Kids can’t stop reading? Try this 25 book series for voracious readers that are long, engaging, and age-appropriate.
25 Books for Voracious Readers
For parents of voracious readers, it can be hard to keep up with what they’re reading! You want to find something age-appropriate, but when they’re reading 400 pages a day, there’s no way to screen all of them! Here are some of my favorite books and series for voracious readers that will keep them busy for a long time!
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” the cryptic ad read in the newspaper. Hundreds of children register to take a test, but in the end, only four children advance beyond the test and are selected to attend training in order to complete a mission only they can have a hope of succeeding at. The four must go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened and if they want to get out alive, they must learn to embrace their differences and rely on each other.
When Pevensie siblings Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter stumble through the back of a wardrobe and into a mysterious land called Narnia, they have no idea that they are about to encounter witches, talking animals, mythical creatures and a powerful yet loving lion known as Aslan. I love this series for many reasons, but the Christian symbolism and parallelism to the story of Jesus makes these books all the richer.
When a thief steals the lighting bolt of Zeus, Percy Jackson embarks on a dangerous and harrowing adventure to recover it. With the help of only a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must face an army of mythological creatures that will stop at nothing to prevent him from succeeding. When an Oracle warns him of a betrayal yet to come, Percy isn’t sure who to trust…
Since their mother’s passing, siblings Sadie and Carter have been separated. Sadie has been living in London with her grandparents and Carter has been studying under an Egyptologist, Mr. Kane. One fateful evening, Kane brings the two together in a museum, but accidentally releases the Egyptian god Set, producing a domino effect of chaotic events. The brother and sister duo must band together to protect the Kane family from the raging gods and uncover the secrets of their family along the way.
The matriarch of the world’s most powerful family, Grace Cahill, offers her relatives a choice upon her death: one million dollars or a single clue. Siblings Amy and Ian, who choose the clue, suddenly find themselves thrust into a dangerous game they don’t quite understand, racing against other more sinister members of the family to uncover the secrets of their family.
The Pyrrhia dragon tribes have been battling each other for many years. The prophecy states that five dragonets will rise up to bring an end to the fighting once and for all. But the chosen five aren’t sure they want to be the ones to fulfill the prophecy, at least not in the traditional way…
These are quick reads and will have your voracious reader turning the pages as fast as they can! Lauren Tarshis expertly inserts an eyewitness into some of the most exciting and interesting points in history (sinking of the Titanic, American Revolution, Hurricane Katrina, Battle of Gettysburg, shark attacks of 1916, etc.). Learning while reading, and having fun at the same time? Brilliant.
When Harry turns 11, he discovers the truth about his identity–that he is the orphaned son of two wizards who passed on some of their magic to their son. Harry becomes a student at Hogwarts, a boarding school for wizards to learn about and develop their gifts. At Hogwarts, Harry befriends several children who help him uncover the truth about his parentage.
When twins Alex and Connor opened up the book of stories, they had no idea that they were about to enter a magical world full of the characters and creatures they had grown up reading about. After surviving harrowing encounters with witches, goblins, trolls, and more, they discover they aren’t sure how to get out of this mysterious place and back home!
This series follows a family of three orphaned siblings–Violet, Klaus, and Sunny–as they investigate the circumstances surrounding their parents’ deaths. It isn’t easy, however, with their guardian Count Olaf watching their every move and trying to take the family fortune for himself. Quirky and fun, this series will have readers rooting for the Baudelaire siblings as they foil the plans of the evil Count at every turn.
Strattenburg has many lawyers, and Theo Boone believes he deserves a place among them, even though he’s just a kid. He knows all about the legal process and has made the acquaintance of every single person involved, policeman, clerks, and judges all, preparing for the day he will be allowed to enter the courtroom. That day comes sooner than he expects when Theo is swept up into a murder trial. The killer is about to walk free, unless Theo can stop him before it’s too late.
Owen is floored when he watches his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library! Bethany divulges that she is half-fictional and is on the trail of her father, who lives somewhere in a book. Bethany wants to keep her secret, so Owen vows to help her, if she takes him into his own favorite series first. She agrees, but Owen realizes it isn’t as simple as he thought and nearly broadcasts Bethany’s secret to the world, ruins his favorite book series, and risks his life living out the adventure in a novel.
Bilbo Baggins, a simple and contented Hobbit residing in the shire, lives a somewhat droll and unaffected life until one fateful day when Gandalf the Wizard appears on his doorstep, inviting him to participate in the adventure of a lifetime. On the quest to regain the kingdom of Erebor and destroy a powerful gold ring, Bilbo and his crew encounter a possessive creature named Gollum, orcs, goblins, and more.
