may 2019 Best Chapter Books

Updated May. 20, 2019
Surfboard to Peril: A Miss Mallard Mystery book
#1
Surfboard to Peril: A Miss Mallard Mystery
Written and illustrated by Robert Quackenbush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

While surfing in Hawaii, Miss Mallard launches into one of her most dangerous cases—one which involves the ownership of sacred land and leads to kidnapping, mistaken identities, bribery, blackmail, and death-defying chases.

The Girls of Firefly Cabin book
#2
The Girls of Firefly Cabin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Lauren, Isla, Jade, and Archer meet the first day of summer camp, and friendship magic is made in Firefly Cabin. If only they could immortalize their summer memories by winning the contest to be the face of the camp's website. But it won't be easy; not with rival cabins, distracting crushes, and of course, the girl's own secrets getting in the way. Can friendship--and the Fireflies--triumph over all?

Honeybees and Frenemies book
#3
Honeybees and Frenemies
Written and illustrated by Kristi Wientge
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Flor faces a bittersweet summer with a pageant, a frenemy, and a hive full of honey. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Flor is stuck at home and working at her family’s mattress store, while her best friend goes off to band camp (probably to make new friends). It becomes even worse when she’s asked to compete in the local honey pageant. This means Flor has to spend the summer practicing her talent (recorder) and volunteering (helping a recluse bee-keeper) with Candice, her former friend who’s still bitter about losing the pageant crown to Flor when they were in second grade. And she can’t say no. Then there’s the possibility that Flor and her family are leaving to move in with her mom’s family in New Jersey. And with how much her mom and dad have been fighting lately, is it possible that her dad may not join them? Flor can’t let that happen. She has a lot of work to do.

Song of the Dolphin Boy book
#4
Song of the Dolphin Boy
Written by Elizabeth Laird
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Finn has always been different and in the tiny Scottish fishing village of Stromhead, he sticks out like a sore thumb. One day he dives into the sea and finds that, swimming with the dolphins, feels completely like home. But his new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Desperate to help the dolphins, Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew, a group of kids who have always left Finn out. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way?

The Dragonsitter's Surprise book
#5
The Dragonsitter's Surprise
Written by Josh Lacey and illustrated by Garry Parsons
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

'Eddie was given a dragon's egg by his uncle for his last birthday, and one day he notices a crack in the egg. Soon the egg breaks open and out comes a very unusual creature. Just as Eddie and Emily are trying to cope with this new arrival, their mum announces that she has a surprise of her own... In their ninth adventure Eddie and Emily get the biggest surprise of their lives!" --Publisher description.

Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes book
#6
Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Since becoming Kid Normal, Murph Cooper and the Super Zeroes – fellow students with arguably less-than-useful talents like the ability to conjure tiny horses from thin air – have been catching bad guys all over the place. But being a hero isn't easy, especially when you can't tell anyone about your epic adventures and your classmates still don't believe you've got what it takes. And then, far away in a top-secret prison, the world's most feared supervillain breaks his thirty-year silence. His first words? “Bring Kid Normal to me!” This supervillain was responsible for stealing the powers from some of the greatest Heroes Alliance members of all time. Does Murph have what it takes to bring him down? With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this laugh-out-loud story proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Sasha and Puck and the Cordial Cordial book
#7
Sasha and Puck and the Cordial Cordial
Written by Daniel Nayeri and illustrated by Anneliese Mak
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

When Basil Gentry asks for a cordial cordial, Sasha thinks he wants it for his spoiled sister Sisal. A boarding school headmistress is coming to meet Sisal, but Sisal would rather throw a party for her horse. Can Sasha and Puck convince Sisal to be friendly for one whole day?

The Sound of Silence book
#8
The Sound of Silence
Written by Myron Uhlberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Myron Uhlberg was born the hearing son of deaf parents at a time when American Sign Language was not well established and deaf people were often dismissed as being unintelligent. In this young reader adaptation of his acclaimed memoir, Hands of My Father, Uhlberg recalls the daily difficulties and hidden joys of growing up as the intermediary between his parents' silent world and the world of the hearing.

The Rose Legacy book
#9
The Rose Legacy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This sweeping, emotionally-resonant fantasy from beloved author Jessica Day George is perfect for fans of Princess Academy and Black Beauty. When orphaned Anthea Cross-Thornley receives a letter from a long-lost uncle, she wonders if she will finally find a true home. But she is shocked to learn that her uncle secretly breeds horses--animals that have been forbidden in her kingdom for centuries. More alarming is Anthea's strange ability to sense the horses' thoughts and feelings, an ancient gift called The Way. Confused and terrified, Anthea is desperate to leave, but when her family and kingdom are put at risk, can she embrace The Way and the exciting future it might bring her?

The Queen’s Secret book
#10
The Queen’s Secret
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Bestselling author Jessica Day George continues her heartfelt fantasy series about a girl who can communicate with horses and a kingdom on the brink of collapse. Anthea knows the truth about horses. They're not carriers of deadly disease like everyone in their kingdom thinks; they're majestic creatures who share their thoughts and feelings with her through The Way. Anthea has convinced the king of this, but at a cost--he demands that horses and riders with The Way do his bidding. But when a deadly plague breaks out, the people believe that horses are the cause. As more fall ill, it's up to Anthea and her friends to transport medicine, all while keeping out of reach from Anthea's wicked mother. And when Anthea discovers a secret that could change the kingdom forever, she must risk everything to reveal the truth before it's too late. Continuing the sweeping storytelling of The Rose Legacy, bestselling author Jessica Day George delights readers--especially horse lovers--once again.

Kid Normal book
#11
Kid Normal
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Murph Cooper begins his new school several weeks into the year, he can't help but feel a bit out of his depth. And it's not because he's worried about where to sit, making friends, and fitting in. It's because his mom has accidentally enrolled him at a school for superheroes. And unlike his fellow students, who can control the weather or fly or conjure tiny horses from thin air, Murph has no special abilities whatsoever. But Murph's totally normal abilities might just be what the world needs. Because not far away is a great big bad guy who is half man and half wasp, and his mind is abuzz with evil plans . . . and when he comes after the best and the brightest, it's up to Murph to be the real hero. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this laugh-out-loud story proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Elizabeth and Zenobia book
#12
Elizabeth and Zenobia
Written by Jessica Miller and illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Abandoned by her mother and neglected by her scientist father, timid Elizabeth Murmur has only her fearless friend Zenobia for company. And Zenobia's company can be very trying! When Elizabeth's father takes them to live in his family home, Witheringe House, Zenobia becomes obsessed with finding a ghost in the creepy old mansion and forces Elizabeth to hold séances and wander the rooms at night. With Zenobia's constant pushing, Elizabeth investigates the history of the house and learns that it does hold a terrible secret: Her father's younger sister disappeared from the grounds without a trace years ago. Elizabeth and Zenobia is a wonderfully compelling middle-grade story about friendship, courage, and the power of the imagination.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.