These are two new transitional chapter book series being promoted by Scholastic.
At a special event to introduce young princesses and princes to the area kings and queens, Princess Emily and her new friends uncover a plot to capture animals in the royal forest in The Secret Promise. The "Rescue Princesses" are born as the girls swear to help animals whenever they are in danger. This simple story will have great appeal to readers who enjoy princess or animal stories - and I have plenty of students who love BOTH who will think this is outstanding! With an AR reading level of 4.5, this will be perfect for my first and second graders who are reading way above grade level but who aren't ready for middle grade books. (3 out of 5 stars)
In Rise of the Balloon Goons, Alexander and his dad have moved to a new town. At the old school building, Alexander finds a notebook that describes odd monsters like the "playing mantis" and the "rhinoceraptor." And if that wasn't creepy enough, Alexander is convinced there are balloon creatures following him and causing trouble. The only guy who believes Alexander is a bully named Rip. When the balloon goons take Rip to their fortress, Alexander follows them, hoping to save Rip and the town. This is another simple story that will appeal to young readers ready to try chapter books. The "monster" aspect is fairly mild, but parents should be sure their kiddos are ready to read about these quirky monsters without having nightmares. (3 out of 5 stars. AR reading level of 3.3)
Both of these series are growing - you can see some of the other titles below: