Educators will remind you how important it is for kids to keep reading over the summer, but I'd rather remind you how enjoyable it is to share books as a family. Why not all dive into the zany world of Pippi Longstocking or walk through the wardrobe and take a family vacation in Narnia this summer. Below I've listed some of my favorite book series as well as suggestions from readers. I hope you'll add to it.

I suggest choosing a series that you'll enjoy as much as your children. Perhaps revisiting a childhood favorite or one you always meant to read but never got around to. I also suggest choosing a series that is a little above your child's reading level - in addition to their own summer reading, being read to is a huge pleasure and a marvelous way to start or end the day together as a family.

Here are some of my favorites and suggestions from readers, in no particular order. I have purposely not divided them into age groups because kids are ready for different books at different times. Please add to the list in the comments.

  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
  • Animal Stories by Thornton Burgess
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • The Littles by John Peterson
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Suggestions from readers:

  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Redwall by Brian Jacques
  • The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan
  • The 39 Clues by various authors
  • Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
  • Ramona series by Beverly Cleary
  • Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
  • Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem
  • Clarice Bean by Lauren Childs
  • The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
  • American Girl books by various authors
  • The Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy, illustrated by Carson Ellis
  • Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem
  • Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace
  • Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Orphan's Tales by Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Birchbark series by Louise Erdrich
  • How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell
  • The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
  • Bunnicula series by James Howe
  • The Little Britches series by Ralph Owen Moody
  • The Grimm Legacy series by Polly Shulman
  • The Brotherband Chronicles by John A. Flanagan
  • Ranger Apprentice series by John A. Flanagan
  • The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
  • not a series but so many readers gave a shout-out to any and all Roald Dahl books that it's worth including

Re-edited from a post originally published 6.18.2010 - CM