6 Children's Book Series That Hook Kids for the Long Haul
All it takes is reading the first book in these series recommended by children's book authors to guarantee kids months of new adventures.
Nancy Drew series
"Even though her life was quite different than my own, I used to imagine that one day, I could solve mysteries just like she did. The Nancy Drew series, by Carolyn Keene (ages 9 to 12), felt like a time machine to me, letting me imagine what my life might be like when I grew up."
—Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, author of Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
"The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney (ages 8 to 12), made my two sons readers. They even knew the date when the next Wimpy Kid book was due to come out!"
—Jerry Craft, author of New Kid
Just as Long as We're Together
"My favorite books in elementary school were about real kids, like Ann M. Martin's Baby-Sitters Club series and all things Judy Blume. Blume's Just as Long as We're Together (ages 10+) was a standout. The characters are flawed and complicated and the ending doesn't feel tidy, which is how friendships are when you're 12. And every age thereafter, come to think of it."
—Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile
Hardy Boys series
"I tried to read all of the Hardy Boys series, by Franklin W. Dixon (ages 9 to 12), keeping a log of which ones I checked out of the library. The bright-blue spines, menacing covers, dated detective argot: I was obsessed."
—Mac Barnett, coauthor of the Terrible Two series
Magic Tree House series
"My introduction to adventure was the Magic Tree House series (ages 7 to 12), by Mary Pope Osborne. It's about a brother and sister who find a time-traveling treehouse in their backyard and use it to go back in time. It felt like there were hundreds of these books, and I loved every second spent reading them."
—Tomi Adeyemi, author of Children of Blood and Bone
When thinking about books that cemented a love for reading, many authors mentioned this Beverly Cleary series that began in 1955. "Nothing holds up like Ramona," says Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor & Park. "Ramona the Pest is the first book I can remember that just spoke to me on a soul level. Ramona is messy and vulnerable and funny. Her world feels real and relevant."