Literally Nice: A Wholesome Beginning Chapter Booklist, Minus the Potty Humor & Rudeness, ages 6-9








A to Z Mysteries by Rob Roy
This addictive mystery series will keep kids reading for hours and days and months. Highly recommended, especially for kids around age 7.

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes EASIEST CHAPTER BOOK
Just a few sentences per page, this is a very easy chapter book collection of stories about two brothers and their childhood adventures. Relatable and endearing with a touch of humor.

Detective Gordon a Case in Any Case by Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Gitte Spee. This story feels cozy, like a warm blanket or a cup of cocoa. Maybe because it’s about a kind-hearted mouse, Police Chief Buffy, and her best friend who is retired from the police, Detective Gordon. Together, they learn big lessons about friendship and wisdom as well as rescue two missing Kindergarten students who had ventured off to build a farm. (This is the third book in the series but can be read independently.)

Dig to Disaster: A Miss Mallard Mystery by Robert Quackenbush
Another QUIX book, this one is an exciting mystery adventure. Miss Mallard is on an archaeological expedition in jungles of South American but someone is trying to scare the group off. Not to worry. Miss Mallard is the duck for the job. She follows the clues in order to capture the sneaky treasure hunter.

Digby O’Day and the Great Diamond Robbery by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy
Charming illustrations in red and yellow colors help readers enjoy this story about Digby’s memorable vacation. He and Percy visit to the fancy Hotel Splendide. While there, the singer Peaches Meow’s, diamonds are stolen! With the help of a new friend on the island, Percy and Digby catch the thieves.

Dolphin Rescue (Animal Planet Adventures #1) by Catherine Nichols. Siblings Maddie and Atticus can’t figure out who is dumping trash everywhere. And when they rescue a baby dolphin entangled in trash, they know they must get to the bottom of this mystery. Full-color photographs with information about dolphins, marine life, and more add in bonus information for readers.

The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey, illustrated by Garry Parsons
Written in increasingly funny (and alarming) letters we learn that Uncle Morton left his pet dragon for Edward and his mom and sister to watch — with no directions!! The dragon poops in their shoes, eats their pet bunny, and causes all kinds of destruction which all are the subjects of Edward’s letters to his nowhere-to-be-found uncle. Finally Edward hears from his uncle who suggests feeding the dragon chocolate. Will Edward’s mom lose her mind? Will the chocolate work to tame the dragon?

Flatfoot Fox by Eth Clifford, illustrated by Brian Lies. Mystery/detective series about Flatfoot Fox, the smartest detective in the world and his assistant, Secretary Bird.

Galaxy Zack by Ray O’Ryan
What a fun concept for an new reader, illustrated chapter book — moving to a new planet! I enjoyed reading Galaxy Zack. It’s fun and relatable. Boys (and girls) are sure to devour this far-out series.

The Greatest Star on Earth (Three-Ring Rascals) by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
This is a fun and funny easy chapter book in a series. When a newspaper reporter decides to write about the greatest star of the circus, all the performers worry so much that they end up getting sabotaging their own acts. Soon the circus is left with no performers and a stand-in ring master (who is helped along by the smart book-writing mice.)

Greetings From Somewhere The Mystery of the Mosaic by Harper Paris, illustrated by Marcos Calo
When these two kids accompany their parents to Venice, Italy, they’ll get the chance to solve two mysteries. (Bits of geography and history embedded in the story).

Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time by Marti Dumas
What kid doesn’t want more screen time? Jaden has a plan for convincing his parents that he needs more time — and he’s going to use his big brain and his fellow kindergarteners to help.

Last Cowboys by Harry Horse. In a series of letters to his grandson, an elderly gentleman relates how he and his remarkable little dog traveled to America on an expedition to the Wild West to find the dog’s grandfather, rumored to be living among cowboys following a successful movie career. Enjoy Last Polar Bears; Last Gold Diggers; Last Castaways.

