I believe one of the most powerful ways to get your kids hooked on reading is to get them into a series. Graphic novels were the gateway for my kids once they became independent readers. But once they transitioned to chapter book series with more complex plots and so many more options, that’s when they really became super bookworms! We go to the used bookstore twice a week here to satiate their reading needs, and I just thank the US and the UK for providing so many awesome used books to the Philippines!
I have not read most of these books personally, but I’m going off of which books my kids have enjoyed most. These are some of the series Charlie has really enjoyed the past two years!
Horrible Histories – This nonfiction series is THE BOMB! I believe they are from the UK, as the books focus on telling stories about European History in a funny and interesting way that kids love. The series also includes Horrible Science, Horrible Geography, and Murderous Maths. We must have at least 100 books in the series and as soon as we buy a new one, Charlie has to read it right away!
I Survived – Since Charlie loved Horrible Histories so much, I started looking for other historical series and came across, I Survived. These historical fiction books tell the stories of young people who have survived real life disasters like the Titanic, Pompeii, September 11th, etc. They’re relatively short books, but are very well researched, and are perfect for the little history buff in your life.
Danny Champion of the World – Ok so this isn’t a series, but my kids have loved every Roald Dahl book they’ve read. He just gets kids! We started with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, naturally, and moved onto Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG, The Twits, Matilda, The Magic Finger, George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Witches… But Charlie’s favorite is Danny Champion of the World which he has reread over and over again.
Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja – This entire series was available on Kindle Unlimited (although it looks like it no longer is). Charlie devoured it in one day, and the ensuing meltdown (from wanting to read the entire series) was the cause for us banning his Kindle Fire. Now he has a Kindle Paperwhite that’s more like a newspaper, whereas the Fire was more like an iPad.
Animorphs – Charlie has really been enjoying this sci-fi series. I just wish we could find more of them in our local bookstores where I pay around $1 for each paperback!
The Elementia Chronicles – There are three books in this Minecraft fan fiction series and Charlie has read them over and over and over again. A must have for the Minecraft lover in your life, though probably best suited to kids 8+ as they’re quite long.
Secret Agent Jack Stalwart – A fun and easy early chapter book series for kids 6-8.
Encyclopedia Brown – I never read this classic series about a kid sleuth when I was a kid (though I loved my Nancy Drew!), but it was one of the first chapter books I bought for Charlie on the Kindle. Great for kids 6+.
Amulet – An incredible graphic novel series that had my kids and all their friends hooked from Book #1.
Lunch Lady – I randomly picked this graphic novel up at the bookstore and my kids loved it so much they asked for the next books in the series.
Tom Gates – I bought this book solely because it won a Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2011, and we’ve since picked up several more in the series. My kids really enjoy these type of comic novel style books, similar to the now classic series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
In the Land of the Lawnweenies – This series of books consists of funny and (a little) scary short stories. I like the kids to read different formats like short stories to mix it up!
Harry Potter – I couldn’t leave Harry Potter off this list because no other book series has had a bigger impact on Charlie in his entire life. We were gifted the series when Charlie was 8, and he immediately became enchanted with the wonderful world of Harry Potter. He’s reread the entire series over and over again, particularly the last book, The Deathly Hallows. At an adult trivia night last year, Charlie dominated the Harry Potter category. The theme of his 9th birthday was Harry Potter. He talks about Harry Potter every single day. He loves Harry Potter!
What chapter book series have your kids been loving?
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Also be sure to check out a previous roundup on graphic novels here!