ChildrenÕs Literature: A Definitive Guide

If you are like me, one of your favorite things about being a parent is getting to read to your young children.  In many cases, the best literature out there these days is for kids.  If you are out of book ideas, this is the article for you.  I will introduce you to page-turners that will make you and your kids look forward to bedtime as the best part of the whole day.  This is your definitive guide for reading to children between 3 and 10.  I should note that I have boys, so there are no princess stories here.  Enjoy!  And if you have read something amazing that I donÕt have listed here, please let me know! Click on book image to visit each series website and find out more. 
Meilani Schijvens


The Magic Tree House Series

This is a great bridge between picture books and the better chapter books we will be getting to shortly.  If you have kids a few years apart (like mine) this is a great series that both will enjoy.  There are 50 of these books, so adults might find them tedious to read after a while, but kids love them, and itÕs a great way to get kids addicted to reading time at night. (Ages 3-7)




The Boxcar Children

This series makes a nice follow up to the Magic Tree House series as a follow up. Gertrude Chandler Warner penned the first 19 books in this series.  Stop after the first 19.  The rest are terrible. (Ages 4+)

 The Chronicles of Narnia

This is about the most delicious reading there is.  The stories are amazing, and it is written in language that is wonderful for read aloud.  DO NOT read books 6 and 7 to your kids.  These books are written is a way so that each book is darker and more mature than the last.  Personally, I wouldnÕt even read book 7 at all, even to yourself. (Ages 4+)




 The Harry Potter Series

Harry Potter is a wonderful tale very much inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia.  It has the same 7-book progression – so again, skip the last two books when reading to your kids.

(Ages 6+)

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The only bad thing about this series is that it is just three books!  This is an extremely clever book about very smart unique children.  It was my second favorite series to Narnia, and you wonÕt want it to end.

(Ages 5+)


Far Flung Adventures

At least when you finished the Benedict Society you can console yourself with this delicious, fantastical three book series. (Ages 5+)


The Gryphon Chronicles

I canÕt tell you how many books are in this series, because as I write this only the first book has been written.  We are desperately waiting for the next books in this series to be published.  Perhaps you will want to read this series last, so that you donÕt have to wait.  We love it. (Ages 6+)




The Kane Chronicles

This three book series will get your kids obsessed with ancient Egypt.  The only thing I didnÕt like about it was the negative comments the main character siblings make about each other. But since these snide comments are mostly written in parenthesis and add nothing to the story, you can easily skip them altogether. (Ages 5+)


Percy Jackson & the Olympians

In this 5 books series, like the Harry Potter series, each book brings us children a year older and wiser and more complex.  Thankfully there are no books 6 & 7 to avoid.  You can tone down the more violent scenes as your read them aloud.  The mom does NOT actually die in the beginning, so feel free to let your kids know that she is just fine.  There is a follow up series that begins when the children are a year older yet (so 6 years older than when the original series begins).  I skipped this series because there is too much kissing and relationship stuff of no interest to my young boys.  (Ages 5+)