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april 2019 Best Chapter Books

Updated Jul. 17, 2019
Hanazuki: Dazzle and Dance book
#1
Hanazuki: Dazzle and Dance
Written by Stacy Davidowitz and illustrated by Victoria Ying
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Calling all Moonflowers! When Hanazuki and her friends hear about a talent competition on Celebrity Moon, they all want to win the grand prize. Each Moonflower pulls together a team to show off their best talents, and they practice, practice, practice! But Hanazuki’s team is cracking under the pressure. With a little help from Lavender Hemka, she’s going to show them that all they need is a little inspiration! Then Team Hanazuki will be ready to take on Celebrity Moon and the whole galaxy.

Hanazuki: a Spark in the Dark book
#2
Hanazuki: a Spark in the Dark
Written by Stacy Davidowitz and illustrated by Victoria Ying
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Hanazuki loves being a Moonflower! With a little help from the Hemka, Sleepy Unicorn, and Dazzlessence Jones, she tries her best to keep her moon in balance and keep the Big Bad away. When two comets collide above them, Hanazuki's side of the moon is plunged into darkness. What's a Moonflower to do besides light a spark in the dark?

Fast Break book
#3
Fast Break
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the sixth book in the New York Times bestselling middle grade series inspired by the life of iconic New York Yankee Derek Jeter, young Derek bites off more than he can chew when he decides to enter the school talent show and try out for the basketball team. Between promising Vijay that he’ll compete in the school talent show and promising Dave that he’ll try out for the basketball team, Derek Jeter has a lot he’s trying to juggle. A commitment is a commitment, and Derek is determined to work hard and try his best, but he worries he might be in over his head and fears he’s going to let his friends or himself down. How can Derek do it all? Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, Fast Break is the sixth book in Jeter Publishing’s New York Times bestselling middle grade baseball series that focuses on key life lessons from Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Thisby Thestoop and the Wretched Scrattle book
#4
Thisby Thestoop and the Wretched Scrattle
Written by Zac Gorman and illustrated by Sam Bosma
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thisby Thestoop, gamekeeper and unlikely hero, would do anything to save her home—even enter the Wretched Scrattle, a death-defying race through the Black Mountain. Don’t miss the second installment in this rollicking fantasy-adventure series by Zac Gorman, contributor to the hilarious Rick and Morty comic series, with illustrations from award-winning artist Sam Bosma. In the wake of their harrowing victory against the forces of the Darkwell, Thisby Thestoop, gamekeeper and sometime friend for all creatures gruesome, grotesque, and uncommon, has found herself in the usual position of running the Black Mountain dungeon. Under her watch, the resident monsters, from the hordes of merpeople to drooling trolls, are all well-fed, content, and far from the reach of other kingdoms—or so Thisby thinks. With unrest growing between the Kingdom of Nth and Umberfall, rumors of a conspiracy have caught the ears of the king. And control of the dungeon has been wrenched from the hands of those who have cared for it best. Wasting no time in ruining all of Thisby’s hard work, the royally appointed overseer throws the dungeon into chaos—the fire bats are out of their cave, the trolls are wide awake, and, most telling of all, the dire rats are acting strange. What’s worse is that every day more and more monsters—everything from tiny imps, to banshees, to a full-grown wyvern—are turning up dead and Thisby can’t discern any pattern to the fatal attacks. But there may be a way to put things back like they were—the Wretched Scrattle. Beginning in the very deepest tunnels of the dungeon, the Wretched Scrattle’s tournament victor will claim the ultimate prize of becoming the new Master of the Black Mountain. No one knows the dungeons quite like Thisby, and if she wins she’ll have it back to running like dünkeldwarven automata—that is, if she can make it out alive. Join Thisby on another adventure in the second book from the beloved fantasy-adventure series by master storyteller Zac Gorman.

Harriet's Monster Diary book
#5
Harriet's Monster Diary
Written by Raun Melmed, S.E. Abramson and illustrated by Arief
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Meet Harriet, a lovable monster who is just sick at the thought of giving a report in front of her class! Her heart pounds, her chest gets tight, and her stomach twists in painful knots. She can't even bear to get started on it! What is she going to do? In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Harriet's Monster Diary: Awful Anxiety (But I Squish It, Big Time). Using the “furmometer” and ST4 techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Harriet's Monster Diary teaches kids how to monitor how they feel and respond to stressful situations. Harriet’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle her delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book that stressed kids will want to calm down to read! Harriet's Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.

