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15 Clean Chapter Book Series Young Boys Will Love

Young boy reading a chapter book

Not all fiction books are created equal. Granted, they all tell stories, but those stories are often written for different purposes and with varying degrees of vocabulary difficulty.

There are fiction books that teach, books that heal, books that nurture ideals and develop a worldview. There are even books that introduce a reader to a different time, a different place, or a different group of people.

Really good books do all of these.

And then there's another pile of fiction. The books in this lot mostly just entertain. While they might do some teaching and they might cultivate a few new opinions or reflections, they usually do so inadvertently. These are not world-changing books or even award winners. These are fun, light fiction titles written to amuse the reader or divert their attention in the short term.

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Most people call these trade show books. But I call them potato chips. 

Like the salty snack, they are a guilty pleasure---books to indulge in from time to time but not ones to build your reading diet around. They are quick, pull-out titles that help to fill in the gaps for kids who have learned to read but who don't have the attention span or desire to only/always read literary fiction. 

Trade show fiction books are to middle-grade kid lit what paperback romance novels are to adult fiction.

When my daughter was young, I compiled a list of clean and fun books for girls. I thought it was time to make one for boys. (Not to say that girls would not or could not also enjoy reading from this list, but that boys might find these titles especially appealing.)

15 Clean Chapter Book Series Young Boys Will Love

The Boxcar Children (155 book series, 27 prequels/special editions)-- The first book in this series makes for a nice first read-aloud for kids transitioning from picture books to chapter books, but the subsequent titles get rather repetitive and are best used for read-alones.

Imagination Station (26 book series)-- This is a time-traveling Christian fiction series based on the characters of the Adventures in Odyssey audio dramas.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls (7 book series so far with more to come!)-- Similar to the Magic Treehouse books, this is a Christian fiction series that has a brother and sister duo popping in and out of famous stories from the Bible.

Billy and Blaze (6 book series)-- The books in this series are not divided into chapters, but rather are a collection of long-form picture books. Their vocabulary is too difficult to include them on an early reader list, so I'll include them here.

Henry Huggins (6 book series)-- This spin-off of the Romana Quimby series has been delighting boys for decades, mine included. What boy doesn't love a good misadventure about a boy and his dog?

I Survived (20 book series)-- Based on real-life events throughout history, this series is written in autobiographical fiction form. 

Ranger in Time (12 book series)-- Like The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls or The Magic Treehouse books, this series is about a golden retriever who travels through time to save the day. Similar to the I Survived books, each book is set during a particular, noteworthy event in history.

Encyclopedia Brown (26 book series)-- This is a modern-day mystery series starring everyone's favorite boy detective, Leroy Brown, affectionately known to his friends and family as Encyclopedia.

Basil of Baker Street (8 book series)-- The inspiration for Disney's The Great Mouse Detective has been entertaining kids since 1958. With the death of the original author in 2002, the publisher has revived the books and has even commissioned a new writer to continue the series. 

Geronimo Stilton (78 book series)-- These quirky, illustrated chapter books are another fun mystery series written in the first person. Wishing to remain anonymous, the author, Elisabetta Dami, took on the persona of a mouse detective and never includes her actual name in the by-line.

Mice of the Herringbone (5 book series)-- These books are not a detective series. (Phew...How many of those can a library shelf hold, for Pete's sake?) Instead, they are filled with swashbuckling dog pirates and the mice that stow away on their ship and who later become pirates themselves.

Flat Stanley (6 book series)-- After accidentally getting flattened by a bulletin board that falls on him during the night, Stanley decides to mail himself across the country in an envelope, among other things. (We actually read the first book of this series together as a family and made "flat" versions of ourselves to mail to friends and family around the country asking them to mail pictures and postcards of state landmarks back to us. The project paired nicely with our US Geography unit.)

Goldtown Beginnings (6 book series)-- Set in a historic gold town, this series follows the adventure of seven-year-old Jem Coulter and his 19th-century family.

Sugar Creek Gang (36 book series)-- This Christian fiction series is like a modern take on the Hardy Boys books. 

Admittedly, series books are not always the most inspiring. The plotlines tend to be a bit repetitive and the characters are rather two dimensional. But these simple, trade show titles can be great just-for-fun fillers for a young boy's reading life.


  1. My 11 year old son LOVES Geronimo Stilton!

  2. You should try The Mad Scientist's Club by Bertrand R. Brinley

    1. I've heard good things about this series. It's just hard to find them.

    2. Thriftbooks has the whole series ��

  3. Gary Paulsen’s Tuckett series is AMAZING.

  4. Gary Paulsens Tuckett series is AMAZING! My boys devoured the book and I often hear them listening to the Audible version. They’re 12 and 13.

  5. Hi! Curious what your definition of "young boys" is as I read this and just want to make sure before I start getting these for my son.