20 Chapter Books To Read When Your Kids Have Finished ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’

20 books to read after diary of a wimpy kidMy eight-year-old son recently blew threw the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. And I mean blew threw them! He got the first three as a set for Christmas. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. We were first introduced to the series at Thanksgiving when we were visiting a friend’s house and my friend was reading one of the books to her kids at bedtime. My children listened, and laughed, to the story. Thus, the idea for a Christmas present.

My son (a second-grader) immediately started reading the books for his daily required homework reading material. Then, I’d find him on the couch reading without setting the timer. Then, he asked to read before he went to bed. By himself! Amazing! I love these books!

He was reading them so fast that I couldn’t afford to go out and buy the entire series so I started stalking the library. As he was reading a book in the series, I’d order the next one. When I picked him up from school, I had the next book waiting for him on this seat in the car and he picked it up and start reading on the way home.

Well, we managed to get all the books in the series and he finished them all. Now what? I thought. So, I posted the question to my friends on Facebook and got a huge response. I’d forgotten how many of my friends are elementary school workers (teachers and librarians) — they had tons of recommendations. While I haven’t read all of these books, I have good friends so I trust this is a great list to start from to keep our kids reading. And, it’s perfect for summer time reading.

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Without further adu, I give you the complete list of suggestions for what to read after The Diary of a Wimpy Kid:

Most of these books fall into the 8-12 year old range.

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce. This one was recommended several times as a similar book to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

NERDS by Michael Buckley

39 Clues series by Rick Riordan. This series comes recommended by a few friends, one of whom said her daughter is devouring them.

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell. I don’t think my son will touch this series because there is a girl on the cover, but they look like a great next best thing to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Who Was/Who Is series. I can attest to this series. These are wonderful books based on histrocial facts about famous people, both living and dead. We started with Who Was Walt Disney?

My Weird School series by Dan Guutman

Books by Andrew Clements. I’ve read that Frindle is his most popular book, but he has tons.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Most of the books on this list are new, but this, this book brings back memories. Oh how I loved Judy Blume!

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell. Another blast from the past.

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. These are just super silly, but anything that gets my kids reading …

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson

Redwall series by Bryan Jacques

The Strange Case of Origami Yoga by Tom Angleberger

Cam Jansen series by David A. Adler

Hank the Cow Dog by John R. Erickson

Horrible Harry series by Suzy Kline

Zapato Power series by Jacqueline Jules

A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy

Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket

My Father’s Dragon trilogy by Ruth Stiles Gannett

I think I would be remiss if I didn’t include Harry Potter on this list, but surprisingly it didn’t come up as a recommend to my question on Facebook. I think this might the a big winner in our house now that my son is old enough to read chapter books on his own.

And, here’s a great graphic that shows which books are most popular at libraries:

Popular kid's books

Image source.


Do you have any additional recommendations? What books do your elementary-aged kids enjoy devouring? Leave a comment below!

Affiliate links are used in this post which means, if you make a purchase from one of the links, I get a teeny, tiny commission. The price of the item is the same as if you purchased without the affiliate link.




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Alicia Lewis Murray BioABOUT ALICIA: Alicia is the founder of Balancing Motherhood.com. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and still baking amazing birthday cakes — all while raising a young family at home.


  1. says

    Sebastian is currently really liking Mousenet. Harry Potter books are also devoured but he likes to read other books before he starts the next one in the series!

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