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One of my jobs as a homeschooling mama is keeping my kids reading. Most of my girls read way more than I do, but for a couple of them reading isn’t fun. No matter their love for reading, the best trick to get everyone reading is finding really great books! That’s not as easy as it sounds…
I decided to make a list for anyone else always searching for a new book to read or even a great series to start. Here are some of the top books recommended by my 5 girls. Many of these have been read and re-read they are loved so much!
Note: We are a tad picky with what we read and prefer to stay away from some subjects depending on the age of reader. These are all great for ages 8+ though some of them are probably more fun for slightly older kids.
If your kids aren’t big readers, consider trying some of these on audiobook! Any road trip we take we always have audiobooks picked out. One recent trip we even tackled The Hobbit! The younger ones may not pick up on everything but they still enjoy it, plus we know all ask each other “what’s in your pocketses”
Great Young Adult & Kids Chapter Books & Series
The Mysterious Benedict Society Series (5 books)
A huge favorite here! All of my kids would encourage you to read the books before watching the new series on Disney+.
The Penderwicks Series (5 books)
Taking a line from a New York Times review “Filled with humor, family, and high jinx, these stories are as breezy and carefree as a clear June day.”
Anne of Green Gables Series (7 books)
My older girls have read these a few times and each have their favorite book in the series. I’m currently listening to the audiobooks with my younger girls as we drive around town.
Green Ember Series (8 books)
Big adventure tales as you follow sword-wielding rabbits on a fight for survival! These can be a little dark for younger kids depending on how sensitive they are. My girls all recommend them for 10+.
The Chronicles of Narnia (7 books)
By far on the best adventure series ever written. We have read these aloud as a family for years so even the younger kids listened in. As the girls get older they still reread them from time to time.
The Chronicles of Prydain (5 books)
You’ll get humor, heroes and adventure in these stories. They are in the fantasy genre and are great pre-reads before moving on to bigger works like Lord of the Rings.
The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers (5 books)
First published in 1952 these books are classics that have been loved by all.
The Melendy Quartet Series (4 books)
My girls adore these stores and all wish there were more books! While you can read them out of order, they read better if you stick with the order.
The Princess Academy (3 books)
Probably showing that I have 5 girls now… but all my tweens have loved this series. It does have some relationships in it, so again probably a 10+ age level in our house.
The Mandie Collection Series (11 books)
You’ll love the stories of Mandie! These are great for all ages, though she does lose her father in the first stories. They are also great on audiobook.
Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (4 books)
Stories about the coolest library in the world, these are fun books (and puzzles) for the entire family. Though my 10 year old says I should add that the first book is the best.
Hank the Cow Dog Series (40+ books)
An older series that can all be read as individual stories. Hank books are good for younger readers though older kids would enjoy the antics too. You’ll never find them in order in a library, so just grab the stories as you find them!
Puppy Place Series (60+ books)
While these are not amazing works of fiction, this was one series that got a very hesitant reader to enjoy reading in our house. If you are in that boat, just find books about things they like and work up to literary classics!
Great Stand Alone Books
This may look like a series… but it’s really a box set of all of the amazing works of Kate Dicamillo. We are HUGE Kate fans and love all her books. Be ready to cry, cheer along, and love every story.
All 6 of these are great:
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
The Magician’s Elephant
The Tale of Despereaux
Because of Winn-Dixie
Flora & Ulysses
The Tiger Rising
For younger kids, her Mercy Watson stories are a must read too!
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
This is a book many of you may have read years ago. It’s a fun tale about kids, a fantasy game and mysterious happenings all while learning about ancient Egypt.
Pie by Sarah Weeks
We read this aloud this year and everyone stopped to listen. It’s a hilarious tale that will also make you shed a tear or two. For 8-12 year olds this is best as a read aloud, it is a great lesson in idioms and their rational brains will need you to explain what some things mean.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
A story about a boy and his fox, this is about two creatures that love each other dearly and a fight to stay together.