13 Best Books for Seven Year Olds to Add to Your Bookshelf

Check out this list of the best books for seven year olds that are funny and have simple vocabulary. These early chapter books will help kids love reading.

At age seven, most young children are in first grade or getting ready to enter second grade. At this age, they have the foundations of reading down, and many are ready to move past picture books and start reading short, simple chapter books.

These young readers should be able to read independently, but they will still need illustrations in their books to help them decode words they don’t know. Because seven-year-old readers need shorter books, parents and teachers will need quite a few to stock their bookshelves. Here are some popular choices for this age group. Roger Hargreaves’s books are also an excellent choice for children!

Here Are The Best Books for Seven Year Olds

1. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
A book cover with a man in underpants and a red cape stands atop a building while two children hang off the side

The best books on a reading list for seven-year-olds will have a combination of humor and strong vocabulary, and the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey has both. This graphic novel has enough images to help young readers capture the meaning. Many will find themselves laughing hysterically over the antics of George and Harold as they turn to Mean Mr. Krumpp into the easy-going Captain Underpants of their superhero comic books.

Many seven-year-olds will already know the characters due to the popular television show based on these books, making them more interested in reading them. Pilkey also wrote the Dog Man series, which is another popular graphic novel-style book for this age group. Looking for more children’s books? You might also enjoy our list of the best books for six year olds.

“George and Harold were usually responsible kids. Whenever anything bad happened, George and Harold were usually responsible.”

Dav Pilkey, Captain Underpants

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2. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
A book cover with a girl in a red dress holding a pig, looking at a spider hanging from a web

Charlotte’s Web, published in 1952, is a well-known story by children’s author E.B. White. It is the story of Wilber, a young pig with two best friends, a little girl named Fern, and a spider named Charlotte. They work together to keep him from the butcher by showing that he is, in fact, “Some Pig.” This tale is about friendship in unexpected places and sacrifice for those friends. 

“Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They’ll believe anything they see in print.”

E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte's Web: A Newbery Honor Award Winner
  • Hardcover Book
  • White, E. B (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 04/10/2012 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins (Publisher)

3. The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne

The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne
A book cover with a boy in a yellow shirt with glasses rides on the back of a pterodactyl

The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne has a large collection of books that are ideal to use as first-chapter books. The first book, Valley of the Dinosaurs, introduces readers to Jack and Annie. When they find a tree house full of books, these siblings play in the woods. When they open one of the books, they get transported to the world of dinosaurs. This introduces one of the most treasured children’s book series of all time, and at just 80 pages, the book is easy enough for second-grade readers. 

“’So let’s not tell anyone,’ said Annie. ‘Dad won’t believe it,’ said Jack.”

Mary Pope Osborne, Valley of the Dinosaurs

4. Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows

Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
A book cover with two girls standing back-to-back

Ivy and Bean is the first in a book series about two best friends who are very different. When the girls first meet, however, they are not sure they will be friends at all. Why? Because they are incredibly different. Ivy uses a magic spell in the first book to help Bean out of a pickle. The book won the ALA Notable Children’s Book award in 2007. 

“Nancy thought Bean was a pain and a pest. Bean thought Nancy was a booger-head.”

Annie Barrows, Ivy, and Bean
Ivy & Bean (Book 1)
  • Annie Barrows (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 120 Pages - 04/19/2007 (Publication Date) - Chronicle Books (Publisher)

5. Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro
A book cover with a black girl in blue overalls and a red shirt holding a small green dragon

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows is the first book in a series by author Asia Citro designed for the five to seven age group. This book features a little girl and her cat that take on adventures with a STEM bent. She follows the scientific method to solve mysteries about the world around her. The chapters in this beginning chapter book are heavy on illustrations, which keeps the attention of young readers. 

“The frog looked me in the eye, smiled, and said, ‘Thank you!’ I clapped my hand over my mouth.”

Asia Citro, Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows

6. Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate DiCamillo

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate DiCamillo
A book cover with a smiling pig sitting in the passenger seat of a pink convertible

Mercy Watson is a delightful pet pig owned by Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride was published in 2005 by Kate DiCamillo and earned the Theodor Seuss Geisel honor in 2007. It is a story of a car ride adventure Mercy takes with her owner. A stowaway in the car leads to an adventure and a police chase. This book is humorous and has a vocabulary ideal for young readers.

“Every Saturday after lunch, Mr. Watsgon goes outside. Mercy follows him. They stand in the driveway. Together, they admire Mr. Watson’s convertible.”

Kate DiCamillo, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride
Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride
  • DiCamillo, Kate (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 80 Pages - 12/22/2009 (Publication Date) - Candlewick (Publisher)

7. Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel

Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
A book cover with green frog and a toad riding a two-seated bike through the green grass

If you have a reluctant reader, this classic book about the power of friendship is a popular choice. This classic children’s book by Arnold Nobel earned a Newberry Honor. Frog and Toad Together follows best friends, Frog and Toad, as they go about their days. It is a Level Two I Can Read book that works well for kids who can read independently with help.

