june 2019 Best Chapter Books

Updated Jun. 18, 2019
The Pennypackers Go on Vacation book
#1
The Pennypackers Go on Vacation
Written by Lisa Doan and illustrated by Marta Kissi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Charlie Pennypacker is finally going somewhere. Mrs. Pennypacker has wrestled money for a vacation from Mr. Pennypacker’s tightfisted grip and the family is on their way to a Disney cruise. An eleven- story luxury cruise liner sporting a 212-foot waterslide and an all-night buffet awaits. So he thinks. It’s not long before Charlie discovers he will be cruising on a dilapidated fishing boat, the Disney characters are fake, there’s no waterslide, the food is only eggs, his enemy Gunter Hwang has been brought along for thirty dollars a day and the captain is on the run from sinister men in dark suits. It’s a Caribbean game of cat and mouse involving wits, interrogations, a hidden room, emergency departures, races against time and clever deceptions. Charlie finds the sort of adventure he’d always dreamed of. And a whole lot of adventure he’d never dreamed of.

Bad Order book
#2
Bad Order
Written by B.B. Ullman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A Wrinkle in Time meets Stranger Things in an out-of-this-world fast-paced middle grade story about a sister and her special little brother fighting to save the world from an interdimensional catastrophe. Mary Day’s life has always been different, because her little brother, Albie, is different. He doesn’t speak, but he can communicate with Mary via mental telepathy, sending her—and her alone—“mind memos.” To Albie, Mary is Pearl, the person he holds most precious. Then, one snowy day, Albie transmits an alarming two-word message: Bad order. Soon after, Mary and her best friend, Brit, discover a mysterious red mist in the woods that seems to draw them in . . . and turn all their feelings negative. A visit from three extraterrestrials (hilariously trying to pass as human) reveals the truth: there’s a disastrous leak in the dimensional universe—and if Albie can’t repair it, angry, evil thoughts will overtake the entire population. Can Mary, Brit, Brit’s brother Lars, and Albie save the world? And will Mary finally realize that she, like Albie, has something special inside herself?

Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks book
#3
Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks
Written and illustrated by Sibeal Pounder
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Smart, daring mermaid trio Beattie, Mimi and Zelda, along with Steve the talking seahorse, may have saved the Hidden Lagoon from danger once . . . But now they're trapped aboard a spooky ship called the Merry Mary, which is heading for the legendary (and super fashionable) Crocodile Kingdom. Can they avoid a crab-tastrophe and swim against the tide to get back home? Meanwhile, on land, an ice-cream seller and gadget expert named Paris Silkensocks has uncovered a plot to destroy the mermaid world. Will she will be able to find and warn the mermaids of the impending danger before it's too late? This second book in a hilarious paper-over-board series that?s The Little Mermaid meets My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is filled with delightful black-and-white illustrations.

Caveboy Is a Hit! book
#4
Caveboy Is a Hit!
Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Eric Wight
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Read & Bloom offers high interest, character driven stories for newly independent readers that feature full-color illustrations throughout and will transition kids from leveled readers to a lifetime of reading. Caveboy is just like any other boy. One of his absolute favorite things to do is playing baseskull, so one day, Caveboy decides to join a baseskull team! But when his best friend Mags wants to try out as well, he learns that she isn't very good. Caveboy is faced with a tricky problem--should he stay with his friend and be stuck on a losing team, or leave her to be on the better team?

Breakout book
#5
Breakout
Written and illustrated by Kate Messner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Told in letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics--a series of documents Nora collects for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project--Breakout is a thrilling story that will leave readers thinking about who's really welcome in the places we call home. Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek--two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town's maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.

The Story Web book
#6
The Story Web
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this heartfelt magical novel, Megan Frazer Blakemore shows that how we wield stories has the power to shape the world. When Alice was little, she found a gigantic spider web deep in the forest. Her dad called it the Story Web and told her how its strands were woven from the stories that hold our world together. Years later, Alice's dad is gone, and she's sure it's her fault. Now she won't even talk about her dad and definitely doesn't believe his farfetched stories. But when animals in town start acting strangely, she can't ignore them. They are trying to tell her the Story Web is in danger - that the fabric of our world is breaking. The only way to mend it is to tell honest tales from the heart. Alice must confront the real reason her dad is gone, but is she strong enough to finally tell her side of the story? This magical tale of truth and honesty, integrity and intention is perfect for fans of Katherine Applegate.

