Ahhh, I remember how exciting it was to order from the Weekly Reader book orders. I didn’t get something every time, but I know I was able to once in a while. If your kids are bringing home book orders each month, chances are they are from Scholastic. 

I like Scholastic’s books. I have a book fair with them every year and often get between $2000 and $2500 in free books as a result. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

In the last few years, Scholastic has added a line of early reader chapter books. They are varied in style, topic and AR level. Here are the ones I am familiar with – though I’m sure I’m missing some, since new ones are added every year.

Level-wise, the four Boris books by Andrew Joyner are some of the simplest. They are good for beginners in chapters, 1st or 2nd graders. The illustrations are bright and colorful and are a nice transition away from picture books.

The four Monkey Me books by Timothy Roland are a fun mix of paragraphs and graphic novel panels. They are all black and white, and also fall in the lower levels, so good for 1st and 2nd graders.

Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe is a cute 4 book series by Susan Nees. They are similar to the Boris books with color illustrations and low 2nd grade levels.

The Looniverse books by David Lubar are less illustrated and more word oriented and fall in the low 3rd grade level. There are four books. They would appeal to humor loving boys and girls.

The Lotus Lane books by Kyla May are a big hit with my 3rd grade girls. I even have some 4th grade girls reading them because they are required to read above 4.0 in AR but they inexplicably avoid longer books. The illustrations are super cute and all the girls get upset that there are only four books in the run.

For the kids who like spooky stories, Jack Chabert’s Eerie Elementary series fits the bill. They are mid 3rd grade level and the kids give them a thumbs up. So far, there are six books that I know of. 

I can’t count the number of 2nd and 3rd grade girls who only want books about horses. It’s hard to find stuff that isn’t too easy or too hard. This series, Silver Pony Ranch, with two books out so far, hits that mid-3rd-grade sweet spot.

Olive & Beatrix by Amy Marie Stadelman are a spooky series about a set of twins. The older sister was born at exactly midnight, so she can perform magic. Her sister used her skills in math and science to help solve the story’s problems. It’s a fun approach to STEM in the low 3rd grade range. There are only two books so far.

The Amazing Stardust Friends by Heather Alexander will appeal to all the girls into dance. I have two books so far. I think they are high 2nd grade AR leveled.


I just read the first Haggis and Tank Unleashed book by Jessie Young. This fun series is very simple, so perfect for the beginners in 1st and 2nd grade.

Though it’s not the most popular at my school, Dragon Masters by Tracy West looks like a fun fantasy series. I think because it is shelved at the end of the collection (darn librarians and their alphabetical order!) it gets over looked. These are great for 3rd graders.

I will share the rest of the Branches’ series with you tomorrow.

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