for him I would definitely recommend the Magic Tree House series!

  • Kelsey Swygert November 16, 2016 at 6:13 am

    I used to teach 1st grade and my students (both boys and girls) really enjoyed Fly Guy and Magic Tree House chapter book series!

  • Kristy November 16, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Girl: Rainbow Magic Fairies (a series and Scholastic has the entire set which we purchased as a Christmas gift for my daughter.)

    Boy (or girl!): Magic Tree House Series, the National Geographic chapter books

  • Dixie November 16, 2016 at 6:16 am

    My two boys who are a year ahead and a year behind Smith love these:
    Cam Jensen series
    Boxcar Children
    Magic Treehouse
    Matt Christopher books-#1 Sports Series
    The Action Bible

    Praying for healing for Ashby and your other family member.

  • Katie November 16, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Magic treehouse books are great for Smith but depending on his reading level might be a bit better for Kensington. I teach all boys in first grade and can tell you what they LOVE – good old fashioned frog and toad series (a classic), any easier Judy Blume book (freckle Juice, super fudge), the STINK series, the National Geographic for kids series (nonfiction) and if your kids like reading at all with you I highly reccomend the Who Was? Series, which is a series of illustrated historical biographies. My class devoured who was? JFK jr. as well as the Who Was? Walt Disney. Enjoy!

  • Julie November 16, 2016 at 6:17 am

    My boys loved the Stick Dog series. Easy to read chapter books and hilarious drawings! (Think stick people but dogs).

    Prayers being prayed for your family.

  • Sarah November 16, 2016 at 6:18 am

    When I used to teach third grade my kids loved the Gannon and Wyatt series and also the I Survived series. They might be a little advanced for smith but they’re both really fun and adventurous which my boys always loved!

  • Brianne November 16, 2016 at 6:18 am

    I have a 6 and 8 year old boy who are both readers. They have both loved The Imagination Station Series. My little also liked the Leroy Ninker series by Kate DiCamillo, Henry Huggins, Sam the Minuteman and the Billy and Blaze. Nate the Great is a good early chapter series, but my boys didn’t get into them.

  • Sonia Limon November 16, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Prayers for your family today! May God place his healing hands upon those babies and wrap those momma’s in his arms as well to bring them comfort and peace to remind them He is bigger than any situation.

    Books for Smith – Flat Stanley and Captain Underpants

    Books for Kensington – the cupcake diaries books; cupcake club series , the Disney Never Girls series books and all the Cam Jensen books!

  • Anna November 16, 2016 at 6:22 am

    The Doll People Series, Whatever After, Clementine series, Who Was Books, The Main Street Sisters, and Alli Finkle’s Rules for Girls.

    My girls have loved (last year in 1st grade) Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Magic Treehouse Series, Mercy Watson. Thise would be good for boys, too

  • Diane November 16, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Being a sports enthusiast family, Smith will love the Matt Christopher chapter books.

  • Stephanie McCain November 16, 2016 at 6:24 am

    My boys like the Geronimo Stilton books. And when he gets a tad bit older, I suggest Matt Christopher books. They are sports themed. My oldest started reading those in 2nd/3rd grade. They also love the I Survived series.

  • Brooke November 16, 2016 at 6:26 am

    An author named Troy Cummings visited my daughters’ school so I purchased a book from his series “Temple of Doom” for my 7 yr old…’s not scary, more silly, there are 4 in the series, both girls and boys enjoy them, and the chapters are only 4 pages….which my daughter loves telling me “mom I’m already on chapter 5″…..she finished the first one in 2 days so #2-4 will be under our tree. Prayers up for your special littles!

  • Dani Fry November 16, 2016 at 6:26 am

    Finn just read all of the Captain Underpants series. Not my favorite, but it’s what made him love to read…. He’s now obsessed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He used to love the Smash Crash series and Lego City books. Sydnee reads anything and everything. She likes Boxcar Children, Magic Kitten series, any graphic novel, Geronimo Stilton. We are reading the second Harry Potter book together. There is a website I think called that gives suggestions for next books based on what you like. You might try that. As a reading teacher I would just say, thank you for having them read at home and trying to find books for them. Constant reading is what will make them better readers! So good job, mama!

  • Ani November 16, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Praying for the sweet kiddos in your family today.

    My son is not an avid reader, but at Smith’s age he really enjoyed the Big Nate and Flat Stanley books… Then he moved on to Captain Underpants and Wimpy Kids… not cutting edge literature, but hey! he’s reading 🙂

  • Kaycee November 16, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Have your kids read the Wayside School is Falling Down series? I think there are three books in that series. Also, they both may like the Boxcar Children series and the Magic Treehouse series! When my brother was younger, he really like the Captain Underpants books (must be a boy thing haha). I also really love the Little House on the Prairie books and in the last twenty years, people have written a series for Caroline (Laura Ingalls’ mom) and Rose (Laura’s daughter).

  • Denise November 16, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I just bought my 8 year old niece for Christmas the “Just Grace” series chapter books. My youngest daughter who is 28 is never without a book either … has always been that way. She was reading before kindergarten at a 2nd grade reading level. I have bought her a couple of books for Christmas from your reading recommendations. Now my oldest daughter (32) is not much of a reader like we are.

  • Jenny November 16, 2016 at 6:31 am

    My daughter has loved Whatever After series, Princess Black series, The Owl Diaries, The Never Girls series and has just gotten into Upside Down Magic books.

  • Heather November 16, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Magic Tree House series and A to Z Mysteries!!

  • Lauren November 16, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Someone just suggested sports illustrated for kids to me- my son will read anything about sports!

  • Therese November 16, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Prayers going up for Ashby right now!

    I recommend the Magic Tree House Series for Smith. I also have a 7-year old boy and he likes them. Better yet, I like them so don’t mind helping him read them (unlike all those Lego books….)!

  • Diane November 16, 2016 at 6:34 am

    For Smith: Geronimo Stilton, Magic Treehouse, My Father’s Dragon. All series that my little guy loves!

  • Melissa November 16, 2016 at 6:35 am

    My son’s loved the Magic Tree House books when they were Smith’s age. My daughter has just started reading a Kylie Jean series. She has several in this series with titles such as Kylie Jean Drama Queen and Kylie Jean Basketball Queen and she also reads a Stella Batts series.

  • Lena November 16, 2016 at 6:35 am

    My son loves the I Survived series, and reading the most current kid’s almanac and Guinness records books (from scholastic book order). My daughter likes the Puppy Place and Magic Animal Friends series.

  • Tara G. November 16, 2016 at 6:36 am


    I sent you an email with pictures of our home school library for these ages.

  • Jessie November 16, 2016 at 6:37 am

    My son is in the first grade an is also obsessed with Lego, Ninja Turtle, and Super Hero books. He has been reading the Magic Tree House books for awhile now and really enjoys them. He also just checked out the first book of the Key Hunters series from the school library. He can’t wait to read more from this fun series.

  • Melissa November 16, 2016 at 6:39 am

    My daughter reads a series that is called Kylie Jean. It includes titles like Kylie a Jean Drama Queen and Kylie Jean Basketball Queen. She also reads a Stella Batts series.

  • Carley November 16, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Do you have any christmas gift ideas for a boy Smith’s age. I am in need of help! Maybe a few books in the stocking! Thanks for putting this up, gathering up great ideas. Prayers for your family!

  • Brianna November 16, 2016 at 6:41 am

    The Boxcar children, Narnia series, Sideways Stories books by Louis Sachar – great for boys and girls

    I loved Nancy Drew, anything Judy Blume, and the Little House on the Prairie books when I was younger and my brother (who wasn’t much of a reader) loved the Hardy boys and Hank the Cowdog series. Those may be a little old school, but they are classic!

    Good luck! Praying for little Ashby and your family today! 🙂

  • rose November 16, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Hi! I’m a teacher and just off the top of my head here are some series I thought of:
    -Horrible Harry
    -The Littles
    -Cam Jansen
    -Diary of a Wimpy Kid

    Prayers being sent your way <3

  • Regine Karpel November 16, 2016 at 6:42 am


  • Mary November 16, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I teach 2nd grade, but have taught K and 1st for many years. Here are some favorites…
    for boys and girls…
    Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant
    Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborn (my fav is Danger in the Darkest Hour-a story where Jack and Annie travel back to Normandy, France during D-Day)
    The Buddy Files ( a series about a Golden Retriever trying to find his family-my students LOVE these!)
    Written by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Ranger in Time ( a new series about a dog who travels back in time and helps rescue people-great for learning about history and if you like dogs)
    Horrible Harry
    Humphrey series (about a hamster who lives in a classroom-there are easier and shorter chapter books and longer chapter books)
    Gus and Grandpa (written at an end of 1st grade level chapter books)
    Who Is? What Was? Where Is? series of books-great biographies, events, places nonfiction
    Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant
    Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel
    Ready Freddy

  • Ashley November 16, 2016 at 6:45 am

    My sister and I read Charlotte’s Web (chapter book) around Kensington’s age and absolutely loved it. We were a little obsessed actually.
    I know most of my little brother’s friends read the “Captain Underpants” series growing up. I personally dont know much about it and my brother is NOT a reader so he didnt get involved, but almost every boy his age had these books in hand.

  • Kelly November 16, 2016 at 6:46 am

    A to Z Mysteries
    Calendar Mysteries
    Ballpark Mysteries

  • Leslie Z November 16, 2016 at 6:47 am

    I’m a first grade teacher, so I consider myself an expert on finding books for kids! For Smith, have you tried the Jigsaw Jones Mysteries or A to Z Mysteries? My kids love them! For K, what about the Rainbow Magic Fairy series? For either of them, there’s a great series called My Puppy Place and each book is about the adventures of one pet Check those out!

  • Leah November 16, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Definitely try the Magic Tree House series! My son is in 1st grade and loves to sit down with us to read these chapter books. I’ve really enjoyed the books myself too – it’s a fun story line that takes the two main characters (kids) to different points in time/history on special missions. Right now, we’re reading “Christmas in Camelot.” 🙂 There are so many books to choose from, so it appeals to many interests (boys and girls).

  • Ashley Van Dam November 16, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Also I should have added – definitely will be praying for Ashby and the other little boy today!!

    2 Kings 20:5 “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears, I will heal you!”

  • Ashlan November 16, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Prayers sent your way Mama, all the way from WI. Thank you for sharing your sweet heart this morning. Hang in there today, He’s got this!

  • kathy olson November 16, 2016 at 6:50 am

    I prayed for them both.
    Have a beautiful day!

  • Heather November 16, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Boys-Nate the Great,, Adventures in Odysessy books, Trailblazer Books, Magic Treehouse, ANYTHING NON-FICTION…

    Girls-My America Series, Mandie Series, Nancy Drew Series, The Little House Pioneer Sister Series, Cam Jansen, Sisters in Time Series

  • Shelly Bell November 16, 2016 at 6:52 am

    My boys (14 & 17 now????)always loved reading books by Matt Christopher, they’re chapter books and sports related! As they got older the liked books by Mike Lupica, again another sports author. Good luck!

  • Leslee November 16, 2016 at 6:53 am

    I have two boys and two girls. The boys (2nd gr and 4th gr)…the I Survived series is a must! Historical fiction and my boys devour them. Also, if he like baseball…Ballpark Mysteries is a fun series that has a mystery that takes place at each MLB park. There is also a Bug vs Bug series that I can’t remember the exact name of right now…but my 2nd grader is getting some of those for Christmas. And Diary of a wimpy kid is always good!

    Girls…all of the above from other comments!

  • Bryana November 16, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Magic Treehouse series was a big favorite for me as a kid. A good series for Smith to try!

  • Becca Palmer November 16, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Yes, a mighty God we serve for sure! Will be praying for 2 sweet 4 year olds today! Hugs!

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life November 16, 2016 at 6:55 am

    I can’t wait to read through the comments! My 6 year old loves magic treehouse, captain underpants, splat the cat, but I’m always looking for new suggestions as well! Sending prayers for Ashby and the little boy in your family!

  • Chrissy Bryant November 16, 2016 at 6:56 am

    I second Action Bible and I didn’t see The Notebook of Doom…series of chalter books that are easy to read, very cute w/ just right amount of scariness…despite the name.

