The best thing about kid’s chapter book series is that when a kid finds a book they actually enjoy, they are (usually) guaranteed a few more good reads they’ll probably enjoy just as much. Almost three years ago I compiled a list of our favorite Chapter Book Series for Kids. Esme, my oldest daughter, had recently become hooked on book series and we were finding so many that we loved.
Fast forward three years, and now I have two daughters buzzing through middle grade book series on their own and one more that loves to be read aloud to. In other words, we’ve been reading a lot of kid’s chapter book series.
Collaborating with my kids, we’ve put together another list with more great kid’s middle grade book series. My kids are in the 8 to 12 range, and while individual preferences and reading levels still apply, we think these are a good fit for tween readers. There’s a lot of variety here- mystery, adventure, realism, classics, magic, etc. – and we’re sure there’s something for everyone on this list.
As always, we’ve read all these books! We never recommend books we haven’t read and while we may not have made it through all the books in every kid’s chapter book series here yet, we’ve at least read the first one so we feel confident recommending them.
30 Great Middle Grade Book Series For Kids
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
This Five Book Series is set in New York at the turn of the century. These Realistic and Historical Fiction books were written in the 1950’s, but they’re classics that have stood the test of time. They tell the sweet, engaging story of a poor, immigrant family with five girls you can’t help but fall in love with. I was fascinated by all the Jewish culture and history in the books, but my kids just love the fun, mischievous kids and their adventures in New York City.
All the Wrong Questions by Lemony Snicket
If you read Lemony Snicket’s first book series, then you’ll love this Four Book Series about Snicket’s own beginnings. It’s not at all connected to The Series of Unfortunate Events, but it is written in a similar style that Snicket fans will love. It’s a Mystery that unfolds with Snicket’s characteristic Humor. We were already big Snicket fans in this house, but this series endeared him to us forever.
Beastologist by R. L. LaFevers
This Four Book Series begins in 1928 when 10 year old Nathaniel Fludd’s parents are declared lost at sea. Nate sets out to learn the family business of map making and beastology, which leads to a series full of adventure. This book will appeal to all those with an interest in beasts, Fantasy, and Myth.
The Children of the Red King (Charlie Bone) by Jenny Nimmo
These are sometimes hailed as the next Harry Potter books. I beg to differ. They aren’t as good as Harry Potter. Still, they are fun and my kids loved this Eight Book Series. Charlie Bone has a magical gift – he can hear people in photographs talking. Like Harry Potter, Charlie is sent off to a special school for the magically endowed and adventures ensue. Fantasy, Magic, and Adventure are a winning combo for most kids.
Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
In this Five Book Series, Taran is an assistant pig-keeper who ends up on a quest to stop the Great Horned King from destroying the land of Prydain. It’s Fantasy and Adventure that has been entertaining kids (and grown ups too) since the 1960’s.
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
My daughter read these and then begged me to read them too so we could talk about them. I, of course, complied. This Four Book Series begins underground where the last vestiges of the human race have been living for 250 years. In fact, they’ve been living there so long that can’t remember how to leave. But their only source of light underground is beginning to fail so they have to find a way out soon! It’s Dystopian Fantasy and Science Fiction, without being too bleak. They’re really quite fun to read and may even get your tween talking too!
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
This Five Book Series is one of the most celebrated Science Fiction / Fantasy series of all time. Originally published in the 1970’s, they are still wildly popular. I just discovered them recently and they really are as good as all the hype. Over the course of the series, the Dark – the source of all evil – is rising to control the world. Will Stanton, who until his 11th birthday had no idea he was anything other than an ordinary boy, is the last-born of the immortals who must vanquish the Dark. It’s a classic story of Good vs. Evil and it’s so well done.
The Doll People by Ann M. Martin
In this Four Book Series, the Doll’s are alive! My kids love this Fantasy story about the secret lives of dolls. Annabelle Doll has been eight years old and living in the same old doll house for more than a hundred years. It’s all life as usual for Annabelle until the Funcrafts move in and you’ll love what happens next.
The Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin
We just listened to the first book on audio as a family and it was a HUGE hit! I was a little turned off by the cover – thought it might be a little cheesy – but it turned out to be a favorite read for everyone, especially me. It’s set in the future after a dinosaur cloning experiment has gone very wrong and the enormous beasts have taken over the earth. The main characters, Sky Mundy and her best friend Shawn, live in an underground compound to survive. But Sky’s dad has disappeared and an Action Packed Adventure that will literally keep you on the edge of your seat (really!) ensues. The second book in this Science Fiction just came out too!
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
You probably know Anne of Green Gables, but have you met Emily yet? These books about Emily Starr, an orphan sent to live with her stiff and stern aunt after her father dies, have the same simple charm and appeal of the Anne series, but it’s a whole new world of delightful characters. Emily encounters more trials and difficulties than Anne ever did, but she’s bold and real in the most endearing ways. These Classics will steal your heart! So far, I’ve read the first two and I can’t believe I didn’t know about them when I was a kid – I would have loved them. The good news is that you can get the whole Trilogy on Kindle for only 99 cents! Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction.
Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
This is the most charming fairy tale series! It’s a Five Book Series and begins with a 12 year old girl living an ordinary life in Omaha. But the book is far from ordinary – it’s an intelligent and original Fantasy Series about the most wonderful adventure in fairyland. These are wonderful!
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein
For all your young Animal lovers, this Four Book Series, follows Aldwyn the cat and a crew of other fun animal friends as they join Jack, a young wizard in training, on an exciting quest. Adventure and Magic abound.
The Five Kingdoms by Brandon Mull
We read the Fablehaven series aloud as a family a couple years ago and it is still one of our all time favorite series! We recently listened to the first in this new Four Book Series (with #Five coming soon!) from Brandon Mull on a long road trip and we’re hooked once again. It’s a Fantasy Adventure following Cole, an 11-year old boy, who gets stolen by slave traders and finds himself trapped in another world called the Outskirts. Can’t wait to finish this series!
Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Any Percy Jackson fans out there? This Five Book Series is the next great read for you! While Percy and his band of heroes told more of the Greek mythology stories, this series brings to life Roman mythology. These hooked my 9 year old and she could not put them down! Fantasy, Mythology, and a lot of Adventure!
Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynn Jones
I had seen the Miyazaki movie version of this a while back and I loved it, but I didn’t realize until recently it was actually a book series. My girls and I just read the first two books in this Fantasy Trilogy and they are wonderful. They’re quirky and whimsical, and Sophie, the main character, is spunky and determined. In the first book, there is a fire demon, an enchanted castle, a flighty magician you’ll adore, and enough adventure to keep you excited to the very last pages.
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
I read the first book in this series when I was a kid (in the 1980’s) but until recently, I had no idea it is actually a Five Book Series. More fun Fantasy for children in this series when the unimpressive plastic Indian toy Omri receives for his birthday actually comes to life. The rest of the series is just as imaginative as the first book.
The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
This Trilogy begins in the British Museum but when something goes wrong and the Egyptian god Set is unleashed, an Action packed Adventure beings. Siblings Carter and Sadie soon find themselves on a dangerous journey around the world to stop the angry god and uncover a slew of mysteries along the way. (Bonus – there’s also a graphic novel version of these and they’re great too)
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
This is a fun Fantasy Adventure is a Five Book Series that follows two twins (a brother and sister) as they leave the modern world behind and end up in the world of fairy tale characters. As a grown-up, I didn’t really love these, but the kids plowed right through them!
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
This Four Book Series begins with Conn, a young boy, who picks a wizards pocket and end up becoming his apprentice. These are fun for kids who love Magic.
