Posts Tagged ‘book series’

Booklist: The Life of Girls

We looked at boys’ life books so now it’s the girls’ turn.  These are books which depict a girl’s life and/or in which girls are the main characters.

To keep things as simple as possible, I divide the books into four ages ranges: preschool to early elementary; elementary; middle years (roughly 5th-8th grades); and teens. Keep in mind that many harder books can be read aloud to younger children and that older ones can still enjoy and get a lot out of easier books.

Girl’s Life Books

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. A classic girls’ book. Middle years +.

Banks, Lynne Reid.  Farthest Away Mountain. From the author of The Indian in the Cupboard. Fantasy. Elementary-Middle years.

Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks (series). We loved these (the boys too). Middle years.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. A Little Princess, Sarah Crewe and  The Secret Garden. More classic girl books. Elementary-middle.

Creech, Sharon. Ruby HollerChasing Redbird, et. al. Creech is a modern author with lots of good books featuring girls. Elementary-middle.

Enright, Elizabeth. Thimble Summer. Enright has lots of good books. This is one of my favorites. Elementary-middle.

Estes, Eleanor. One Hundred Dresses. Estes has lots of good books. Elementary.

Gaiman, Neil. Coraline. For the most macabre girl.  Middle years.

Gates, Doris. Blue Willow. Elementary-middle.

George, Jean Craighead, Julie of the Wolves. A well-known book about an Eskimo girl. The plot includes a rape scene. Middle years.

Hirsch, Odo. Hazel Green (series). My youngest loved these. Elementary.

Horvath, Polly. Canning SeasonEverything on a Waffle, and One Year in Coal Harbor. Horvath has a lot of good books. Elementary-middle.

Lenski, Lois. Strawberry Girl. Old-time Florida. A classic. Middle years.

Lovelace, Maud Hart. Betsy Tacy (series). An older series which has seen a revival. Elementary-middle.

Lowry, Lois. Goonie Bird Greene  (series) and Anastasia Krupnik (series). My youngest loved the Goonie Bird books especially. Elementary.

MacLachlan, Patricia. Sarah, Plain and Tall. My oldest loved this one. Look for the sequels too. Elementary.

McCloskey, Robert. Blueberries for Sal. Classic picture book. Early elementary.

McKay, Hilary. Saffy’s Angel and sequels. We really liked this series. Middle ages.

Montgomery, L.M. Anne of Green Gables (series) and Emily (series). You know Anne of Green Gables, but my daughter tells me her other series are even better. Middle years.

Paterson, Katherine. Jacob I Have Loved, Paterson has a lot of good books. Middle years.

Porter, Eleanor. Pollyanna and Pollyanna Grows Up. Despite the negative connotation of the name Pollyanna, these are good books. Middle years (read aloud earlier).

Rylant, Cynthia. Cobble Street Cousins (series). I don’t love all Rylant’s books but these are decent easy chapter books. Elementary.

Snyder, Laurel. Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains. Elementary-middle.

Spyri, Johanna. Heidi. Classic. Middle years.

Stratton-Porter, Gene. Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost. Wonderful older books. Middle years.

Streatfield, Noel.  . . . Shoes (series). Older books with names like “Ballet Shoes.” Middle years.

Umansky, Kate. Clover Twig (series). Silly. She has a great boys’ series too. Middle years.

Vanderpool, Clare. Moon Over Manifest. Middle years.

Whelan, Gloria. Listening for Lions, et. al. Whelan has a lot of good books, often historical. Elementary-middle years.

What would you add to this list?

Booklist: Family Stories

Today’s topic is family stories: books that feature good, wholesome family relations.

To keep things as simple as possible, I divide the books into four ages ranges: preschool to early elementary; elementary; middle years (roughly 5th-8th grades); and teens. Keep in mind that many harder books can be read aloud to younger children and that older ones can still enjoy and get a lot out of easier books.

Family Stories

Alcott, Louisa May. Little WomenEight Cousins, et.al. So many family books here. Middle years.

Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks (series). They have some issues but we love the Penderwicks. Middle years.

