This week, Emily of The Pilot’s Wife shares her favorite book series with us:
As a lover of reading, I have to tell you: I love a good series. There are times when I fall so in love with the characters in a particular book that I just hate to let them go after just one book. For me, a few hundred pages is often not enough, and when I reach the end of the very last book, I go into mourning! Of course, as a parent and a teacher, that’s exactly how I want children to feel about reading.
I have found that a really good series is a fantastic way to get a reluctant reader interested. In order for children to improve their reading, they need to be actively engaged in their books. Reading books that are too hard, too easy, or uninteresting will provide little in the way of improvement.
Luckily, there are some amazing series out there for children, and I want to share a few of my all time favorites with you today. Some are from my own reading as a child, and others I discovered as an adult.
Little House on the Prairie books– I know most of you will be familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, but I just had to include them. I can’t tell you how many times I read these as a child. My copies are completely worn out and thoroughly loved.
The Magic Tree House series– Mary Pope Osborne does a lovely job creating easy chapter books that are still engaging. Children as early as first grade can enjoy the thrill of “the chapter book” in a format they can read with accuracy.
Cam Jansen Mysteries (David A. Adler) – Cam Jansen is a girl with a photographic memory who always has a new mystery to solve. These stories are short and sweet. Great for building comprehension on about a 2nd to 3rd grade level.
Junie B. Jones (Barbara Park) – Junie B. Jones is quite the little imp! Girls and boys alike find her misadventures in kindergarten and first grade completely engaging.
The Babysitter’s Club (Ann M. Martin) – If you were a young girl in the ’80s and ’90s I’m sure you’ve already heard of The Babysitter’s Club! Great stories for girls in the 4th – 6th grade reading level. There are also The Babysitter’s Little Sister stories for younger girls. Also, the nice thing about these books is that there are a TON of them, so if your girls love them, they’ll have lots of reading material.
Ramona Quimby (Beverly Cleary) – Ramona is another classic. Although the heroine is a girl, both boys and girls will love Ramona’s antics. These are not to be missed!
Although I appreciate good literature, some of the books listed above don’t necessarily fall into that category. Sometimes it’s important for me to lay aside my ideals about high quality literature in order to get children interested in reading. Do I consider books about underwear-donning-superheros or cartoon characters quality literature? Not really, but if children never find reading fun, they’ll never move on to the really good stuff.
Mine is such a short list, I know many of you will have your favorite series to add that I missed!