The Melendy Family by Elizabeth Enright
This Four Book series follows the Melendy Family, four children, their father, and their darling housekeeper in 1930s New York City. These were originally published in the 1940’s, but they’re just as readable as they ever were. They are ordinary kids having sweet, simple adventures and navigating life with siblings. We’ve read three of the four books and have been charmed by all of them. I particularly love them because as Historical Fiction and Realistic Fiction, they give us so much to talk about as a family. They’re Classics for a reason.
The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh
Our favorite librarian recommended these books to us and we’re so glad she did. This Five Book Series has such an interesting premise. The Mennyms are a family of life sized rag dolls in England. They are “alive” but they have no idea why or how. But they do know that if any of the human people in their British village find out their secret, they’ll be in trouble. So, they’re trying to live as secretly as possible at Number 5 Brocklehurst Grove. Of course, things don’t always go as planned.
The Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
My eight year old just discovered this Six Book Series and she’s totally in love. It’s a book club with five very different girls and an unlikely group of friends. But as they read the classics together (Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Betsy Tacy) they learn how to navigate their friendships. Heartwarming Realistic Fiction for young readers.
Septimus Heap by Angie Sage
My almost 11 year old LOVED this Seven Book Series. Septimus Heap is the seventh son of the seventh son who is pronounced dead by the midwife the night he is born. His heartbroken parents then find an abandoned baby girl in the snow and take her home to raise as their own. But what if Septimus hadn’t really died after all? It’s an engaging series for kids that are fans of Fantasy and Magic.
Tales of Magic by Edward Eager
I can hardly ever write a book list without trying to work in my favorite book series of all time. I just adore these books! They follow four siblings and their magic adventures and if you haven’t read them, you really should. I talk more about the first book in this series here. There are Seven Books altogether and while the first one is my favorite, all of them are good. Fantasy, Adventure, and Magic.
Tuesdays at the Castle
This Five Book Series is full of wonderful characters and good writing. Princess Celie lives in a castle that is always changing – a new tower this Tuesday, a hidden staircase next Tuesday. But when her parents are ambushed and disappear, Celie has to figure out her ever changing castle in hopes of saving them. A delightful Fantasy series!
Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage
This Trilogy of books is set in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina. It’s a small town but there’s a lot of action for best friends Mo and Dale who are out to solve all the mysteries. Perfect for those readers who’ll enjoy some Southern Humor, Mystery, and Realistic Fiction.
The Underland Chronicles
I’ll admit, I was skeptical about this Five Book Series – especially when I heard it had giant talking cockroaches in it. But I was intrigued because I loved The Hunger Games so my 9 year old and I started reading it aloud together. We’re hooked! What an exciting, original Fantasy Adventure! There’s a whole world beneath us and Gregor enters it by crawling through a vent behind the washing machine in the laundry room. It’s fantastic!
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
This clever, fast paced series follows the people of Quill. In Quill, when kids turn twelve they are sorted into two groups – Wanted and Unwanted. If you have a skill, like sewing, fishing, or other things necessary to keep the farm running, then you’ll be Wanted. If not, you’re eliminated, which almost always means certain death. But not for Alex, he’s unwanted, but he’s got an adventure ahead of him. Good news: if your kids like this, there are Seven Books in this Dystopian, Science Fiction series.
Willow Falls by Wendy Mass
This Five Book Series each follows a different girl in Willow Falls (they don’t necessarily have to be read in order, but we like to start with book one). It’s Realistic Fiction with a Fantasy twist. My 9 year old adores these books! They’re funny and sweet and capture growing up so well. They begin with Amanda and her best friend Leo in 11 Birthdays – it’s supposed to be an ordinary birthday, but it has a Groundhog Day twist.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
The first book in this series was published in 1962 and they’re still a great read today! The most recent book in the Eleven Book Series was published in 2005. The series begins with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase in which there are orphans, a terrible governess, and wicked wolves. They are an old fashioned mix of Georgian and Victorian Adventure that really never gets old! We LOVE these Classics.
I thought I should point out, the first book of The Dark Is Rising Sequence is “Over Sea, Under Stone”, and not the series’s namesake.