One thing I love about the long school breaks in November and December is seeing my kids do a lot of reading just for the pleasure of it. When the weather is cold and wet, there’s nothing better than curling up with a cozy blanket and diving into a good story.
Good stories for tweens has especially been on our minds, because Oscar has been asking for recommendations. So I polled my older kids and we came up with a list of 8 book series for tweens. We focused on series instead of individual stories, so that if he loves the first one, he can continue the adventure in book after book.
1) Harry Potter. Yes, Oscar has already read them, but re-reading them at 11 is the best. Harry is 11 and Oscar is 11 and it’s delightful to go through the adventures and really be able to relate to the social stuff and school stuff Harry is dealing with. Seven books in the main series, and then others in the Harry Potter world.
2) Series of Unfortunate Events. These books are funny and smart and somehow dark and heart-warming at the same time. Total vocabulary expanders and ridiculous in the best way. Thirteen books in the series.
3) The Mysterious Benedict Society. Three books in the series, and a new one with some back story.
4) Chronicles of Narnia. I read these as a kid and they are still just as good. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is the most famous one, but they’re all excellent. Seven books in the series.
5) Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Sometimes silly and gross, but they do a really good job of capturing a bit of life in middle school. Fast reads with lots of comic relief. Eleven books in the series (and counting, I think).
6) The BoxCar Children. So wholesome it’s a world your kids will hardly recognize, and each one showcasing ingenuity, resourcefulness, compassion and hard work. Nineteen books in the series written by the original author, and then dozens more by subsequent authors.
7) Percy Jackson. I’ll be honest, my kids love this series way more than I do. It really seemed to capture their imaginations at 10, 11 and 12. But I kept wanting it to be as good as Harry Potter, and it wasn’t. Happily, the kids never seemed to notice until they were older. So a good series for tweens. Five books in the Olympians series, and then others in the Percy Jackson world
8) The Roald Dahl books. This is not a series, but they sit on our book shelves as if they are a series, and they certainly all have a wonderful sort of magic in them. You can even buy several of them as a collection. You’ll recognize the titles like Matilda, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, and on and on. Again, not a series, but there are about 15 children’s books from Mr. Dahl that I know of.
If you add it all up, that’s 80 books or so! Plenty to keep even voracious readers happy. Now it’s your turn: what would you add to this list? What are the favorite book series for tweens at your house?