Early chapter books are plentiful. Many of them have brightly colored covers sprinkled with glitter. Mermaids, fairies, unicorns — even unicorn fairies! For girls, the options are seemingly endless.
It’s a little more tricky to find books that are a good fit for boys — especially books that will kickstart their reading journey and help them fall in love with reading.
The books listed below all contain a boy appeal factor — from everyday life to fantastic beasts. As with many books for beginning readers, all books are part of a series. Reading a series helps beginning readers gain confidence, and if they discover a book they like, it encourages them to read more.
Each series has black and white illustrations. Some also contain diagrams to help decode the text. The font used in these books is large and easy-to-read.
This list sorts the books in order of their reading difficulty. For the most part, as the page numbers increase, the font drops slightly. Additionally, the sentences and word complexity increases — all steps are designed to help readers become more confident.
Table of Contents
The Hey Jack Series is the perfect start for a beginning reader — Jack is an everyday boy with everyday problems. The books look at real-life issues, including sleepovers, school, friendships, and everyday worries.
Zac Power goes to spy school — sometimes he gets to try out new gadgets, and he frequently has to save the world! Perfect for little boys who like to sneak and spy. At times, there are detailed diagrams that cover the specifics of the technology.
Zac Power Test Drive and Zac Power Spy School are the perfect stepping stone to the Zac Power series.
Dinosaurs are on the loose, and it’s up to Hunter and the D-Bot Squad to save the day. The blend of dinosaurs and robots make the series highly appealing.
Note: This series is sequential as the books contain a cliff-hanger resolved in the next book.
Kai Masters, a border guard, and his dog bot B.C. must keep Earth safe from the beasts of Beastium. The series is an action-packed read, with mutant beasts and battles galore.
The series also contains Battle Files books, which heavily focus on diagrams, and labels, giving the text a guide book feel.
Zac Power is twelve years old and, along with his fifteen-year-old brother, Leon, they work for GIB (Government Investigation Bureau) as spies. Zac’s adventurous see him travel all over the world to thwart the enemy and save the world.
Drake learns he is to become a Dragon Master when King Roland’s soldiers snatch him. But being a Dragon Master is not easy — first, he must learn how to communicate with his dragon.
The Dragon Masters series is full of magic, wizards, and, of course, dragons!
It’s the year 2120, and Zack has left Earth to live on Nebulon. Galaxy Zack is a galactic adventure about making new friends and having news experiences while still being relatable, as it touches on school and friendship issues.
Marcus Atkinson has a dad who’s convinced he’s going to be a superstar sportstar. Each book explores the rules of the sport, as Marcus spectacularly fails. This series is mostly fiction with a low word count and a small font size, which is a perfect introduction to illustrated fiction.
(Illustrated fiction is a hybrid that combines a graphic novel and a junior fiction novel– a good example is Tom Gates or Diary of a Wimpy Kid).
Mr. Wolf. Mr. Shark. Mr. Snake. Mr. Piranha. You probably think they look, sound, and smell like bad guys — but they want to change that.
The Bad Guys is more of a hybrid illustrated fiction/graphic novel than a chapter book. There are some tricky words, but the combination of the layout and the need to hone visual literacy skills to read these books thoroughly make this series perfect for building confident readers and a stepping stone in graphic novels.
Avantia is a land of magical enchanted beasts. But an evil wizard has enchanted the beasts, and they are destroying everything. Is Tom the hero that can save Avantia?
With a longer word count and only scattered illustrations, the Beast Quest series is a great stepping stone towards junior fiction novels.
115 pages (for the first six-part series).