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Spelling: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about spelling?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to spelling. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about spelling.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about spelling, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Lexie the Word Wrangler to popular sellers like Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 1: Spelling Trouble to some of our favorite hidden gems like Max’s Castle.

We hope this list of kids books about spelling can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Max's Castle
Written by Kate Banks & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
Max's Castle is a really clever book and sure to fascinate any early reader. The book brilliantly explores words by mixing around or swapping the letters in one word to create an amalgamation of similar words and anagrams. Early readers are sure to enjoy, for example, that by simply adding an "l" block to the word "adder," Max and his three brothers smartly create a ladder to escape from the dangerous adder in the dungeon of the castle. Kate Banks and Boris Kulikov have some fun with the illustrations and anagrams surprising us with threatening pirates in one page before turning "pirates" into harmless "rat pies" in the next page. This book is sure to delight readers with its wit and imaginative exploration of letters.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what’s so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon. This ingenious sequel to Max’s Words and Max’s Dragons shows readers just how much fun wordplay can be.

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An Inconvenient Alphabet
Written by Beth Anderson & illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Do you ever wish English was eez-ee-yer to spell? Ben Franklin and Noah Webster did! Debut author Beth Anderson and the New York Times bestselling illustrator of I Dissent, Elizabeth Baddeley, tell the story of two patriots and their attempt to revolutionize the English alphabet. Once upon a revolutionary time, two great American patriots tried to make life easier. They knew how hard it was to spell words in English. They knew that sounds didn’t match letters. They knew that the problem was an inconvenient English alphabet. In 1786, Ben Franklin, at age eighty, and Noah Webster, twenty-eight, teamed up. Their goal? Make English easier to read and write. But even for great thinkers, what seems easy can turn out to be hard. Children today will be delighted to learn that when they “sound out” words, they are doing eg-zakt-lee what Ben and Noah wanted.

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The Spelling Bee Before Recess
Written by Deborah Lee Rose & illustrated by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The students were squirming

but none made a sound,

as the spelling bee entered

its championship round.

It’s right before recess, and the annual school spelling bee is down to just three spellers: Cornelius the Genius, Smart Ruby, and The Slugger, who never strikes out. Round after round, the words whizz at them, but with one minute left until recess, there’s still no winner. Who will triumph? It all comes down to one final word, and a curveball that no one sees coming!

Deborah Lee Rose’s clever rhyming text packs a laugh-out-loud wallop with words that young readers will enjoy spelling and reading aloud again and again. Fun and whimsical illustrations by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis provide the perfect balance of humor and suspense as readers find out whether The Slugger will hit a grand slam or finally strike out.

The book includes three spelling lists that can be used for spelling bees at home, in school, at the library, or for community events. An author’s note describes why and how words were chosen.

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The Infinity Year of Avalon James
Written by Dana Middleton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Avalon James and Atticus Brightwell have a secret–one that they aren’t allowed to discuss with anyone. This secret is shared between two best friends. When you and your best friend turn ten years old magical things are said to happen. You both will receive some kind of magical power. It can be a power you can call on time and time again. Or it can be a power that comes once when you need it most. It’s your Infinity Year and the possibilities are endless.

The past year hasn’t been great with her family being torn apart and bullying at school, so Avalon is depending on her magical ability to appear soon and help. With the clock ticking and her eleventh birthday approaching, which would be the end of her powers, Avalon’s hopes are running high. Will she and Atticus get the powers they so desperately want and need?

Dana Middleton’s debut novel is a wonderfully enchanting story of the possibility of magic and the even more magical bond between two best friends.

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The Mighty Silent e
Written by Kimberlee Gard & illustrated by Sandie Sonke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Little e is sure he could be a hero?―he even has the cape to prove it! But at school, he is so quiet, he just doesn’t stand out. That is, until one day when Little e doesn’t show up to class. The other letters don’t even notice he’s gone at first, but when c, a, and k try to form a word for dessert, they realize that no matter what they do, they can’t make it work. The whole class is in an uproar! Without their silent friend, what are they going to do? Will Little e finally get his chance to come to the rescue?

With adorable illustrations, The Mighty Silent e teaches spelling and word sounds in a new, exciting way that is sure to engage even the most stubborn reader.

