When I first started venturing out of the picture book sections of our local libraries and bookstores into the chapter book sections, these were the books that jumped out at me, mostly due to their sheer numbers. They take up multiple shelves in many of the libraries we use: the local public library, the school library, and yes, you guessed it, our home library. Enjoy!
Geronimo Stilton books published by Scholastic
Geronimo Stilton is a mouse who is a big-city newspaper publisher. Being timid and anxious, he would like to live out a quiet life—reading, writing, and drinking cheese milkshakes. However, he is also always willing to help out anyone in need, which leads him into adventures all over the world. His relatives feature prominently in the books as well: daring sister Thea, annoying cousin Trap, strict Grandfather William, and sweet nephew Bugsy. The books are fast-paced and funny, making them useful for both independent reading and as read alouds. Note that those learning to read may be tripped up by made-up words, such as “enormouse,” or the different fonts used for select words and phrases. Once we were familiar with the major characters, we started picking up whatever looked appealing at the library since it isn’t essential to read the books in order.
There are multiple spin-offs from the original series, including Creepella Von Cacklefur, Mice Kings, Space Mice, Thea Stilton, and Kingdom of Fantasy. The Thea Stilton books describe the worldwide adventures of a group of young mice who call themselves the Thea Sisters. Thea Stilton books are longer than the Geronimo Stilton books. Even longer are the Kingdom of Fantasy books. In them Geronimo has elaborate, lifelike adventures in the Kingdom of Fantasy as he dreams that involve typical fantasy characters, such as fairies, dragons, and wizards. Truth be told, I think we all love the Stiltons in our household!
Magic Treehouse books by Mary Pope Osborne
The Magic Treehouse series opens with a pair of siblings, Annie and Jack, exploring a treehouse filled with books. The treehouse magically whisks them away on adventures all over the world and through various historical time periods. Each book weaves in facts related to the place, time period, or subject of its adventure. The mystery of M builds over the course of the series.
I remain optimistic that one of our daughters will love this series as so many friends have recommended it to us. Our older daughter will happily select and read a book from the series at random from time to time, but has little interest in reading them in order and doesn’t request Magic Treehouse books to be read aloud to her. I’ve tried introducing the series to her multiple times, and each met with a similar response. Maybe our younger daughter will be the one to fall in love with this series?
Rainbow Magic Fairies by Daisy Meadows
Rachel and Kirsty are best friends who share a magical secret: they are friends with the Rainbow Magic Fairies! Their adventures with the Rainbow Magic Fairies typically involve helping them retrieve magical items that Jack Frost and his goblins have stolen or are trying to steal. Most come in sets of 7, such as the Fun Day Fairies or the Jewel Fairies, and there are special editions that are essentially three books in one, such as the Selena the Sleepover Fairy or Brianna the Tooth Fairy. The books tend to be predictable in their plot. For example, in most books the first attempt to retrieve the missing magical item will fail and at some point in the book Kirsty and Rachel will be turned into fairies. Our daughters enjoyed being able to predict what was going to happen next, though we as grownups found the predictable nature of the books to detract from our enjoyment of them. Any violence in the books tends to be mild and many times Jack Frost sees the error of his jealous or greedy ways. With over 200 books in the series, it is more likely that your readers will lose interest in the books than you will run out of books to read!