  • Brooke November 16, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Sending prayers for your sweet family! As far as books, my daughter loves the Little House On the Prairie Series and the Babysitters Club. I don’t have boys, but I remember my brothers reading Hank the Cow Dog books. ????

  • Paula November 16, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Henry & Mudge
    Magic Tree House! I even loved it myself.
    Cam Jansen is so cute.
    A-Z Mysteries.
    Little House on the Prarie!
    Kensington might love my old favorite, Babysitters Club!

    Prayers for your family!

  • Sydney Fritch November 16, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Some great girl book series are “The Doll People,” “The Sisters Grimm,” and “Mercy Watson.” Some great book boy series are “Hank the Cowdog” and “The Hardy Boys.” Book series that are great for boys and girls are “Harry Potter,” “The Boxcar Children,” and “The Guardians of Gahoole.”

  • Betsy November 16, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Matt Christopher writes great sports chapter books for young readers. See what Smith thinks of his writing!

  • Heather November 16, 2016 at 6:59 am

    A great collection of books to start with beginning chapter book readers are any of the series called Branches Books. They are high interest for new readers, primarily boys. Two of the series from the Branches collection that have been big hits with my students are the “Notebook of Doom” and “Eerie Elementary.” I second the Who Would Win and Magic Tree House series as well.

    Thinking of Ashby today!

  • Alissa @ the denim door November 16, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Love this post as our two oldest boys (8 & 11) aren’t big readers & I SO want them to love reading. Can’t wait to look through all the suggestions. Also – thank you for sharing your prayer requests. Happy & humbled to pray for them (plus your family) this morning. 🙂

  • Laura November 16, 2016 at 7:00 am

    As Kensington gets older, Gloria Whalen and Karen Hesse are wonderful authors. Smith might enjoy the Encyclopedia Brown series (recommended ages 8-12.) For our daughter who liked reading less, we found she enjoyed reading non-fiction books about people and activities she had interest in. She also enjoyed joke books (be ready to say, “Who’s there?”, repeatedly.) Blessings and prayers for both kiddos, families and medical personnel today.

  • Tara November 16, 2016 at 7:02 am

    My Kindergarten students LOVE Mo Willems books. They aren’t chapter books, but they are great! His Knuffle Bunny trio is so fun-I cried reading the 3rd book. The Elephant and Piggie books are great reads for emerging readers and the Duckling and Pigeon characters are so well loved! Can’t go wrong with Mo!

  • Sarah Bryant November 16, 2016 at 7:04 am

    My son likes Captain Awesome and anything non-fuction

  • Sarah November 16, 2016 at 7:05 am

    My 8-year-old loves to read so I just kind of go with the flow and follow his lead on chapter books. His favorites so far are Captain Underpants, the Notebook of Doom and Dog Man. Maybe not ones that I would pick but he loves reading so I’m fine with what he chooses as long as it keeps him reading.

  • Katie Yoder November 16, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I would recommend the Pack-n-Go Girls series. Janelle Diller is the author. She also happens to be my aunt. 🙂 Her love for travel inspired her to write these books. Happy reading!

  • carolyn clifton November 16, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Sending prayers up to the Throne for your sweet daughter and precious little 4-year-old member of your family.

  • Connie November 16, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Praying for your family right now! My eight year old daughter loves the Jigsaw Jones mystery series (would also be an option for Smith!) they are cute little mystery adventures! She also loves Amber Brown Series! Hope this helps!!!

  • Meghan Harner November 16, 2016 at 7:09 am

    I loved “The Boxcar Children” growing up, and also “Nancy Drew.” There’s also “Babysitters Club.” Sending prayers your way today 🙂

  • Andrea November 16, 2016 at 7:09 am

    My son loves My wired school, Geronimo Stilton, Goosebumps, Mr Lemoncellos library to name a few. I pray for your sweet Ashby & in return ask you say a prayer for my dear friend who just found out her dad has cancer on monday & is struggling. I keep a prayer candle in the house to honor my grandmothers tradition. Anyone needing extra prayers, their name goes under it. Your sweet Ashby’s name has been there since I read your blog about her surgeries! God bless her & the doctors taking care of her!

  • Christi Smith November 16, 2016 at 7:12 am

    My 1st grade son loves the Speed Racer series! He’s on the last book of the series and he was saying the other night he’s just not sure any other books are going to be as good. He loves them. Also, he loved the Captain Underpants series. I wasn’t so sure about this series because I don’t need any encouragement of more “bathroom talk” between he and his 4 year old brother. But I have to say we read these together and they were great. There were a few times I laughed out loud, I must admit.

  • Rebecca Bouwman November 16, 2016 at 7:12 am

    My son loves the Magic Tree House series. The books have 10 chapters each and are approximately 70 pages. I have to say, I enjoy reading the books with him 🙂

  • Lynne November 16, 2016 at 7:16 am

    I adore the Mercy Watson series! I’m a first grade teacher and I read aloud My Father’s Dragon every year. The kids LOVE it and I think Smith would, too. You may need to read it together. It is also a series.

  • Allie Thomas November 16, 2016 at 7:16 am

    If you have time, listen to the “What should I read next” podcast special kids series this week! I’ve heard a lot of great suggestions for kids of all ages on the podcast. Some of the books she recommends to grown ups in her regular podcast fit your reading style, so maybe you’ll get a rec for your TBR list too! Lots of love.

  • Courtney November 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

    I know my nephew loves Magic Treehouse! You also can’t go wrong with classics like James & The Giant Peach and Charlotte’s Web.

  • Stacey November 16, 2016 at 7:21 am

    My son was in second grade last year. He loved My Weird School series. And Notebook of Doom books.

  • Lindsay November 16, 2016 at 7:21 am

    When my little guy was Smith’s age, he loved the My Weird School Daze series. They are funny, short, and great early chapter books! He also liked Junie B Jones and Magic Tree House books. Once Smith is looking for something a little longer/more challenging, I’d definitely get him some Geronimo Stilton books!

    Prayers for your family!

  • Elspeth Mizner November 16, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Sending thoughts and prayers to both little four year olds for strength and God’s grace and love surrounding them!!!

  • Susan E. November 16, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Praying for both the four year olds! For Smith, check out the website It’s purpose is to encourage boys to read and keep reading. Click on the tab Books for Guys and you’ll get a list of categories(robots, historical figures, funny, series, etc) and book suggestions based on interest! It’s an awesome resource! To encourage him to branch out, you could try a system where you choose a book and then he chooses a book and so on. My dad did that with me to get me into the classics!

  • Kay November 16, 2016 at 7:24 am

    So many great boy book recommendations in the comments! I taught k, and really like the old school books for boys. With that said, some of the boys just did not get into them. Captain Underpants is a series that the kiddos liked (you may want to read it first to make sure you’re comfortable with it’s silliness). Secondly, all the kids LOVED The Magic Tree house books. Your kiddos could share those!

  • Kate November 16, 2016 at 7:26 am

    I’m a second grade teacher and the kids in our class loooveee…..Gironimo Stilton, A-Z Myseries (series!), Zoo Books (like a magazine), Magic Tree House, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Henry and Mudge (1st grade) , Elephant & Piggy (series)….kids LOVVVE these!, Duck for President/ Click Clack Moo (series), The Weird School (series), Fly Guy (series), Heidi Heckleback (series), Pete the Cat, Gooney Bird Greene (series), ….There are just sooo many good ones 😉 Most of the series can be interchanged for 1st/2nd graders! Hope this helps! If you need more ideas, let me know!!!

  • Alicia November 16, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Praying for your sweet 4 yr olds! My son liked to read Magic Tree House books, the I Survived book series (though I monitored what he could read) Magic School bus was good, but not really chapter books. My son loves fact books and non fiction, so he loved the Who is/Who was series. Narnia is also really great for both boys and girls, though a bit old for Smith right now. I personally loved the Little House on the Prairie series as well as all the L.M Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) series for girls.

  • Courtney November 16, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Hi Shay!
    When I was teaching, my students loved the Wayside School series. It’s very humorous, the kids enjoyed the crazy chapters and also enjoyed guessing what would happen next. I’m so glad you encourage reading in your home!

    Prayers to your family today!

  • Carley Morse November 16, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Nate the Great (he’s a detective) is a fun series for boys (and girls too)!

  • Renee November 16, 2016 at 7:30 am

    I’m so glad you asked this question because I have struggled finding good books for my 7 year old son! He just bought DogMan at his schools book fair and finished it in two days and he just started reading it again. I even caught him up late one night with his flashlight reading it. It is in a comic strip format and he can not wait for the second book to come out in December.

  • Colleen November 16, 2016 at 7:32 am

    First, way to go with making reading FUN! It’s not bribery, it’s encouragement! I’m a former 1st grade teacher, stay at home mom of 3 and literacy is my passion! The MOST important thing is making it fun. Keep going with bookmarks, flashlights, and library visits! I have a ton of suggestions and ideas. Just as a starting point for Smith: Hey, Jack series to read independently. If he’s ready, Magic Treehouse and Cam Jansen on his own (it’s no fun to read if you can’t get most of the words right, so finding the appropriate level is important). Captain Underpants is also silly fun, but may be a little later. Kensington may like some series from Usborne. Billie B mysteries, Secret Mermaid, and Fairy Ponies. I’d love to email you a few more! Thinking of those special 4 year olds today and sending prayers!

  • Patti November 16, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt is a great resource–it’s full of annotated lists of quality children’s books. You can search by age and subject. It has been so helpful, and we have discovered so many treasures we never would have found just searching the shelves at the library.

  • Emily November 16, 2016 at 7:35 am

    The Magic Tree House books are great! They are entertaining for kids and teach a little history/science as well. The main characters are a brother sister duo so they would be perfect for both Smith and Kensington!

  • Jami November 16, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Look at she gives so many book lists for all ages and types of books with a brief summary about each one. It is always my go to when I’m looking for my 9 year old girl and 7 year old boy.

  • Jennie November 16, 2016 at 7:39 am

    So my kids are older but I work in our school’s I raft and see what boys Smith’s age lose to his age check out on a regular basis. The following see, to be big hits:

    – You Wouldn’t Want to be Series. Chalked full of historically accurate facts as well as fun pictures. This is for kids a bit older, but if he can read chapter books then he can read this. Kensington might enjoy them too (my daughter did).

    – Who Would Win Series. These fly off the shelf and little boys are always telling me about the cool animals that go head to head.

    – Who Was Series. Boy, I keep choosing nonfiction, and here’s another. Again, these fly off the shelf. And Kensington will likely enjoy these too!

    -Finally, all boys seem to enjoy The Magic Treeshouse Series (you probably know all about this).

    Hope these help! Have a blessed day. Praying for y’all!

  • Melissa November 16, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Mercy Watson series!! This little pig is funny and boys and girls both enjoy reading about the adventures.

  • Vesti Wyatt November 16, 2016 at 7:44 am

    I’m not much help with books. My son is 6 1/2, and also greatly prefers anything Ninja Turtle, Lego, or Superhero. He LOVES history, but finding chapter books on his level (1st/2nd grade) in that genre is quite difficult.

    Prayers for Ashly today! A lifetime of surgeries and procedures is so hard on our babies…and us too. My son always takes it better than I do.

  • Lauren November 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

    My girly girl 8 year old loves reading the Lotus Lane series! Check it out! They are adorable! She also loves the Kylie Jean series books!!!

  • Megan November 16, 2016 at 7:46 am

    My daughter is also an avid reader and has devoured all the Junie B Jones, Magic Tree House, A to Z Mysteries, Calendar Mysteries, and Ramona. I’d recommend the Clementine series. She’s very similar to Junie B but the books are longer and less baby-ish. The series is by Disney and last time I was at Costco you could buy a boxed set of the first 4 books.

  • Kelly November 16, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Great job on encouraging your children to read! It’s such a blessing in so many ways. It’s been a long time since I’ve had 1st and 2nd graders so I don’t have any recommendations but am making notes for my grandchildren! Praying for Ashby and the other sweet 4yo in your family today. It’s a privilege to pray, thank you for sharing.

