My 6-year-old daughter Margaret LOVES the Dory Fantasmagory books.
We have read a lot of the “girl” chapter books – Junie B., Clementine, Judy Moody, Ivy & Bean, Just Grace – but Dory is our favorite by far.
My boys loved Big Nate and other books that mixed comics and text. The Dory books have a similar format. The illustrations are comic-like and break up the text, making the books less intimidating for emerging readers.
My favorite is in the series is Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheep. In this book, Dory is having trouble learning to read and is frustrated that her best friend is in a more advanced reading group. The story is so funny, but at its heart is a very relatable situation for many kids.
Here is a great article about author Abby Hanlon’s inspiration for the book.