Carlson, Natalie Savage. The Family Under the Bridge. Set in Paris. Elementary-middle years.

Caudill, Rebecca. Fairchild Family (series). The first book in the series is Happy Little Family which says it all. Elementary.

Enright, Elizabeth. The Melendy Quartet (series). A fun series. Elementary-middle.

Estes, Eleanor. The Moffats (series). My daughter liked these. Elementary-middle years.

Horvath, Polly. The Pepins and Their Problems. We have really liked Horvath’s books. This one is pretty silly. Elementary-middle.

Langton, Jane. Hall Family Chronicles (series). She writes adult mysteries too. Middle years.

Nesbit, E. The Railway Children. I love Nesbit. This one is a don’t miss. Elementary-middle years.

Norton, Mary. The Borrowers (series). Tiny people. Middle years.

Peterson, John. The Littles (series). More tiny people. Elementary.

Ransome, Arthur. Swallows and Amazons (series). The parents don’t play a large role but the series is very good. Middle years.

Rylant, Cynthia. The Lighthouse Family (series). Rylant is prolific and I don’t like all her books but this series is good. It is an easy chapter book level. The Cobble Street Cousins series by her is also not bad and the same level. Elementary.

Sidney, Margaret. Five Little Peppers (series). An older series. Middle years.

Taylor, Sidney. All-of-a-Kind Family (series). The good family series par excellence. Elementary-middle years.

Warner, Gertrude. The Boxcar Children (series). Classic mysteries. Choose the earliest books only. Elementary-middle years.

Waugh, Sylvia. The Mennyms. Middle years.

White, E.B. Stuart Little. A good family with one mouse child (though it is actually my least favorite of White’s books). Elementary-middle years.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House on the Prairie (series). Elementary-middle years.

Wood, Mary Rose. The Incorrigibles (series). Okay, they are an odd family with some issues but we all adored this series. It is probably our family favorite of all the series/books we have read over the years. Middle years +.

What would you add to this list?

Booklist: The Life of Boys

We continue today with booklists I have put together over the years. Today’s topic is the life of boys, those books which depict a boy’s life and/or in which boys are the main characters. I also have a couple of older posts on books for boys: Book Series for Tween and Teen Boys and Classics for Boys.

To keep things as simple as possible, I divide the books into four ages ranges: preschool to early elementary; elementary; middle years (roughly 5th-8th grades); and teens. Keep in mind that many harder books can be read aloud to younger children and that older ones can still enjoy and get a lot out of easier books.

Boy’s Life Books

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Men. A book about boys from the author of the most famous girl book. Middle years +.

Blume, Judy. Fudge (series). Okay, these are probably not living but they are a lot of silly fun. Elementary-middle years.

Brown, Jeff. Flat Stanley. The first in the series isn’t bad. Elementary-middle.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. Little Lord Fauntleroy. Another girly writer turns her subject to a boy’s life. Middle years.

Butterworth, Oliver. Enormous Egg. A wonderful story about a boy who finds, wait for it, an enormous egg. Elementary-middle.

Dickens, Charles. David CopperfieldOliver Twist and Great Expectations. I love Dickens. Middle-Teens.

Dodge, Mary. Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. A classic. Elementary-middle.

Fitzgerald, John D. The Great Brain (series). A boy in Utah in settler times. Elementary-middle.

Fleischman, Sid. Whipping Boy. The prince doesn’t get punished, his whipping boy does. Elementary-middle.

Kipling, Rudyard. Kim. Classic. Middle years.

McCloskey, Robert. Homer PriceCenterburg Tales and Lentil.  All his books are wonderful. Centerburg Tales is the sequel to Homer Price. They are elementary-middle years. Lentil is a picture book.

Milne, A.A. Winnie the Pooh. Christopher Robin, need I say more? Elementary.

O’Dell, Scott. The Black Pearl. All his books are good. Middle years.

Paterson, Katherine. Jip, His Story. Another author who usually writes more girly books. Historical fiction re the mid 1800s. Middle years.

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The boys’ life books par excellence. Middle years but read loud earlier.

