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Classic series for young independent readers of fiction include:

    • A to Z Mysteries (written by Ron Roy)
    • Cam Jansen (written by David A. Adler)
    • Clementine (written by Sara Pennypacker)
    • Flat Stanley (written by Jeff Brown)
    • Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton
    • Ivy & Bean (written by Annie Barrows)
    • Junie B. Jones (written by Barbara Park)
    • Horrible Harry (written by Suzy Klein)
    • The Littles (written by John Peterson)
    • Magic Tree House (written by Mary Pope Osborne)
    • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (written by Betty MacDonald)
    • My Weird School (written by Dan Gutman)
    • Nancy Drew and Clue Crew (written by Carolyn Keene and others)
    • Ready Freddy (written by Abby Klein)
    • Roscoe Riley (written by Katherine Applegate)
    • Secrets of Droon (written by Tony Abbott)
    • Stink (written by Megan McDonald)

Librarian’s recommended fiction books listed below are in alphabetical order by author’s last name. The summary for each book is from the Library of Congress or publisher.

Check back again as more titles are added. Send feedback and/or requests for more individualized recommendations to

Happy reading!

Broach 3










The Masterpiece Adventures series

Written by Elise Broach

(Henry Holt and Company)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Miniature World of Marvin & James (2014, 104 p.)

Summary: “When his best friend, a human boy named James, goes away on vacation, Marvin the beetle worries that their friendship may end.”

James to the Rescue (2015, 104 p.)

Summary: “Marvin the beetle is going collecting with his family. All is good and well until Uncle Albert gets hurt. Marvin needs his human friend James’s help to save Uncle Albert before it’s too late.

Cronin Chick4








Chicken Squad series

Written by Doreen Cronin

(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure (2014, 92 p.)

Summary: “When the squirrel Tail comes barreling into the chicken coop ranting about a round, shiny, green, big, scary thing in the yard, Dirt, Sweetie, Poppy, and Sugar investigate this strange object.”

The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Misadventure (2014, 102 p.)

Summary: “When a weird blue chicken comes to Chicken Squad headquarters for help, siblings Dirt, Sugar, and Sweetie help find her missing house.”

Into the Wild: Yet Another Misadventure (2016, 93 p.)

Summary: “The fluffy, fearless Chicken Squad detectives are determined to find out who the new addition is in their yard, so, equipped with the latest surveillance gear, the chicks venture into the wild to get answers.”


J.J. Tully Mysteries series

Written by Doreen Cronin

(Balzar + Bray)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Trouble With Chickens: A J. J. Tully Mystery (c2011, 119 p.)

Summary: “A hard-bitten former search-and-rescue dog helps solve a complicated missing chicken case.”

The Legend of Diamond Lil: A J. J. Tully Mystery (c2012, 125 p.)

Summary: “JJ, the search and rescue dog, is ready for a bit of rest and relaxation after solving the mystery of the missing chicks, but there is a new dog next door who is stealing the attention of Moosh and her chicks and the threat of a roaming possum keeps JJ on the alert.”


Mercy Watson series

Written by Kate DiCamillo


Titles and summaries of individual books:

Mercy Watson to the Rescue (2005, 68 p.)

Summary: After Mercy the pig snuggles to sleep with the Watsons, all three awaken with the bed teetering on the edge of a big hole in the floor.

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride (2006, 72 p.)

Summary: “Mr. Watson’s usual Saturday drive in his Cadillac with his favorite pig, Mercy, turns into an adventure when an unexpected passenger shows up in the back seat and Mercy finds herself behind the wheel.”

Mercy Watson Fights Crime (c2006, 70 p.)

Summary: “Mercy the pig’s love of buttered toast leads to the capture of a small thief who would rather be a cowboy.”

 Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise (2007, 70 p.)

Summary: “Persuaded by the word “treating” to dress up as a princess for Halloween, Mercy the pig’s trick-or-treat outing has some very unexpected results.”

Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig (2008, 70 p.)