“I cannot remember any of the things that were on my list of things to do. I will just have to sit here and do nothing,” said Toad.”

Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad Together
Frog and Toad Together: A Newbery Honor Award Winner (I Can Read Level 2)
  • Lobel, Arnold (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages - 10/03/1979 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins (Publisher)

8. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
A book cover with a girl in a pink sweater waiting for a school bus

Published in 1992, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus introduced the world to the sassy and spirited Junie B. This book, the first in a growing series, is Junie’s introduction to school through a bus ride to kindergarten. Early readers love the spunky little girl with her sarcastic ways as they see everyday life through her eyes, and this has made the series by author Barbara Park a New York Times bestseller. 

“I stayed scared about the bus for a whole week. And last night when my mother tucked me into bed, I still felt sickish about it.”

Barbara Park, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (Junie B. Jones, No. 1)
  • Fun compelling intriguing
  • Park, Barbara (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 80 Pages - 07/28/1992 (Publication Date) - Random House Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

9. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda by Roald Dahl
A book cover with a girl in a blue dress sitting on a pile of books

Matilda is a classic book by children’s author Roald Dahl. It talks about a smart young girl with terrible parents and a terrible school principal who continues to make friends and create positive change in her world. She also has some mysterious powers and a voracious appetite for books. Readers can’t help but wish for the best for Matilda as they get to know her in this book. Want to read more children’s books? Discover our list of the best authors like Onjali Rauf.

“I’m wondering what to read next,” Matilda said. “I’ve finished all the children’s books.”

Roald Dahl, Matilda
  • Dahl, Roald (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 08/16/2007 (Publication Date) - Penguin Young Readers Group (Publisher)

10. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
A book cover with a boy whispering in the ear of a lion

My Father’s Dragon is a Newbery Honor book by Ruth Stiles Gannett. It is the story of Elmer Elevator, who runs away from home to rescue a flying baby dragon. The fantastic tale continues with several whimsical aids that help the boy on his journey. He eventually ends up on the Wild Island, where he must disarm the terrible beasts and rescue the dragon. Though published in 1948, this book continues to inspire generations of children today.

“Island and Tangerina are joined together by a long string of rocks, but people never go to Wild Island because it’s mostly jungle and inhabited by very wild animals. So, I decided to go across the rocks and explore them for myself. It certainly is an interesting place, but I saw something there that made me want to weep.”

Ruth Stiles Gannett, My Father’s Dragon
My Father's Dragon
  • Gannett, Ruth Stiles (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 01/15/2014 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

11. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
A book cover with two children looking off the edge of a sidewalk

Seven-year-old readers are at an excellent age to enjoy poetry if it is written with kids in mind, and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is a great book to start with. The fun poems and the author’s artwork made this a great book that kids love. The poems have the unique ability to be both hilarious and profound simultaneously, which has given the book an enduring quality since its publication in 1974. You might also be interested in our list of the best books for nine year olds.

“There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.”

Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings
  • Hardcover Book
  • Silverstein, Shel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 02/18/2014 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins (Publisher)

12. The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
A book cover with a snake, piranha, wolf, and shark wearing suits looking straight ahead

Aaron Blabey has over 30 million books in print, many of which are from his The Bad Guys series. This hilarious series is told in graphic novel form and looks at what happens with the town’s “bad guys” who decide to try to be good. The Bad Guys have 16 million copies in print and is now a major motion picture. This is a fairly long series, which makes it a great option to introduce young readers to chapter books. If they fall in love, you can add more to their bookshelf. Episode 1 of The Bad Guys was published in 2015.

“That’s ENOUGH! We. Don’t. Fight. Anymore.”

Aaron Blabey, The Bad Guys
The Bad Guys (The Bad Guys #1) (1)
  • Blabey, Aaron (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 12/27/2016 (Publication Date) - Scholastic Press (Publisher)

13. All About Plants: Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

All About Plants: Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
A book cover with a black girl holding a blue watering can

If you want non-fiction books to add to your child’s favorite books list, consider the Ada Twist, Scientist series by Andrea Beaty. It tackles science topics age-appropriately, with full-color photographs and diagrams that answer some of the kids’ biggest questions about science topics. All About Plants tackles questions like “Do plants need air?” and “How do plants eat?” Ada Twist is the narrator, a cute little girl deeply curious about the world. Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best Stan and Jan Berenstain books for children!

“I see a tiny flower in the crack of the sidewalk! Why is it there? It’s a mystery! A riddle! A puzzle! A quest! Time to find out what plants are about!”

Andrea Beaty, Ada Twist, Scientist, All About Plants
All About Plants! (Ada Twist, Scientist: The Why Files #2) (The Questioneers)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Beaty, Andrea (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 80 Pages - 07/19/2022 (Publication Date) - Harry N. Abrams (Publisher)


  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.