If you are looking for the best books for 7-year-olds, you have come to the right place! These chapter books for growing readers are outstanding, especially if you are looking for chapter book series for 2nd graders. Check them out!
Beware the Decline By Nine!
I’ll admit it:
(insert Jaws music here…)
I’m totally, deathly afraid of the DECLINE BY NINE.
I can see that ominous shark fin now as I think about that awful statistic. My fists ball up, my shoulders tense, and I want to cry as I see my third, fourth and fifth graders shrugging their shoulders as they walk out of the library.
“No thanks,” says one.
“Not today, Ms. B.,” says another. And then they’re off, slinking right through the double doors with empty hands, NO NEW BOOK IN SIGHT.
No joke — it’s a librarian’s worst nightmare.
Reading awesome books for 7-year-olds helps prevent the dreaded decline
Ugh. The dreaded decline by nine. What exactly is this, you ask? The Decline by Nine is a term coined by Scholastic describing how reading tapers off around nine years old. Many kids lose interest in books and stop considering themselves frequent readers by the time they hit that eight to nine-year-old mark.
I see this frequently. So many of my students who are obsessed with books in kindergarten and first grade slowly start to slip away in second grade. By third and fourth, I fear I lose them forever.
How on earth do we prevent this, and how do we hook our kids on books when they are still young? How do we help them discover the magic in stories so that reading becomes a permanent and cherished part of their daily lives?
They need to fall in love with great books.
Tips and tricks for getting 7-year-olds to read
First, give your kids choices! When my young students come in, I always preselect books that are age appropriate in terms of content but have a wide variety of themes and subject matters that may appeal to them. Choice is hugely important for young readers. It empowers kids and makes reading less of a chore and more of a gift. Let them read what they want to read.
Second, stop worrying about reading levels! I can’t stress this enough. Yes – while you certainly should make sure content is age-appropriate, it is more important that a child sees reading as magical rather than a leveling system to measure their skills. If your child picks up a book and wants to try it because he loves basketball and there’s a basketball player on the cover, by all means, let him try it, even if the font is smaller than he is used to and it’s a higher level than “recommended.”
The same goes for the opposite scenario. If your child picks up a book and you think it’s too easy, that’s OK too! There is nothing like a keen interest in a particular topic to get a child excited to pick up a story. If the book is too challenging, he will likely put it down on his own – but let your child give himself a reasonable challenge. And if it’s too easy, good! Let him build confidence, reinforce vocabulary, and enhance his proficiency. All of these skills will benefit your child, I promise.
The goal? Developing good reading habits!
If our goal is to develop reading habits in our kids and foster a life-long love of reading, we’ve got to make it fun, and we’ve got to hook them with great books right from the start. We have to empower them, give them the freedom to choose from captivating options, and continue to create a culture of reading in our own homes.
So, what are you waiting for? These are some of the best books for 7-year-olds — and yes, they are okay for 6 and 8-year-olds too! I do not doubt that there is something for everyone on this list, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!
Frequently Asked Questions
My biggest suggestion is to give your reader a choice when it comes to reading books for pleasure. Take them to the bookstore or the library and let them pick what they think looks fun and/or interesting! Choice is so important when it comes to reading for enjoyment, especially as many kids are told what books to read in school. If your child is not already an avid reader, having to slog through a book they aren’t interested in class makes them think reading is boring. Once they realize how many amazing books for 7-year-olds there are out there, we can begin to change this attitude!
Anything they want that is age-appropriate! The best thing you can do right now is to give your reader a choice over his or her independent reading. Some kids may still want to read picture books. Some are reading beginning chapter books. Others are reading chapter books that are a bit more challenging. Please don’t worry or stress about their reading levels. It is more important to help children at this age develop a positive association with books than to force them to read particular books because the level of that those stories matches their test scores. Instead, take your kids to the bookstore or the library and let them pick out what they think looks fun and/or interesting! This is how we begin to nurture a love of reading!
