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20 Great Book Series to Keep Kids Reading All Summer Long

20 Great Book Series to Keep Kids Reading All Summer Long

Two girls in a field reading
by Cindy Hudson

Summer reading conjures up images of kids relaxing while leisurely turning the pages of a book. And there is good reason for parents to encourage them to read, as research has shown that children who read four or more books over the summer do better on reading comprehension tests when they go back to school in the fall.

But what can you do if your child is reluctant to pick up a book?

The answer may be to put the first book in a series into their hands. A beloved series is likely to encourage kids to keep reading because they want to know what happens next to the characters in the story.

Sarah Mlynowski, author of the popular series Whatever After, remembers that feeling from her own childhood, when she would rush to buy the latest installment of her favorites, The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High. She thought of the characters in those stories as friends she wanted to spend time with.

Teachers are on board with promoting series reading too, as those types of books encourage kids to gain a deeper understanding of characters and themes by tracing them across multiple titles, a skill that comes in handy in the classroom.

Plus, when you find a good fit with a series for your child, it may just lead to another. Kathleen Marsh, who manages the children’s collection at Anderson’s Bookshop in Downers Grove, Illinois, says she’s had success transitioning reluctant readers from fact-based almanacs like Ripley’s Believe It or Not For Kids and National Geographic Kids Weird but True books to Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales graphic novels.

Even better, many great series for kids are widely available at libraries and bookstores, making it easy to encourage binge reading. Check out this list for ideas on where to start. Each series listed has at least four titles, except books for teens, which feature three or more titles.

Picture Books for Beginners – Ages 3-7

Hendry and Mudge

by Cynthia Rylant
A boy and his dog are best friends and do everything together.

Arthur’s Adventures

by Marc Brown
An aardvark boy goes on adventures.

The Berenstain Bears

by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
Mama and Papa and two children face all kinds of family challenges.

Pete the Cat

by Eric Litwin and James Dean
The grooviest cat around satisfies his curiosity.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

by Laura Numeroff
One thing leads to another for animals highlighted in these books.

Early Readers – Ages 6-8

Ivy + Bean

by Annie Barrows
Girls learn what it means to be good friends.

Who Am I

by various authors
Illustrated biographies of important people from recent history and today.

Captain Underpants

by Dav Pilkey
Fourth graders turn their principal into a superhero.

Magic Tree House

by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce
A brother and sister travel through time when they find magical books.

The Spiderwick Chronicles

by Holly Black and Tony DiTerizzi
Siblings discover a magical world of fairies hidden in their house.

Middle Grade Readers – Ages 9-13


by Brian Jacques
Peace-loving forest critters defend their way of life.

See Also

Whatever After

by Sarah Mlynowski
A brother and sister visit classic fairy tales and change them slightly.

Middle School

by James Patterson
A funny look at the trials and tribulations of growing up.

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales

by Nathan Hale
Graphic novels about strange stories from U.S. history.


by Jeff Smith
Cousins go on funny and action-packed adventures.

Young Adult Readers – Ages 14+

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

by Laini Taylor
Dark magic, war between angels and demons, and a love story.


by Scott Westerfeld
Fast-paced alternative-history story of World War I.

Stoker and Holmes

Novels by Colleen Gleeson
Bram Stoker’s sister and Sherlock Holmes’s niece solve mysteries in an alternative steampunk London.

The Unknown Assassin

by Allen Zadoff
A teen works undercover for the CIA.


by Veronica Roth
In a world of conformity, being different can be dangerous.

Cindy Hudson writes about books, reading and family literacy at MotherDaughterBookClub.com.

© 2022 Texarkana Parent Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

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