Best Chapter Books 2022 | SLJ Best Books

Chapter books are such an important part of literacy, and these six selections are not only perfect stepping stones on the learning journey, but also fun gems to secure children’s love of reading.



Daly, Niki. Fly High, Lolo. Catalyst. ISBN 9781946395658.
Gr 1-3–Lolo is back with four new adventures as she learns about facing disappointment, dealing with body image issues, finding out her mom’s new boyfriend isn’t as bad as she expected, and conservation and recycling. Filled with charming black-and-white illustrations, this beautiful addition to the slice-of-life series can stand alone.

Deen, Natasha. Spooky Sleuths: The Ghost Tree. illus. by Lissy Marlin. Random. ISBN 9780593488881.
Gr 2-5–Fourth-grader Asim believes supernatural creatures are real—especially when a goo-spewing, haunted tree forces him and his science-minded crew to use a mix of fact and folklore to save the town. This series starter rooted in Guyanese legend is by turns exciting and educational.

Delahaye, Rachel. Little Owl Rescue. illus. by Suzie Mason. Tiger Tales. ISBN 9781664340114.
Gr 1-3–Callie is enjoying a fair ride when she is magically transported to Texas farmland in order to rescue an owlet and protect it from danger as she tries to reunite it with its family. With its highlighting of the dangers of deforestation and the importance of habitat preservation, this chapter book is perfect for animal lovers.

Faruqi, Saadia. Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party. illus. by Ani Bushry. Amulet. ISBN 9781419761164.
Gr 1-3–All Marya Khan wants for her eighth birthday is a huge party to rival her neighbor’s, and she will lie to get it. Then she realizes that who she celebrates with means more than how extravagant the party is. This sweet early chapter book with South Asian representation teaches readers empathy and connection.

Lyons, Kelly Starling. Miles Lewis: King of the Ice. illus. by Wayne Spencer. Penguin Workshop. ISBN 9780593383506.
Gr 2-5–Miles and his class are set to go ice skating on a field trip to learn about physics. But Miles is distracted by things happening at home. Chapter book readers will love the mixture of science and sports, as well as the highlighting of Black history.

Smallman, Steve. Maggie Sparks and the Monster Baby. illus. by Esther Hernando. Sweet Cherry. ISBN 9781782267768.
Gr 1-3–Maggie’s world is upturned when her parents bring new baby Alfie home. Maggie and her family can perform magic, and antics abound when she uses spells to compete with her brother for her family’s attention. A magical take on having a new baby sibling full of important lessons and beautiful illustrations.

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