  • Ashley November 16, 2016 at 7:49 am

    The Ballpark Mysteries-great for sports lovers (there is even one about Fenway) 😉 Also, I survived series, Imagination Station (similar to Magic Treehouse but a Christian version), A to Z Mysteries, The Capital Mysteries, Geronimo Stilton. For a little easier chapter book series-my boys loved Henry and Mudge! 🙂

  • Jessie Maynard November 16, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Shay, I said a prayer for those two sweet four year olds. You said it perfectly “one big God”. Also, I recently read about The Prince Warriors, it is a series written by Priscilla Shirer. It also has a matching app. I do believe it was written for “middle-grade readers”. I don’t have kids but I think that would fall under middle schoolers? Something to check out, I suppose.

  • Jocie Scherkenbach November 16, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Hello! I used to work full time as a nanny and my kiddos loved to read! For the youngest (I know you didn’t ask but hey these books were a hit) the four year old and two year old loooove the Bearnestein Bear books! In addition I second all the recommendations for the Magic tree house! Both Kensington and Smith are sure to love these! The Fairy tale Fairies were a favorite of the girls as well as Judy Moody, the Never Girls, the cupcake diaries, the tale of Emily Winsnau, and Amelia Bedelia.

  • Megan November 16, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Lifting both children up in prayer. It is so hard to watch our little ones endure pain or suffering.
    My son love Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (I don’t love it but he is OBSESSED), Magic Treehouse series , and the I Survived…
    I’m currently on a hunt for a new series for him for Christmas so I’m loving all of the suggestions!

  • Erica Laramee November 16, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Geronimo Stilton, Magic Tree House, and the Action Bible. All amazing.

  • Jeannie November 16, 2016 at 7:53 am


  • Whitney November 16, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I have 3 boys around Smith’s age and their favorite beginner chapter books are anything Magic Treehouse or A to Z Mysteries. My 3rd grade son enjoys I survived books, the “who was…” series and Hank the cowdog.

  • Stephane Jennings November 16, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Prayers to Ashby and your family. Yes, to Magic Treehouse book series. Yes to Diary of the wimpy kid series, also 39 clues series, ivy and bean series, Amelia bedilia. We are going to try the Hardy Boys next. Harry Potter was amazing, my son did that in 3rd grade. I enjoyed Looking over the other suggestions. We are always looking for new book ideas!!

  • Paula November 16, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I have 2 young boys myself, 8 & 10. They don’t love to read but I try to encourage them by picking books with topics that appeal to their interests. My 10 year old started chapter books with The “Magic Treehouse” Series. He also really enjoyed the “George Brown, Class Clown” series by Nancy E. Krulik. My 8 year old has struggled with the jump from picture books to chapter books so we’ve found a fun transition series by Tim Egan, we began with “Dodsworth in New York”. This book has been a perfect fit for him and we all laugh out loud with the crazy antics of the Duck.

  • Holly November 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

    My 7 year old loves the I Survived series!

  • Jennie November 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Yes to Magic Treehouse, and my son (now 10) who is a reluctant reader also has really enjoyed the “I survived” series…they depict various events from history from a kid’s point of view (I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, etc.).

  • Karen November 16, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Praying for your family today. My son loved the Thornton Burgess books. This series was written in the 1920s and 1930s, but they are wonderful! Each book is about a separate forest animal and the adventures they face. Both my kids devoured these books. Good for boys and girls.

  • Allison November 16, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I will pray for both of the sweeties, Shay! As far as books go, I am a third grade teacher (live in McKinney, work in Coppell!), and I know both your oldest are approaching that age…. popular ones among the students are Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Geronimo Stilton series, and Magic Tree House series. If you want to really get them into reading (sounds like K already is), I would suggest a series because it is easy to follow since the characters remain the same and they build on the previous books so kids look forward to each one to ‘see what happens in this book’! K is almost old enough, I would think, to start the Little House series. I started in third grade and FELL. IN. LOVE.!!!!!!! With all of them. Little House in the Big Woods was first and then so on and they are THE. BEST. I think she would love them, especially if she loves American Girls cause I was a MASSIVE sucker for those books too!

  • Laura Bake November 16, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I’m a kindergarten teacher and I would definitely recommend the Magic Treehouse- based on what I’ve read abut Smith.

  • Constance November 16, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Hardy boys, boxcar children, ender’s series, nancy drew, and baby sitters club? Praying for sweet ashby!

  • Elizabeth Blaine November 16, 2016 at 8:00 am

    The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson, the Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers, and there are lots more options at They are great adventure stories for kids written by Christian authors. Very similar feel to Narnia stories. I hope Smith finds some good ones!

  • Guest November 16, 2016 at 8:01 am

    My 7 year old LOVES Captain Underpants books!!

  • Dena November 16, 2016 at 8:02 am

    For Smith I recommend the Ricky Ricotta and his Mighty Robot series as well as The Who is/was, Where is and What is/was series (actually Kensington would like them too–they even have one about Jesus).

    For Kensington my daughter loves the Amelia Bedelia and Wellie Wishers chapter books.

  • Barbie November 16, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I’m currently student teaching in a first grade classroom and have found that though they may be a little old school all the Froggy books by Jonathan London are very relatable to kids ages 5-8, especially those with siblings. They aren’t necessarily a series but there are tons of them that can be read in any order. As far as chapter books go it depends on his reading level but the boys in my class really like the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne and any of the Mouse on a Motorcycle books by Beverly Cleary. The Black Lagoon books by Mike Thaler are also written to target more of a boy audience. Any of the Elephant and Piggie books or Pigeon books (both by Mo Williams) are also a huge hit but they’re more for a fun/goofy read than an actual story plot.

  • Bethany November 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Hi Shay! I don’t ever reply but felt like this was my area to share some recommendations. I am a retired first grade teacher and while you have many worthy suggestions, I would recommend non-fiction titles for both of your big kiddos. I could never keep enough titles in my classroom libraries of non-fiction! And wait for it…especially with the GIRLS! (insert big eye emoji) YES! Girlies would grab the snake and tornado books! But most importantly, don’t forget to continue to read to your big kiddos as well. They are at the age where they are really influenced by your voice inflection and other reading skills that they need to see modeled even after they are readers themselves. THANK YOU for promoting the love of reading in your kiddos, it melts this former firstie teachers heart!

  • Whitney November 16, 2016 at 8:07 am

    First, prayers being sent your way for those 2 very special little 4 year olds!!!!

    Boys chapter books: My boys (now 9&10) loved loved loved the Ready Freddy series when they were younger. They seriously read them several times each and would still reread them again today if I hadn’t passed them along to others.

  • Katie November 16, 2016 at 8:08 am

    I have a 1st grade boy as well and some chapter books he loves (but can’t read them all himself, we usually do every other page) is The Magic Tree House, Boxcar Children, and his teacher suggested we try My Weird School. I haven’t bought that series yet but have heard good things about it 🙂

  • Elizabeth November 16, 2016 at 8:08 am

    My 8 year old really enjoys the Boxcar Children Series, Hardy Boys, Magic Tree House and Flat Stanley. As a family, we read The Chronicles of Narnia together.

  • Julie Krintzman November 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

    So sorry to hear about your four year olds-sending them best wishes and thoughts! For Smith, I second Magic Tree House. And for K, try the NEW Babysitters Club by Telgemeier. They are so fun!

  • Jenny Molina November 16, 2016 at 8:11 am

    There are great chapter books with Usborne Books. It is an home based company that people can have Facebook parties or in home parties. My kids love them!

  • Cindy November 16, 2016 at 8:13 am

    My nephews are 13 & 15 now, but when they were younger we spent a lot of time in Barnes and Noble. The older would always select books about sports. There was a series similar to the Magic Tree House about football, soccer, baseball, basketball, etc. Then he moved up to the Percy Jackson series. The younger one loved history, he would always pick out a book from the children’s section on history. I went with what they loved and then looked for books on that subject. Keeping Ashby is my prayers today.

  • C November 16, 2016 at 8:14 am

    My son loves the Ballpark Mysteries series-each book is set at a different MLB stadium!

  • Alison T November 16, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Along with many others, I also recommend the Magic Treehouse series for Smith. My son used to love those. A modest chapter book. Just enough to make them feel like an accomplished reader but not complicated to lose their interest. My son was never a super enthusiastic reader but he absolutely loved those books.

  • Jeannie Pietrowiak November 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Gosh, our kids are in college and high school now but I remember being in your shoes!! The series that really turned my kids into readers was Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne. What an adventure, both my girl and boy loved seeing where they were going next…and with your love to travel, your kids should really enjoy these books. You’re setting a wonderful example by your reading appetite!

  • Christy Angliss November 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

    My sons are now 23, 21 and 16 but back in the day they liked to read the Magic Tree House Series, A to Z Mysteries and the Chronicles on Narnia set. It seems they each had their separate interests. One loved history so he read historical fiction and autobiographies for kids on historical figures. The others were into sports so it was fictional sports stories and autobiographies for them. It was much harder finding books for my boys than it was my daughter but I would talk to their teachers and our librarians and they were always very helpful in finding us new books for them to read.
    I see someone else recommended the Action Bible. My oldest son loved that as well.

  • Taylor November 16, 2016 at 8:17 am

    All the prayers coming your way! The Lord knows what each of those kiddos needs (and what all the family needs), no specifics necessary!

    Suggestions: Box Car Children; Hardy Boys (K may like Nancy Drew); he would probably enjoy Ramona books… You could try reading a few aloud and see if you could hook him – that’s what always worked for my brother who would listen on the sly whilst playing legos… ;); same with Little House on the Prairie; Magic Tree House; check for age-appropriateness because it’s been a long time, but we always loved Horrible Histories; Hank the Cow Dog (fun to read aloud too).

    ALSO, check out the Sonlight website. It’s a reading-based homeschool curriculum, so there are tons of good suggestions there. They only include around 10% of the books they read, so they’re generally pretty good. Historical fiction, read-aloud suggestions, you name it – tons of material!

  • Tina November 16, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Magic Tree House series and the accompanying non fiction readers that go with each book. In the series the children travel through time to places in history. My boys then loved to read about what really happened during the time period.

  • Jeannie Pietrowiak November 16, 2016 at 8:18 am

    …praying for both of your family members! We worship a MIGHTY GOD!

  • Jill Van November 16, 2016 at 8:19 am

    My kids love the Magic Tree house books… they are great for boys and girls. My 10 year daughter loves to read and she said they were her favorite in 2nd grade.

  • Tina November 16, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Yesss Junie B. Jones are the best!! I did my book report on one of those books back in the 2nd grade. haha. Glad to see they are still around and bringing joy to kiddos 🙂

  • Merideth November 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

    My son loves the Geronimo Stilton series! Think Indiana Jones if he were a mouse. There are TONS of adventures in his books; they even have series within the series if that makes any sense. Apparently, they are hysterical because I’ll hear my son giggle as he reads. Love that! Also, I think the author is brilliant because s/he has found a way to incorporate the picture cues kids that age need into the framework of a chapter book. Amazon sells the hardbacks for next to nothing.

  • Amber Walker November 16, 2016 at 8:22 am

    My daughter love Junie B Jones, the Magic Tree House books, and she’s recently gotten into the Bad Kitty books and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Her FAVORITE are the Shel Silverstein poetry books (ex. A Light in the Attic). She has read them over and over and over.

  • Sharon F November 16, 2016 at 8:22 am

    My girls LOVED the Rainbow Magic fairy books by Daisy Meadows. Sue Bentley had a series about magic animals. Magic puppies, kitties, bunnies, etc. The Charming Pony series,& the Pet Trouble series are great too. Both Kensington and Smith would like the Humphrey the Hamster series by Betty G Barney. All of the books by Bill Wallace are great too.
    My girls all love to read and books about animals were their favorites. I also suggest EBay for children’s books. So many good books and much better prices for gently used books.
    Prayers for the 2 kiddos in your family today.

  • Amy November 16, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Magic Tree House!!!!!! My second grade boy is obsessed with them!!! Perfect boy books! Also, the National Geograohic Kids books are great for boys as well!

  • Sara November 16, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Boys: Matt Christopher has like a million sports themed books. They are good stories with good moral lessons around teamwork, trying your best, sportmanship, etc. You could also try the Mouse and the Motorcycle series, the Super Fudge series (starts with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing), or my favorite – How to Eat Fried Worms.
    [My mom is a librarian. Getting little guys to read was a personal mission of hers!]