The Last Firehawk: The Ember Stone by Katrina Charman, illustrated by Jeremy Norton
Tag, an owl, is in training to become an Owl of Valor. One day while playing tag with his squirrel friend, Skyla, Tag finds a golden egg who hatches into a Firehawk, the last one alive. Tag and friends must keep the Firehawk, Blaze, safe. Then they’ll quest to find the magical stone that may save their land from the Vulture and his army of tiger bats. This easy chapter book introduces kids to epic fantasy stories with the theme of good vs. evil.

Little Horse on His Own by Betsy Byars. This survival story is a sequel to Little Horse who confronts lightning, fire and dangerous animals in his efforts to return to his mother and the valley of the little horse.

The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
Wholesome, magical adventures about siblings Jack and Annie whose forest treehouse transports them through time where they’ll help solve a problem. Each trip involves reading a book left by a mysterious librarian which gives them clues about solving their mission. Kids will learn about history while enjoying these historical, magical stories.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo
Mercy lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. They feed her buttered toast and take her for drives in their convertible. One night, Mercy gets scared and decides to sleep with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Can you imagine what happens next? Hilarious and quirky, this is a fun series filled with many amazing adventures and excellent illustrations.

The Miniature World of Marvin & James by Elise Broach, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
When James leaves for vacation, his pet beetle, Marvin, and sister get into some trouble inside the pencil sharpener. Luckily Marvin figures out how to save them both, James returns from vacation and all is well. This story is perfect for very beginning readers transitioning to chapter books.

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
This is a simple but charming story about a mouse grows up at Buckingham Palace longing for an identity. Not only does he not know his parents, he doesn’t even know his name! Happily, his adventures lead him to a very satisfactory conclusion.

Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton EASIEST CHAPTER BOOK
Narwhal is exuberant to meet Jellyfish, his new imaginary friend who is imagining Narwhal at the same time. Although Jellyfish is more serious, you’ll love their adventures — forming a pod, having parties, eating waffles, and imagining. This is a feel-good friendship adventure told in graphic (cartoon) format, 5 and 6 year olds will, too! (Next in the series: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt.)

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by Marc Simont
Nate introduces readers to how to be a detective and find things– even if it’s for small cases such as a friend’s lost picture. Don’t miss the learning activities located at the end of the book.

Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by Science Bob Pflugfleder and Steve Hockensmith
Siblings Nick and Tesla are shipped off to live with their mad-scientist Uncle Newt for the summer while their parents are . . . doing something with soy beans in Uzbekistan. When left to fend for themselves, they discover something very suspicious happening at the old mansion down the street, more than just losing their rocket in that yard. Fun and adventurous, great for kids who love invention and science.

Our Principal is a Frog by Stephanie Calmenson, illustration Aaron Blecha
SHORT, easy chapter book series called QUIX from Aladdin / Simon and Schuster. It’s an engaging story about a great school principal who is accidentally turned into a frog by a bumbling magician. But, this is one dedicated principal. He finds a way to keep running the school — even as an amphibian.

The Philly Fake Ballpark Mysteries by David A. Kelly, illustrated by  Mark Meyers
Well-written mystery, author includes so much history within the story. The mystery had a great hook.

Pigsticks and Harold and the Uptown Thief by Alex Milway EASIEST CHAPTER BOOK
Even better than the first book, the friends in this story are solving the case of the disappearing statue. The pair look for clues and interview suspects. Fantastic, colorful illustrations aid readers in solving the crime –maybe even before Pigsticks and Harold do. It’s a great book to get kids thinking and interacting with the text while reading.

Ranger in Time #1: Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner, illustrated by Kelley McMorris
Ranger, a golden retriever trained for search-and-rescue, travels back to the Oregon Trail to help a family in need. It’s a simple story that introduces the ups and downs of traveling on the Oregon Trail, starting off a new historical fiction easy chapter book series

Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters) by Tracey West, illustrated by Graham Howells. In the times of castles and kingdoms, Drake learns he is a dragon master (and that dragons are real!) He must train with the other kids to master his dragon, an earth dragon. This is an adventurous fantasy chapter book that will interest almost any child as it has just the right amount of conflict, adventure and excitement.

