Waaaaay back when I started this book blog in 2012, I read a lot of chapter books for girls ages 6-8. At the time, I had two little girls (I now have three) and we enjoyed reading early chapter books together (and still do).
The problem we ran into was that all the books for girls were about cupcake making, fashion design, or magic kittens.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love cupcakes, fashion, and magical felines and so do my girls. We own oodles of these types of books and read them regularly.
However, you can only read so many books about girls who bake cupcakes before you start to wonder, isn’t there anything else?
So what did we do? We resorted to reading “boy” books.
Just a few years ago, if young readers wanted books about kids that like science, adventure, or books that got their adrenaline pumping, they had to read books with boys as the main characters.
You can imagine our excitement over all the amazing new books that have come out for girls in the past few years.
Yes, there are lots of books about fashion and cupcakes (which is awesome; let’s not forget that we are talking about girls), but now we have variety! Options! Quirky characters! Girls who fight monsters AND girls who like kittens!
Here are some of the BEST early chapter books for girls that have come out in recent years. These books feature strong female leads and characters with pluck. This book list has a wide variety of interests and themes.
We included books for every kind of girl — from the adventurer to the kitten lover and everything in between.
This reading list of amazing early chapter books is for girls in first, second, and third grade.
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Early Chapter Books for Girls Ages 6-8
Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes
I read this book to my two older daughters and it was a blast. Beatrice and her upside down antics are well known by her family. Unfortunately for her, Beatrice’s reputation for mischief has her new teacher watching her like a hawk. But snoopy teachers never stopped a ninja on a mission!
This book is so cute. It features a quirky, funny main character whose wild imagination gets her in trouble all the time.
Kitty’s Magic by Ella Moonheart
Kitty is Japanese-English and in the first book, she discovers that the females in her family have the ability to turn into cats! Soon, Kitty is on a mission to save her new best-kitten friend from some mean neighborhood felines.
This is exactly the type of book my seven-year-old daughter loves. It’s cute as kittens (no pun intended) and full of magic and adventure.
**The paperbacks won’t be on Amazon until February 2018. BUT the Kindle versions of all three books are available now OR you can get the paperbacks from the Book Depository.
Dory Fantasmagory series
This has got to be one of the most fun chapter books for growing readers on the market right now. It’s quirky, zany, and down-right hilarious. We LOVE this series.
Dory is a girl with an imagination too wild for everyone else. Her imagination constantly creeps into real life and affects everything she does.
Girls looking for a character they can appreciate and laugh along with will adore Dory and her crazy adventures. Chapter books for girls don’t get much better than this!
The first three Dory books are available to purchase, but the last one, Head in the Clouds, will be published in March 2018 and is available for pre-order. My kids and I have already read it and laughed over it. It’s a must-have for your child’s bookshelf!
Absolutely Alfie series by Sally Warner, illustrated by Shearry Malone
Another thing I’m loving in the chapter book realm — diversity! If you look at the list, you’ll notice that there’s still a long way to go in this area, but the Absolutely Alfie series and Kitty’s Magic series are a great start.
These books are super-duper cute. Alfie is a rising second-grader who is plucky, funny, and smart. With themes of friendship, honesty, and family, this series gives girls a character they can relate to.
Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce
I got this book for my daughter who LOVES to build stuff. She’s always constructing things, and while it drives me nuts, I want to encourage her.
She connected with this story instantly. A girl that uses a drill? Yes!
The best part is that the author seamlessly integrated themes of friendship, honesty, and kindness into the story as well.
This book will be released in January 2018, but you can pre-order it now.
Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
This is a fairy tale retelling of the lesser known story Snow White and Rose Red. Besides being a beautifully written story, the artwork is to die for. Seriously. It’s sooo pretty.
If you’re looking for a chapter book to gift to your daughter or granddaughter, definitely check this one out. Read it together or let her read it on her own, but this one is worth having on your shelf.
Tales of Sasha series by Alexa Pearl, illustrated by Paco Sordo
The Tales of Sasha series exploded onto the scene earlier this year. My kids and I read the first two books in the series and really enjoyed them. There are now eight books in the series, so if your daughter likes them, there’s lots of books to keep her occupied.
This series is about a young horse that discovers she can spontaneously sprout wings and fly. She goes in search of answers and other horses like her.
Girls that like horses and magic will really like this series. It’s adventurous and fun. There are lots of illustrations and the writing is spot on for kids in grades 1-3.
The Heartwood Hotel series by Kallie George, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
If you’re on the hunt for chapter books for girls, this series needs to be on your list. It is SO cute. It’s about a forest mouse looking for a home just as the weather turns colder. She stumbles across the Heartwood Hotel and the owner takes pity on her and hires her as a maid.
My seven-year-old daughter devoured these two books and told me all about them. I read them once she was finished and they were just as cute as she said they were.
The thing I liked the most about these chapter books is the old-fashioned feel the books have. They feel like a classic, yet they have the pacing and adventure of a modern book. It’s the perfect combination for girls this age.
The Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Girl power all the way with this adorable bestselling series! Our favorite ninja princess now has five books under her belt. This girl fights monsters, rides black horses, and isn’t afraid to take on a challenge.
With a strong female character, full-color artwork throughout, and large, fun to read text, this early chapter book series is perfect for girls and boys ages 6-8.
My kids LOVE these books (and so do I, if we’re being honest). They’re fun, funny, and have fantastic illustrations. They’re full color all the way through and have a kick-butt heroine who battles monsters on a regular basis—all while keeping up the appearance of being a perfect princess.
These books make a regular appearance under our Christmas tree every year.
Hilde Cracks the Case series by Hilde Lysiak and Matthew Lysiak
This adorable series is from the Scholastic Branches line, which produces early chapter books for girls and boys with high-interest stories, lots of action, and engaging content to keep growing readers interested. My kids own several of the Branches books and we love them.
This series is about a young detective and the mysteries she solves. They’re super cute books and perfect for engaging young readers that need the smaller page count and lots of illustrations.
Olga series by Elise Gravel
These books are a little longer (just under 200 pages), so they’re good for advanced readers and kids on the upper end of the 6-8 age range. They’re also great for older readers in the 9-12 age range looking for something easier and silly.
They’re super easy to read, outrageously funny, and jam-packed with goofy illustrations. It’s written in the “diary style” that was made so popular by Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants.
Two and Only Kelly Twins series by Johanna Hurwitz, illustrated by Tuesday Mourning
My kids and I read these books a while back and they are SO cute. This series is about a pair of twins and their adventures with everyday life—friendships, pets, glasses, and head lice.
If your daughter likes the day-to-day type stories and realistic fiction with characters she can relate to, this is a great series to get started with. The simple stories are cute, funny, and sweet.
My girls loved reading these books. Plus, the illustrations are adorable.
Do you know of any other fantastic chapter books for girls ages 6-8? Let me know in the comments!
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