You have probably experienced the difficulty of finding books for your child who has recently mastered reading chapter books. Whether your child is a voracious reader or a reluctant one, this list of the best books for 7 year olds will help you fill your bookshelves with quality books for both boys and girls to read. All of these books have been approved by my 7 year old and they cover a wide range of interests and genres.
This was a hard list for me to make because there were a lot of the usual suspects that I really wanted to put on this list. Marvelous books—but books you will come across many times in other lists. So instead I chose marvelous books I haven't yet written about (save one). Of course you can always visit my other lists for more: Here's the index of all my book lists for kids. (Note: covers and titles are affiliate links)
Best Books for 7 Year Olds
The World According to Humphrey (series) by Betty G. Birney. My 7 year old adores this series and it makes him laugh over and over. Humphrey narrates his experience as a classroom pet. His funny and insightful observations of the children in his class are highly entertaining and Humphrey even learns to read himself! Lots of "un-squeakably good fun" as Humphrey would say.
All Paws on Deck (series) by Jessica Young, illustrated by James Burks. I was slightly skeptical about this series but my 7 year old was laughing his head off and so I picked it up and found the word play to be quite humorous. I'm a big fan of word play as a literary device; I think it gives kids a greater understanding of vocabulary. Haggis the scottie dog plays the straight man to Tank's absentminded goof and together they set sail on an imaginary venture. This series, which is a graphic novel-hybrid, is a great choice for reluctant readers.
Inspector Flytrap (series) by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Cece Bell. Angleberger's trademark goofy humor is on full display in this series. Inspector Flytrap is indeed a venus flytrap, and he narrates his bizarre, and sometimes a bit gross,detective adventures. The walking, talking carnivorous plant and his sidekick, Nina the Goat (who is oh-so-unimpressed with everything) solve the mystery of a strange yellow blob on a DaVinci painting at the museum. We thought it was hilarious and your kids will, too.
Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Julianna Swaney. The Book Uncle is a friendly gentlemen who helps children in India find just the right book at the street corner lending library he runs. This is a terrific story about one girl's determination to stand up and protest corrupt politicians who threaten to put Book Uncle out of business. Yasmin's story will inspire your kids to work towards a goal and learn about the value of community involvement.
MORE: Multicultural early chapter books - perfect books for 7 year olds!
Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker. Waylon is the star of a new series by the author of Clementine. I recently read it to my 2nd grader. Waylon is a super charming 4th grader who saves his money to buy a special notebook in which to record all his ideas for inventions. But at school the "cool kid" is dividing the class into teams. How will this affect his friendships? And what about that Bully? And his sister is acting so weird! I adored this book and can't wait to read more.
Trouble Next Door by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman. I have mentioned The Carver Chronicles before and this is the latest book. I continue to enjoy this series with an African-American protagonist. Each book thoughtfully presents a moral dilemma that Calvin must work through as he learns how to make the right decisions, but the writing is by no means preachy or didactic. In this installment, Calvin gets a new neighbor who happens to be the school bully.
MORE: Early chapter books for every child's interest. - great gift guide when you are looking for books for 7 year olds.
Sam the Man and the Chicken Plan (series) by Frances O'Roark Dowell, illustrated by Amy June Bates. In the spirit of Henry Huggins, an independent-minded 7 year old boy wants to earn some money. Along the way he acquires a chicken and befriends his cranky old neighbor. A wonderful book full of old-fashioned fun and humor.
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina. Juana is a charming and plucky girl who narrates her experience living in Colombia. She has to learn English at school and she does like like it! But then her grandparents tell her they are going on a trip where English will come in handy and Juana discovers that learning English gets easier the more you practice. I love the mingling of Spanish and English in this book and Juana's way of expressing herself is wonderfully dramatic and charming.
Mango and Bambang: The Not-A-Pig (series) by Polly Faber, illustrated by Clara Vulliamy. This is a lovely series from a British author, with a wonderful, old-fashioned feel. Mango lives in a big city, with a lot of other busy people, including her very busy father. She feels a little lonely until she comes to the rescue of a frightened tapir named Bambang. The pair complement each other: Mango helps Bambang to navigate life in the city and to stay out of the clutches of Cynthia Prickle-Posset, a neighbor who collects Unusuals. In return, Bambang helps Mango with her own special challenge.
Squirrel in the House by Vivian Vande Velde, illustrated by Steve Bjorkman. This is the sequel to 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos, which I have recommended so many times that if you haven't read it yet, I just don't know what to say. 🙂 Squirrel is back and when he discovers a just-built-for-squirrels entrance to Dog's house (aka the chimney) he goes in to check out the holiday festivities. When one of the kids heads out alone in the snow, Squirrel must figure out a way to lead the family to his rescue.
Dog Man (series) by Dav Pilkey. The author of Captain Underpants is back with a new, hilarious series that already has my 7 year old begging for the next installment. When a cop and his canine are injured, they undergo surgery but the only way to save them is to create Dog Man! This part-canine, part-human creation feels the push and pull of his instincts from both his natures. Pilkey has said many times that he writes books that fulfill kids' need for silly books - the same need he felt as a second grader. Well, there is not doubt that this book is silly, and little doubt that kids will love it. Enjoy!
More of the best books for 7 year olds:
- Visit my early chapter books archives for hundreds of other book choices for 7 year old boys and girls.
- Funny 3rd grade books
- 22 Alternative Book Series to Junie B. Jones
- Books for Kids who like Magic Tree House
- Superhero chapter books for ages 6-9
- My tips for how to choose good early chapter books