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15 Extraordinary Chapter Books About Family

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles book
#1
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals -- the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"-- apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe book
#2
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Written by C.S. Lewis and illustrated by Esperanza Rising
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

They open a door and enter a world.

The Boxcar Children book
#3
The Boxcar Children
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

Esperanza Rising book
#4
Esperanza Rising
Written and illustrated by Pam Munoz Ryan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens book
#5
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?

The Elevator Family book
#6
The Elevator Family
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The four members of the Wilson family decide to spend their holiday in one of the elevators at the San Francisco Hotel.

The Sound of Silence book
#7
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.

Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza book
#8
Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Written by Jill Diamond and illustrated by Lesley Vamos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

BFFs Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl are busy preparing for the Bicentennial Bonanza, their city’s two-hundredth birthday bash! And this year, the party will take place in their beloved neighborhood of El Corazón. With a baking contest, talent show, and a new gazebo planned, the community can’t wait to celebrate the founders (and historical BFFs), Diego Soto and Giles Wonderwood. But when Vice-Mayor Andy Argyle claims the festivities belong to Verde Valley, using a mysterious diary as evidence, Lou Lou and Pea smell trouble. Will the friends be able to uncover the secrets of their city’s founding, and bring the Bonanza back to El Corazón?

Apple Pie Promises book
#9
Apple Pie Promises
Written by Hillary Homzie
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Lily has lived with her mom since her parents got divorced several years ago, and her dad has recently remarried to a woman with a daughter her age named Hannah. But now, Lily's mom has gotten a once-in-a-lifetime work opportunity in Morocco and will be gone for a year, so Lily is moving in with her dad--and new stepmom and stepsister. It'll be as easy as apple pie, right?

The Selkie's Mate book
#10
The Selkie's Mate
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Claire Jenkins, Nicola Davies
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

In a land where people flow between ocean and land, a seal and a fisherman sing together under a flowing moon. One in a series of tales that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

The Mozart Girl book
#11
The Mozart Girl
Written and illustrated by Barbara Nickel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Nannerl Mozart’s twelfth-birthday wish is to become a famous composer. She’s already considered a brilliant musician, touring eighteenth-century Europe with her little brother, Wolfgang, and playing for queens and kings in the great courts. But Papa doesn’t take her seriously as a composer, Mama usually has a list of chores for her, and Wolfi always manages to steal everybody’s attention. Can Nannerl defy everyone’s expectations and capture some of the spotlight that shines on her brilliant younger brother?

The Little Mistake book
#12
The Little Mistake
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Rosie is given a sheepdog puppy to rear who looks and behaves differently to the other sheepdogs on the farm and is too friendly to herd the sheep. When she overhears her parents referring to her as their ‘little mistake’, her puppy teaches her that not all mistakes are bad in this charming story about belonging and finding your place. The Little Mistake is one in a series of Country Tales, written by award-winning children’s author Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher.

Flying Free book
#13
Flying Free
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Colin lives with his mum and big brother and is in a hurry to grow up. But when his brother gives him an air rifle for his birthday and he shoots a hawk, he soon learns that shooting live creatures is very different to shooting cans on the wall. A powerful tale of growing up and gaining responsibility. Flying Free is one in a series of Country Tales, written by award-winning children’s author Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher.

Mother Cary's Butter Knife book
#14
Mother Cary's Butter Knife
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Anja Uhren
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A boy who falls in love with the sea. One in a series of short stories that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world. Inspired by ancient folk tales and a love of nature. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

The Dragonling book
#15
The Dragonling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A boy and a baby dragon forge an unlikely friendship in this first book in the fantastical Dragonling chapter book series! Darek can’t wait for his first Dragonquest. Then he can be just like his older brother, Clep, the hero who brought down a Great Blue, the largest and fiercest dragon of all. Darek goes to admire the kill—and finds a dragonling peeking out of the giant dragon’s pouch. Scared but curious, he feeds the hungry baby and makes an unlikely friend. But to save the helpless Dragonling he must now venture into the fearsome Valley of the Dragons, risking his life to return his friend to his own fire-breathing kind.

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