Best Top Books to Read for Kids by Reading Level

From classic novels to modern classics, from tweens to teens and beyond, these are the best top books to read for kids!

Girl Reading a Book in the Library photo

Hello all, I’m back once again. Today we’ll be discussing books. The best top books to read, to be more clear. Now, being a big library kid, I read many a chapter book snuggled up in a cozy reading chair. Growing older led me to broaden my tastes, branching out into different genres and formats, like dystopian sci-fi and manga. For this list, I found some classics that all of you should give a chance, young or old. And never fear, I’m giving you plenty of options, and I swear whatever you pick, it’s going to be amazing. So, with all of that in mind, let’s get into the list!

Perhaps, you’re looking for something a little more visual for your kids to read? Check out our list of the best graphic novels for kids by age! Or maybe your kids want to read Harry Potter and you’re not sure if they’re age appropriate. Be sure to visit our Harry Potter reading level guide, and let us help you make an informed decision!

Okay, great, time to begin!

Top Chapter Books to Read

Junie B. Jones Number 1 Book Cover image

Junie B. Jones

So, I was very young when I first came across Junie B. Jones, and to me, she’s iconic. Seriously, anyone who’s read her books has nothing but praise for her. Truly, she made a lot of people’s childhoods. The thing about her that charmed me the most was the way she carried herself. She knew what she liked and never felt bad about it. In addition, she was confident and never afraid to be weird. Also, she had attitude but wasn’t a brat. Something I’m still working on myself, but that’s another story. 

Amelia Bedelia Book Cover image

Amelia Bedelia

Some of my earliest reading memories are the wacky stories of Amelia Bedelia, the world’s most literal maid. She would always turn everything upside down with her semi lack of understanding. Not gonna lie, she was one of my very first comfort characters because she always meant well and, honestly, always trying her best. Even years later, I still aspire to try the lemon meringue pie that always managed to save her job.

Captain Underpants Book Cover image

Captain Underpants

Come with me on a journey back to the days of the school Book Fair. What a time to be alive! And honestly, whether you got anything or not, there was something magical about that type of setting. Let’s be real, you didn’t even have to like reading to want something; that’s how alluring the Book Fair was! In my younger years, Captain Underpants became a staple in most kids’ lives. Which makes it still so shocking that the Captain Underpants movie didn’t come out until twenty years later in 2017! It was worth the wait though because, just like the book, that movie’s hilarious.

Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist Book Cover image

Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist

I genuinely believe I am one of the rare few that read all the original books. I say original, as I learned that currently more exist, and to be honest the excitement I feel about that might be considered strange. Moving on, this series follows a young mad scientist named Franny, who makes up for what she lacks in height with extreme intelligence. Though, sometimes, her experiments backfire very badly. But that’s half the fun!

Top books to read: I Survived: The Sinking of the Titanic Book Cover image

I Survived

Historical events and disasters brought to life through the eyes of a child. This intense book series immerses readers with its accurate facts and relatable characters, as kids tell their stories of survival. I gave this to my nephew, a very picky reader, and he ate it up like it was chocolate cake for the brain. There’s 21 books in the series so far, and even a few graphic novels too!

Top Books for Middle Grade

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Cover image

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Another Book Fair classic! Does anyone else remember when this series first appeared, how the book was everywhere? Seriously, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing Greg Heffley’s face. It impacted an entire era, and to me this nailed what middle school is about. Middle schoolers and their families are sure to love this relatable story about popularity, bullying, and the meaning of true friendship. Plus, it’s hilarious, so don’t be surprised if you hear your kid randomly laughing out loud from their bedroom.

