8 Book Series Young Children Need to Read


Today is National Read Across America Day, a celebration of reading in the United States. It is a kick-off to a year-round reading program (started in 1998 by the National Education Association), which focuses on motivating children and teens to read.

Click here to read the official White House Proclamation.

As decades have passed, more and more authors flood the marketplace with children’s books, covering many topics and ideas. Some are lovely and entertaining. Others, I believe, are too modernized or political for young minds.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

To cultivate a child’s love for reading, it is important to encourage them to read books they want to read and appropriate for their age. If they find a series they love and want to read all the books available and nothing else, we need to cheer them on!  When kids are elementary age, a parent’s job isn’t to worry about variety – the goal is to help them develop a love for reading. The only way to establish that relationship is to direct them, but not make them read particular books.

Sometimes we may want our child to read a specific series because it covers a historical topic they are learning about in homeschooling. That’s a great idea! But to make it more exciting instead of an assignment, read the book to them, or read it together.

Books Develop Imagination

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited,
whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress,
giving birth to evolution."

Albert EinsteinWhat Life Means to Einstein (1924)

Imagination is something we as parents should continuously cultivate in our kids. It is through imagination where kids develop creativity, ingenuity, and problem-solving. Remember when our kids were small how we loved seeing them “play pretend?” Now that they’re older, it is vital to inspire the same activity, only into books.

From this article on the Literacy Works website, “reading broadens our imagination by stimulating the right side of our brain. It literally opens our minds to new possibilities and new ideas, helping us experience and analyze the world through others' lives.” When engrossed in their reading, children are enhancing connectivity in the brain that improves brain function. In studies, it was found that reading fiction improved “the reader’s imagination in a way similar to muscle memory in sports.”

As they read, kids will create in their minds what they think the characters and locations look like and may adapt what they know and currently experience. They will also imagine what other worlds may have been like, either by traveling through time in a treehouse, or following the adventures of Laura, who really lived in that little house on the prairie.

We recognize this as adult readers. How often have you read an incredible novel and feel so invested in the characters’ lives when you finish? And if that book is made into a movie or tv series, were you disappointed when the characters or locations were not as you imagined? That is the result of your own unique imagination.

Pick Age-Appropriate Books

There are many good books and series available for elementary-aged students; however, there are many too culturally modernized. By this, I refer to books with storylines that give approval to bad behaviors by kids, actions with no consequences, or societal themes too advanced for a young child to understand.

Today, we see many adults who feel that kids, at an early age, need to be introduced to what the world is really like, and will have their children read books to that end. I have to disagree. If kids are presented with subjects too mature or too complex from the world that
they currently see, their minds cannot process it, nor even articulate questions about it. Trying to educate a child on the “real world” not only takes away their innocence, but can take away the freedom to imagine and create, and develop into their own unique personality.

Instead, have them read some of the older, more classic series of books that will draw more on their imagination. Just as students in their teens and older are reading and studying the classics, so should young students read classics. Here are 8 book series that your young child should still read:


For ages 5 – 8:

The Magic Treehouse - Mary Pope Osborne
Hank the Cowdog - John R. Erickson
Flat Stanley - Jeff Brown
The Boxcar ChildrenGertrude Chandler Warner

For ages 8 – 12:

Nancy Drew - Carolyn Keene
The Hardy Boys  - Franklin W. Dixon
Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

I love all these series and have read them as a kid, or have read them with my kids. There are timeless lessons in these books. Many may say that they are too old-fashioned, but when it comes to reading, nothing is old-fashioned really – they are classics.

What was your favorite series as a child? What series is your child a big fan of?
Let us know in the comments!

As an Amazon affiliate, this post contains links to the books recommended. If you click through and make any purchases, I receive a small commission, which helps with the maintenance of this blog. Thank you! 


  1. How I remember reading Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys series when I was growing up! I'm looking forward to reading some of the age related series to and with Lia has she grows up. Right now her interest is in books with birds and butterflies.

  2. I loved a good ghost story as a child. I still do. I loved reading all though out my childhood. Sherlock Holmes and a King Author series were my favorites.

  3. I think I had several "favorites!" The Dr. Seuss books, the Beverly Cleary books, the Little House on the Prairie books, and Nancy Drew. I loved them all! I'm really not sure there were any that I loved more than the others, although it's possible that I loved the delight of the rhyming in the Seuss books and found it particularly thrilling. My son loved a series about a secret something or another - I wish I could remember the titles. The books were huge! And he loved Harry Potter.

  4. I loved Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy series too; and growing up in India, I also devoured Enid Blyton


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