  • Kristin Tate November 16, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Two four-year olds, one God. Wow, that gave me chills. I’ve prayed before I typed and will continue to pray.

  • Tonya November 16, 2016 at 8:26 am

    My book suggestions: Magic Tree House and Judy Moody Series.

    Prayers for Ashby and the precious 4 year old boy in your family. On my drive to work this morning, God just pressed something into my heart so fresh and new. Jesus is Life! He is the resurrection. Now this is not just a one time event on the 3rd day over 2,000 years ago. This is all day every day. Jesus brings life into every situation and circumstance. There is no stopping it. Now, it isn’t always the exact way we would choose or in the time frame that suits our preference, but nonetheless Jesus is Life and is bringing life to all of the ill and dead places in our lives; relationships, finances, illnesses, fears…There is NOTHING beyond His resurrection power.

    “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17

  • Katie H November 16, 2016 at 8:32 am

    When my oldest son was that age he loved Hank the Cowdog. We have almost all of them and they are one of the few things he won’t let me get rid of! The CDs are great too by the way! The author reads them and they are really funny and not mind numbing to listen to if you ever need to listen along! 🙂 I second the Action Bible! My boys are so familiar with lots of the Bible because of the hours they spent poring over it!

  • nichole November 16, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Some boy book recommendations: Nate the Great series, Encyclopedia Brown, the Hardy Boys!

  • Kelly Henderson November 16, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Both of my kids LOVED the Magic Tree House series at Smith’s age …there are 8 million of them to choose from, they are historical fiction. They are pretty easy to read but they do get kinda boring after about 100 of them. Ha!

    For Smith … try the BallPark Mystery series by David Kelly. The first in the series is “The Fenway Foulup” our son LOVED these books around Smith’s age.

    For Kensington … she’s almost ready for the Dork Diary series. Our daughter read these books 4th-6th grade as they were being released.

  • Anna November 16, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I have an 8 year old goddaughter who loves the Ivy and Bean books!

  • Lori November 16, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Absolutely praying for Ashby (& you!) and the little boy in your family. <3 I have heard great things about The Wingfeather Saga books by Andrew Peterson – I haven't read them, but one mom I talked to said that they are what encouraged her son to really love reading. We have loved The Adventures of Edward Tulane & the Mercy Watson Series (funny, easy read). I follow Sarah Mackenzie's Read Aloud Revival blog & podcast and she always has excellent book recommendations for kids of all ages!

  • Jennifer November 16, 2016 at 8:35 am

    My first grade son absolutely loves the Ricky Ricotta: Mighty Robot series. The pages are all colored with lots of pictures and the chapters are only 2-3 pages, so he feels like he has really accomplished a lot of reading. These are the books that got him hooked on chapter books.
    His favorite book is The Bad Guys book by Aaron Blabey. There are 2 more coming out in the series next year and he is going to be estatic.
    And lastly, he is getting in his stocking 2 Rider Woofson books. I am hoping they are a winner too.

  • Lauren November 16, 2016 at 8:37 am

    My almost 8 year old loves: Nancy Drew (the old school books!), Boxcar Children series, Magic Tree House, Anne of Green Gables (condensed version for younger ones) and we are about to venture in to the Little House on the Prairie books!

  • Erin November 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Praying for your family right now!!

    As for books…..for Kensington you absolutely must get the Recipe for Adventure series by Giada De Laurentiis. A brother and sister travel the world on food related adventures! I think the Nate the Great series by Margorie W. Sharmat would be perfect for Smith.

  • Sarah L November 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

    My 1st grade son has just started reading the Magic Tree House series and loves them. My 9 year old daughter loved the Whatever After series. Fancy Nancy has some chapter books too that are cute. Your younger kids would love Piggie and Gerald books. Actually, all my kids still love to read and act them out like plays or puppet shows.

  • Katie Hayes November 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

    My son is 8 and JUST started to love reading (after much coaxing from his parents!) ???? So, don’t worry!
    The thing that got him very excited to read is surprisingly, audio books. We listened to a whole book together and it clicked for him that if he sticks with a book all the way to the end, they have awesome stories! My boys love to listen to the 39 Clues series… a good mix of adventure, history and mystery. (And I’ve enjoyed getting into this series with my boys!)
    My son’s very favorites:
    -Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series
    -Magic Treehouse Series
    -Kung Pow Chicken series (he LOVES!)
    -Hardy Boys/Encyclopedia Brown
    – Brixton Brothers mystery series

  • Ranisa November 16, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Magic tree house series for both, but especially smith. Clementine, Judy moody, magic kitten series are books my girls just recommended for Kensington.

  • Karen November 16, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Praying for Ashby and the other little one!!! Eager to pray!

  • Keisha Dawson November 16, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Praying for those two today and peace for their mamas!!! I have two little guys, and we highly encourage reading at our house. We are right in the middle of the Chronicles of Narnia right now. The Action Bible is great! They will both reread that one often. They’ve also enjoyed Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Series), The Gollywhopper Games (Series), and I Survived (Series).

  • Ashely November 16, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Our boys enjoy boxcar and magic tree house 🙂

  • Anna November 16, 2016 at 8:50 am

    I work with pediatric patients and their families. We receive countless donations of books to give the families. The 3 most popular books that I’ve seen boys reach for/get excited about are: 1. Tommy Donbavand- quirky, fun adventure books 2. Magic Tree House Series- I also LOVED these as a kid 3. Geronimo Stilton- written as though they are autobiographical adventure stories. ( Prayers for sweet Ashby and 4-year old family member today.

  • Jen November 16, 2016 at 8:53 am

    My boys struggle to find books they love and we’ve tried them ALL. They both love the Who Is series, they’re nonfiction accounts about historical figures (especially the ones about sports players!). We also like the My Weird Schoolhouse series by Dan Gutman – they’re early reader chapter books that tell tales of silly happenings in an elementary school. This one might be a little too old for Smith, but it’s a GREAT one to tuck away… but The Contract by Derek Jeter (I know, Yankees….) but believe me, the book was awesome and hit on so much more than baseball, it was filled with good life lessons. I even liked it and I’m not much for baseball. It was that good. Keeping your 4-year olds in prayer today too!

  • Kara November 16, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Praying. My little girl likes Bad Kitty. Not sure if your family likes cats, but it is a simple chapter book about a Bad Kitty.

  • kathryn madison November 16, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Prayers for your sweet family today. Proverbs 3:5-6 says Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding but in all you ways acknowledge HIM and he will make your paths straight. This verse always speaks to me in times of worry.

  • Gina S. November 16, 2016 at 8:55 am

    In my response to Hallmark Christmas movies to watch, I forgot to add – A Princess for Christmas????
    Books- see website for Ellis the Elephant… American History series by Callista Gingrich wife of Newt!

  • Corbie November 16, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I agree, the Magic Treehouse books were a hit for my son Jack. They are great for boys and girls because it is a brother and sister that end up on magic adventures. I too am reading the series… in Spanish! I am buying these books in Spanish now and they are really helpful to help me in learning the language, lol. I will be lifting two sweet 4 year olds in prayer today!!

  • Krystal November 16, 2016 at 8:56 am

    My 7 year old daughter loves to read too! Here are some of her favorite series:
    Magic Tree House – Mary Pope Osborne
    My Weird School Days – by Dan Gutman (I have a feeling Smith would really like these)
    Goosebumps – R.L. Stine
    Bailey School Kids
    Nancy Drew Clue Crew
    The Boxcar Children
    Babysitters Club Little Sister Series

    Hope this helps! 🙂

  • Karen November 16, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Praying for the kiddos and you too!!! Such great recommendations here…… 8 year old daughter is currently obsessed with the Puppy Place series. Each book is about a different dog that one family fosters and the mischief and fun each dog brings to their family.

  • Kelly November 16, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Prayers for Ashby and for the little boy in your family that needs prayers. I have loved reading everyone’s suggestions. My son is in 2nd grade and has enjoyed the Magic Treehouse books but a friend recently recommended Tiki Barber’s sports book series for kids and they look great and I plan to buy some for my son for Christmas. My daughter was given a set of the Rainbow Fairies books and she loves them.

  • Natalie Clark November 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Sending lots of prayers up for you and your sweet family today. I so wish I lived closer (even though you don’t know me), and could offer up my help.

    My little niece also loves the Ramona books I got for her last Christmas. My mom got her the kids version of the Nancy Drew series and she currently always has one with her. She loves them! I always wish I had more suggestions for boys. I was a 7th grade English teacher and it was always hard to come up with good boy books.

  • Lisa November 16, 2016 at 9:02 am

    My kids (girl and boy) have both liked the Magic Treehouse books and the Wayside School series. The Trumpet of the Swan is another favorite of my daughter’s. We also read a lot of Roald Dahl and Judy Blume. When my daughter was Kensington’s age, she enjoyed the Rainbow Fairies books (although they made me want to stab my eyes out with a fork).

  • Jennifer Craig November 16, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I have 2 boys ages 6&9. Here are some great ones as they are both big readers!
    *magic treehouse series
    *here’s hank series
    *geronimo Stilton series
    *roscoe Riley rules series
    * Humphrey series
    *nate the great series
    * little rhino series ( about baseball)

    Hope this helps!!

  • Tracy November 16, 2016 at 9:05 am

    My 7 year old son loved the Geronimo Stilton series. My other son really enjoyed Captain Underpants, Magic Treehouse and Goosebumps.

  • Sammi November 16, 2016 at 9:08 am

    My 6 year old boy is currently loving the A to Z Mystery Collection. He likes the mysteries and he definitely loves that they kids are the ones solving the mystery!

  • Stephanie Lynn Pruitt November 16, 2016 at 9:09 am

    My son is about Smith’s age, and all about the action hero books too. He’s also liked The Adventures of Captain Underpants. Mama wasn’t sure about it based on the title, but it’s about the right dose of little boy silly, and my son thinks it’s hilarious… He’s read it multiple times, so that’s a win in my book. Excited to see others’ ideas!
    Praying for your sweet four year olds!

  • Morgan Harris November 16, 2016 at 9:10 am

    My son really liked Gernoimo Stilton, Magic Treehouse, Captain Underpants and the I Survived series. As he got older he was a fan of Gordon Korman & the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series also. Currently he is into James Patterson (Middle School series & Robots series). I’ve found that the series books seem to peak his interest a little more as he can follow the same characters.

    Good Luck!!

  • Shelly November 16, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Thornton Burgess has some books with animals as the main characters that my boys have loved and most are free on Amazon Kindle. My daughter likes the Bobbsey Twins. “Honey for a Child’s Heart” or the book lists from are great resources.

  • Amy Ray November 16, 2016 at 9:15 am

    For Smith, I would recommend Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie books. They are VERY easy to read, but they are so fun to read!
    For Kennsington, all of the following are series books: Clementine, Stella Batts, Ivy & Bean, Violet Mackerel

    And now I’ve killed an hour on Barnes & Noble making a list of books for my 9 year old!

  • Brittany B November 16, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Do all schools in the US carry the same books?! A lot of repetition here – ha! I would have to agree with the second grader reading books for my daughter.
    Thank you for asking us to pray for Ashby and the other four-year-old. Prayer is powerful. I just prayed for them both, and your whole family. Blessings to you!

  • Christina W. November 16, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Chet Gecko is great for boys. It might be a little above Smith’s reading level(I’m not exactly sure), but they are great! The Wayside School books, Bailey School Kids, Nate the Great and the Bunnicula series are more fun series for Smith. I also think he might like “The Mouse and the Motorcycle”. I think Kensington would like the “Magic Attic Club” and the “Amelia’s Notebooks” series(although the Amelia ones aren’t chapter books). The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is also a hilarious Christmas read for kids!

  • Connie November 16, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Prayers for Ashby and your familys little man. For Smith which some may find unsuitable for his age..Captain Underpants, my son read some of these from 2nd grade and on. Diary of a Wimpy kid. His 2nd grade teacher told me if these books get him interested in reading then that’s what we want. My son was picky with books in elementary. The Magic School Bus has chapter books, Bad Kitty, Stink The Incredible Shrinking Kid, Star Wars has several chapter books for young readers. Hope this gives you some ideas. 🙂 My daughter can pick out books very easily. Must be a girl thing! Ha!

