If you want your child to read more, a tried and true strategy is to get them hooked on a great series. This can lead to endless hours of binge-reading and page-turning joy. The only downside of this strategy is the inevitable begging and pleading for a trip to the library or bookstore that happens when they finish a book and must get the next installment RIGHT THIS MINUTE!
Here are 10 series ranging from fantasy to realistic to mystery that are highly bingeable according to young readers on Bookopolis.com, a social network and book discovery tool made especially for 7- to 13-year-old readers.
Jack and his ragtag bunch of friends are the only kids left on earth and they must find new ways to fight the zombies who have overtaken life as they knew it. Told through a mix of text and wonderful black-and-white illustrations, this series is great for reluctant readers or anyone who loves stories that both scare you and make you laugh. Jacob gives it his highest seal of approval: “I loved this action packed book so much! I got my friends to read it and they loved it. I hope you read it too!”
Have you ever wondered what female superheroes might have been like in high school? This graphic novel series answers that question with engaging tales full of suspense, action, and humor as we meet characters like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and BatGirl before they were famous. Trinity raves, “This book was amazing! I loved the setting and the characters.”
There are six books in the series including the latest installment, Bumblebee at Super Hero High.
Following the classic hero’s journey arc that young readers love, 15-year-old Will goes from an ordinary teen to an apprentice to the Rangers, a brave and magical group who protects the kingdom. Will and the Rangers must defend the people from the wrath of the exiled Lord Morgarath. This is an epic adventure series for fans of stories with fast-paced action and well-crafted characters. Beck, 11, shares, “This is one of my favorite series of all time. It’s perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.”
There are 11 books in The Ranger’s Apprentice series. Fans should also check out the Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger series.
If you like fresh takes on famous fairy tales, this highly illustrated novel is a must read. Harriet Hamsterbone is a tough but incredibly charming hamster that experiences a rodent-filled version of well-known stories like “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” The writing is laugh-out-loud funny, the characters are clever and lovable, and the girl power that Harriet displays effortlessly is inspiring. Christine, 11, gives two thumbs up for this book: “It was amazing and I love how Harriet Hamsterbone is a princess that doesn't act like one.”
There are six books in the series including the upcoming Little Red Rodent Hood.
Fans of adventure-filled fantasy stories like Harry Potter will love the magical elven world that is the centerpiece of this series. Sophie is a 12-year-old prodigy living in the human world and struggling through her local high school social scene. She has never felt like she fit in at school or home, especially since she has the odd power of reading other people’s minds. When she suddenly learns that she’s actually from a magical world, things start to make sense and the adventure begins. Khanza, 13, says, “I love all the characters, with all their flaws, and the plot is just amazing. Definitely reading this again!”
There are seven books in the series including the upcoming Flashback.
Alex finds himself living the action-packed life of a teenage spy after learning that is recently deceased uncle worked for MI6, Britain’s intelligence agency, and he must finish his uncle’s mission. Joseph, 10, loves this series that is full of “intense action and crazy situations” and proclaims, “if you like secrets and agents and a bunch of unique gadgets, this is your type of book!” (Please note that this series does have violence and relationship drama that will not be appropriate for sensitive or younger middle grade readers.)
There are 11 books in the series including the latest installment, Never Say Die.
A modern-day Nancy Drew, 12-year-old Devlin is a clever and brave super-sleuth who will take on a case no matter how impossible it seems. From fighting crimes committed against the New York Public Library to finding stolen bones from a dig in Montana, Devlin is the kind of tenacious heroine who puts her all into saving the day. Full of adventure and delightful characters, Penny sums it up perfectly when she says, “I could not put this book down!!”
There are three books in the series including the upcoming Secrets from the Deep.
Siblings, Alex and Connor, fall into their family’s cherished book of classic fairy tales and have the adventure of a lifetime. This modern twist on what really happened to characters like Snow White, Red Riding Hood, and Prince Charming is a true page-turner full of humor, magic, and adventure of epic proportions. Michaelina, 10, gives this series five stars and extols, “Chris Colfer has taken fairytales to a whole new level!”
There are six books in The Land of Stories series.
The Penderwick siblings are always ready for an adventure as well as a bit of mischief. This charming and witty series is full of family love, silly pranks, and lots of laughter. James, 12, posits, “This was a fun end-of-summer book. I like how the trouble in the story is [caused by] adults not listening better to kids instead of kids not listening to adults like in a lot of other books.”
There are five books in the series including the finale, The Penderwicks at Last.
Readers who already think and argue like a good lawyer will adore this series starring Theo, a 13-year-old whose favorite place to be is in the courtroom. He uses his creativity and critical thinking skills to solve major crimes and find justice through the legal system. Charismatic characters and suspenseful plots make you want to dive into the next case as soon as the last one is resolved. Skye enthuses, “This book is amazing for to-be lawyers, mystery lovers, or anyone who loves a good thrill.”
There are six books in the series including the latest installment, The Scandal.
In your experience, what series are impossible for middle grade readers to put down? Let us know in the comments below!