There are so many fabulous books for 7-year-olds out there and so much depends on what your child is interested in! Right now, we are loving the Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey series by Erin Entrada Kelly, the Monster and Boy series, by Hannah Barnaby, and the Kitty series, by Paula Harrison. These are all so much fun, and my students cannot get enough of them. They never stay on the shelf in our library after getting returned!
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RELATED: Did you know we have more than 100 children’s book lists on Happily Ever Elephants? Be sure to check them out!
The best books for 7-year-olds
Written in short chapters with a diverse cast of characters and adorable illustrations on nearly every page, this is the perfect series for newly independent readers! In the first book, In it, we are introduced to young Marisol and her great big imagination. Even bigger than her imagination? Peppina, the big Magnolia tree in her backyard. Marisol loves this tree, but she couldn’t ever climb it, could she? Well, maybe. Marisol is plucky, spunky, and totally real, working her way through likes and dislikes, courage, and fear. She faces obstacles, at times feels different or inadequate, and must continually persevere to tackle the challenges that most frighten her. She’s the best! For our full review of Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey, click the link.
I can’t tell you much I love this book. This is the story of a monster (who lives under a bed) and a boy (who sleeps in the bed), and what happens when the two meet for the very first time. The boy screams, of course, so the monster swallows him… and thus, an incredible, beautiful friendship is born. I love the pitch-perfect and FUN narration. I love the constant nods to the reader and the way the narrator continually talks to the audience and thus “breaks the fourth wall” (which is so unique for this age group). I love the humor, wit, and irreverence. And I am SO beyond excited that this is the first book in a series. This is one of my favorite new easy chapter books for 7-year-olds!
Girl by day. Cat by night. A superhero who is always ready for adventure. Sweet Kitty is a young girl with cat-like superpowers, but this involves going on daring adventures – at night! There’s just one problem: Kitty is afraid of the dark. When her powers come in, will Kitty be able to muster up enough courage to solve the town’s mysteries? My students, both boys and girls alike, are absolutely obsessed with this darling series!
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If you have a kiddo who loves sports and STEM, you’ve got to check out Miles Lewis! When Miles and his class learn they will go to an ice-skating rink to study physics, Miles is less than excited, and his friends won’t let him forget that he doesn’t know how to ice skate. Add to that his fear that his beloved Nana is moving out of his house, and Miles is having difficulty focusing. Can he find a way to win the bet and keep his Nana put? Fans of the beloved Jada Jones series will love these new books for 7-year-olds!
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Carter Higgins is a treasure to the world of children’s books, and her series for 7-year-olds is fantastic! Audrey is a second grader who wants more than anything to be the best at something. When a new girl who is also named Audrey joins her class, she becomes “Audrey L.” and feels even worse. Can she even be the best Audrey in school? We love this story of two girls who learn they may have more in common than their names alone — and may even become best friends-ish. Funny, spirited, and brimming with authenticity, this is such a fun new series!
Mia Macarooney is just like any other eight-year-old, until, that is, she finds out she’s a superhero! When she is invited to begin training at The PITS, the afterschool Program for In-Training Superheroes, life becomes totally cool. After all, she went from being a super klutz to just down-right super! Does Mia have what it takes to become the world’s greatest superhero?
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This adorable series features one witty little girl and a dog who helps her solve some intriguing mysteries. We adore so much about this series. It is a great bridge between beginning books for new readers and easy chapter books, it is told from the pup’s perspective (making it fun and super original), but mostly, it is incredible for modeling problem-solving to children. Two thumbs up!
If you have a sports fanatic at home, give him one of the Jim Nasium books and he will be delighted. My students love these books and they are always on rotation in our library. This series is about ten-year-old Jim Nasium, who, unfortunately, can’t live up to his name! Poor Jim is totally uncoordinated and always one of the last kids to get picked for a team. Will Jim ever become an all-star athlete?
