Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Top 5 Tuesday: Favorite Kid Series

Kids' book series can often times be hit or miss for adults. Usually because the story is too simple, characters one dimensional, and the dialog is cheesy. So, for today's Top 5 Tuesday list, I wanted to include series that I found fun and interesting to read alone and aloud to my small humans. I also always recommend you to read Harry Potter by JK Rowling and Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan. Those two series are just a given in my mind, so I didn't include them on this list so that maybe you get some new ideas rather than hear about books that make every bloggers' list.

Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins

Favorite Kids' Series
Get Book 1 Here

Yep. That Suzanne Collins. Before The Hunger Games came this retelling of Alice in Wonderland, where a young boy, Gregor, falls through a grate in NYC and ends up in Underland. Only it was no accident; his arrival was prophesied. Even though he really just wants to go home, he now he must find a way to save Underland and solve the mystery of his father's disappearance throughout this five book series. 

If you loved the excitement and world building of The Hunger Games and want more of the same style from Suzanne Collins, then this middle grade fantasy series will give you exactly what you want; action, adventure, and memorable characters. Don't miss out. Or worse, don't let any kids you know miss out.

Dear America Series by Various Authors

Taking place during some of the most important events in our nation's history, the Dear America series and its companion series My America, are written as diaries of children living through these events. They are quick and easy to read, while staying historically accurate. These books will leave a lasting impression on you as each main character tells their unique story, as heartbreaking as it may be. Some of the stories include a young pilgrim on the mayflower, an escaped slave, an Irish immigrant, travelers on the Oregon Trail, and a civil war soldier.

If you love historical fiction and want your kids to appreciate the complexities of our history, then get this series. There are dozens of titles available and they look very pretty on a bookshelf with their antique designs and ribbon bookmarks. This series got me hooked on Historical Fiction almost 20 years ago. I highly recommend it!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams

Favorite Kids' Book Series
Get Book 1 Here
Just seconds before Earth is destroyed, young Arthur Dent is rescued by a researcher for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. They end up traveling through the universe coming across many different planets and clever alien characters like: the clinically depressed robot and the grad student obsessed with lost ballpoint pens. This quirky journey is a kind of satirical take on the typical Science Fiction novel that addresses the important questions in life like: why are we here? And does anything we do really matter?

This is a great gateway book series into science fiction because it's light and easy to read with a great message and fun characters. Adams takes great care to make the strange elements of this universe to seem commonplace instead of scary or overwhelming. My little humans can be afraid of strange creatures like the minotaur in Percy Jackson, but the two-headed, three armed aliens didn't bother them at all because they weren't portrayed as scary or threatening. I recommend this for little people that love space,
aliens and/or fun adventure stories!

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner  

Favorite Kids' Book Series
Get Book 1 Here

The Aldens are a group of orphaned siblings that have one goal: stay together. They wind up moving into a boxcar to hide from their evil grandfather. They also wind up solving different mysteries throughout the series while trying to keep their situation hidden from authorities. 

This is such a classic series that every kid should read these books. I found them so fascinating as a child because they discuss what it was like for the kids to move into a boxcar, find discarded furniture and utensils and survive on their own. I had no experience with children that didn't have parents or parental supervision, so these stories really opened my eyes to the less fortunate. But it also showed me that kids do have strength; that they don't need adults to do everything for them because they have all the tools they need to accomplish their own goals. I would recommend this book for kids that need a reality check and/or also enjoy mysteries with spunky characters. 

Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull

Favorite Kids' Book Series
Get Book 1 Here

Kendra and Seth go to visit their grandparents for the summer only to discover that their grandfather is the keeper of Fablehaven where fairies, imps and other magical creatures exist. When their grandmother disappears and their grandfather won't tell them where she is, Kendra and Seth set off in Fablehaven to find her and wind up causing a whole lot of trouble.

If you love fantasy and magical creatures that don't follow the typical rules, then this is a great series for you. Many reviewers compare its style and complexities to Harry Potter. But this series also has some great messages about understanding and recognizing that your actions do have consequences whether you meant to or not. And I think that is a great lesson for kids to learn in books because it prevents them from having to learn it in real life where they can potentially hurt themselves or someone else. So, read this if you love well constructed worlds and characters coupled with adventure and a powerful message. 

Let me know what some of your favorite kids' series are!