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  • If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi - The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses is meant to demonstrate various forms of learning, creativity, and intelligence. Each book introduces a realistic example of triumph over difficulty in a positive, humorous way that readers of all ages will enjoy! Katie always thought her dad was smart–he is one of the busiest attorneys in town! People are always asking him for advice. She has been a bit confused ever since asking him for help with her weekly spelling list. How can her very smart dad struggle with one of her spelling words? This definitely didn’t make sense. The word Mississippi has changed everything… This frank and thoughtful approach to dyslexia is an important exploration of the various ways people learn and that some difficulties do not have to be restrictions on what a person can achieve. “Challenges in reading and spelling are often accompanied by special abilities in areas like complex pattern recognition and spatial reasoning. If You’re So Smart How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi? is a fantastic way of bringing this information to the many smart children who find reading and spelling especially difficult–especially to those who are beginning to doubt their own potential.” –Drs. Brock (M.D., M.A.) and Fernette (M.D.) Eides, authors of The Mislabeled Child and founders of the Eide Neurolearning Clinic. Praise for the series: “This is a wonderful book series. Each story shows children that success is about effort and determination, that problems need not derail them, and that adults can understand their worries and struggles. My research demonstrates that these lessons are essential for children.” –Dr. Carol S. Dweck

  • Henry Heckelbeck Spells Trouble - In this fourth Henry Heckelbeck adventure, Henry causes some serious T-R-O-U-B-L-E when he uses magic in his school spelling bee!

  • Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm - Will Judy’s lucky penny lead her to the nation’s capital – or to third-grade C-A-L-A-M-I-T-Y? And what do her spelling-bee nemesis and a potbellied pig have to do with it? The lucky penny in Judy Moody’s pocket sure does seem to be working. She can’t stop winning – at bowling, spelling, the unbeatable Prize Claw, everything! For sure and absolute positive, she’ll ride that wave of good fortune all the way to Washington, D.C. Watch out, District of Cool, here comes Judy Moody, the luckiest kid ever, until . . . oh, no! Her lucky penny just did a belly flop into a porcelain bowl of yucky, blucky UNluck. Has the coin’s magic gone kerflooey?Are some people, like Jessica Finch or Stink, destined to have all the luck, while she, Judy Moody, gets stuck with a yard full of three-not-four leaf clovers, a squealing potbellied pig in an elevator, and a squashed penny with cooties? ROAR!

  • The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee - India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She’s sure she’s not good enough—but her family won’t accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…

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The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee
Written by Deborah Abela & illustrated by Aleksie Bitskoff
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“India Wimple can spell with the best of them. How else would she have won the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and garnered an invitation to the Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee? India couldn’t be more thrilled to travel to London along with the rest of the Wimples. And at first, it seems like a dream come true; she reunites with her spelling bee friends, and they even get to meet the Queen!

But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on going on and a series of accidents that seem to be not-so-accidental after all. India has her suspicions about who is behind the duplicitous demonstrations. But can she solve the mystery in time to save the competition?”

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Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book Three: Cookie Catastrophe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Ah, the great outdoors. Tents, sleeping bags, nature walks, campfires . . . and maybe a few spells thrown in for good measure! In this entry in the series, Salem takes her first camping trip with the Squirrel Girls, but neither Whammy nor Salem is cut out for roughing it. Salem believes a bit of magic will smooth the way . . . but as usual, it creates more problems than it solves. Salem and Whammy are an irresistible duo in a book perfect for the youngest independent readers.

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Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 2: Big Birthday Bash
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Young witch Salem Hyde is stubborn, impulsive, and loves flying. Her cat companion, Whammy, is nervous, careful, and loves staying on the ground. Somehow, though, they’re best friends. In this second book in the series, Salem is invited to a birthday party, and she wants to make sure everything goes perfectly. But from the invitations to the presents, party games, and spells gone awry, nothing happens exactly the way it should, and she’ll need Whammy’s help to sort it all out.<br /><br /><b>Praise for <i>The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book Two</i></b><br /> “Cammuso’s lively art conveys wonderful expressions with just a few strokes, and young readers will enjoy the humor of Salem’s predicaments. Salem manages to give Edgar a memorable birthday party, and readers a very fun book.”<br /> –<i>Booklist<br /><br /> “</i>With lots of laughs and lots of heart, this sophomore offering doesn’t disappoint.”<br /> –<i>Kirkus Reviews</i><br /><br /> “Salem Hyde is a whimsical character. The bright two-color pink and black illustrations convey the spunky heroine’s energy. Dark shadows lend volume and height where needed. Frames, wide and magnified in varying degrees, are filled with action and high jinks.”<br /> –<i>School Library Journal</i><br />

