Chapter Books

Percy Jackson Read-Alikes

Every day in the library, we meet young readers who just can’t get enough of Rick Riordan. The author’s exciting blend of reality and mythology has exploded in popularity, with kids clamoring for books in his Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, as well as his Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus series. Riordan superfans who are hungry for more fantastical action and adventure may want to give these books a try:

Gregor the Overlander book coverSea of Trolls book coverPandora Gets Jealous book coverAkhenaten Adventure book coverSkulduggery Pleasant book coverSavvy book coverGods of Manhattan book coverFablehaven book coverMagyk book coverAlchemyst book coverDusssie book coverShadow Thieves book cover Earth Shaker book coverTreasury of Egyptian Mythology book cover

The Underland Chronicles / Suzanne Collins

The Sea of Trolls trilogy / Nancy Farmer

The Pandora series / Carolyn Hennesy

Children of the Lamp series / Philip Kerr

Skulduggery Pleasant series / Derek Landy

Savvy / Ingrid Law

Gods of Manhattan series / Scott Mebus

Fablehaven series / Brandon Mull

Septimus Heap series / Angie Sage

Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series / Michael Scott

Dusssie / Nancy Springer

Cronus Chronicles series / Anne Ursu

The Olympians graphic novel series / George O'Connor

Treasuries of Mythology / Donna Jo Napoli

PAWS to Read: Summer Reading Recommendations for Kids

Moving On Up

Next time you’re in the children’s area of your library, keep an eye out for the Moving Up and Series Paperback books. These are special sections where you can find beginning chapter books for kids who have graduated out of early readers. Books here typically feature wide margins, short chapters, lots of illustrations, and vocabulary appropriate for 2nd – 4th graders. Super popular books in these sections include Captain Underpants, Mercy Watson, Bad Kitty, My Father’s Dragon, Geronimo Stilton, and the Magic Tree House series – some of which are excellent read-alouds for younger kids! We children’s librarians also recommend the following Moving Up books:

Anna Hibiscus book cover Dog Heaven book coverCatwings book coverChews Your Destiny book coverEncyclopedia Brown book coverThe Friendship book coverKnights' Tales book coverLittle Horse book coverLulu and the Duck in the Park book coverRickshaw Girl book coverThe Stories Julian Tells book coverZapato Power book cover

Anna Hibiscus series / Atinuke; illus. Lauren Tobia

Calvin Coconut series / Graham Salisbury; illus. Jacqueline Rogers

Catwings series / Ursula K. Le Guin; illus. S.D. Schindler

Chews Your Destiny / Rhode Montijo

Encyclopedia Brown series / Donald J. Sobol

The Friendship / Mildred D. Taylor; illus. Max Ginsburg

The Knights' Tales series / Gerald Morris; illus. Aaron Renier

Little Horse / Betsy Byars; illus. David McPhail

Lulu series / Hilary McKay; illus. Priscilla Lamont

Rickshaw girl / Mitali Perkins; illus. Jamie Hogan

The Stories Julian Tells / Ann Cameron; illus. Ann Strugnell

Zapato Power series / Jacqueline Jules; illus. Miguel Benítez

 

Black History Books for Kids

If you're seeking children's books that honor and celebrate African-American history, Oakland Public Library has what you need! The following staff recommendations are perfect to share with your kiddos year-round, and especially in observance of African-American History Month. We hope you enjoy our suggestions; let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorites!

Picture Books

Charlie Parker played be bop book coverWe March book coverHallelujah Flight book coverHenry's Freedom Box book covermy people book coverOther Side book coverRap a Tap Tap book cover

Charlie Parker played be bop /  Chris Raschka

The Hallelujah Flight / Phil Bildner; illus. by John Holyfield

Henry's Freedom Box / Ellen Levine; illus. by Kadir Nelson

My people / Langston Hughes; photos by Charles R. Smith Jr.

