Chapter Books for Older Students Reading at Younger Grade Levels

More often than not, when working with students with disabilities, our students are not able to read at the same grade level as their peers.

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So what kind of books are good for students when you want to foster a love for reading but want them to be successful?

Let’s take a look at some top recommendations from veteran special education teachers.

Chapter Book Series for Students Below Grade Level

Stink Moody

In short – he’s smart and thinks knowledge is pretty awesome.  In every book in the Stink series, readers see him questioning, investigating and discovering the world around him.  As a result, parents and teachers everywhere love sharing these books with their kids.  ALL-NEW teachers’ guides are also chock full of ideas and things you can do with your students in the classroom, all inspired by Stink’s own curiosity.

Magic Tree House

Did you know there’s a Magic Tree House book for every kid?  The Magic Tree House series is perfect for readers who are just beginning chapter books.  The Magic Merlin Series has some more challenging adventures for experienced readers.  The Fast Trackers series are nonfiction companions that go along with your favorite Magic Tree House adventures.  Teachers can also download Educator’s Guides including activities to incorporate into your classroom.

The Chronicles of Narnia

These 7 high fantasy novels are set in a fictional, fantasy world of magic, mythical beasts and talking animals.   It narrates the adventures of various children who play central roles of unfolding the history of the Narnian world.

I Survived Series

Each book in the series tells a terrifying and thrilling story from history, through the eyes of a child who survived to tell the tale.  The I Survived book club also provides you with posters, videos, and activities for your students.  

A to Z Mystery Series

The A to Z Mystery Series includes 26 books (one for every letter of the alphabet of course) that features three smart kids named Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose.  They are third graders who live near each other, have hobbies, pets, and families, but most importantly – they love to solve crimes and mysteries.  

Chapter Books for Students Below Grade Level

Looking for something that is just an individual read that your students might enjoy? Here are a few popular ones that you could use:

Charlotte’s Web

Any of the Judy Blume Series

Diary of A Wimpy Kid

Charlie And the Chocolate Factory

How to Train Your Dragon


The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Boxcar Children



…that’s just to name a few.

What are some of your favorite books to use with your older, but lower reading level children? Share your favorites with us in the comments!




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