Umansky, Kate. Solomon Snow (series). We loved this silly mystery/adventure series. Middle years.

What would you add to this list?

Booklist: Favorite Adventure Stories

As a quarantine project, I went through some old records of books we read as my kids were growing up. I will be publishing these over the coming weeks in sections. There are probably many other wonderful choices out there, but these are some we enjoyed. Feel free to comment with your suggestions and we can keep the list going.

Today’s topic is adventure stories. Some of these are books my kids read themselves but many were family read-alouds or audiobooks. If you think reading aloud is just for little kids, I beg you to reconsider. I always used lunchtimes as a chance to read. The kids are a captive audience and it is a good diet aid for mom 😉

To keep things as simple as possible, I am going to divide the books into four ages ranges: preschool to early elementary; elementary; middle years (roughly 5th-8th grades); and teens. Keep in mind that many harder books can be read aloud to younger children and that older ones can still enjoy and get a lot out of easier books.

Favorite Adventure Stories

Adams, Douglas. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (series) and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (series). These books have some adult content, more in terms of theology than  . .  . er, gender relations but we really like them. Dirk Gently is a lesser known treasure and light be a better place to start. Teens.

Aiken, Joan.  Wolves of Willoughby Chase (series). My daughter read this series. Wolves, sea voyages, orphans. All sorts of good elements. I believe she has other series as well. Middle years.

Appleton, Victor. Tom Swift (series). These are older boys’ adventure stories that my older son enjoyed. I believe there is a newer series too so look for the older one. Middle years.

Baum. L. Frank. The Wizard of Oz (series). The original series is a bit bizarre and not much like the movie. Middle years +.

Blyton, Enid. Famous Five (series). Older books about kids adventuring/solving mysteries. She has other series as well. Middle years.

Buchanan, John. The Thirty-Nine Steps. We really enjoyed this mystery. Middle years +.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice. Tarzan of the Apes. I read this one myself and found it a bit pulpish but it is a classic book and not bad. Middle years +.

Cameron, Eleanor. Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet and Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet. Another older book. Space travel. I believe there are more in the series but  I am not sure how they are. Middle years. Could definitely be enjoyed by elementary ages too.

Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A weird classic. Middle years.

Christie, Agatha. And then There were None, et. al. More mystery than adventure but these classic books are good for kids too. Middle years +.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Lost World. A great book from the Sherlock Holmes author. Middle years.

du Bois, William Pene. Twenty-One Balloons. A wonderful older book about a hot air balloon flight and the eruption of the volcano on Krakatoa. Elementary-middle years.

Fleischman, Sid. By the Great Horn Spoon. Historical Fiction re the CA Gold Rush. Funny. Elementary to middle years. He has other books which may be good as well.

Funke, Cornelia. Theif Lord. Street urchins in Venice. Funke had many other books as well, some easier, some harder and they vary in quality. Middle years.

Gaiman, Neil. Odd and the Frost Giants. A fantastical Viking tale. Try Coraline as well though it is a bit bizarre. Elementary-middle years.

Goldman, William. The Princess Bride. The book on which the famous movie is based. As good as the movie is, my daughter tells me the book is much better. Middle years.

Haggard, H. Rider. Allan Quartermain (series). Haggard is an older author with a number of good books. King Solomon’s Mines is a favorite. Middle years +.

Hammett, Daschell. Maltese Falcon. Classic noir book. Teens.

Hilton, James. Lost Horizon. I loved this older classic about a kind of Utopia in the mountains of Nepal (?). There’s a lot to think about here. It’s not a hard read. Middle years and up. See how our literary discussion went here.

Hirsch, Odo. Bartlett (series). Funny adventurous stories. Some of his other series are good too. Elementary-middle years.

Horvath, Polly. My One Hundred Adventures and Northward to the Moon. Horvath has lots of good books. Middle years.

Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth. A don’t miss class. Elementary – middle years.

Kipling, Rudyard. Captains Courageous and The Jungle Book. Classic tales. Middle years.

Konigsburg, E.L. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Wonderful, fun story. Middle years.

Lawson, Robert. The Fabulous Flight. Lawson has lots of great books, often featuring animals. In this one a boy shrinks and has an adventure on a seagull. Elementary-middle years.

Lindgren, Astrid. Ronia: The Robber’s Daughter. From the author of Pippi Longstocking. Elementary-middle years.

London, Jack. Call of the Wild and White Fang. Classic dog stories. Middle years.

Merrill, Jean. Pushcart War. I am not sure it is quite adventure but we loved this book about a kind of kids’ crusade. Elementary-middle.

Nesbit, E. The Story of the Treasure Seekers. All of Nesbit’s books are wonderful. Middle years.

Norton, Mary. Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The book the old Disney movie is based on. Elementary-middle years.

O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. O’Dell has lots of wonderful books, many of them historical fiction. Middle years.

Orczy, Emma. The Scarlet Pimpernel. Wonderful books set during the French Revolution (I will have another historical list but I couldn’t resist including this one here too.) Middle years +.

Paulsen, Gary. Rifle, Hatchet and Mr. Tucket (series). Paulsen has wonderful outdoorsy adventure stories that boys will love. Middle years.

Reaves, James (ed.). Exploits of Don Quixote. My kids really loved this edition of the classic novel. Though I would call it even high school level we read it when they were in elementary.

Sachar, Louis. Holes. Again, maybe not adventure per see but there are adventurous things that happen. I have a friend who hated this book but we liked it. I’m not sure about the sequels. Middle years. His Wayside School series are decent chapter books as well.

Scott, Walter. Ivanhoe and others. Classic Scottish novels. Teens.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Kidnapped and Treasure Island. Classic pirate stories. I found my kids didn’t appreciate them till at least upper elementary. Middle years +.

Thurber, James. Wonderful O. The story of a land without the letter O. Middle years.

Twain, Mark. The Adventure of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These will also be included in my boys’ books list but they are must-reads for everyone so I am including them ere too. Middle years.

Verne, Jules. It is hard to pick just one book by this author. His name should be synonymous with adventure tales. Some of our favorites are 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days. Middle years +.

Wells, H.G. The Time Machine. Wells is more science fiction than adventure. He has a number of classic books. Teens.

Woodfine, Katherine. The Clockwork Sparrow. Set in Victorian England. Middle years.

Book Series for Tween and Teen Boys

I don’t know what it is about boys, but it seems a lot of them like to find series and read them through. It can be hard, though, to find quality ones. I know my own local library tends to have a lot of fantasy-type books. I don’t inherently object to fantasy, but there is a thread in modern books which irks me (more on that here). So I thought I would give a list of the not-too-objectionable series my older boy (now 15) has read.

Book Series for Tween and Teen Boys

Though I know they need hardly be mentioned among Christian homeschoolers, let’s start with The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The former is much easier reading than the latter. I will admit that as a child I started both and could not get into them. My kids have enjoyed them though. My older son has read Tolkien many times over.  But they are excellent in their outlook and theology (both authors are Christian) and my son has enjoyed them both. I am not a huge fan of Christian lit but, though Narnia at least is quite obvious if you know the Christian story, these books do not come off as obvious or preachy. A warning: read them first! Don’t go to the movie versions. The Lord of the Rings in particular has been made very violent in the movies.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling — Okay, I know you have heard of this one. And I know some will have objections to the magical elements. For me Harry Potter is at a level I can take. My older son has read them all many times as well. HP and Lord of the Rings are the two series he keeps coming back to.

Rick Riordan — Riordan has a few series. Percy Jackson and the Olympians one is the most well-known. In it the main characters are demi-gods, the offspring of human and the ancient Greek gods. He also has an Egyptian series which my kids don’t like quite as much and a newer Norse one which we haven’t tried. We have done many of these as audio-books so I have heard most of them too. Though in many ways they embody the themes I object to in other teen books (misunderstood kid discovers he/she is not really human), I find these books humorous, exciting and enjoyable to listen too. But then again, I don’t mind Greek myths either.