To Catch a Thief book
#6
To Catch a Thief
Written by Mandy Hartley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

In the first book of the DNA Detectives series Annabelle and Harry's pet dog, Milly goes missing. After putting up posters and waiting on their parents they don't know what to do. But when a number of their friend's pets also vanish the children think the perpetrator is their next door neighbour and set out to prove it.

Planetarium book
#7
Planetarium
Written by Raman Prinja and illustrated by Chris Wormell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The newest title in the Welcome to the Museum series turns its focus to the heavens and explores the wonders of space. Welcome to the museum that is always open to explore. Step inside the pages of this beautiful book to discover galleries of galactic matter, expertly curated to bring you the experience of a fascinating exhibition in the comfort of your own home. Planetarium features all aspects of space, from the sun and our solar system to the lives of stars, the Milky Way, and the universe beyond. With stunning artwork from Dinosaurium illustrator Chris Wormell and informative text by Raman Prinja, a professor of astrophysics at University College, London, Planetarium is the perfect gift for budding astronomers and armchair stargazers alike.

Shortcuts book
#8
Shortcuts
Written by Amy Bearce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Parker Mills has it all. She's the two-time winner of the Miss Divine Pecan Pageant, head of the eighth grade dance committee, and a secret psychic empath. Since she absorbs any strong emotion around her, Parker has committed herself to finding shortcuts to happiness. Whether acting as a tutor, a coach, or a matchmaker, Parker knows that when others are happy, she's happy. Granted, all that fixing other people's drama means her own crush has no idea how she feels, but it's still a win-win as long as her psychic methods remain a secret. At least, that was how it always worked before Mia came to town. With her mysterious past and dark cloud of depression, Mia's moods threaten to rain on Parker's happiness parade. After Parker's usual shortcuts fail--even after bringing gorgeous Josh on the scene--she is forced to kick things up a notch, or two. But when Parker's psychic powers go haywire, dangerous secrets begin to unrave ...starting with her own.

Wild Rescuers: Escape to the Mesa book
#9
Wild Rescuers: Escape to the Mesa
Written and illustrated by StacyPlays
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The next installment in the New York Times bestselling series! From YouTube gamer StacyPlays comes the exhilarating sequel to her Minecraft-inspired adventure novel about a girl raised by wolves. Stacy would do anything to protect the Taiga where she lives with the pack of intelligent wolves who raised her. But when humans start to encroach on their forest, their only choice is escape to a place no Arctic wolf has gone before: the desert. The Mesa, with its canyons, snakes, and coyotes, will be like nothing the pack has ever seen. Even in this unfamiliar territory, Stacy is determined to rescue animals in need. But as she and her wolves face new dangers and old secrets, Stacy can’t help but wonder—where does she truly belong? Fans of DanTDM: Trayasaurus and the Enchanted Crystal and PopularMMOs Presents: A Hole New World will love this illustrated, action-packed series!

Lizzie Flying Solo book
#10
Lizzie Flying Solo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A lyrical, poignant middle grade novel about embracing change, accepting help from others, and finding a place to call home. Perfect for fans of Raymie Nightingale. Lizzie St. Claire wants to be invisible. Forced to move out of her home, she and her mom now live in a transitional housing shelter, Good Hope, until they can get back on their feet. Lizzie just wants to keep her head down at Good Hope and her new school, so she doesn’t have to admit the real reason she and her mom lost everything. But when Lizzie finds herself at the nearby Birchwood Stables, some new friends—along with the arrival of a frightened pony named Fire—help Lizzie to open up and accept help from those around her, even if it means she’ll have more to lose if things change again.

Tom Weekly 6: My Life and Other Failed Experiments book
#11
Tom Weekly 6: My Life and Other Failed Experiments
Written by Tristan Bancks and illustrated by Gus Gordon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Discover what happens when you mix one kid with nine attack possums. Observe the result of a guinea pig hostage situation. Learn from my get-rich-quick scheme to put Australia's angriest ice-cream man out of business. Get ready to judge the world's deadliest fruitcake competition. And if I survive it all, let's call the experiment a success. More handy stuff inside- 1. Tips on avoiding household chores 2. Weird facts about guinea pigs 3. How to eat a car

Caterpillar Summer book
#12
Caterpillar Summer
Written by Gillian McDunn
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond. When Chicken has a "meltdown", Cat’s the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She’s always knows what he needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat is the glue holding her family together. When a summer trip doesn’t go as planned, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they’ve never met. With their help, Cat can be a kid again for the first time in years, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another’s shoes. Perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin, this special novel features an unforgettable voice and is brimming with heart.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!