  • Bethany November 16, 2016 at 9:21 am

    When I was young I loved the Mandy series. They are mysteries but aren’t intense. Not sure what age I started reading them bUT K might like them soon.

  • Autumn November 16, 2016 at 9:21 am

    It’s already been mentioned many times above – but I have two boys (now 13 and 10) and Geronimo Stilton and The Magic Tree house series started them both on the path to being lifelong readers with inquisitive minds. Now we’ve moved on to Harry Potter, Hunger Games anything by James Dasher.

  • Jean November 16, 2016 at 9:21 am

    My three boys LOVED Captain Underpants. One son had a lunch box with him on it, another a little blow up doll. All purchased through Scholastic. My son’s second grade teacher let me come and read it to the class! (very sill potty humor) I asked the teacher if it might be offensive. She said books like this that get boys to read, laugh and enjoy reading are win/win. And they couldn’t wait to read the next one.
    My daughter loved little house on the Prairie and I had all my OLD Nancy Drew books and she loved those too.

    Consider the prayers done. I will go on a prayer walk for those precious ones today!

  • Erin November 16, 2016 at 9:23 am

    My daughter is in 2nd grade and is in love with the Heidi Heckelbeck series. There are 20 books in the series and they are really cute! She also loves the Amelia Bedelia books, Princess in Black books and all American Girl. Good luck!

  • Emily Elderworth November 16, 2016 at 9:24 am

    My boys love The Magic Treehouse series!

  • Melissa November 16, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Praying for your family. As others have mentioned, for Smith the Magic Tree House series, Boxcar series, Frog & Toad, and Jack Stalwart series (we are on book 10).

  • Kerry Dorman November 16, 2016 at 9:26 am

    We have two boys (7 & 5) and Magic Tree House, Ranger in Time & Pete the Cat are among our favorites…. my oldest one loves Junie B. Jones (shhh! don’t tell him it’s a girl series).

  • Mary-Charles November 16, 2016 at 9:27 am

    My second grade students love A-Z Mysteries, Magic Tree House, and I Survived series. Those are all chapter books. Picture books by Oliver Jeffers are awesome. We love The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home, Stuck, This Moose Belongs to Me. This is another fun way to encourage reading. Its like a book light but the kids wear them on their fingers so they can follow along on the page.

  • Lora Bryant November 16, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Undead Pets series by Sam Hunt (I think)….My 8 year old son loves them!

  • Allyson November 16, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Sending up prayers for Ashby and your family today!

    Elementary school librarian here! I love all of your reading posts. You’ve already received some great suggestions. Here are some more!
    For Kensington- Kylie Jean series, Cupcake Diaries series, Critter Club series, and the Lotus Lane series. All of these are favorites among the girls who seem to share Kensington’s interests. For Smith- Ballpark Mysteries series, Notebook of Doom series, Roscoe Riley Rules, My Weird School series. Happy reading!

  • Paige Rodriguez November 16, 2016 at 9:35 am

    My son LOVED the “My Weird School” series by Dan Gutman. It’s very boy humor (but silly, and I didn’t mind it)… and it was just the right length for him. He never like Magic Tree House that much, but this one was IT for him! It then turned into loving Diary of Wimpy Kid, Big Nate…. then now (3rd grade), he LOVES the bigger Dan Gutman books about sports, and Tim Green sports books about Football!!

  • Ariadna November 16, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I’m sorry I don’t have any recommendations for you my daughter is only 4 years old so I’m writing some notes down for future reference. 🙂 But I am praying for your family and Ashby and the other sweet 4 year-old in your family. May God protect them and keep them safe and their families be comforted in the thought that they are in His hands. Amen.

  • angela November 16, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Anne of Green Gables series, Little House on the Prairie, Lion Witch & the wardrobe which can all be read with them together or on their own.

  • Beth November 16, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Smith might like the Dragon Breath books. My son is younger than Smith so we haven’t really delved into the one we were gifted, but they’re chapter books about a dragon.

    I would echo Roald Dahl, too. Amazing, imaginative stories.

  • Jenna Stiegelmeier November 16, 2016 at 9:41 am

    My son loved the Nate the Great books. My other son (who was/is NOT an avid reader by far) really liked the books by Matt Christopher (The Dog That Stole Football Plays, The Dog that Pitched a No-Hitter, The Dog the Stole Home). They both LOVED the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo (author of “The Tale of Despereaux). My daughter, who is 8, likes the Little House on the Prairie series right now and the Wayside School series by Louis Sachar. Andrew Clements is another good author for that age (Frindle, Lunch Money, Lost and Found). Box Car Children series is another classic series. Praying for both the 4 year olds. Our God is one of strength, compassion, mercy and power. He can and will look out for both of them!

  • Amy T. November 16, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Lee Roddy has 2 series about young boys: The Ladd Family adventure and DJ Dillon Adventure Series. They are both 12 I think, but if I remember correctly were pretty easy to read.
    He is a Christian author and all of his books are wholesome and exciting. I read his Between Two Flags series as a teenager and LOVED them, I think I read them several times all the way through!
    Also, Gordon Korman’s series are really exciting: My favorites were The KIDNAPPED Trilogy and On The Run.

    Sending prayers for your family today!

  • Robin November 16, 2016 at 9:44 am

    For Smith – Magic Treehouse, Geronimo Stilton, Big Nate and if he likes things a little spooky every now and then the Goosebumps books are fun too!

  • Miriam November 16, 2016 at 9:56 am

    My son is totally obsessed with The Geranimo Stilton series! His whole 2nd grade class was hooked on them last year and the are good for boys and girls!

  • Jocelyn November 16, 2016 at 10:01 am

    My first grade son loves the Magic Treehouse series (aka the “Jack and Annie” books). He also likes the Minecraft Zombie books (which are chapter books).

  • Katie Ault November 16, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Praying today for those two special 4 year olds in your life.
    One series that all my boys have loved is The Go ToysOut series by Emily Jenkins. There are 3 books in this series, and they are hilarious. They remind me of Toy Story.

  • Brenda November 16, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Not sure if they are still available but my son loved reading The Hardy Boys. He had a learning disability, at first it was so hard to get to read anything, so his counsellor said it didn’t really matter what he was reading, even if it was comic books. The fact that he was reading was all that mattered. He eventually progressed to chapter books but it took a while.

  • Kristina B November 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

    My son (12 now) loved the “Baseball Card Adventures” by Dan Gutman. They feature kids traveling back in time and having some sort of encounter with a past (real) baseball player. There are 6 or 7 of them I believe, shorter chapter books. He also really liked the Star Wars Origami books, the Jedi Academy series, Wimpy Kid (while very funny you can use these to tell your kid to do the OPPOSITE of what Greg Huffley would do, lol), Geronimo Stilton books are great – very fun to look at, too – they use different fonts, colors, and some illustrations, Magic Tree House books are great, A to Z Mysteries, Capital Mysteries. Also, these are a little bigger but might be fun to read together with him, Carole Marsh writes mysteries based on landmarks and real destinations, and they feature characters named after her grandchildren.

    My daughter is also an avid reader, and reads about anything. She’s 14 now and just devours books. Actually she just started high school and gets frustrated that the increase in homework has stolen so much of her reading time! In elementary school she loved the Nancy Drew Clue Crew series, the Sisters Grim series, and many of the series listed above. Girlfriend loves herself a series because she doesn’t want them to end :).

    As your kids get a little older make sure they read Wonder. My husband, myself , and both of my kids read it and it really affected us all.

  • Jill Edgington November 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

    The Humphrey series is pretty funny! Narrated from the class pet, Humphrey. A to Z Mysteries, G. Stilton, Ballpark Mysteries, Magic Tree House, The Secrerts of Droon and Blast to the Past were all favorite first chapter book series for my son.

  • Kelsey D November 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

    this would be more for your little ones– i just bought this book for my best friends kids for christmas! it was one of my favorites when i was younger- the illustrations are BEAUTIFUL- and the story has a good meaning about the story of the candycane and the true meaning of christmas!

  • Angela Ellingson November 16, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Great idea for a post!

    Dear God, I lift up Ashby and the little boy in their family to you. Thank you God that you love these children so much and you know their every need. I ask for healing for them both and that you would be glorified. Please give them both and their families peace that can only come from you. I ask that you would take away pain and carry them through these challenging times. I ask for sweet moments of joy and little blessings for them both. Please be with Shay’s whole family. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Love you, blog friend. 🙂

  • Kristen November 16, 2016 at 10:13 am

    My son is 8 and in the second grade. He loves chapter book and LOVES the Notebook of Doom Series. I think there are 10-11. He thought that they might be too scary but they really aren’t scary at all. The “monsters” are piñata filled candy monsters, etc. They are so cute and a little suspenseful. I definitely recommend them!

  • Tyler November 16, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Praying for both of those sweet four year olds.

  • Danielle Hewitt November 16, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Here are a few boy book series suggestions – Who Was? book series, The Magic Tree House (they have both fiction and nonfiction options), Cam Jansen Mysteries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Adventures of Captain Underpants, Big Nate and My Weird School.

  • Gloria Hunsberger November 16, 2016 at 10:30 am

    My son LOVES the Who Would Win books by Jerry Pallotta. They pit two animals against each other and explain who would win in a fight. They are full of interesting facts about the animals. I learn a lot from them too!

  • Debbie K November 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I prayed for Ashby this morning when I saw the picture on IG. Will keep both 4 year olds in my prayers today. As for books…For Kensington the Betsy and Tacy series, and Diaries of Young Americans, I loved reading these when I was younger (Much younger LOL). For Smith… my son was not a reader no matter how hard I tried. I remember getting him to read sports novels by Matt Christopher, but I think they are too advanced for Smith at this age, maybe something to remember in a few years.

  • Annaliza R November 16, 2016 at 10:33 am

    I think you’re getting a lot of great recommendations, the books we order from scholastic are the Magic Tree House series, A to Z Mysteries, Calendar Mysteries, the Sue Bentley books (Magic Puppy, Magic Bunny etc), Magic Animal Friends series by Daisy Meadows, and the Ralph mouse books (Beverly Cleary). I had a friend recommend The Princess in Black series from scholastic (we haven’t read these but my friend said her daughter really enjoyed them). Other books that aren’t offered in scholastic : The Hardy Boys, The Boxcar Children (I find the old one’s on ebay), and the Sparkle Spa series.

  • Lauren McLean November 16, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Kensington sounds just like me as a little girl : ) I would read CONSTANTLY, especially in the car, even if we were just going on a five-minute drive to the grocery store. I’m a 90s kid but I looooved Junie B. Jones and American Girl books too – has she read any of the Babysitter’s Club books? When I was her age I read every single book in the “Babysitter’s Club Little Sister” series.

    For Smith…what about the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne? Those are good for boys & girls, but they’re adventurous and educational too! I bet he’d like them.

    Prayers all day today for those sweet little ones. xoxo

  • Tina November 16, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Christian singer /songwriter Natalie Grant has a series of books out: Glitter Girls (Faithgirlz)
    Titles: London Art Chase, A Dolphin Wish, Miracle in Music City, Light up New York (2017)
    Really positive wholesome stories!!!!!

  • Kate November 16, 2016 at 10:48 am

    A Series of Unfotunate Events is a super entertaining series that you could read WITH smith! Or Kensington too! I loved those books when I was younger, and since I believe there’s 12 or 13 in the entire series they’ll keep you hooked for a long, long time.

  • Sara November 16, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Books for boys around your son’s age/reading level. You ready? 🙂
    Magic Tree House,
    A-Z Mysteries
    Geronimo Stilton
    Alvin Ho
    Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates
    Galaxy Zack series (great for boys ages 5-7)
    The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man
    Atomic Ace
    Notebook of Doom
    Ike LaRue series
    Dragonbreath series
    Shredderman series
    Horrid Henry series
    The Case of the Gasping Garbage
    Time Warp Trio series


  • Michelle November 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Smith- Fly Guy series, Jack Russell: Dog Detective series, Box Car Children series, Ricky RIcotta’s Mighty Robot series
    Kensington- Owl Diaries, KiKi and Coco, Little House on The Prairie series

  • Sasha November 16, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Matt Christopher books! All of his books are based on different sports. So, ANYTHING he is interested in will have a book associated with it. My son LOVED them, and since he has been around forever they are often easy to find second-hand.