N.D. Wilson  — Wilson is apparently a Christian author. Honestly, I haven’t read any of his books but they were recommended to us by our pastor’s family (a source I trust) and my son is enjoying them. The two he has tried so far are the 100 Cupboards series and Ashtown Burials. A good sign: I see on his website that Wilson has books on Eden and Noah for ages 4 and up. I’ll have to check those out.

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander — Alexander should be listed soon after Lewis and Tolkien, so here he is. I think he has other series too. My son has liked everything he’s read by Alexander.

M.T. Anderson — Anderson is a weird one. We like weird around here. We first encountered him in his Pals in Peril series. These are best qualified as detective stories. The name of one, The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen, will give you an idea of their character. That series is younger, I would say middle school age (with all the silliness middle school boys love; but not just a gross out book). I think my son also read another of his middle age series though I don’t know which one. He has also tackled an older series, Octavian Nothing. This one deserves a warning that there is some adult content. We did the first one as an audio book and even my then 12yo dd was lost. But my older one liked it. The premise takes a while, like most of the book, to figure out and is pretty bizarre. It is set during the Revolutionary War.

Agatha Christie — An oldie but a goodie. If you like mysteries, don’t forget these classics.

The Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald Sobol — Older books again. Very quick reads for the boy with a short attention span who likes a puzzle. Both my boys read these.

Allen Quartermain by Rider — I call this as a series because there are sequels. These are also older books. I read both this one and King Solomon’s Mines as did my son. We both enjoyed them.

The Molly Moon series by Georgia Byng — I didn’t read these either (bad parent, bad parent!) but my son enjoyed them all a few years back. More middle school level silliness and probably a fair amount of gross stuff is my guess.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud — We all listened to the first of these and then my son read the rest. They are borderline imo because of their treatment of magic/occult stuff. Edited to add: with no prompting my son brought these up in conversation recently and mentioned how much he had liked them. It has been a few years since he read them so I take that as pretty high praise.

The Emerald Atlas  series by John Stephens — Another one I didn’t read and which is probably borderline with the magic-y stuff. Here is a blurb from the author’s website:

“Brimming with action, humor, and emotion, The Emerald Atlas is the first stage of a journey that will take Kate, Michael, and Emma to strange, dangerous lands and deep within themselves. It is the story of three children who set out to save their family, and end up having to save the world.”

Children of the Lamp by P.B. Kerr — I think we listened to the first of these (or maybe two?) and then my son read the rest. As the name implies, there is an Arab twist here. There are djinn (like Arab genies) involved. But honestly I think this one bothered me less than Stroud’s books. I think they are for a slightly younger age too though they are still at least middle school level.

The Golden Door series by Emily Rodda — She has another series which may be more famous. This is the only one we’ve tried. Amazon calls it a “high-fantasy” world.

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini — Amazon calls is “worldwide bestselling saga of one boy, one dragon, and a world of adventure.” My son seemed to really enjoy this series and they seem to be widely popular.

The Francis Tucket Books by Gary Paulsen — A safer choice and an easier read. These books are set in the Old West. No fantasy here. Just a lot about growing up, becoming a man, and dealing with Indians.

William O. Steele — I’m not sure if any of Steele’s books are actually  a series. But he has a ton set in olden times in America. Lots of battling the elements and hostile peoples. They can be found on Amazon under the series name Odyssey Classics. 

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott — Another series recommended by the pastor’s family. They have titles like The Alchemyst and The Enchantress. There is stuff about the search for eternal life. But they seem like really good books.

Wayside School by Louis Sachar –Pretty harmless silliness for younger kids. Upper elementary age, I’d say. Though they are set in a school, there doesn’t seem to be the bullying and other issues which often bother me in school-y books.

A to Z Mysteries, Calendar Mysteries and Capital Mysteries by Ron Roy — Not high literature but more fairly harmless books for the younger set. Kids seem to zip through them pretty quickly but Roy has a lot to offer so it might still take them awhile.

The Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka — A group of boys travel through time, visit other times and places (hidden history lessons here), and satisfy your young boy’s need for grossness.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner — More oldies but goodies. Easy to read mysteries for elementary kids. Make sure you stick to the original series (there are only about 30 of them).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl — Pretty brief for a series but I am including them because these are such great, classic books. Read all his other ones too while you are at it. Have we forgotten how to manage so much silly without a ton of gross?