Jasmine Toguchi is one of my favorite characters in kid lit for her spunk, her pluck, and most importantly, her strong will to succeed at any new task she undertakes. I adore her diverse family and the wholesome plots and characters in these stories. The first book in the series revolves around Jasmine’s attempt to do something before her big sister can do it first – even if it involves a task specifically reserved for men, like pounding mochi rice! We adore Jasmine, and I can’t rave about this series enough! These are, hands down, some of our favorite books for 7-year-olds.
Baseball super-fans Mark and Kate team up to solve some of baseball’s greatest mysteries in beloved stadiums around the United States! From stolen gloves to haunting ghosts, these cousins are always there to solve the cases with a home run. Baseball lovers will absolutely love these!
If you loved Ramona Quimby when you were growing up, you will adore Clementine — and so will your kids. Get ready for the escapades of this hilarious third grader, with her spunk, energy, and unique take on school and friends. Your children will find themselves wishing Clementine was their real best friend, and they will be laughing out loud as they read these books, so much so that you will want to read them, too!
One of the hardest things about being a kid is that your parents try to hand-pick your friends. And what happens when they pick someone you were not supposed to like? This is what happens in the delightful Ivy and Bean series about two girls — quiet, imaginative Ivy who dreams of becoming a witch, and wild and goofy Bean, who loves being involved in everyone’s business. The plots are wholesome, the characters have such spunk, and these stories hook little readers from the very first page. A beloved set in our library, I can’t recommend them enough!
A graphic novel for new readers? Sign us up! My students go crazy for this series about a happy-go-lucky Narwhal and one jellyfish who doesn’t mess around. Despite their differences, they do have many similarities, such as their love for waffles and their thirst for adventure. These two have a lot of ocean to explore, and it sure is fun when they do that exploring together!
Bad Kitty is, well, exactly that… a kitty that’s not so good. In fact, this kitty is just downright bad! She doesn’t always mean to be bad, but trouble seems to have a way of finding her wherever she goes. The Bad Kitty books are such fun, and this is another cherished series in our school library. These are perfect books for 7-year-olds!
If you have a horse or unicorn lover in your home, she won’t be able to keep her hands off this one! A young horse named Sasha knows she’s different from her family and friends – but she doesn’t know why. Suddenly, she finds that the white patch on her back is sparkling.. and she can fly! This series is adorable and beloved by horse enthusiasts who also love a hefty dose of magic!
Heidi Heckelbeck looks like an ordinary girl, but the truth is that she has one extraordinary secret. She’s really a witch! With more than twenty books in this delightful series, young readers will be captivated by Heidi and her escapades. These fly off the shelves of my library, and my students adore them!
We love books about mismatched friends, and who could possibly be more mismatched than a Rabbit and a Robot? When Rabbit learns Robot is coming for a sleepover, he leaves nothing up to chance and makes a list to plan the entire night. But what happens if Rabbit loses control? The silly and zany antics of these two will love the adventures of a controlling bunny and his obliging robot!
Sam Graves makes a remarkable discovery on the first day of school as a new hall monitor: the school is alive! And now, Sam has a challenge – he must keep his fellow students safe! Will he be able to defend his classmates against the scary building before the school play? If your kids love mysteries and monsters, this series is for them!
Oh my goodness. Can we say serious obsession?! My students live for these books and find them so highly entertaining, I have to make sure no one checks out more than one book from this series at a time because they are in such demand! These bad guys are scary. And they are BAD. But they really want to be heroes, and they are ready to be called to action in every circumstance! When bad guys can’t help but do good around town, you know your kids will be laughing — and clamoring for a copy of the next book! Hilarious and action-packed, this is another series of books for 7-year-olds that has hooked many of my students that hadn’t yet been matched with the perfect story!
Auggie is a caretaker at The Fabled Stables, a home for the most unique and fabulous creatures. As the only boy on the island, though, he can get a bit lonely. Until that is, he learns that he must do more than just care for the one-of-a-kind creatures. He must also save creatures in the big Wide World from danger! Is Auggie up to the task, and can he get Willa the Wisp back to the Stables before it’s too late?