  • Kaitlyn November 16, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Wonder by RJ Palacio
    The Magic Treehouse books
    Junie B Jones

  • Kaitlyn November 16, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Also- Rainbow Magic series!

  • Melissa November 16, 2016 at 11:26 am

    My oldest son is in 3rd grade and by the middle of 1st and all through 2nd grade, the Diary of a wimpy kid series were a huge hit at his school. He also has always loved Harry Potter as well. We are searching for great books for him right now though!

  • Gail November 16, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Hank the Cowdog is a must – my boys, both in their 20’s now, used to love these books! They also enjoyed the Hatchet series when they were in fourth or fifth grade.

  • Christin November 16, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Praying for both of them

  • Jennifer November 16, 2016 at 11:42 am

    I have 3 boys one is too little to read on his own but my older two love reading. Here are some of their favorites.
    Fly guy
    Magic tree house
    Boxcar kids
    Captain underpants
    Pete the cat
    I survived
    Who would win

  • Erin November 16, 2016 at 11:46 am

    My 7 yr old son loved the Wrenly series. I also read it out loud to my 5 yr old boy and he loved them too. A girl might enjoy them as well. The main character is a boy but his best friend is a girl and there are mermaids and unicorns in the books as well.

  • Stacy Tsoukatos November 16, 2016 at 11:55 am

    The Candy Fairies and Rainbow Magic Fairy books would be great for Kensington. Prayers to Ashby always.

  • Jennifer C. November 16, 2016 at 11:55 am

    A great series for boys is the Captain Underpants books. My son LOVES them and I kind of enjoy them too 🙂 Prayers for the four year olds.

  • Tracy November 16, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Praying for both precious 4-year-olds today.

    You’ve probably gotten these boy book recommendations in other comments but I’ll share just in case. These were some of my son’s favorites… Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series, Cam Jansen series, Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Both your kids might like the Alex series — you’ll have to buy them used as they’re older.

  • Mary November 16, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    As a former teacher, I loved the Boxcar Children books AND Little House on the Prairie series. I think your children would love the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie series. You are only 2 hours away from her home in Mansfield, Missouri when you visit family in Joplin. Laura actually wrote her books in the home in Mansfield. So many of the things she talked about in her books are at the museum there, including the tablet with her rough drafts. Read Little House in the Big Woods together to spark interest through discussion. Then, Little House on the Prairie next. I had students who would get up at 6:00 to watch Little House on TV! It was fun for me to see so many people buying Susan dolls (from Laura’s childhood memories), porcelain Jack (the dog) figures, etc. I can see Kensington becoming hooked on these historical treasures.

  • Joan Dukore November 16, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Encyclopedia Brown: smart boy who solves mysteries in the neighborhood. You have to flip to the end to find out how he solved the mystery!
    Anything with a Newberry Award, but My Side of the Mountain and 21 Balloons are my top two.

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World November 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Praying for your sweet family, Shay! I hope everything goes perfectly for Ashby today and I’m so happy to know that these procedures are working.

  • Mary November 16, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Stone Fox is such a great story for both boys and girls. It’s not a long book, but a very touching book that my students loved (2nd-5th grades). There is a tv movie about the story to watch after you read the book. We did compare/contrast activity as we watched the movie. It was fun to hear students say they actually enjoyed READING the story more than watching the movie!

  • Jessica November 16, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    My second grader loves the big Nate books, they are comic books, but he is reading! He also has loved the dragon master series of books. Prayers for your sweet Ashby and your family.

  • Jessica Cain November 16, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I have a 7 year old boy that loves the Magic Tree House series and they are relatively short little chapter books.

  • Melissa D. November 16, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I used to teach first grade and both the boys and the girls loved the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. I know they’ve done some updating in recent years but they loved the little bit of magic!

  • Kaley November 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I taught 2nd and 3rd grade and my boys always seemed to love the Magic Tree House series and A to Z Mysteries! I see some others have suggested those and I highly recommend them!

  • Meghan November 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Praying for the little ones today. As far as books for first and second graders
    -the Stink series (he is Judy Moody’s brother, if your daughter has read her books the characters will be familiar. my daughter’s little boy friends like the books, but she also read them all)
    – the Who Is? – non-fiction books about many historical and pop culture figures from sports and entertainment,
    – The Capital Mysteries series takes place in D.C. and is fun for kids with an interest in history and government
    – the Greetings from Somewhere series is popular with my second grader who has tired of Magic Tree House but likes that each book takes place in a different geographical location and surrounds a mystery the brother/sister team have to solve
    -the Babysitter’s Club novels and graphic novels are also popular with my 2nd grader
    – the Billie B. mystery series is another favorite
    – I also found some simplified versions of some classics and my daughter loved them – Anne of Green Gables and Little Women with simpler language and shortened stories were fun to listen to her read and I hope she reads the original novels later on
    – any Kate DiCamillo books are fantastic for reading together with children that age Because of Winn Dixie and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane are my favorites
    – Wish by Barbara O’Connor is a great novel for your daughter – a little heavier than the typical early readers but a heartwarming story. Her novel, How to Steal a Dog, is next on my daughter’s “to read” list

  • Kathy November 16, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    All three of my kids loved the Magic Tree House series as well as A to Z Mysteries. The boys also enjoyed 39 Clues. My daughter adored Junie B Jones and now that she’s a little older, she really loves the Dork Diaries series. The boys both loved the Diary of a Wimpy kid series. As the boys have grown, the Lightening Thief series has become a favorite and of course Harry Potter. I hope that helps and sending prayers for the two kiddos!!

  • Michelle November 16, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    As a mama to three boys, we’ve been through lots of books but the standout early series are Geronimo Stilton, Weird School, and the I Survived series. Some classics for both boys and girls that we’ve recently enjoyed are Socks by Beverly Cleary and Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Also, sending up prayers for your sweet 4 year olds today.

  • Nicole Weaver November 16, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    All three of my boys loved the Magic Tree House series….full of adventure and different places for each book.

  • Marie Claas November 16, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I was definitely going to suggest the Little House books, especially Little House In The Big Woods. 🙂

  • Brandye November 16, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    WOW ! As a language and reading specialist, I LOVE all the suggestions your readers have given you. All I can add is to keep them reading, and writing about their reading. Smith reading to his baby sister warms my heart more than you know. It is never too early to introduce text and he gets to be the teacher!

  • Anna November 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    My boys both love The Magic Tree House series!

  • Sarah Rynarzewski November 16, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    My 7 year old is a voracious reader too. She loved The Magic Treehouse, The Calendar Mysteries and the A to Z Mysteries (all available throughout scholastic), as well as Charlotte’s Web, the Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little. Other hits include: The Little House on the Prarie Series, Ivy and Bean and Beverly Cleary. Right now she is really into Nancy Drew and Erin Hunter’s Warrior Series.
    For Smith, has he read Frog and Toad, My Father’s Dragon, Sam the Minuteman, The Little Prince or the Boxcar Children (it’s a whole series now). We loved those too!

  • Karen November 16, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    My seven-year old son loves the Magic Tree House adventure series of books by Mary Pope Osborne. There are over 50 in total and each story is a new adventure that incorporates something historical so they are interesting for parents as well. Most of the stories also have a companion fact book so you can learn all the facts too.

    My prayers go out to you and your family and sweet Ashby.

  • Keri November 16, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    You should check out Usbourne books. They have an I am Jack series for beginning readers that are supposed to be amazing!! You probably even have a friend that sells these books! We love everything by them!

  • Jessica Hubers November 16, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    My little boy is 6 and recently is in to the magic tree house chapter books he loves them and my little girl 9 loves the little house on the prairie series. Praying for you sweet Ashby and the little boy in your family. In times of trial I love to remember Jeremiah 29:11. Gives me so much comfort. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  • Jessica Kristiansen November 16, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    A few series that my kids love are Notebook of Doom, Stick Dog, I Survived and Origami Yoda.

  • Marika Scotton November 16, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    My favorite subject books! I don’t have kids yet but going off of what I read when I was little here are some:
    The Dear America books! I think she might need to be a bit older, but they are seriously the best. Each book is about a girl in a different time period in History and the books read as their diary. So fun and you learn about history while reading.
    I saw some ladies mentioned Boxcar Children and those are also so great!
    Another one of my favorite series was Little House on the Prairie, such a good series and it made me want to make all the cool things they would make.
    I think I could keep going, but lastly Chronicles of Narnia! This one Smith would also probably like.
    Hope this helps 🙂

  • Courtney Palmisano November 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I recommend the Baseball Mysteries. Each book takes place at a different ball park. The author weaves information about the park throughout the story. It is a step up (in reading level) from Magic Tree House. My son and I read through those throughout baseball season when he was in 1st grade. Yes, there is even on about your beloved Red Sox!

  • SMum November 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Lots of great reading suggestions here. If Smith is into superheroes, my 7-year-old has really enjoyed the DC Super Hero books published by Capstone. There are chapter books, story books, graphic novels, “choose your own ending” books in a wide variety of reading levels. We have read a number of the ones written by John Sazaklis, Benjamin Bird, and Yale Stewart.

  • Jenny November 16, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I recommend Magic Tree House, Jigsaw Jones, Horrible Harry, Nate the Great, anything by Patricia Riley Giff. I have a 1st grade girl and she enjoys all of those too. =) As your kids get a little older Box Car children is a great series!

  • Melissa November 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I have a first grade boy and a third grade girl. My third grader never leaves the house without a book, and can most often be found on the sofa, reading. I am always tempted to only want her to read quality, classic books. But I just can’t keep up. So I’ve decided to let her read whatever, as long as it’s not inappropriate.

    My son loves the Ballpark Mysteries (each book is based around a different major league team) and any book about Minecraft – not quality, but at least he’s reading for fun! My daughter’s favorites last year included Judy Blume books, Amelia Bedelia, the Never Girls, and Heidi Heckelbeck. And both kids really enjoy Boxcar Children and Magic Treehouse.

  • Chrissy November 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Hi, I had success with sharing some of my own childhood favorites with my son like The Boxcar Children series. We read this one aloud together as a family, and my son requested I changed Benny’s name to him (bc my daughter is named after Violet).

    Boxcar Children
    The Encyclopedia Brown series is another fun one for boys and girls. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
    Dear Mr Henshaw is a favorite of both my son & I
    Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House in the Prairie books for girls… I’m planning on having my son read the Little House in the Big Woods & Farmer Boy
    Sarah, Plain and Tall–I read this in 3rd grade. The movie is beautiful, if you can track it down
    Anne of Green Gables series for older girls… I cannot wait to share this and the movies with my daughter some day
    Babysitters Club if you can track em down ????
    Saddle Club books
    The Westing Game
    The 21 Balloons
    Redwall~this is a long book. I think I tackled this in 3rd-5th grade. Same with Little Women
    Mr Popper’s Penguins was my first chapter book & my son loves this one
    The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks series–out of print, but worth tracking down
    The Indian in the Cupboard
    The Borrowers
    The Littles
    Number the Stars (5th grade) by Lois Lowry
    Narnia books
    Mary Poppins–original novel
    101 Dalmatians –original novel
    Dr. Dolittle–3rd grade-5th grade
    Where the Red Fern Grows-5th grade
    Basil of Baker Street series (Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective is based on this)–loved this in 3rd grade
    The Adventures of Ali Baba Bernstein
    Percy Jackson–my son loves this series
    The Chocolate Touch
    How to Eat Fried Worms
    Timmy Failure–my son just started this one
    The Lemonade War series–my son loves this
    Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes–3rd grade loved this so much & I also used to sit for hours folding cranes
    Flicka (the books are so much better than the movie)
    Wimpy Kid diaries–another fave of my son
    From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler
    A Wrinkle In Time–older readers
    The Phantom Tollbooth
    Island of the Blue Dolphins–5th grade
    Harriet the Spy
    Tuck Everlasting
    Mr Limencello’s Library
    bobbsey Twins–my son actually enjoyed this. I think kids are likely to enjoy books you loved as a child and share with them… although mine just doesn’t ger Harry Potter ????, lol.
    Also check out Newberry Award Winner books–I read and enjoyed quite a few of them as a child

  • Jenny H November 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    My 6yo (now 7) loves the Imagination Station series. He’s read them a couple times!

