You've heard the phrase, "Every Hero Has a Story." Obviously, the sentiment is not limited to traditional superheroes, but it did inspire this list of superhero chapter books recommendations for early chapter book readers for your young, independent readers who love a rousing heroic story of good vs. evil.
While my 10 year old does enjoy a good superhero story, it is really my 6 year old who is obsessed with comic book superheroes. Since I want him to branch out from the usual Batman, Superman and Spider Man stories I have been bringing home bags of books which feature non-licensed superhero characters, in a desperate attempt to expand his repertoire. Fortunately, he has been very receptive to my tactics and we have had a great time reading these books aloud. I am still reading aloud to him, but these books are good independent reading books for the 6-10 year olds.
MORE: Want exclusively girl superheroes? You will love my list of female superhero books for girls AND boys! Or, If your kids are delving into the world of chapter books for the first time, check out all our early chapter books lists, and read our parent tips for choosing early chapter books.
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SUPERCAT VS THE FRY THIEF (series) by Jeanne Willis
Supercat is is very silly and very fun. I read the first book out loud to my 6 year old in one sitting because he wouldn't let me put it down. It's longer than some of the others on this list (and more advanced), but still has the trademark large font and copious illustrations that characterize chapter books for younger readers. Tiger the Cat licks a toxic sock and transforms into a walking, talking super cat with opposable thumbs. He and his owner, James, set out to foil the plans of Count Backwards who is trying to destroy the potato crop with weevil bombs. My son laughed out loud at this book so much!
MORE: Funny Beginning Chapter Books for Kids ages 6-10
DC SUPER HEROES (series) authors vary, published by Stone Arch Books, illustrated by Dan Schoening
I'm going to be honest with you here, I wanted to avoid placing any licensed comic book characters on this book list. HOWEVER. My youngest son is crazy about DC and Marvel superheroes and I find most of the books and serial comic books to have disturbing imagery that I don't want my son reading. It has been a challenge. He has been bringing books from this DC Superhero chapter book series (See the little logo in the top left corner? That's how I've been identifying the books. The logo can vary. The publisher is Stone Arch Books/Capstone Press.) home from the school library and I have found them quite age appropriate for the genre. In fact, some of them even have nice little lessons. There are discussion questions in the back, too. So if your kid loves DC superheroes but you are like me, check these ones out. (Note: I haven't read all the books -- good heavens!! -- but the ones I have read are all titles I can recommend to parents. Now if only he could bring home one about Wonder Woman...)
CAPTAIN AWESOME TO THE RESCUE (series) by Stan Kirby, illustrated by George O'Connor
Captain Awesome is one of the easiest books on the list, perfect for beginning chapter book readers or kids who may be late readers and want to read chapter books "like their friends." Eugene's imaginary alter ego is Captain Awesome. With their healthy imaginations, he and his friend Charlie, aka "Nacho Cheese Man" team up to save the neighborhood from wicked (imaginary) villains.
ZAPATO POWER FREDDIE RAMOS TAKES OFF (series) by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Miguel Benítez
I have a great love for Freddy Ramos. After all, he and his mom love to read together. One day Freddy receives a mysterious pair of shoes which turn out to have magical powers and Freddy, being the kind of boy he is, uses their power for good.
MORE: Adventure Early Chapter Books for Ages 6-10
TALES OF BUNJITSU BUNNY (series) by John Himmelman
Bunjitsu Bunny one of my favorite easy chapter book series! Each book is composed of short vignettes about Isabel and her friends who all study martial arts. The clever and funny stories convey a zen-like lesson without being at all preachy. My 6 year old was very into the idea of battles and fighting so he of course loved reading a book in which the first action sequence involved the possibility of one character head-butting a door (they don't actually get that far...). I, however, was delighted with the "sneaky" lessons in non-violence, friendship, compassion and self-discipline!
MIA MAYHEM IS A SUPERHERO! (series) by Kara West, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
This is a very easy chapter book series with large text and lots of illustrations. Mia is an 8-year-old girl who finds out she is a superhero when she receives an invitation to attend an after school program for In-Training Superheroes. Now she must figure out a way to be both a regular girl AND a secret superhero.
