101 Books for Seven Year Olds with Hungry Imaginations

The absolute best books to get seven year olds hooked on reading.

Moving through grade school, children are able to tackle longer and more complex stories. Between picture books, chapter books, novellas, and even novels, the books for seven year olds bridge the gap between knowledge and imagination.

Here are the top books for seven year olds based on reviews and personal bias.

1. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

You thought you knew the story of the “The Three Little Pigs”. You thought wrong. In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, readers will finally hear the other side of the story of “The Three Little Pigs.”

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: This is perhaps the most worn non-Seuss, non-Dahl kids’ book on my bookshelf. It’s the original “fairy tale flip”, long before the likes of Wicked and Nightmare Before Christmas existed.

“Smith’s simplistic and wacky illustrations add to the effectiveness of this fractured fairy tale.” Children’s Literature.

2. Rosie Revere, Engineer

Rosie Revere dreamed of becoming a great engineer. Where some people see rubbish, Rosie sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats: Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: I’m a sucker for rhyming stories, and Beaty pulls off Rosie with great flair and humor. Amazing message, beautiful art. The perfect package.

“I have 7 children 6 grandchildren. I’ve taught preschool, been a nanny. This book is a must have book in all children’s libraries.” (Robyn, Amazon)

3. Pippi Longstocking

Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor: Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: Pippi equals girl power. Plus, if you want your children to understand your old-school references, it’s a good idea to share this one.

“Anyone who has a passion for words and wordplay will enjoy reading The Phantom Tollbooth.” Shivani, Goodreads.

4. The Phantom Tollbooth

For Milo, everything’s a bore until a tollbooth appears in his room. On the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog, and embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason. Somewhere along the way, he realizes something astonishing: life is far from dull.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: Finding fun and excitement in the mundane is exactly what most kids need. Tollbooth is a classic jumpstarter for imaginations.

“My son hates reading, so I was trying hard to find something that gets his attention. Pippi helped a lot.” Vancouver Mom on Amazon

5. The Trouble with Chickens

J.J. Tully is a former search-and-rescue dog who is trying to enjoy his retirement after years of performing daring missions saving lives, so he’s not terribly impressed when a chicken shows up demanding help to track down a missing chick. Driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J.J. begins chasing clues. Are dark forces at work, or is J.J. not smelling the evidence that’s right in front of him?

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: As a fan of mysteries and crime flicks on Netflix, I wish I’d had this light-hearted introduction to the genre as a youngster.

“I couldn’t help but smile several times throughout the book. Well written, fun book for kids.” (Montzalee, Goodreads)

6. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair. And it got worse. His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV.

Why it makes my list for six year olds: It’s good to know that while things are going badly, they’ll always pick back up again!

“I have to admit that there’s nothing quite like reading a book to a kid that you both love in equal measure.” (Bradley, Goodreads)

7. Turning Pages: My Life Story

As the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor has inspired young people around the world to reach for their dreams. In Turning Pages, Justice Sotomayor shares her love of books with a new generation of readers and inspires them to read and puzzle and dream for themselves.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: We could all learn a lot from Supreme Court justices, including kids. Hard work, diversity, and family are the common threads that weave this book together, regardless of your political viewpoint.

“A thoughtful introduction to both the power of reading and an inspiring role model.” (Kirkus Reviews)

8. Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Accidentally built sideways and standing thirty stories high (the builder said he was very sorry for the mistake), Wayside School has some of the wackiest classes in town. That’s where you’ll meet Bebe, the fastest draw in art class; John, who only reads upside down; Myron, the best class president ever; and Sammy, the new kid—he’s a real rat.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: It’s pure fun and nonsense. Dark at times (but never too dark), it’s a great romp with a great sense of humor.

“Sachar is the reigning king of oddball humor. These linked stories are both bizarre and sublime.” (Brightly)

9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot…but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Not since “’Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: I recommend pretty much every Seuss books for seven-year-olds, but this one takes the roast beast. As someone who specializes in holiday literature, The Grinch is the gold standard. Bar none.

“Obviously How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a 5 star rating. I mean, come on, it deserves NOTHING less.” (Christina, Goodreads)

10. The Adventures of Captain Underpants

Fourth graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins are a couple of class clowns. The only thing they enjoy more than playing practical jokes is creating their own comic books. And together they’ve created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school: Captain Underpants!

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: My friends were huge Captain Underpants fans in elementary school. This one’s for them.

“So appealing that youngsters won’t notice that their vocabulary is stretching.” (School Library Journal)

11. Dory Fantasmagory

As the youngest in her family, Dory wants attention. More than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. When they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: The story and illustrations are equally funny, filled with dry wit and charm that you don’t often find in younger kids’ books.

“Perfection of tone, plot, pacing, art, you name it.” (Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production)

12. Geronimo Stilton and the Kingdom of Fantasy

Geronimo knew from the start that it was no ordinary day, but he certainly didn’t expect to find a golden staircase in his attic. Up at the top, there was a door. And beyond the door was a world he never could have imagined—the Kingdom of Fantasy! Along with his guide, a frog named Scribblehopper, he set off on an incredible adventure to save the Queen of the Fairies.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: Although I’m new to the series, Geronimo Stilton has been writing about his rodent adventures for years. Fans enjoy the explosive fonts that pop off the page and the unique characters that make these stories feel as much like video games as they do books.

“My 7 year old son loves this book. He finished it in 2 days. He rereading it again and again.” (K. Chan, Amazon)

13. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find…nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: As a kid, I was obsessed with buried treasure and hiding things in the garden (I still am). If you or your kids are similar, this book is for you. Plus, look at that art. Just look at it. Beautiful.

“The prose is deadpan; the joke’s all in Klassen’s winsomely smudgy illustrations.” (New York Times Book Review)

14. Where the Sidewalk Ends

Meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. This is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: Where the Sidewalk Ends is as fun and impressionable as reading gets. I can still recite Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout by memory.

“These rhymes are perfect bite-sized nuggets of jest.” (Brightly)

15. The Frog and Toad Collection

From sledding in winter to eating ice cream on hot summer days, Frog and Toad know how to have fun together the whole year round. This particular collection includes the complete art and text from three classics in a paperback slipcase: Frog and Toad Are Friends, Frog and Toad Together, and Frog and Toad All Year.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: This iconic duo is great for a wide range of ages—particularly kids who can read on their own but might need extra help once in a while.

“My children loved Frog and Toad books, and thirty years later we still quote funny lines from these characters.” (Janice, Amazon)

16. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside: Augustus Gloop, an enormous boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled brat whose parents are wrapped around her finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer; Mike Teavee, a kid obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, our hero, a boy who’s ready for the wildest time of his life.

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: I remember my teacher reading Charlie to our second-grade class to this day. Few authors can hold a candle to Dahl.

“Rich in humor, acutely observant, Dahl lets his imagination rip in fairyland.” (New York Times Book Review)

17. The Toymaker

When a greedy toymaker stumbles across one of Santa’s elves on Christmas Eve, he holds the elf hostage in a sinister attempt to overthrow the North Pole. Can Christmastown withstand the attack or will it take a holiday miracle to stop the villain from going too far?

Why it makes my list for seven year olds: The Toymaker is neither the scariest book nor the least scary book in the D. Melhoff collection, making it a good choice for kids who want to dip their toes into something slightly more thrilling.

“The Toymaker. It is twisted. It is fun. It is weird. It is holiday. It is awesome.” (Brian Baumgartner, The Office)