The first chapter book I ever read all by myself was Ramona Quimby, Age 8
by Judy Blume. Since then, no heroine of juvenile fiction could live up to Ramona in my mind. Until I met Clementine. This rambunctious third-grader insists that she IS paying attention at school, but just to the wrong things. (Like what is going on outside the window!) Since she is named after a fruit, she takes to calling her younger brother various vegetables like "Spinach," and "Broccoli," because it's only fair.
A great laugh-out-loud while reading-out-loud choice for grade school kids. Even my two nephews--ages 7 and 9--loved these books so much we had to read the whole series.