Summary: “After Mercy Watson follows the delightful scent and delicious taste of the pansies her thoughtful neighbors plant to beautify their yard, Animal Control Officer Francine Poulet is called out to handle the case, which brings unexpected results.”

Mercy Watson : Something Wonky This Way Comes (2009, 86 p.)

Summary: “”Mr. and Mrs. Watson and their porcine wonder, Mercy, are off to the Bijou Drive-In. What will happen when the Lincoln Sisters, Frank, Stella, and a gaggle of familiar characters get the same idea for a night out? With the tempting scent of hot buttered popcorn wafting through the air, everyone’s favorite pig leads the way in this hilarious romp featuring movies, mayhem, and Mercy!”


Tales from Deckawoo Drive series

Written by Kate DiCamillo


Titles and summaries of individual books:

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, Vol. 1 (2014, 85 p.)

Summary: “Saddle up for this first volume in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from DiCamillo’s “New York Times”-bestselling Mercy Watson books. Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn’t have is a horse–until he meets Maybelline, and then it’s love at first sight.”

Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, Vol. 2 (2015, 91 p.)

Summary: “Francine Poulet is the greatest animal control officer in Gizzford County. She hails from a long line of Animal Control Officers. She’s battled snakes, outwitted squirrels, and stared down a bear. “The genuine article,” Francine’s dad always called her. She is never scared–until, that is, she’s faced with a screaming raccoon that may or may not be a ghost. Maybe Francine isn’t cut out to be an animal control officer after all! But the raccoon is still on the loose, and the folks on Deckawoo Drive need Francine back. Can she face her fears, round up the raccoon, and return to the ranks of Animal Control?”

Where Are You Going Baby Lincoln?, Vol. 3 (coming in Aug., 2016)


Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon series

Written by Ruth Stiles Gannett

(Random House)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

My Father’s Dragon (1948, 86 p.)

Summary: “A young boy runs away from home to rescue an abused baby dragon held captive to serve as a free twenty-four hour, seven-days-a-week ferry for the lazy wild animals living on Wild Island.”

Elmer and the Dragon (1950, 86 p.)

Summary: “On their way home, Elmer and a flying dragon land on an unusual island and help some canaries uncover a buried treasure.”

The Dragons of Blueland (c1951, 87 p.)

Summary: “Elmer must come once again to the aid of his flying baby dragon when men discover its retreat and begin to hunt it.”


Princess in Black series

Written by Shannon Hale

(Candlewick Press)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Princess in Black (2014, 89 p.)

Summary: “Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!”

The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party (2015, 87 p.)

Summary: “Defeating a monster just in time to attend her own birthday party, Princess Magnolia, the secret superhero Princess in Black, is repeatedly interrupted throughout the party by the Monster Alarm in ways that threaten to expose her.”

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (2016)

Summary: “It’s a case of monstrous cuteness as the Princess in Black encounters her biggest challenge yet: a field overrun by adorable bunnies.”

The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation (coming in  Nov., 2016)


Dory Fantasmagory series

Written by Abby Hanlon

(Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Dory Fantasmagory (2014, 160 p.)

Summary: “Dory, the youngest in her family, is a girl with a very active imagination, and she spends the summer playing with her imaginary friend, pretending to be a dog, battling monsters, and generally driving her family nuts.”

Dory and the Real True Friend (2015, 152 p.

Summary: “Dory, a highly imaginative youngest child, makes a new friend at school but her brother and sister are sure Rosabelle is imaginary, just like all of Dory’s other friends.”

Dory Dory Black Sheep (coming in Sept. 2016)  


Wolf and Dog

Written by Syvlia Vanden Heede. Translated from Flemish

(Gecko Press, 2013, 91 p.)

Summary: “Dog is wolf’s cousin. Wolf is dog’s cousin. That’s strange because: Wolf is wild and Dog is tame. Wolf lives in a forest on top of a hill. Dog doesn’t. Dog has a basket. And a boss. These laugh-out-loud stories are about the important things in life-like food, family, and fleas.”


“Sophie” books

Written by Dick King-Smith


Titles and summaries of individual books:

Sophie’s Snail (1989, c1988, 65 p.)

Summary: “Follows the humorous adventures of four-year-old Sophie as she pursues her dream of becoming a farmer.”

Sophie’s Tom (1991, 110 p.)

Summary: “Befriending a stray cat helps a very determined five-year old adjust to school, learn about friends, and pursue her dream of one day becoming a farmer.”

Sophie’s Hits Six (1993, 125 p.)

Summary: “The year that Sophie turns six, she sees her cat give birth to kittens, gets a pet rabbit from her Aunt Al, and pursues her dream of acquiring a dog.”

Sophie in the Saddle (1994, 91 p.)

Summary: “Having added the puppy Puddle to her growing menagerie of cat and rabbit, animal-mad Sophie makes friends with a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and a gray pony named Bumblebee.”

Sophie is Seven (1995, 122 p.)

Summary: “Sophie, a young girl who takes a no-nonsense approach to life’s problems, pursues her dream of becoming a “lady farmer.”

Sophie’s Lucky (1996, 109 p.)

Summary: “A visit to Great Aunt Al in the Scottish Highlands leads to an exciting change in Sophie’s life.”


Three books by Rose Lagercrantz. Translated from Swedish

(Gecko Press)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

My Happy Life (2013, c2012, 134 p.)

Summary: “Dani is happy to be starting school and she is even happier when she meets a girl named Ella who becomes her best friend, but something unexpected happens to Dani and Ella’s friendship.”

My Heart is Laughing (2014, 119 p.)

Summary: “After her best friend moves away, Dani is trying her best to stay happy, but when some of the girls in Dani’s class start bullying her, she becomes despondent, and her father steps in to help Dani sort out her feelings.”

When I am Happiest (2015, 116 p.)

Summary: “A warm and heartfelt story [of sorrow and joy] about Dani’s love for her dad and her friendship with Ella [and how after getting bad news] sometimes a good friend is all you need to make your heart start laughing. “


“Catwings” books

Written by Ursula K. Le Guin

(Orchard Books)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Catwings (1988, 39 p.)

Summary: “Four young cats with wings leave the city slums in search of a safe place to live, finally meeting two children with kind hands.”

Catwings Return (c1988, 48 p.)

Summary: “Wishing to visit their mother, two winged cats leave their new country home to return to the city, where they discover a winged kitten in a building imminently to be demolished.”

Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings (c1994, 41 p.)

Summary: “After being rescued by a flying cat, Alexander the cat decides to make good on a promise to do wonderful things.”

Jane on Her Own (c1999, 42 p.)

Summary: “When Jane, a cat with wings, leaves the safety of her farm to explore the world, she falls into the hands of a man who keeps her prisoner and exploits her for money.”


“Alvin Ho” books

Written by Lenore Look

(Schwartz & Wade Books; Schwartz & Wade/Random House)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (c2008, 172 p.)

Summary: “A young boy in Concord, Massachusetts, who loves superheroes and comes from a long line of brave Chinese farmer-warriors, wants to make friends, but first he must overcome his fear of everything.”

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters (c2009, 170 p.)

Summary: “When Alvin’s father takes him camping to instill a love of nature, like that of their home-town hero Henry David Thoreau, Alvin makes a new friend and learns that he can be brave despite his fear of everything.”

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes (2010, 186 p.)

Summary: “Hoping for an invitation to a much-anticipated party but receiving instead a request for his presence at a girl’s birthday celebration, disgusted second-grader Alvin resists his mother’s requirement that he accept and resorts to several tricks to avoid attending.”

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances (2012, 197 p.)

Summary: ” A fearful second grader in Concord, Massachusetts, learns about death when his grandfather’s best friend passes away and he offers to accompany his grandfather to the funeral.”

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night (2013, 183 p.)

Summary: “When fearful seven-year-old Alvin Ho learns that his mother is expecting a baby, he develops a sympathetic pregnancy–adding to his worry about the burglar who is targeting Concord, Massachusetts.”

Alvin Ho: Allergic to The Great Wall, The Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions (2014, 176 p.)   