Secret Agent, Jack Stalwart: Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
Nine-year-old Jack became a secret agent so he could search the world for his missing older brother, Max. In this adventure, he’s investigating a science fair where an experiment creates a dangerous dinosaur who terrorizes New York. Filled with lots of fun interesting gadgets!

The Storm (The Lighthouse Family) by Cynthia Rylant
Pandora is a kindhearted cat who lives in a lighthouse all alone. Seabold lives on a boat all alone. Until one day a storm shipwrecks him at the lighthouse. Soon, a friendship develops and the lighthouse isn’t lonely anymore, especially after the friends rescue family of orphaned mice. Kind characters and a cozy family theme with a gentle adventure make this a wholesome reading choice.

Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
You will love this story about a real dog’s life. From his beginnings as a maltreated German police dog to subsequent adoption and new life as a beloved movie star, this suspenseful story is filled with both love and hope along with false accusations and jail time. Readers will zip through this heart-warming story with fascination; dog lovers will be extra impressed with this German Shepard’s incredible story. Fantastic black-and-white illustrations throughout and easier text, make me think this is about 2nd or 3rd grade reading level.

Survived by Lauren Tarshis
Kids will zip through these fascinating adventures series. The books are always about a young boy trying to survive the historically important, life-changing event.

They Didn’t Teach This in Worm School: One Worm’s Tale of Survival by Simone Lia. Rye humor in this beginning, hilarious chapter book – It pairs two of the most unlikely of traveling companions together– a worm and a bird. The bird, Laurence, thinks he’s a flamingo and wants to journey to Lake Nakuru National Park where the other flamingos live. The worm, Marcus, besides worrying he’s about to be breakfast, thinks that Laurence looks like a chicken. What do you the reader think? Never the less, in hopes that Laurence WON’T eat him for breakfast, Marcus offers to help Laurence navigate to Lake Nakuru. As they travel “the world”, the two develop an unexpected, lovely friendship. The reader will crack up at Laurence’s mistaken landmark sighting (is it the Eiffel Tower or a power line tower?)

A Topps League Story: Book One: Jinxed! by Kurtis Scaletta illustrated by Eric Wight
This is a story that will appeal to readers even if they don’t love baseball as much as Chad, the main character. He’s thrilled to be a bat boy for the summer but can’t understand why his classmate Dylan isn’t as thrilled. Nor can Chad figure out how to help his favorite player who can’t seem to stop all his bad luck. Is he jinxed?

The Vanishing Coin (Magic Shop Series) by Kate Egan and Mike Lane, illustrated by Eric Wight. Fourth-grader Mike can’t sit making it hard to get work done, avoid the school bully, and stay out of trouble. It’s such a great story because Mike discovers something that he IS good at —magic. Throughout the book, you’ll learn how to do the tricks as you read.

The Whodunit Detective Agency The Diamond Mystery by Martin Widmark, illustrated by Helena Willis. Friends and kid detectives, Jerry and Maya, go undercover in a jewelry store to figure out which of the three employees is stealing diamonds from the owner. It’s puzzling since all the employees are searched before they can leave the store. How are the diamonds going missing and who is taking them? This is a well-written adventure with good pacing and enjoyable characters.

The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney. Humphrey is a beloved class pet, and a favorite book series for many children. Humphrey, our narrator, lives in Room 26 but each weekend, he gets to go home with a student. Get ready for funny (and enlightening) adventures.

Zoo Camp Puzzle by Gail Herman. Ava and Rosie are not excited to move to the zoo for the summer with their brother, writer mom, and teacher dad. But once they arrive, they change their minds quickly. Now they’re really worried about the missing pronghorns and the suspicious trucks just outside the fences. With the help of their brother Ethan, the siblings must figure out what’s happening and how to keep the animals safe. Throughout the book, you’ll find pages with activities like puzzles and mazes as well as information about the animals at the zoo. You’ll love both the mystery story and the factual sections of information. It’s really well done! Also in the series: Puppy Rescue Riddle.


Content by Melissa Taylor – Imagination Soup: Reading, Writing, Learning

Compiled by Carol McFadden, Children’s Librarian, Patten Free Library

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