The Other Side / Jacqueline Woodson; illus. by Earl B. Lewis

Rap a Tap Tap / Leo and Diane Dillon

We March / Shane W. Evans

 

Fiction

Bud, not Buddy book coverJefferson's Sons book coverLions of Little Rock book coverOne Crazy Summer book cover

Bud, not Buddy / Christopher Paul Curtis

Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children / Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The Lions of Little Rock / Kristin Levine

One Crazy Summer / Rita Williams-Garcia

 

Nonfiction

 Claudette Colvin book coverCourage Has No Color book coverDave the Potter book coverWilma Unlimited book coverHand in Hand book coverVision of Beauty book coverWe Are the Ship book coverWhen Marian Sang book cover Book One book cover

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice / Phillip Hoose

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers / Tanya Lee Stone

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave / Laban Carrick Hill; illus. by Bryan Collier

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men who Changed America / Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by Brian Pinkney

March: Book One / John Lewis; co-written by Andrew Aydin; art by Nate Powell

Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker / Kathryn Lasky; illus. by Nneka Bennett

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball / Kadir Nelson

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson / Pam Muñoz Ryan; illus. by Brian Selznick

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman / Kathleen Krull; illus. by David Diaz

Book Trailers for Kids

Have you ever seen a book trailer? They’re just like previews that we see at the movies, only they’re advertising upcoming books! Publishers have been putting more energy into creating exciting and enticing trailers for their books, in the hopes that watching these videos online will encourage people to go out and read the whole story.

If you or your kiddos are ever in need of new inspiration for what to read next, book trailers are an excellent way to go! Check out these trailers to see if any capture your family’s interest.

Chapter Books

Picture Books

Nonfiction and Graphic Novels

Want more? Check out this blog and this pinterest page; they both present awesome children’s book trailers as they’re published. Interested in making a book trailer of your own? Here are many fine examples of student-made book trailers. Enjoy!

Fantastic Family Read-alouds

Kids are off school and the holiday season is drawing to a close. Tis the season for digging into a great all-ages read-aloud! Cuddle up with your kiddos, try some of these favorites, and tell us in the comments about the beloved books in your family:

Picture Books

Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock book coverSylvester and the Magic Pebble book coverTrue Story of the 3 Little Pigs book cover

Anansi and the moss-covered rock / retold by Eric A. Kimmel; illus. by Janet Stevens

Sylvester and the magic pebble / by William Steig

The true story of the 3 little pigs / by A. Wolf; as told to Jon Scieszka; illus. by Lane Smith

Moving Up

 Catwings book coverMercy Watson Goes for a Ride book coverMy Father's Dragon book coverStories Julian Tells book cover

Catwings / Ursula K. Le Guin; illus. by S.D. Schindler
 
Mercy Watson series / Kate DiCamillo; illus. by Chris Van Dusen
 
My Father's Dragon series / Ruth Stiles Gannett
 
The stories Julian tells / by Ann Cameron; illus. by Ann Strugnell
 

Chapter Books

 Adventures of Nanny Piggins book coverAll of a Kind Family book coverBorrowers book coverJames and the Giant Peach book coverMr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire book coverNight Fairy book coverTale of Despereaux book coverWinnie-the-Pooh book cover

The adventures of Nanny Piggins / by R.A. Spratt; illus. by Dan Santat
 
 
The borrowers / Mary Norton; illus. by Beth and Joe Krush
 
 
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny--detectives extraordinaire!: by Mrs. Bunny / translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath; illus. by Sophie Blackall
 
The night fairy / Laura Amy Schlitz; illus. by Angela Barrett
 
 
Winnie-the-Pooh / A.A. Milne; illus. by Ernest H. Shepard


 


 

 

Hot off the Presses

Look in the “new” area of your local library to find these and other fresh, excellent books for kids. Let us know in the comments if we missed any of your faves!

Picture Books

Bully book coverCount the Monkeys book coverDay the Crayons Quit book coverMr. Tiger Goes Wild book coverNino Wrestles the World book coverOpen This Little Book book cover

Bully / Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Count the Monkeys / Mac Barnett; illus. by Kevin Cornell

The Day the Crayons Quit / by Drew Daywalt; illus. by Oliver Jeffers

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild / Peter Brown

Niño Wrestles the World / Yuyi Morales

Open This Little Book / by Jesse Klausmeier; illus. by Suzy Lee

Early Readers and Moving Up

A Big Guy Took My Ball book coverChews Your Destiny book coverMeanest Birthday Girl book coverSquirrel's Fun Day