Summary: ” Fearful seven-year-old Alvin Ho goes on a trip to China with his family.”


“Lulu” books

Written by Hillary McKay

(Albert Whitman & Company)

Titles/summaries of individual books:

Lulu and the Duck in the Park (2012, 104 p)

Summary: “A young girl who loves animals brings an abandoned duck egg to school, even though her teacher has banned her from bringing animals to school ever again.”

Lulu and the Dog from the Sea (2013, 108 p.)

Summary: “Seven-year-old Lulu and her cousin think their vacation house is the most perfect place ever until they find a trouble-prone, stray dog living on the beach.”

Lulu and the Cat in the Bag 2013, 112 p.)

Summary: “When Lulu’s next door neighbour doesn’t seem to be looking after his rabbit properly, Lulu and her cousin Mellie devise a scheme to make him pay more attention to his pet.”

Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door (2014, 91 p.)

Summary: “When Lulu’s next door neighbour doesn’t seem to be looking after his rabbit properly, Lulu and her cousin Mellie devise a scheme to make him pay more attention to his pet.”

Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain (2014, 104 p.)              

Summary: “When Lulu rescues a wild hedgehog in a storm, she knows she can’t keep it as a pet–it wants to roam free. So she and her cousin Mellie come up with the neighborhood Hedgehog Club to keep it safe.”

Lulu and the Hamster in the Night (2015, 104 p.)               

Summary: “Seven-year-old Lulu adopts a hamster and must keep it a secret from her grandmother when she and her cousin Mellie spend the night.”


“Marty McGuire” books

Written by Kate Messner

(Scholastic Press)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Marty McGuire (2011, 131 p.)

Summary: “When tomboy Marty is cast as the princess in the third-grade play, she learns about improvisation, which helps her become more adaptable.”

Marty McGuire Digs Worms! (2012, 161 p.)

Summary: “With help from her Grandma Barb, Marty builds a habitat for worms in her school cafeteria as part of the Save the Earth Project.”

Marty McGuire Has Too Many Pets (2014, 168 p.)

Summary: “After visiting a great ape sanctuary, Marty and her friends set out to raise the money to “adopt” a chimpanzee by organizing a talent show at school and starting a pet-sitting business in Marty’s basement–which soon gets out of hand.”


Ranger in Time series

Written by Kate Messner

(Scholastic Press)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Rescue on the Oregon Trail  (2015, 125 p.)

Summary: “Ranger, a golden retriever, could have been a great search-and-rescue-dog except for the squirrels–but one day he unearths a mysterious box and finds himself transported back to the year 1850 where his faithful service is really needed by a family traveling west along the Oregon Trail.

Danger in Ancient Rome  (2015, 125 p.)

Summary: The mysterious box that Ranger the golden retriever found in the garden transports him back to first century Rome, where he must rescue Marcus, a young servant boy, and Quintus, a volunteer gladiator, from the brutal world of the Colosseum.

Long Road to Freedom  (2015, 131 p.)

Summary: “This time the mysterious box that Ranger the Golden retriever found transports him to a Maryland plantation before the Civil War, where he must help a young house slave named Sarah and her younger brother Jesse find their way to the underground railroad and North to freedom, before Jesse is sold to a plantation further South.

Race to the South Pole  (coming in June ; 2016, 160 p.)

Summary: “Once again the mysterious box takes the golden retriever Ranger back in time, and he finds himself on Robert Falcon Scott’s ship, the Terra Nova, headed for Antarctica, where his mission is to save Jack Nin, a Chinese-Maori stowaway from New Zealand, from the blizzards, unstable ice, and the other hazards that lie ahead for the doomed expedition.

“Detective Gordon” books

Written by Ulf Nilsson. Translated from Swedish

(Gecko Press USA)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Detective Gordon: The First Case (2015, 92 p.)

Summary: “Someone’s stealing the squirrel’s nuts, and it’s up to Detective Gordon to catch the thief. If only he had an assistant . . .”

A Complicated Case (c2016, 104 p.)

