Thursday, March 13, 2014

The List - Book Series For Children

I'm not much for reading book series. I struggled to come up with five series I wanted to read more of when I wrote The Fives recently. But book series have always been popular with my kids. I think one of the best ways to turn a child into a reader (or at least help them to understand that reading can be fun), is to find a series they can't get enough of. 

It worked for my brother. He struggled as a reader until someone put a Hardy Boys book into his hands. I can't say they made him a book lover, but he did read them as fast as he could get them and they did make him a much better reader. I'm not sure he would have been able to manage a Master's degree without them. 

I recent reshelved the children's books that I'm keeping for the someday grandchildren and thought I'd share with you the book series that my kids loved.

Mini-him's Favorites:
Hank The Cowdog by John Erickson - smart and funny

Goosebumps by R. L. Stine (and company) - not what I would have chosen but he loved them and I was all for anything that made him want to read

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz - both the boys loved these books but they are certainly too scary for some children

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling - another series the boys both loved; 
Mini-him had to have the new books the day they came out and didn't do anything but read until he finished each book.

Mini-me's Favorites:
The Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix - his first foray into dystopian literature

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - witty word play and marvelous characters but there is a lot of darkness to these. We do not recommend the movie, though; what a disappointment!

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynold Naylor - he loved them so much, he made his own dust jackets for them 

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey - just plain fun and his  introduction to graphic novels

Miss H's Favorites:
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park and Eloise by Kay Thompson - see, Miss H, just because you can sometimes be naughty, doesn't mean we don't still love you!

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish - great fun for kids to see that they aren't the only ones who struggle learning the English language (did you know that Amelia Bedelia was first published in 1963?)

Olivia by Ian Falconer and Madeline by Ludwig Bemelman - Miss H loved reading books where a girl could have adventures and even save the day

Both of my boys still love book series; Mini-him just finished the fifth book in the George R. R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series (a.k.a the Game of Thrones series) and Mini-him is reading Oryx and Crake, the first book in Margaret Atwood's Madd Adamms series. 

What series did you love as a child? If you loved them then, do you still find yourself drawn to them?


  1. I loved a good series when I was a kid, I do not like them now though. As a kid, I loved Nancy Drew first and foremost. I also enjoyed Encyclopedia Brown, a lot.

    My daughter like the Kingdom Keepers books. Mysteries set at Disneyworld. She is a huge Disney fan and wants to work for Disney so she likes these, but there are only three of them, that I know of. Lately, she has been reading graphic novels so there's lots in a series for her to peruse there.

    She used to read all of those fairy books but geesh, they really were such trash. I read one once when her reading logs were coming back with a lot of nonsense on them and boy, were they bad.

  2. I loved The Boxcar Children, The Babysitter's Club and anything Nancy Drew. I've always read a lot of mysteries and Nancy Drew is probably why. I still read a lot of series books now. Completely agree on a series being a good way to get kids reading. My daughter wasn't a huge reader until she discovered Magic Tree House books in 2nd grade. After that was Nancy Drew then Harry Potter then Percy Jackson and now she can just plow through books. It's fun to see.

  3. Loved and still love so many of these! I still read many of the new YA series that come out now and find it so encouraging that great writing is being done in this area. (and terrible, but i try to pretend it doesn't exist) As a kid I also loved the Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, and the Besty-Tacy series. I read a lot of Louisa May Alcott and also loved all the books associated with American Girl dolls. ;-)

  4. I loved scary stories as a kid, still do. My son still finds them a bit too scary but I'm hoping he'll warm up to them within a few years. I also loved the Little House on the Prairie series, mystery series like Encyclopedia Brown too.

  5. I was drawn to series books as a kiddo as well. I loved Babysitter's Club (and Babysitter's Little Sister when I was younger), Fear Street, Nancy Drew. I bet I would have eaten up Percy Jackson and Harry Potter when I was younger (I loved HP as an adult). We are just now starting to get into the longer books storybooks with Elle and I'm amazed at how long her attention span seems to be. I can't wait to get into chapter books with her!