Dork Diaries Book Cover image

Dork Diaries

Following a concept similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries follows the adventures of Nikki Maxwell as she navigates starting eight grade at a new school. During the year, she deals with a mean-girl rival, manages crushes, and has adventures with her friends Zoey and Chloe. This series still gets new books, and personally I will fight on this hill, saying Dork Diaries deserves the same respect and treatment as Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Hopefully, one day…

Top books to read: Sideways Stories from Wayside School Book cover image


Okay so question time: Did anyone else see the Wayside TV show on Nickelodeon first, then read the book? At the time, I didn’t know it was a book and after reading it, I noticed the differences. One of the first instances of me noticing how different adaptations can be. Though they were very similar, the show obviously changed the characters a lot too. Thankfully, the zany characters are hilarious in both forms. Not gonna lie, I’d probably feel right at home with all the Wayside madness.

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends Book Cover image

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends

Ever After High, a place for the children of fairy tales, both that of heroes and villains, each separated into two categories: royals and rebels. During their time here, the kids learn to follow in their parents destinies and continue their stories. However, Raven Queen, daughter of the Evil Queen, wants to follow her own path. But, could not vowing to follow her destiny ruin her life? Mind you, I loved both the show and the books, so either is a great choice.  

Judy Moody Book One Cover image

Judy Moody

Yep, another book fair classic. I saw it and honestly thought Judy looked cool. Who else grabs books based on the cover before they ever even read the back description? Much like Franny K. Stein, learning this actually has newly published books makes my younger self happy. Judy Moody is something I lowkey feel got slept on, and I’m here to change that!

Best Young Adults Books to Read

Top books to read: Six of Crows Book Cover image

Six of Crows

Follow Kaz Brekker and the rest of his team as they attempt the impossible. A heist to not only bring back a brilliant inventor but also keep a massive secret from being exposed to the world. Also, though I am here to totally encourage all of you to read, Netflix’s fantastic Shadow and Bone series is a great introduction to this band of unique thieves. Having said that, however, I recommend reading both books in this two-book series for the truest experience.

Top books to read: The Gilded Ones Book Cover image

The Gilded Ones

So, personally, I’d never heard of this until I was doing research for this article. Now, after learning more about it, I’m so invested. Like, I need to be caught up so when the movie comes, I’m ready. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. The Gilded Ones follows 16-year old Dreka as the day she’s been fearing most of her life approaches. That being, the blood ceremony to determine if she will be a part of the tribe or an impure outcast. Soon she discovers what happens when the thing you feared becomes the reality you’ve been dreading.

Half a King Book Cover image

Half a King

Another series (this one a trilogy) I wasn’t totally familiar with, but now that I am, is on the top of my to-read list. When Yarvi’s father, the King, dies, the young prince becomes king. Soon he’s betrayed by his family, usurped, and cast out. Unable to live the traditional warrior lifestyle due his disabled hand, Yarvi takes a more academic, calculating path. The book follows his struggles as he gathers a band of similarly unwanted outcasts to try to retake his throne. With so many amazing fantasy authors praising this series, I don’t know how I missed it! So, don’t you miss it too!

Pet Book Cover image


I’ve always liked a story that kept me wondering. I got that here, and personally I liked the message. Life could be as perfect as you want but that doesn’t mean the harsh evils of the world don’t exist, and if you ignore them, then they’ll never truly go away. Not entirely like our world, but not too far off either, to be honest. In this story, Jam is taught that monsters don’t exist anymore. However, when a strange creature named Pet appears, Jam must reconsider all that she’s been taught if she wants to uncover the truth and protect the one’s she loves.

Top books to read: Feed Book Cover image


In more ways than he ever could have imagined, Titus’s entire life turns upside down when he meets Violet. In a world, where the majority of the population connects to the Feed, Titus and his friends are attacked by hacker, causing them to lose access. This book’s dystopian setting creates a vision of a future that, though technologically advanced, is environmentally devastated. Imagine not even your clouds being real. And, as Violet attempts to convince Titus to fight the Feed in order to break free from its control, Titus must decide what’s more important, love or that new pair sneakers that everyone on the Feed is talking about. As you can guess, Feed’s brutal satire, in the vein of Brave New World, was made for the digital age. Honestly, everyone should read this book, young and old. It’s brilliant.