In a dystopian world set sometime in the future, a boy named Jonas becomes selected to apprentice under the Giver, the only person who holds memories of the society that was before. As Jonas begins to receive the memories from the Giver, he begins to understand both pain and pleasure in a new way–and starts to see beyond the veil to the evil present behind the conformity and complacency of his community.
*Warning: Deals with difficult themes, including euthanasia. Very thought-provoking.
What if Cinderella never tried on a glass slipper? What if Wendy first traveled to Neverland with Captain Hook instead of Peter Pan? What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula? This series of Disney alternative stories explores the ‘what ifs’ that could have changed the classic stories forever.
*Note: Can be a little dark. Also contains some violence that may make this series most suitable for ages 13+.
Individual Books and Sequels
These books don’t have several books in their series, but they are high in quality and are perfect for voracious readers.
Peter Nimble is a blind young orphan who has been taught the ways of thievery. One day he steals a box that will change his life forever. The box contains three pairs of magical eyes that have the power to transport him to the Vanished Kingdom where he must rescue a group of people from a dangerous fate. The first book was fast-paced and very exciting but I felt the second was lacking a little bit.
This is the absolute best book I read in 2019. Five years ago, the Sweep vanished. Orphan Nan is resigned to work as a chimney sweep for a cruel man and endures the endless and thankless job day after day. One fateful day, Nan becomes trapped in a chimney fire and thinks her end has come. But when she regains consciousness, she finds herself very much alive and in an old attic. In the corner of the attic is a mysterious creature made from soot and dust. Together the two become the family they both need and begin a new life, full of hope.
Ada was born with a twisted foot, a deformity that fills her mother with shame and prevents Ada from leaving the house. When Ada’s brother Jamie is sent to London to escape the war, Ada steals away to join him. The two children come under the care of a kind woman named Susan Smith, who helps them learn to ride horses, read, closely watch German spies, and begin to embrace a life of adventure. The stories deal with difficult subjects but are very engaging and well written.
*Note: Both of these books contain a lesbian character that is subtle but something for parents to be aware of. It will most likely fly over kid’s heads.
Young Adult Adaptions
These are a few of my favorite Young Adult adaptions of books. They’re often shorter than the original (for example, the original Unbroken is 450+ pages) and leave out inappropriate content.
On a spring day in 1943, Louis Zamperini’s plane crashed down into the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Clinging to life and a raft, the young lieutenant was about to face most dangerous days ahead as sharks, starvation, heat, and illness threatened to take his life. This true story is a masterpiece and is recommended for ages 13+ for some profanity and sexual content. Check out Common Sense Media’s content warnings for the YA version.
The amazing true story of British Air Force radarman Frank Williams and his best friend, a pointer named Judy, that developed a friendship while Frank was prisoner of war in a WWII camp. Judy protected Frank and the other POWs by sensing danger ahead of time, preventing beatings, and providing comfort. The bond that developed between dog and man is the story of a friendship for the ages.
When Poland was occupied during the horrific events of WWII, one courageous woman named Irena Sendler risked it all to save over 2,500 children from being taken by Nazi soldiers. This is the inspiring story of a woman who smuggled children in boxes and coffins, under overcoats and through sewers, to safety and freedom, all at the risk of her own life. Her story was also recently adapted into a film version.
In 1939, nine ordinary, working-class boys traveled to the Olympics to show the world what determination and perseverance looked like. Together the group of untrained boys beat out the East Coast rowing teams favored to win the race, and then went on to challenge Hitler’s rowers as well.
Erik Weihenmayer, the first man to successfully reach the summit of Mount Everest–blind– has always been an adventurer. He vowed not to “make Everest the greatest thing he would ever do”, and began preparing to face the rapids of the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This inspiring story will have you on the edge of your seat and encourage you to reach beyond your limits.
Appropriate Memoirs and Biographies
These memoirs and biographies feature extraordinary people in extraordinary situations. They have no sexual content (may mention kissing or very mild content), harsh profanity, or extreme violence. There may be some historical violence but overall I felt it would be okay for mature kids ages 10+.
Told in a collection of poetry and verse, this memoir recounts the life of young Jacqueline Woodson as she reflects upon her growing up years in South Carolina and New York. She expertly shares the way life was for an African American girl in the 60s and 70s, and recounts the little ways she rose against the system of Jim Crow and her participation in the Civil Rights movement.
Ben Carson, a world-renowned neurosurgeon, tells the story of his remarkable life in this memoir. Growing up in a rough neighborhood in inner-city Detroit, Carson worked hard to land the position of director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at age 33. Today, he has saved countless lives through his work. His story will inspire anyone who needs to know the possibilities that hard work will afford the determined.