We all know reading aloud to your children is super important and beneficial. This week, I rounded up ten chapter book series to keep your library bag full for the next few months or more. These are some of my personal favorites that encourage rich play, appeal to a variety of ages, and expand a child's knowledge of the world: both real and fictional. Click on the title to go to the Amazon listing for the series (and help support us here at TPE!)
My mother read this whole series to me when I was little, and it still remains one of my all time favorite series to recommend. These books are based on the real life of Laura the author when she was growing up in the late 1800s and tells the tale of a pioneer family. Even though this story takes place over a hundred years ago, the adventures of homesteading, growing up, and moving west are still captivating today.
The first few in this series are well suited for 6 and 7 year olds (boys and girls). The books' themes grow more mature and darker as the series progresses but retain that hopeful, heartwarming quality that makes them so popular and loved.
The Ramona series tells the everyday story of a curious, clever girl living her life in early elementary school. The stories are funny, a little silly, and heartwarming. Ramona may be a bit of a pest to her family sometimes, but she's just a kid like everyone else.
Well suited for older elementary children and pre-teens, the Wrinkle in Time series is a sci-fi fantasy story full of inspiration and ideas! Meg, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and friend Calvin meet all kinds of interesting people on their quests in space and time.
This series is a well-loved classic from 1950. Pippi is a spunky 9 year old orphan with crazy hair, a wild personality, and a big heart. She's courageous, generous, outspoken, mischievous. As with any older book series you may want to substitute words or skip parts that are no longer socially acceptable, or you'll need to have a conversation about history.
This is a story of adventure, magic, and friendship of Omri and Little Bull. A metal cabinet brings small plastic toys to life, pulled from their own time and place, with the turn of a mysterious skeleton key. I would exchange the word “Indian” with “Native American” when reading this aloud, and explain why Little Bull's english is broken, as it's not his primary language.
Cam is a girl with a photographic memory, and a knack for solving crime. After we read these books, I was convinced I could have a photographic memory if I just shut my eyes and said “click” too! There's over 30 of these short chapter books, each one with a new mystery.
Bunnicula is a vampire bunny that prefers vegetables. In these books, a dog and a cat solve mysteries, go on adventures, and save their human family. This series is hysterical, suspenseful, and told from the perspective of the family dog, Harold. These books offers a lot to the adult reader too, with witty comments from Chester the cat and literacy references.
These books are a short, easy read. Frog and Toad are best friends who get into all kinds of silly and funny situations including flying a kite, making a to-do list, and finding lost buttons. This is also a good first chapter book series for children to read on their own.
These are a hilarious collection of stories of two young boys and all their adventures growing up together. Soup and Rob manage to get into all kind of trouble, but always find a way back out again. Set in the 1920s, these stories celebrate a free-range, simple childhood. As with any older book series you may want to substitute words or skip parts that are no longer socially acceptable, or you'll need to have a conversation about history. This series has particularly dated language, concepts, and vocabulary.
Did I miss your favorite series? Share it with us over on our Facebook group for parents!
Leanne Gray, M.Ed is the owner of The Prepared Environment, which supports families in creating an ideal environment for their children at home. She has over fifteen years experience working with children in both public, private, and Montessori schools, and is AMI primary trained. You can always contact her for personalized support and answers to your questions.