THE PRINCESS IN BLACK (series) by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
When trouble is near Princess Magnolia and her horse/unicorn spring into action! With her secret identity she fights the local monsters when they harass the shepherd's charges. Tongue-in-cheek humor, color illustrations, spare text and a bit of action make this a great book for early readers.
MORE: Spy Books for Kids
LET'S GET CRACKING! (series) by Cyndi Marko
Kung Pow Chicken is a hybrid graphic novel and chapter book. My son LOVED this series and demanded I check all of them out of the library. I admit, the puns had me giggling. A young chicken gains superpowers when he accidentally falls into a mysterious vat in his uncle's lab in their home town of Fowladelphia (see what I mean?). In this first adventure, he and his sidekick must figure out what is causing the local population to lose their feathers. Silly and fun.
THE ADVENTURES OF JO SCHMO by Greg Trine, illustrated by Frank W. Dormer
When she gets a mysterious package, (conveniently labelled "mysterious package for Jo Schmo"), a fourth grade girl joins the family business of crime fighting. Because Jo is a 4th grader, this is a good series to hand to older kids who are still working on their reading skills and may not want to read books that "are about little kids."
EXTRAORDINARY ERNIE AND MARVELOUS MAUD (series) by Frances Watts, illustrated by Judy Watson
Find it: Your Library | Amazon
Although I believe this series is technically out of print in the US, you will most likely find it at your library and its worth looking up. Ernie has won a contest to become a superhero! But… hmmmm, his sidekick is a sheep? A very clever and sweet series from Australian author, Frances Watts.
THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS by Dav Pilkey
I understand that there are parents who don't want their kids reading Pilkey's funny series about a pair of boys who turn their principal into a ridiculous superhero who sports a mean pair of tidy whiteys. Personally, I think the series is no more subversive than Roald Dahl and I do think it can be good for kids to have an outlet for their feelings about school. My son loves these books, yet is still respectful to his teachers and principal. You can also check out Pilkey other series, Dog Man.
MORE: Books for Kids Who Love Dog Man
CAT NINJA (series) by Matthew Cody, illustrated by Yehudí Mercado
Cat Ninja, a graphic novel series, is a fun choice for kids who love animal adventures. As a kitten, Claude used to watch ninja movies with his owner and now he has transformed into Cat Ninja! His mission is to keep Metro City safe from Raccoon Bros, Chat Noir and Master Hamster. Integrated into the action is a story thread about Leon, Claude's young human owner who is coming to terms with his parent's divorce.
MORE: Graphic Novels for Beginning Readers
MORE SUPERHERO FUN:
Post updated 2022
Alex Baugh says
Thanks for sharing this list. Good chapter books for kids, especially boys, are hard to fine so it is always nice to have a reference. I have Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny to read and review, but I've been dragging my heels with it. Now you've tempted me to pull it out and finally read it.
Erica MomandKiddo says
I think you will love it!
Carissa Christner says
Great (and much appreciated) list! We also love the gum girl books by rhode Montijo-- Hispanic girl superhero? Yes, please!
Erica MomandKiddo says
Oooh, thanks for the suggestion! I know my son has read that book; I forgot about it. Great addition.
So excited that my 5 year old had me read through his first entire chapter book tonight and it was Captain Awesome. He loves Bunjitsu Bunny and Captain Underpants too, although I think he is more into the comics on Captain Underpants than anything. I've got Kung Pao Chicken ready to try next.
Yay! I love Bunjitsu Bunny so very, very much!
Thanks for this list! In the past, I have read some of these to my son (who is newly 6 years old). I wanted to know, since my son is way more into the DC super heroes/marvel characters than the other ones I checked out at the library (freddie zapato, princess black, etc), do you know of other age appropriate dc/marvel super hero books? I agree with your sentiments on many of the books. I can't seem to find these super dc heroes one you shared at our local library. Thank you
Hi Brinda, I'm glad you liked the list and I totally understand about kids loving DC and Marvel. Unfortunately I have not really read any of the DC/Marvel books myself as I just let my kids pick them out for their independent reading.