Drift House by Dale Peck — Children adrift on a houseboat is what I get. The author says C.S. Lewis was his biggest influence. My older son enjoyed them.

Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger — Okay, this is probably a desperation choice for the Star Wars fan who is a reluctant reader. My younger son enjoyed these. A lot of silly, I am sure.

The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Graham — Okay, I really thought there were sequels to this one. I think I am conflating it with another dragon series. Does anyone know which one I am thinking of? Grahame is the author of The Wind in the Willows and wrote in the late 1800s. If that doesn’t recommend this book to you, well, you need to read more old books.

Terry Pratchett — We’ve only read a few scattered books by Pratchett but some of his are series (see them all here). They vary in content. I read Dodger and found it a tiny bit risque at parts but a pretty good read. It is set in Charles Dickens’ time so there is the added history lesson they don’t know they’re getting bonus. We also listened to We Free Men which we didn’t think was a spectacular story but had a lot of silliness in the wee men’s names which we still refer to.

Solomon Snow books by Kaye Umansky — Ridiculousness abounds for kids in (what seems to be) Victorian England. How come all books set in this time and place seem to be better?

Roman Mysteries by Henry Winterfield — Fun and slightly educational reading for upper elementary or middle school.

The Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence — Okay, Lawrence’s actually have the name “Roman Mysteries.” I don’t know that Winterfield’s series has a name. Both are good.

The Bogle Books by Catherine Jinks — Victorian England again, What did I tell you? These ones center around a fanciful creature called a bogle that eats kids. Don;t let that put you off; they are decent books and not scary.

Smells like Dog and sequels by Suzanne Selfors — It was my daughter who read these but she tells me if a boy likes dogs he will like them too. I think they are pretty silly and not hard reading.

Avi’s Crispin series — Avi is very prolific. Some of his books are about animals (the Redwall, the animals are the main characters and talk). The Crispin books are about a boy living in, if I recall correctly, medieval times. We really enjoyed them.

Gary Blackwood’s Shakespeare series — More hidden education. When we first started one of these books, I thought it was not the best writing but then as we went along, we all got sucked into the plot. Not hard books but a great way to get at Shakespeare’s time and even at modern themes like the rights of an author to his material, etc.

Clyde Robert Bulla — I cheat so much. You guys shouldn’t let me get away with this stuff. Again I am not sure there are any series here but Bulla is so prolific there is still a lot to read. His books all seem to be set in different historical times and places. They are usually exciting adventures for upper elementary and beyond (and younger ones too though perhaps as read alouds).

The Swindle series by Gordon Korman — Korman is a modern writer and has some of the themes of modern writers that I don’t always like (bullies in school, siblings don’t get along, etc.). But we did enjoy this series. It has animals (not as talking characters but as major parts of the plot) which is always a plus. I would not assume his other series are as acceptable.

The Inkheart and MirrorWorld series by Cornelia Funke — She’s German; is that a recommendation? Inkheart in particular gets a lot of attention. My older son has enjoyed both these series. They are older, at least late middle school.

Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy — Another one that’s compared to Lewis. I don’t know if it’s deserved by my son enjoyed them.

The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins — A boy goes underground and encounters giant rats and the like. It didn’t sound to appealing to me but my son loved them and I know another boy who is a reluctant reader who did too.

The Indian in the Cupboard and sequels by Lynne Reid Banks — My two older ones read some of these in a class and seemed to like them.

The Incorriglibles series by Mary Rose Wood — An absolute favorite series of ours. More Victorian children, mystery and utter silliness. We all adore these but I did have someone tell me her son couldn’t get into them because the main character is female.

The Redwall series by Brian Jacques — Okay, we listened to the first one and never got into them but I knew if I left them out, someone would mention them. Talking animals in a medieval setting with lots of descriptive detail is what I remember.

That’s my list so far; what am I forgetting (or haven’t yet discovered)??