How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens book
#7
How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens
Written by Paul Noth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This is an out-of-this-world funny first book in a madcap, illustrated adventure series from New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth. Happy Conklin Jr. is the only 10-year-old who has to shave three times a day. Hap's dad is a brilliant inventor of screwball products, and being a Conklin kid means sometimes being experimented on. So Hap has his beard, and his five sisters each have their own unique--and often problematic--qualities too. And although Hap's dad has made a fortune with his wacky inventions sold via nonstop TV infomercials, all of that money has gone to Hap's tyrannical Grandma. While she lives in an enormous mansion, the rest of the family lives in two rooms in the basement. All Hap has ever wanted is to have a normal life, so when he sees a chance to get rid of Grandma, he takes it! He only means to swap out Grandma, but when he--oops!--sells his whole family to the aliens, he wants nothing more than to get them back. He just has to figure out . . . how?

Tender Earth book
#8
Tender Earth
Written and illustrated by Sita Brahmachari
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-11

Laila Levenson has always been the baby of the family, but now with her older siblings, Mira and Krish, leaving home just as she starts secondary school, everything feels like it’s changing. Can the reappearance of Nana Josie’s Protest Book and the spirit it releases in Laila, her friends, and her local community, help her find her own voice and discover what she truly believes in? A powerful chime rings through Laila’s mind, guiding her to walk the footsteps of the past on her way to discover her own future.

Snared: Lair of the Beast book
#9
Snared: Lair of the Beast
Written by Adam Jay Epstein
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thanks to a crew of misfit treasure-seekers, Wily Snare has assumed his rightful place as King of Panthasos. Wily knew how to be a great trapsmith—devising and building various contraptions to keep plunderers at bay—but he has no idea how to be a good king. And he hasn’t escaped his past. Stalag, the Cavern Mage who once kept him locked away, is amassing an army of stone soldiers to seize the kingdom. Wily’s only hope is to tame a lair beast—the one creature that stands a chance against Stalag’s army. But first, Wily and his friends will need to survive the journey to the fabled “Below”—where the lair beast dwells. This action-packed fantasy adventure is filled with snappy dialogue, dangerous creatures, spirited adventure, and inventive magic to appeal to readers 8–12.

Time Dogs: Balto and the Race Against Time book
#10
Time Dogs: Balto and the Race Against Time
Written by Helen Moss and illustrated by Misa Saburi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

An exciting new illustrated chapter book series for dog-loving readers! When a pack of senior dogs find themselves transported back in time—and turned into puppies!—they must make their way back home, helping real-life historical dogs along the way. In this first adventure, meet Baxter, Trevor, Newton, Titch, and Maia—the time dogs!—as they find themselves transported through time and space to 1925 Alaska. There, deep in the wilderness, the puppies must help Balto in his famous sled race to deliver medicine during a diphtheria outbreak. Adorable illustrations and an action-packed story make this the perfect read for fans of Paw Patrol!

School for Skylarks book
#11
School for Skylarks
Written and illustrated by Sam Angus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

It is 1939. When Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her great-aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. She has never been to school nor had any friends, and her parents have been at the center of a scandal. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there’s no time to think about her old life. Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.

The Curse of Greg book
#12
The Curse of Greg
Written by Chris Rylander
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Magic and mayhem collide in this monstrously funny middle-grade sequel to Chris Rylander’s The Legend of Greg Greg Belmont longs for the days when he thought he was an ordinary thirteen-year-old, before he learned he’s really a fantastical Dwarf in a world where the return of magic has reignited an ancient feud between the Dwarves and the Elves. But now that magic is spreading rapidly, calling forth mythical monsters that are wreaking total havoc on earth, he knows things will never go back to normal. To make matters worse, rumors are growing that the Elves are planning a sinister attack–and their new leader might be none other than Greg’s former best friend, Edwin. Before they can say “Galdervatn,” Greg and his Dwarven friends find themselves up against perilous dangers that their training has barely prepared them for. Can Greg and his bloodthirsty talking ax keep them out of harm’s way long enough to prevent all-out war? Or will epic failure find him yet again in this hilarious, action-packed sequel to The Legend of Greg?

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