Summary: “Something is going on in the forest: one of the animals is saying nasty things about the other forest creatures . . . Detective Gordon and his assistant Buffy must investigate.”


Cobble Street Cousins series

Written by Cynthia Rylant

(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

A Little Shopping (1998, 54 p.)

Summary: “Rosie, Lily, and Tess, three cousins who are living together with their aunt, decide to make a miniature flower shop just like Aunt Lucy’s real shop, and give it to her as a gift.”

In Aunt Lucy’s Kitchen (1998, 55 p.)

Summary: “While staying with their aunt for a year, three nine-year-old cousins keep busy baking and selling cookies, putting on a poetry and singing performance, and trying to encourage a romance between their aunt and one of their former customers.”

Some Good News (c1999, 55 p.)

Summary: “Nine-year-old cousins Rosie, Lily, and Tess make a neighborhood newspaper celebrating all their friends on Cobble Street.”

Special Gifts (c1999, 55 p.)

Summary: “Nine-year-old cousins Rosie, Lily, and Tess spend their winter vacation learning to sew with their neighbor Mrs. White and preparing for a special winter solstice dinner with Aunt Lucy and her boyfriend Michael.”

Summer Party (c2001, 54 p.)

Summary: “Nine-year-old cousins Lily, Rosie, and Tess are sad when it is time to leave Aunt Lucy, so they plan a party and get a special surprise to look forward to in the near future.”

Wedding Flowers (2002, 72 p.)

Summary: “Ten-year-old cousins Lily, Rosie, and Tess return to their aunt’s house on Cobble Street to help her plan the perfect wedding.”


Wolf Pie

Written by Brenda Seabrooke

(Clarion Books, 2010, 46 p.)

Summary: “When Wilfong the wolf fails to blow down the house of the Pygg brothers, he stays outside their door all winter learning their games and listening to their jokes and stories, but although he claims to be reformed, the pigs are reluctant to offer friendship.”


Maybelle series

Written by Katie Speck

(Henry Holt)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Maybelle in the Soup (2007, 57 p.)

Summary: “When Mr. and Mrs. Peabody invite a guest to dinner, Maybelle the cockroach, who lives under their refrigerator, ignores the warnings of Henry the flea to be sensible and ends up “splashing” into a big adventure.”

Maybelle Goes to Tea (2008, 60 p.)

Summary: “Maybelle the cockroach follows the advice of her new fly friend Maurice and tumbles into a terrifying but tasty adventure during Mrs. Peabody’s Ladies’ Spring Tea.                 

Maybelle Goes to School (2015, 58 p.)

Summary: “When Mrs. Peabody makes her Ten Layer Tower of Taste for the school bake sale, Maybelle the cockroach cannot resist sampling the cake, but when she wakes up to find herself on the way to the lunchroom she knows she is in big trouble–especially after she discovers she has to rescue her friend, Henry the flea.”


“Eleanor” books

Written by Julie Sternberg

(Amulet Books)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie (2011, 122 p.)

Summary: “When nine-year-old Eleanor’s beloved babysitter Bibi moves away to care for her ailing father, Eleanor must spend the summer adjusting to a new babysitter while mourning the loss of her old one.”

Like Bug Juice on a Burger (2013, 165 p.)

Summary: “As the days go on, nine-year-old Eleanor realizes that maybe being at summer camp isn’t so bad after all, and is full of special surprises.”

Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake (2014, 183 p.)

Summary: “A new girl at school throws nine-year-old Eleanor’s relationship with her best friend Pearl into disarray.”

Hamster Princess series

Written by Ursula Vernon

(Dial Books for Young Readers)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible (2015, 242 p.)

Summary: “Never a conventional princess, Harriet becomes an adventurer after learning she is cursed to fall into a deep sleep on her twelfth birthday, but after two years of slaying ogres, cliff-diving, and more with her riding quail, Mumfrey, things go awry at home and she must seek a prince to set things right.”

Hamster Princess: of Mice and Magic (2016, 223 p.)

Summary: “Harriet Hamsterbone sets out to reverse the curse on twelve mice princesses who are forced to dance all night, every night.”