Log in

Missouri Literacy Association

An Affiliate of International Literacy Association

The mission of the Missouri Literacy Association is to empower educators, ensure equity, inspire students & encourage leaders with the equitable resources they need to make literacy accessible for all in our diverse community.

Chapter Books for Elementary Readers

Organized by theme or category.

Click on book cover to go to Goodreads for more information on the book.


Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth

By Sheila O'Connor

Published 2018

Reenie Kelley, age 11, begins leaving notes for Mr Marsworth, the town recluse and slowly the two become pen pals and friends


The Friendship War

By Andrew Clements

Published 2019

 Grace suddenly has everyone's attention when she accidentally starts a new fad at school (button collecting) & it may be the end of her friendship with Ellie, who has been her best friend since 2nd grade.  Grace comes to the realization that her friendship is worth more than the fad & works to save it.

One for Sorrow

by Mary Downing Hahn

Published 2017


“Another historical and chilling success” of revenge from beyond the grave during the 1918 influenza outbreak from ghost story master Mary Downing Hahn. (Kirkus)  Readers who love spooky stories will enjoy this one.


By Kayla Miller

Published 2019


In this story about navigating friendships, Olive and her best friend, Willow, go off to sleepaway camp. Olive is sure that this will be the best time ever, but she soon realizes that Willow is not enjoying herself. Willow is not as outgoing as Olive and becomes dependent on Olive. Will this end their friendship?


By Kayla Miller

Published 2019


Olive has many friends in her fifth-grade class. But when the annual talent show is announced, she finds herself feeling left out by all the cliques. She wants to be included, but she also wants to stay true to herself. With the help of her cool Aunt Molly, she finds out exactly how Click. Kayla Miller. she can “click” with her friends.


11 Birthdays:  A Wish Novel

by Wendy Mass

Published 2010

After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda & Leo, having fallen out on their tenth & not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over & over.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky 

By Holly Schindler    


Published 2014

Auggie Jones lives with her grandfather, who is a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. Auggie stands up for her beliefs while struggling to stay true to herself, even when her best friend becomes friends with the cool crowd at new school. 

Theme of not only friendship but being true to yourself and persistence.

Save Me a Seat (Scholastic Gold)

Save Me a Seat

By Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan   

MARK TWAIN NOMINEE 2018-19      

Published 2018

Ravi has just moved to the United States from India and has always been at the top of his class; Joe has lived in the same town his whole life and has learning problems--but when their lives intersect in the first week of fifth grade they are brought together by a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and the need to take control of their lives.  

The Stranger Next Door

The Stranger Next Door

By Peg Kehret

Published 2008

A clever cat’s heroism helps two-12 -year-old boys become friends after their families, one of which is in a witness protection program, move to neighboring houses in Hilltop, Washington. 

Saving Marty

by Paul Griffin


Published  2018

Fans of Because of Winn Dixie will adore this warm and heart-wrenching story of the friendship between a boy and a pig who thinks it's a dog.  Of course, the boy must save the pig before the story ends.

Wishtree by [Applegate, Katherine]


by Katherine Applegate


Published 2017

The New York Times-bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

By Dusti Bowling


Published 2017

New friends and a mystery help Aden, thirteen, adjust to middle school and life at a dying western theme park in a new state, where her being born armless presents many challenges.     

Best Friends 

By Shannon Hale


Published 2019

A National and New York Times Bestseller!

The creators of Real Friends Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham are back with a true story about popularity, first crushes, and finding your own path.

Mustaches for Maddie

By Chad Morris & Shelley Brown

Published 2017

A funny, inspiring story based on a true story.
Maddie has a quirky sense of humor and a fondness for sporting fake mustaches, the more outrageous-looking, the better. Then she's diagnosed with a brain tumor. Readers will take the journey with her as she battles her illness and encounters the usual obstacles of growing up by using her imagination to conquer her fears, her humor to stay optimistic, and compassion to stay connected to others in a meaningful way. 

The Wolf Keepers

by Elise Broach   

                                        Published 2016                                      

Twelve-year-old Lizzie Durango lives in a zoo, spending her days taking note of the animals' behaviors, then she meets runaway Tyler Briggs and together they investigate the wolves who are suddenly dying. 


Bernice Buttman

Model Citizen

By Niki Lenz

Published 2019

Written with true voice. 

