“It’s the books you read when you’re young that stay with you always” – J.K. Rowling
I grew up loving book series. When I was little the first series that I can vividly recall reading was Nancy Drew. I remember sleeping with a flashlight and sneaking just a few more pages in before I drifted off to sleep. The stories featuring Nancy definitely influenced my love of mysteries. Other elementary school series also got me hooked on new-to-me genres (Hello, Harry Potter.)
As Jackie and I work to ensure that our little ones also grow up with a love of reading, we decided to compile a mini library of sorts– a library of book series that elementary aged boys should read. Below are the series we think 8-12 year old boys will enjoy reading:
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – No explanation necessary for this one. Have you seen the illustrated version? It is breathtaking!
- Percy Jackson and the Olympian by Rick Riordan – Jackie’s son has read this series too many times to keep track. There are 5 books in this series (#1 The Lightning Thief #2 The Sea of Monsters #3 The Titan’s Curse #4 The battle of the Labyrinth #5 The Last Olympian). Mr. Riordan has also written the Heroes of Olympus Series, The Kane Chronicles, The Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series and the Trials of Apollo all of which are favorite reads.
- House of Robots // I funny by James Patterson- Mr. Patterson writes funny kids books that are light and funny. The boys laugh – laughing while reading is good! There is minimal violence and a positive message both of which are more appealing as a parent. The series provides more content and less inappropriate words than other series for elementary aged boys.
- The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins- This is an underrated choice. Written by the same author as the Hunger Games (but more appropriate for kids), these fantasy novels don’t seem to be very well-known but will definitely entertain. It is a little scary for younger kids in my opinion, but, it’s very unique and a definite attention keeper.
- Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart – This series of 4 books is surprising and fun. I actually found that this series has more extensive vocabulary than a lot of adult reads. While the story is definitely appealing to younger audiences, the small font, complex story and large vocabulary is definitely more difficult for beginning readers.
- Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger- With the popularity of Star Wars back at its peak, what could be more fun then reading and doing origami?!
- I Survived by Laura Tarshis – Each book tells about a disaster from the point of view of one child who survives. The original books all had a boy on the front cover but, the newest book has a girl on the front of “I survived the Eruption of St. Helen’s”.
- Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J Sobol – These are the same books from when you were a kid! They are great for any child who wants a quick fun read. Each chapter presents a problem that Encyclopedia solves. It’s great for kids to see if they can figure out the answer themselves. A similar choice to these would be the Choose your Own Adventure books.
- Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce – Silly Graphic novels that are not hard to read, these are great books for any child who is intimidated by a lot of text!
- We couldn’t pick just one for the final spot. Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants are clear favorites for elementary kids while they may be detested by parents. Warriors and Spirit Animals are also popular, even if Jackie’s kids don’t read them. The Kingdom Keepers is another series that has a very interesting premise but that her boy’s just couldn’t get into.
What do you think of this Little Library? What books are we missing that your boys enjoy?
Be on the lookout for more from our Little Library series. We are planning on covering all kinds of topics from Childhood Favorites to Books for Harry Potter fans to Novels set in 1940s Europe. If you have an idea for a Little Library you would like to see featured, leave a comment below.