  • Amy November 16, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    My 7 year old loves these “Who Would Win” from Scholastic book orders. There are several to pick from. They are great 32 pagers.

    He also likes Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    We also will have “themes” of books. The boys were pirates for Halloween, so we took out many pirate books (different reading levels, lots of variety) from the library for the weeks around Halloween. So fun! Sometimes they are in the mood for something quick and sometimes more in depth.

  • Bethany Teague November 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    For Smith try the Imagination Station book series. It’s from The Adventures in Odyssey audio series. Also, The Happy Hollister books are super old school but both my 9 and 7 year Olds love them! My little girl like the Next Generation series. It’s kind of like American Girls. There are also some really cool missionary hero’s books that my kids read. They do male and female missionaries. Think Gladys Alward, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, etc… my kids really enjoy them!

  • Gretchen Dall November 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Prayers prayers prayers from Manhappy, KS. Loving all these book suggestions. Both my kids went through all the Jake Maddox books. They are all sport books and there are tons of them.

  • Megan Butler November 16, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Prayers!!!! And I don’t Have suggestions but I’ll be referring back to this post in a few years!!!

  • Shelby November 16, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    As a little girl, my all time favorite book was The BFG! I think they recently released a movie about it, I haven’t seen it, but the book is so good! It’s a little lengthy, but an easy read. I see others mentioned The Magic Treehouse series, I also loved those!

    I would encourage Kensington to read a children’s devotional. I have one for my little girl (age 4) that we read nightly. The pages are short and sweet and so encouraging for her little mind. Just a thought.

  • Shannan November 16, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    If you son is into hockey, check out the Screech Owl series by Roy MacGregor.

  • RoseMary N November 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    James Patterson(the Author) has a website for kids. It has book suggestions by age to get kids to read:

  • Melodie November 16, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I only have boys. Culdesac kids are good for either gender. My boys love geronimo stilton, a to z mysteries, magic treehouse. But then also classics like: charlottes Web, wizard of oz, old yeller, mouse and the motorcycle, indian in the cupboard….

  • Leanna November 16, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Try the “Ready Freddy” series. Both my boys love them.

  • Heather November 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    My daughter loves the Whatever After Series. Really cute series about a brother and sister that find a magic mirror in their basement that transports them to Fairytales like Cinderella and Frozen. Also, the Boxcar Children is a fantastic series! For boys, as silly as these books are, my son loved Captain Underpants when he was Smith’s age. I was a little hesitant at first, but they really are just silly books that have a lot of toilet humor. Cute to get them through the early chapter book season, until they start to enjoy higher level chapter books. Praying for all of the sweet kiddos! 🙂

  • Kristen November 16, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    These are some AWESOME recommendations!! As a second and first grade teacher, I’ve noticed a lot of my boys like to pick nonfiction books for their book bags. Favorites are usually by Seymour Simon and Nic Bishop. Dav Pilkey and Tedd Arnold books are always a favorite for fiction(I have to replace The Dumb Bunnies books every year due to them being so well loved!) . The Lunch Lady series is another one that is always on a waiting list. Depending on his reading level, Smith might also enjoy the “I Survived…” or the “According to Humphrey” series.

  • Cheryl November 16, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Have you ever checked out the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog? She also has a fantastic podcast called What Should I Read Next? This week all the podcasts are devoted to children’s books. She’s wonderful.

  • Amy S November 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Kensington might like Anne of Green Gables and I heard it’s coming out again as either a tv series or movie. I picked up a book at Target today that you might like Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes. I’m starting to read Christmas novels because it gets you in the spirit!

  • Tracy November 16, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Praying for the kiddos!
    Boy book suggestion – there’s an old school series my aunt who’s a long time teacher recommended called “Nate the Great.” He’s a little boy who is a detective and solves little kid mysteries. They’re like a step between early readers and chapter books. Also, in the original book he solves the mystery with the color orange as a clue, so Smith may especially like that 🙂

  • Mindy Tierney November 16, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    As a few others have mentioned, the My Weird School series is the best! My daughter loved it. I even found it very cute and funny. Highly suggest it. My daughter (only child) is now in 6th grade and I so miss the little beginner chapter books. Hope this helps.

  • Janeen November 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    What about the Boxcar kids, Amelia Bedilia, Fudge, Double Fudge and Super Fudge books… Also the Soup book series like Soup for President! Hope sweet Ashby did well and prayers for the other situation!

  • Kelli November 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Magic Tree House
    Henry and Mudge
    Nate the Great
    Cam Jansen
    Weird School…Dan Gutman also has a baseball series for a little older than 1st grade

  • Kelly Bonner November 16, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    As a former first grade teacher & now kindergarten teacher I recommend: Ballpark Mysteries, Cam Jansen, Ready Freddy, Judy Moody, & for girls there’s a fancy Nancy mystery series the girls love.

  • Lori R November 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I am a first grade teacher and the boys in my room love The Magic Tree House series a lot!

  • sarah November 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Big Nate is a great series for boys. Both of my boys have enjoyed those.

  • Amber November 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I have taught K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. I second all of the series mentioned by your readers. One of the series most loved by my girl students was The Doll People by Ann Martin. I think I loved reading it in class just as much! One of the series most loved by boys is of course The Magic Treehouse but they also love Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid- this is written by the same author as the Judy Moody series (which Kensington would like). Stink is Judy’s younger “pain” of a brother:). A lot of my second graders loved reading the I Survived series which are historical fiction books based on real events in history.

  • Erin B. November 16, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Try Cam Jansen or Bones series for Smith (both by same author) and Boxcar Children series for Kensington (make sure you read the original Boxcar Children book before the rest of the series and then the movie version of the first book is on Netflix and really good).

  • Sarah Ray November 16, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I loved the cul-de-sac kid books when I was Kensingtons age. My brother did too! I suggest looking into those ???? Prayers for Ashby & your family ❤️

  • Andrea Hooper November 16, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I feel like I just scrolled for two minutes to get to the bottom of all of these comments! Great suggestions. One of my absolute favorite series when I was a kid was the Mandie series. It is by Lois Gladys Leppard and is about 40 books long. This is a suggestion for Kensington. It’s geared towards 8-12 year olds. They are fantastic books.

  • Amber Easterling November 16, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Gibson loves the Hey Jack! Series from usborne books. Every book is 3 chapters and easy to read. Prayingredients for your family friend!

  • Tiffany November 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    My nephews LOVE the “Who Would Win” and the “Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robots” series!

  • Waleska November 16, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    My son, who is about Smith age, enjoyed Mr. Popper Penguins, My Father’s Dragon and the Tumtum and Nutmeg series (they are such cute stories!) and of course The Magic Tree House and Hey Jack series! Happy reading!!

  • Aeryn November 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    I’m a teacher, I’ve taught PK-2nd grade, and when I taught the older graders, my boys absolutely LOVED the Magic Treehouse Series, and since I taught in poverty and they can’t afford books, they would always borrow them from me so they could read them, at home.

    There’s also a bad kitty chapter book series, and my boy students absolutely loved them too. They’re really funny.

    Girl-rise, the Ramona Cleary books were always popular with my female students. They also really loved the Magic Treehouse series.

  • Lindsey November 16, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Nate the Great
    Chronicles of Narnia
    Amelia Bedelia
    Captain underpants

  • Jen November 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    For Smith I would recommend the How To Train Your Dragon series… quite different than the movies/show and bonus, there are 12 of them! My boy loved them – action, adventure, danger and just enough disgusting boy humor to be scandalous. 🙂

  • Christy MacKenzie November 16, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I tried to read through all of the comments, but there were so many!! So I am not sure if you have had the Hank Zipzer series mentioned yet or not. It was written by Henry Winkler, who has dyslexia, about a boy with dyslexia. The first book is called Niagara Falls, or Does It? haha cute– my students (with dyslexia) loved it! Also, the Fudge series by Judy Blume is funny and kids love them. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar was also popular. Others I thought of I saw were mentioned previously. Hope you get some good ideas for your blessings! Praying for your sweet Ashby, too!

  • Chelsa Knepp November 16, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Boxcar children- boys or girls
    Babysitter’s club (start with little sisters)-
    I found these on eBay
    Amelia bedelia
    I survived series for smith – might need to wait a year or two ? Not sure what level they are
    Little house on the prairie — we read these together and my boys and girls liked them equally

  • Elizabeth November 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    This is a great post- I read through comments for ideas myself as my oldest is definitely a bookworm. My daughters’ favorites are definitely Junie B. Jones and many of the others already mentioned, but her teacher suggested Judy Moody books, which I’ve bought for her upcoming birthday, so the verdict is still out, but they look cute. She spotted my old set of “Little House on The Prairie” books and asked to read them and surprisingly LOVES them! I try to read those with her because she is still 6 and didn’t fully understand the concept of time periods at first. Praying for your sweet Ashby and other family!

  • Melysa November 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Land of the Stories series by Chris Colfer from Glee.

  • Sarah November 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Shay…praying for Sweet Ashby and your family member. I am a second grade teacher and along with the above series mentioned, my students are OBSESSED with the Humphrey books. The author is Betty G. Binney. He is a classroom hamster who has all kinds of great and fun adventures with the students when he goes home with them on weekends. He also learns a little about the kids and teaches a lesson to the family. There are several of these in the series and my students can’t.get.enough! Clementine is great for Kensington. Mercy Watson books are short little fun chapter books. Also Scholastic Books has online Book Flix kids love.

  • Chantelle November 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    my first and second graders have LOVED the Magic Treehouse series. Both girls and boys:)

  • Bethany November 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Praying for those babies!

  • Daniele November 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Holding your prayer requests in my heart tonight.

  • Meredith November 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Have you seen the Lego Bible for kids? So cute! Prayers for those 2 precious kiddos.

  • Lindsey November 16, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Has he read any of the Ready Freddy series? It’s all about a first grade boy and my son loves them!

  • Merideth November 16, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    I agree with Ivy & Bean( they also have a CAUUUTE paper doll set to go with the series on Amazon), Clementine, Geronimo Stilton, and I’m adding The Adventures of Sophie Mouse, the Santa Paws series for when they are a little older and a great book series to read to them would be the Tumtum & Nutmeg series! Such adventures they go on and it will keep both boys and girls interested 😉

  • Melynda November 16, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I haven’t read all the replies, so please forgive me if these are redundant… my son loves to read and when he was Smith’s age he really enjoyed Nate the Great. They are fairly simple and short books, but if Smith has just started chapter books, these may be the right length and level to make him willing to try something new. Flat Stanley also has a line of chapter books that are mysteries and there’s another series called A to Z Mysteries. Hank the Cowdog is a fun series and Hardy Boys. The have a newer version that’s a lower reading level, but still very entertaining. We get almost all of my son’s books from the library, so maybe take him with you and let him see all the options available. His school library probably has a much smaller selection and that might be hindering him from finding other books he’s interested in. I also have a daughter, but she’s a little younger than Kensington, so these suggestions may be too easy…Mermaid Tales series, The Princess in Black, and there’s a series based on Neverland and the fairies (Tinkerbell and her friends), but I can’t remember what it’s called. Oh, one last thing, one of the best ways to get kids interested in new types of literature is for them to listen to new types of literature. We read a ton out loud, but we also use books on cd. Perhaps listening to some books in the car or while building Legos will open up Smith’s eyes to how interesting other books can be. I hope this helps!

  • jen j November 16, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    My son is in 1st grade, we just finished the Dragon Masters series. They are scholastic branches books. I can’t say enough good things about them. We already preordered the 7th book that is being released in February! Prayers for your family!

  • Lesley McFarland November 16, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Hey Shay!
    I am preying for sweet Family. I hope Ashby is resting comfortably and your family has strength for the little one.
    As far as books go for the big kids…smith try Fly Guy. This is the only book my son would read in 1st grade. He LOVED them and I think we own just about every single one. He is not a big reader so anything he was interest in we bought. We also do a lot of books on Audiable. Ry loves listening books.
    As for K…I’m not real sure…you covered the ones my daughter read.

