Kids' Lit 28371

I've been trying to get my daughters interested in some of the books I liked when I was a kid—my favorites were Nancy Drew, Ramona and Beezus, and the Little House on the Prairie series. But so far, they seem to be more interested in reading the newer kids' lit. Some of the baby names are probably a little too popular for those who are looking for something unique, but there are a few gems out there.

Jack and Annie are the heroes of the Magic Tree House series, traveling through time on adventures. Annie is a classic name (think Raggedy Ann or Little Orphan Annie), and means grace. Jack means "gracious God," and is currently #45 on the list (though Jackson, #23, is another big name with a Jack nickname).

Ivy and Bean are a pair of unlikely friends, who are a bit sassy and mischievous. My oldest daughter is regularly amazed at what they manage to get away with (she's a very law-and-order type). Ivy's the name of the plant, and currently #266 on the list of popular names for girls. And Bean is short for Bernice, a Greek name that means "victorious," and is far less common these days. (I'm imagining, though, that the return of Beatrice might bring Bernice as well.)

Junie B. Jones is a divisive book series—I'm not fond of the way it's written in "kidspeak," with words like runned. But my youngest daughter loves the book, including Juniper, the name of the tree, which is currently #970 on the U.S. popularity list.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is big for the boys in my daughters' grade. Greg, the hero of the series, is a Greek name that means vigilant. It's currently #279, and it's on the decline.

Consider Percy Jackson and the Olympians a Harry Potter alternative. This guy is the son of a god—and bears a French surname name that's fallen off the top 1000 baby names in the 1980s. Perhaps it's ready for a comeback?

A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans. Oldest sister Violet bears a red-hot floral name, about to make its move into the top 100 baby names. Brother Klaus has a German name that's short for Niklaus.

What names are you picking up from your kids' reading lists? Any good books you'd recommend for my aspiring bookworms?

Image: Girls reading by sunabesyou/