Good for starting conversation about bullying, poverty, family and making a change.

Apocalypse Taco

By Nathan Hale

Published 2019


Eleven-year-old twins Axl and Ivan and their friend, Sid, make a late-night fast food run for the theater team. Then the food from the restaurant transforms into strange beasts that attack the kids. A multiarmed graduate student takes them into an alternative world created by evil bioengineered squid-bees. Kids will enjoy the silly details and twisted events along the way.

No Talking

By Andrew Clements

Published 2012

The noisy 5th grade boys challenge the equally loud 5th grade girls

to a "no talking" contest.  

The Terrible Two

By Mac Burnett and Jory John

Published 2015

When master prankster Miles Murphy moves to sleepy Yawnee Valley, he challenge the local mystery prankster in an epic battle of tricks, but soon the two join forces to pull off the biggest prank ever seen.  There are more books in this series.

The Worst Class Trip

By Dave Barry

Published 2019

When the 8th grade civics class goes on a trip to Washington, D.C., Wyatt Palmer fins himself in deep trouble before the plane even lands because his best friend, Matt, decided the men sitting behind them are terrorists -- and its up to the boys to stop them.

My Zombie Hamster

By Havelock McCreery

Published 2014

Matt Hunter is expecting the latest sword-and-fantasy video game, but he's in for a disappointment when he receives a hamster for Christmas instead.  A hamster called Snuffles.  A hamster that dies, but somehow keeps going.  A zombie hamster that has his eye on Matt.

13-Story Treehouse, Book 1

By Andy Griffiths

Published 2013

Follow the efforts of Andy and Terry to meet a latest book deadline despite numerous distractions in their sophisticated treehouse home, including flying cats, giant bananas, sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles! The story is filled with wonderfully random slapstick humor and the text is seasoned with Denton’s scribbly, busy black-and-white cartoons which makes this book perfect for reluctant readers.

Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday

By Stephen Manes

Published 1991

Jason Nozzle, young, would-be-millionaire, finds a copy of Dr. K. Pinkerton Silverfish's book "Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday!" and follows its recommendations carefully.  He is told to do very crazy things!  

Knights of the Kitchen Table

By Jon Scieszka

Published 1998

Joe receives a magic book for his birthday, a present from his uncle.  Joe, Fred and Sam are sent back in time by the magic book and they find themselves face-to-face with giants, dragons, wizards and Knights of the Round Table.  There are many more in this series of books.

Sideways Stories From Wayside School

By Louis Sachar

Published 1978

Thirty different stories describe the strange thins that happen at Wayside School, an architectural accident that was build sideways, thirty stories high with one classroom on each floor. Maybe that is why funny things happen there. If you like this book, there are many more books in this series.


                                     By James Ponti                                  


Series:  T.O.A.S.T. Mystery  #1

In Washington, D.C., twelve-year-old Florian Bates, a consulting detective for the FBI, and his best friend Margaret help thwart the biggest art heist in United States history. This book is a mixture of adventure and mystery with humor throughout.

The Doublecross:  And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy

By Jackson Pearce

Published 2015

Everyone in twelve-year-old Hale's family is a spy, going way back. when Hale's parents go missing while on a secret mission, it's Hale's time to step up and (with a little help from his acrobat cheerleader little sister) save the day.  This book is a mixture of adventure, mystery and humor.

Lulu Walks the Dogs

By Judith Viorst

Paperback Published 2014

Good transitional book; a step up from Junie B. Jones

The stubbornly hilarious Lulu wants to earn some cash by walking dogs and funny situations happen.


Right as Rain

by Lindsey Stoddard

Published 2019

August Isle

by Ali Standish

Published 2019

Lalani of the Distant Sea

by Erin Estrada Kelly

Published 2019

The Benefits of Being an Octopus

by Ann Braden

Published 2018

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

by Dan Gemeinhardt

Published 2019

A 2019 Parents' Choice Award Gold Medal Winner
Amazon’s #1 Best Children’s Book of 2019
A Junior Library Guild Selection

The Honest Truth

by Dan Gemeinhardt

Published 2015

Some Kind of Courage

by Dan Gemeinhardt

Published 2016

Shooting Kabul

by N.H. Senzai 

Published 2010

Based in part on Ms. Senzai's husband's own experience fleeing his home in Soviet-controlled Afghanistan in the 1970's, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software