    I cannot wait to go through all the recommendations

  • Eryn November 16, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Magic Animal Friends books seem to be a hit in our house!

  • Leslie W. November 16, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    I don’t know the exact target age but the Captain Underpants series is what worked for my nephew. (I know – super weird but boy humor!) Praying for Ashby; God has BIG plans for that sweet girl. Also praying that God puts his mighty hand on the situation with the little boy – He delights in showing us over and over what only He can do!

  • Southern & Style November 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    First of all, prayers for sweet Ashby! God has got this & I can feel Him all over that sweet girl! Secondly, I loved the Junie B. Jones series when I was a little girl. My mama used to read it to me with a special Junie B. voice and that’s one of my favorite memories of growing up!

    xoxo, SS

  • Kara Messner November 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    My son is 8 and reads like crazy now, but his favorites are these: Jack Stalwart (It’s a 14 book series – easy read chapter books and he can’t put them down. Zac Power (4 books in the series and ditto – can’t stop reading) Magic Treehouse, Puppy Place books and anything Star Wars chapter books too!

  • Cheryl November 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I’ve been reading books by Bill Wallace (The Backward Bird Dog -The Flying Flea, Callie, and Me – Danger in Quicksand Swamp, plus many others) to my classes for the past 30 years. We recently discovered The Doll People series. My second graders can’t wait to read the next chapter. I think your son might enjoy Skinnybones by Barbara Park in a year or two.

  • Deanna November 16, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Before Ramona, Beverly Cleary actually wrote about Henry Huggins. She wrote about this boy because kids were often complaining to her that they couldn’t find any books for boys like them. My daughters really loved the Henry books but I bet your Smith would like them too.

  • Sue November 17, 2016 at 3:15 am

    It’s been awhile, I also recommend the Matt Christopher sports themed chapter books for Smith. Can choose by what sports he’s interested in.

  • Holly Hopkins November 17, 2016 at 5:59 am

    A great Christmas read for 2 to 7yr olds is “Stick Man” by Julia Donaldson. My kids love this book and its super cute and funny!
    Praying today!

  • Cate November 17, 2016 at 7:05 am

    I think they’ve been suggested, but in first grade last year my son loved magic tree house and A to Z mysteries. Fly guy are also great short books. Towards the end of first grade he started reading the Geronimo Stilton & likes those too. He loves to read. He’s in second grade now & just started Harry Potter. He always picks out the lego, Pokémon, or skylander books along with some other chapter books at the book fair 🙂

  • Carson November 17, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Suggestions of series for K: Nancy Drew, Ms Piggle Wiggle, and the Wayside School books.

    Ronald Dahl would be awesome for both kiddos, as well as E.B. White books, like Trumpet of the Swans, Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web.

  • Nikki November 17, 2016 at 8:49 am

    For Smith, I highly recommend the My Weird School series by Dan Gutman. The titles are things like Miss Daisy is Crazy and Mr. Tony is Full of Baloney. My son laughs out loud while reading them! They’re not super long, but are chapter books. A definite favorite in this house!

  • Lauren November 17, 2016 at 8:59 am

    My 8 year old daughter loves any book by Roald Dahl and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. My 6 old son is starting to get into the Nate the Great series. This post is fantastic! I’ve took down a ton of suggestions. Thank you! And prayers for Ashby and the 4 year old boy!

  • Hillary Kinzel November 17, 2016 at 9:23 am

    My girls both loved/love the Rainbow Fairy series. They are 7 book series based on different themes….the sports fairies, ocean fairies, weather fairies, arts and crafts fairies, etc. Amazon has them but Scholastic is a great source as well. The are perfect early chapter books for 1st-2nd grade readers.

  • Lori November 17, 2016 at 9:26 am

    My Boys both loved the Ball Park mysteries. Each one takes place in a different Major League Ball Park. Fun!

  • Deanna November 17, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Has Kensington tried Harry Potter yet? If she can read the American Girl books, she is totally ready for Harry Potter. And for Smith I would suggest Terror at the Zoo by Peg Kehret or The Boxcar Children (an oldie, but it’s a great series). The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series would be fun for both of them.

  • Lisa November 17, 2016 at 11:10 am

    My daughter was a big Junie B. fan; when she finished those she moved on to Katie Kazoo Switcharoo, very fun series with a lesson woven in! Katie always means well ????!

    My son liked Captain Underpants …hey, at least he was reading ????!

  • Allison November 17, 2016 at 11:23 am

    The box car children and the adventures of the bailey school kids were always a favorite for me!

  • Lindsey Wolfe November 17, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    My son, Logan is 8 and has always been a reluctant reader. He is HUGE into sports and were gifted a Matt Christopher book. HE IS OBSESSED! I mean, Obsessed like crazy. We have a ton now and he is enjoying them so much. It is the first time he ASKS to read and there have been nights where I have to tell him to turn off the light and go to bed! ha! So I’m a big supporter of giving them books about what they love. Logan loves sports so we are giving him sports books!

  • Jayne November 17, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I’m jumping on the Magic Tree House bandwagon, too, for boys and girls both. Cam Jansen and Nate the Great are good ones as well. Matt Christopher books (they’re all about sports) were a hit at my house but maybe for slightly older kids depending on his reading level/interest. Prayers for the kiddos!

  • Colleen @ 50 Days of No Grey November 17, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    How great to see a family that loves reading!! There are so many great choices! My son is a voracious reader and I wrote a post about his books here:

    Geronimo Stilton, Captain Awesome, Captain Underpants, and Big Nate are just a few we love in our house.

  • Julie Joy November 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Have you checked out Usborne Books? They have a variety for all ages! Series, chapter books, learning books etc.

  • Jenna November 17, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    My 6 year old loves the Stink series. Stink is Judy Moody’s little brother and my son thinks they’re great.

  • Amanda November 18, 2016 at 8:56 am

    You should check out “The One and Only Ivan.” It’s a book that is based on the true story of Ivan the gorilla who was brought to the Atlanta Zoo after years of living in a cage at the mall. It’s a really cute, remarkable story. My friend teaches 4th grade and her students absolutely loved it.

    *Bonus, the zookeeper who trained and cared for Ivan until he died is the daughter of a couple I know very well from my church. Hearing the backstory to book was really neat. They even have one of his paintings in their living room (yes, he was an “accomplished” artist).

    Maybe one month you should do a kid’s book review! I don’t have any children yet, but I am also an avid reader so I can’t wait to share my love of reading with kids someday.

  • Sharon November 18, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Here are some classics for Kensington –

    The “Shoes” series by Noel Streatfeild. It’s a series that follows three children on the stage “Ballet Shoes” is the first in the series (the other books may feature the same characters or friends).

    The Betsy- Tacy books – Maud Hart-Lovelace. A series about two adventuresome, spunky girls. Wholesome but the girls take charge of their own adventures.

    The Saturdays/The Four Story Mistake – Elizabeth Enright (anything by Elizabeth Enright!) Series about four siblings having adventures in Pre-ww1 New York

    Little House Series – Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Madeline Series (probably for Ashby)

    All of a Kind Family – Sidney Taylor. A lovely family in turn if the century New York (last century) with “stair step” children.

    The Borrowers – Mary Norton. A tiny family of “Borrowers” that live under the floor boards or in the garden.

    Charlottes Web – Mary Norton

  • Ashley Clark November 18, 2016 at 10:33 am

    His books are geared towards younger kids, but Oliver Jeffers is my favorite! He does these amazing illustrations and his stories are so inventive and magical. They’re as much fun for adults to read as they are for kids!

  • Jen Huegel November 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I’m a teacher and my son loves Magic Tree House, Zombie Goldfish, Captain Underpants and Kung Pow Chicken. My daughter loves the Laura Ingalls Wilder! Also, Ann M. Martin writes wonderful books with deeper thinking as she gets older (3-5th grade).

  • Kim Crouch November 18, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Check out the “Magic Tree House” series, my oldest son LOVED! Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is an awesome book if you’re a #boymom… in this one! We would read together before bed every night and they begged me not to put it down. It’s PRECIOUS!

  • Elaine hargrove November 18, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    My kiddos love these personalized books!! Avery loves that her name and photo is in the book!

  • Ashley November 18, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    My daughter is in fourth grade and she is really obsessed with the Kylie Jean series right now. They’re really cute girly chapter books and have pictures and short pages. She has a list of all the ones she’s read so far and loves them a lot.

  • Grace November 18, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    My boys have enjoyed the I survived series, Who is series, and Laura Ingalls Wilder (I was surprised at how fascinating this was for my boys). I’ll be praying for your family!

  • Louise November 20, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Hi Shay,
    Both my girl and two boys loved The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pop Osborne. Up over 50 books now.
    Choose Your Own Adventure have 184 books in their series. Again, great for both girls & boys.
    Now for an Australian plug – Steve Parish (photography) in animal & nature books for young readers, authored by Rebecca Johnson. HIGHLY recommend this series. Some titles are Koala’s Big Day, Wombat Secret, Dolphin’s Triumph, Clever Clownfish, Treefrog Tangles, Shark Showdown, and many more. Fantastic for both girls & boys also!
    I have three teenage children now who all are keen readers because of getting hooked on book series since they were toddlers. We love book series in our house!!! Good Luck from Australia!

  • Shelley Holden November 20, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Shay- you have gotten so many suggestions that you probably already have all of these on your list but my girls and I love to read so much that I had to share our favorites! My girls are 8 (2nd grade) and 10 (4th grade) and some favorites are: The Little House on the Prarie series, the Boxcar children, Nancy Drew original books, Betsy-Tacy, and we have also loved these series- I Survived (I think Smith would really like these), Who Was, and the Dear American series.
    We also loved Classic Starts- great easy ways for young readers to enjoy Little Women, A Little Princess, Treasure Island and the Secret Garden and more.
    My 4th grader is loving Cupcake Diaries, the Rush Revere series and John Grisham’s new series Theodore Brown- child lawyer. Love that all of these are educational but fun for kids to read too.
    And Harry Potter is so fun for the kids and then you can take a trip to Universal Studios and make it come alive for them in Harry Potter world.

  • Whitney November 20, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I bet your daughter would LOVE the Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker. My students always loved them. A few other great series – Magic Tree House, Cam Jansen, Hank the Cow Dog and The Box Car Children were always a hit in my classroom.

  • Nancy November 21, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I am a former second grade teacher, and every year I always read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlotte’s Web to my class. They all, boys and girls, loved those books. When I had my own daughter and son, they loved both books as well. Share the classics with your children! Another favorite of my kids was Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Happy reading to you and yours!

  • Jennifer Shirley November 21, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Encyclopedia Brown books will definitely keep his attention! They’re chapter books that have a handful of short mysteries in each one.

  • Kinsey November 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    My brother loved the Animorphs books when we were kids. I’d also recommend Magic Treehouse, which I know I saw in comments already. The Chronicles of Narnia is great for boys and girls!
    I loved The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright when I was a little girl. I know it’s also the beginning of a series, though I’ve never read any of the other books.
    Also, Journey to Freedom by Gilbert Morris is one of my favorites from childhood. 🙂

  • Carrie November 23, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    My son loved, loved, loved the Magic Tree House series, the Percy Jackson series, I Spy books and Guinness World Record books. I gift many books for birthdays and holidays and tend toward seasonal stories and joke books, haven’t met a kiddo yet you doesn’t love a good knock-knock joke. I subscribe to the theory that all reading is good reading and comic books and magazines count!

  • Amy November 27, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    I have no idea if someone already posted this or if you will even read my comment – you have sooo many!
    I have LOVED – Honey for a Child’s Heart (and they also have a teen and woman’s version) – has provided great guidance in the very large library where it often seems so hard to find good books. Because at some point, it becomes impossible to pre-read, a great resource is my best friend 🙂

  • Natashajk December 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Shay — I don’t know if you are still seeing the comments on this post but we just discovered a food-travel series written by Giada De Laurentiis called Recipe For Adventure. It seemed like it might be perfect for Kensington.