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Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 1: Spelling Trouble
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Salem Hyde just isn’t like other kids. For one thing, she’s stubborn, independent, and impulsive. For another, she’s a witch. Salem acts first and thinks later–which means most of her thinking involves coming up with excuses!<br> Good thing she’s been assigned an animal companion, Lord Percival J. Whamsford III. This over-anxious cat doesn’t like Salem calling him “Whammy,” and Salem doesn’t like listening to his long-winded explanations as to why she shouldn’t do something . . . like enter the class spelling bee.<br> Salem knows she can beat all her classmates at spells, no problem. Too late, she realizes the competition is about spelling <i>words</i>, not magic. And there’s nothing like a misspelled spell to cause all kinds of havoc! <br> <b>Praise for <i>The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book One</i></b><br> <b>STARRED REVIEWS</b><br> “A fledgling witch receives necessary guidance from a talking cat in this utterly adorable page-turner… A delightful buddy story and an auspicious series opener; be sure to make room on shelves for Salem and Whammy.”<br> –<i>Kirkus Reviews</i>, starred review <p/> “It’s just about the perfect story for comics-loving fathers to read with their comics-loving daughters.”<br> –<i>Publishers Weekly</i>, starred review <p/> “Cammuso evokes both the sarcastic spunk and gentle warmth of <i>Calvin and Hobbes </i>in this humorous tale of unlikely pals.”<br> –<i>The Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books <p/> “</i>Young readers will eat up Cammuso’s (<i>Otto’s Orange Day</i>, 2008) action-packed panels, full of cartoonish antics, silly puns, and playful slapstick humor.”<br> –<i>Booklist</i> <p/> “The humor, appealing artwork, and underlying message of friendship will attract readers.”<br> –<i>Library Media Connection</i>

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Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ
Written by Claudia Mills & illustrated by Rob Shepperson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

The students in Miss Molina's third grade class are abuzz with excitement about the upcoming spelling bee, where they will be competing against the two other classes in third grade. Simon Ellis, who just happens to be good at a lot of other things, is also very good at spelling. But Simon's best friend, Jackson, tells him that it's getting boring losing to Simon all the time. Simon is stuck in an impossible situation: Jackson will be mad whether he spells all the words correctly for their team or if he makes a mistake on purpose and causes his team to miss out on the all-you-can-eat pie buffet. Simon's competitive spirit takes over until he realizes that sometimes the best way to win is to take a chance and let other people shine.

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  • May Saves the Day - From her trendy suit to her messenger bag, May is the picture of a successful businesswoman. After all, she is founder and sole proprietor of Word Saver, Inc. Carrying her trusty bag of letters, May saves the day again and again, turning angry BEES into playful BEETS and a rampaging BEAR into a silly BEARD. Stu begs to be her sidekick, but May insists that a businesswoman does not need a sidekick. However, May quickly realizes that teamwork may be the word of the day when a tornado threatens the town. Author Laura Gehl brings word play to a new level in this adventurous and humorous picture book, featuring spirited art by Serena Lombardo.

  • Lexie the Word Wrangler - This clever celebration of words and their meanings features a strong cowgirl who wrangles words alongside cattle. Lexie is the best wrangler west of the Mississippi—word wrangler, that is. She watches over baby letters while they grow into words and ties shorter words together into longer ones; she herds words into sentences, hitches sentences together, and pens them all in to tell a story. But lately, something seems off at the ranch. First the d goes missing from her bandana, leaving her with a banana to tie around her neck, and soon afterward every S-T-A-R in the sky turns into R-A-T-S. There’s no doubt about it—there’s a word rustler causing this ruckus, and Lexie plans to track him down . . . even if it means riding her horse through the sticky icing of a desert that’s suddenly become a giant dessert. This fantastic spin on “cowboy” stories populates Lexie’s ranch with lively letters and words, alongside the typical cattle and horses, and stars a smart, confident, charismatic heroine. Rebecca Van Slyke’s creative, silly wordplay pairs perfectly with Jessie Hartland’s lively illustrations, and there’s even a glossary of helpful terms for up-and-coming word wranglers.

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