The Best Book Series for Kids

It’s the time of gift-giving which often means books in our house. A great gift is the first book in a series that will then promise hours and hours of happy reading.The series below are all ones our family has enjoyed together. Many of these we read-aloud as a family (with the oldest child hearing them sometimes multiple times and still being enthralled). Pick one of the series and start it now and have the rest to look forward to in 2021!

Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgable Stingray, a Toughly Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins.

The first of a series of books told from the perspective of the toys in a household, this book is a great transition to chapter books. The chapters are short and there are some illustrations. The stories are sweet and very funny. Good for very young kids as well as their older siblings.

The Doll People by Ann. M. Martin

This first installment in the series (of four books) tells the story of Annabelle Doll, an 8 year old doll who has been living in a dollhouse for over a hundred years. She is tired of the same humdrum existence and longs for a friend so is thrilled when the Funcraft family moves in to the house she lives in. Along with introducing the characters, this first novel centers on the search for Annabelle’s long lost aunt as Tiffany Funcraft and Annabelle have a series of exciting adventures together.

Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

Classics for a reason. No-one and I mean no-one, “gets” kids like Beverly Cleary does. Although parts of the stories are dated, the emotions and struggles growing up that Ramona has will feel familiar to kids today. Funny and warm-hearted without ever being sentimental.

The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker

Disney’s movie by the same name is very loosely based on this book, which in turn is loosely based on The Frog Prince by the Brothers Grimm. In the first book, Princess Emeralda kisses a frog who claims to be a prince but ends up turned into a frog (that’s about the full extent of the similarity to the Disney movie).  This is the first of nine books in the series that follow Princess Emerelda as she navigates her magical world. It’s a fantasy series but Emerelda is very much a real girl: imperfect but strong and intelligent and relatable.

Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

Set in Victorian England, the Incorrigible Children are three young children raised by wolves and recently discovered by a Lord Ashton on his manor. He hires a young governess, Penelope Lumley to come and tame them. The first book hints at a mystery surrounding the Ashton family curse. In all honesty, the mystery is stretched out over six books and isn’t particularly mysterious by the end. However, the books are so quirky and fun that the charm isn’t really in the mystery anyway.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

What would happen if Alice in Wonderland took place in New York City but Alice was a boy named Gregor? That was the premise that Suzanne Collins started with for this exciting adventure fantasy series. As you might expect, the Underland that Gregor encounters is nothing like Wonderland. Populated with humans (Underlanders) who have chosen to live underground and beasts like giant rats and cockroaches, it’s a place full of magic and beauty as well as danger.

The Fairy-Tale Detectives: The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley

Two young girls who are recently orphaned go to live with the grandmother. The town seems a little odd and they quickly discover that they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm and that the famous Grimm fairy tales were actually a history book. When a rampaging giant shows up they are quickly sucked into helping to solve they mystery of who sent him so that they can save the town. This nine book series is fun to read as it is populated with familiar characters from fairy tales and nursery rhymes and other literature.