A Big Guy Took My Ball! / by Mo Willems

Chews Your Destiny / Rhode Montijo

The Meanest Birthday Girl / Josh Schneider

Squirrel's Fun Day / Lisa Moser; illus. by Valeri Gorbachev

Chapter Books

 About Average book coverAl Capone Does My Homework book coverBetter Nate Than Ever book coverThe Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet book cover

About Average / Andrew Clements; illus. by Mark Elliott

Al Capone Does My Homework / Gennifer Choldenko

Better Nate Than Ever / Tim Federle

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett / Tom Angleberger

Nonfiction

Locomotive book coverWhen the Beat Was Born book coverWild Boy book cover

Locomotive / Brian Floca

When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop / Laban Hill; illus. by Theodore Taylor III

Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron / Mary Losure; illus. by Timothy Ering

Spooky Stories! Mwah-hah-hahhh

Most kids love a good scare, and Halloween is the perfect time to give it to them. Find these spooky stories at a library near you, and let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorites!

Slightly Spooky (for younger kids):

Humbug Witch book coverIn a Dark Dark Wood book coverSkeleton Hiccups book coverHubknuckles book coverGhosts in the house book coverLos Gatos Black on HalloweenDragon's Halloween book coverBig Pumpkin book coverLittle old lady who was not afraid of anything book cover

Humbug witch / Lorna Balian
In a dark, dark wood : an old tale with a new twist / David A. Carter
Skeleton hiccups / by Margery Cuyler ; illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Hubknuckles / Emily Herman ; pictures by Deborah Kogan Ray
Ghosts in the house! / Kazuno Kohara
Los gatos black on Halloween / Marisa Montes ; illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Dragon's Halloween : Dragon's fifth tale / Dav Pilkey
Big pumpkin / Erica Silverman ; illustrated by S.D. Schindler
The little old lady who was not afraid of anything / by Linda Williams ; illustrated by Megan Lloyd

Truly Frightening (for older readers):

 House With a clock in its Walls book coverCoraline book coverTailypo book coverWait Till Helen Comes book coverBunnicula book coverHeadless Horseman Rides Tonight book coverScary Stories to Tell in the Dark book coverBoy of a thousand Faces book coverGoosebumps book cover
The house with a clock in its walls / John Bellairs ; pictures by Edward Gorey
Coraline / Neil Gaiman ; with illustrations by Dave McKean
The tailypo : a ghost story / told by Joanna Galdone ; illustrated by Paul Galdone
Wait till Helen comes : a ghost story / Mary Downing Hahn
Bunnicula book series / by Deborah and James Howe
The Headless Horseman rides tonight : more poems to trouble your sleep / by Jack Prelutsky ; illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Scary stories to tell in the dark book series / collected from American folklore by Alvin Schwartz
The boy of a thousand faces / by Brian Selznick

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

Can you believe that the first Harry Potter book is now celebrating its 15th anniversary of publication in the U.S.? Go ahead and celebrate by reading the whole groundbreaking series! Or, if you're craving something similarly awesome, check out the first book in another excellent fantasy series:

Dark is Rising book cover     Gregor the Overlander books at OPL     Half Magic book cover     How to Train Your Dragon book cover     

Magyk book cover     Peter and the Starcatchers book cover     Wizard of Earthsea book cover     Wee Free Men book cover

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Half Magic by Edward Eager

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Magyk by Angie Sage

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Leguin

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Wimpy Kid Read-alikes

So far, Jeff Kinney has released seven volumes of his phenomenally popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books – a series that I have seen 2nd to 7th grade students enthusiastically devour. Want more illustrated chapter books? Try handing these to young readers hooked by Greg Heffley’s comic missteps:

Origami Yoda book cover   Magic Pickle book cover   Amelia's Notebook book cover   Big Nate book cover   Dork Diaries book cover   Spaceheadz book cover   Dragonbreath book cover

Angleberger, Tom. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda series.

Morse, Scott. Magic Pickle series.

Moss, Marissa. Amelia’s Notebook series.

Peirce, Lincoln. Big Nate series.

Russell, Rachel. Dork Diaries series.

Scieszka, Jon. Spaceheadz series.

Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath series.

Do you have recommendations too? Post ‘em in the comments!