39 Clues by Rick Riordan Age Range (8-12 years)
This series has about a billion books so if your kids like it, they’ll be reading and reading and reading. There are also series within series but you’ll figure it out as you go. To start off, two orphan siblings named Amy and Dan, are told in their grandma’s will that they belong to the very famous and powerful Cahill family which has several different branches. The other decedents and them have the choice to either get 1 million dollars or a clue. The kids race around the world trying to discover all the clues to reveal the family’s biggest secret of all — the source of their power. My 12-year old loves these books!
Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi (8 – 12 years)
This popular graphic novel series tells about two siblings trying to save their mom in an underground world of elves, demons, robots, and talking animals. Oh, and there’s an amulet, too!
Artemis Fowl The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin (10 years and up)
Also available as a full text novel, this series is about an anti-hero. Ok, a villain, evil genius kid named Artemis. He plots to steal the fairies gold which leads him to kidnap a fairy-cop and hold her for randsom. Very entertaining.
Beastologist Series by R. L. LaFevers (6 – 9 years)
Great for newer readers, this easy chapter book series is about a boy named Nathaniel Fludd who lives with his Aunt Phil. As it turns out, she is a beastologist — a protector of mythological creatures. Good but not excellent. However, I think kids will like it.
Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (8 years and up)
I think you already know about these books but if you don’t, they’re absolutely engaging fantasy adventures that will hook your kids. We recently listened to the series on audio book which was even more fun to hear it read in a British accent. (Since we’re American.)
Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull (9 – 13 years)
I endorse this series mostly. The last few books got a bit dull for me but I loved the first few. Two siblings visit their grandparents who they learn run a mythical creature refuge called Fablehaven. Of course, this kids not only discover this secret, but mayhem and adventure ensue.
Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley
My kids love this book! It’s a lot of beautiful photos with details from behind the scenes of the movies.
Harry Potter Page to Screen by Bob McCabe
This is a bit dense but great for kids who are interested in the more technical aspects of movie making.
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus (9 – 13 years)
An award-winning historical fiction adventure set in the late 1800s about Manjiro, a shipwrecked 14-year old Japanese boy who is rescued and adopted by an American ship’s captain. Americans are very prejudiced against Japanese but when he returns to Japan, he’s rejected as an outsider there and imprisoned. Excellent.
Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson (8 – 12 years)
My daughter loved this series but I have to admit it had too many main characters for me so I didn’t enjoy it. However, if you like Disney and non-stop adventure, you’ll love these books. Our main characters, teenagers, protect the park agains the Disney villains. At least they will try. Because catching the bad guys isn’t always easy.
Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (8 – 12 years)
I totally loved this book – and I don’t like scary books. It really wasn’t too scary. Taking place in old-time London, we learn that dangerous ghosts and spirits are appearing everywhere. Teens Lucy, Anthony, and George badly need money for their ghost agency so they take a perilous job that may just be their last.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (8 – 12 years)
This is a must-read, excellent Newbery winning book about amazing lab rats with intelligence who escape from the lab and form their own community. This was always one of my fifth graders favorite read-alouds.
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman (8 – 12 years)
If your child hasn’t learned about Nordic mythology, this will be a great intro! To end the long winter, Odd must journey to find Asgard, a city under siege from the Frost Giants. A wonderful, nail-biting adventure!
The Olympians series by George O’Connor (9 – 14 years)
I’m a big fan of all these graphic novels by O’Conner – and my kids love them. I highly recommend them and they’re great for reluctant readers.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (10 – 14 years)
Don’t judge this excellent series by the it’s dreadful movies, please. These books are really amazing! Basically there are really still Greek gods and sometimes they have kids with humans and those kids are half-bloods with unique powers. Unfortunately for these kids, monsters are out to kill them and they are the only ones who can save the world from war between the gods and in a later book, between the Titans and the gods.
Sea of Trolls series by Nancy Farmer (10 years and up)
A bard, a boy, a band of Viking beserkers, trolls, dragons, and a quest – what more could you want in a series? This is one of those can’t put it down books that will keep you up all night reading and I loved this it. (Actually, I love all Farmer’s books.) Your kids will enjoy reading a new adventure in Norse and Old English mythology.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (8 – 12 years)
I don’t know how to summarize these books so I’ll just say that the basic premis is a school for villians and heros with too many plot twists to even explain — and all your stereotypes will be blown out of the water. This series will make you think deeply about what makes someone good, friendship, and love. Excellent.
Starcatchers series by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson (10 years and up)
I adore this series and know your kids will, too. The authors imagined what happened BEFORE Peter Pan and this is the result. A stunning, totally creative fantastical adventure of magical star stuff, evil shadows who want to rule the universe, and so much more.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (12 years and up)
I just read this last week and can’t tell you how much I loved it! Another adventure typical of Sanderson for it’s uniqueness, plot twists, and compelling action. Epics are super-powerful individuals who have extraordinary powers they use for bad — in other words, their own gain. Epics control the cities and one Epic, Steelheart, killed David’s father right in front of him. Now as a teen, David wants revenge and he joins the Reckoners to assassinate Steelheart. But he’ll have to convince them he’s not a spy, and that it’s possible to take out one of the most powerful Epics in the world.
Storybound by Marissa Burt (8 – 12 years)
Una falls into the land of stories of heroes and villians but something is very wrong. No new stories are being written. So how did she get written in and who is she? We read this for bedtime and my kids and I looked forward to it every night. A great adventure!
The Familiars series by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson (8 – 12 years)
I’m a big fan of this series. Do you know about familiars? They are the magical animal companions to wizards. And in this first story, they’ll have to save the world when the wizard’s powers are taken away. Great for kids who love animals and magical adventures.
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer (8 – 12 years)
Fairy tales come alive when Alex and Conner (brother and sister) find themselves in the fairy tale book given to them by their grandmother. Their only way home is to find the ingredients for a Wishing Spell. Finding them will be dangerous, mysterious, and life changing. A wonderful adventure!!!
The Lost Kingdom by Matthew J. Kirby (8 – 12 years)
The wild west plus fantastical elements combine in this marvelous adventure of an expedition to find the lost people of the Welsh Prince Madoc. This is the wild west like you’ve never imagined. And you’ll love it.
The Secret Zoo series by Bryan Chick (8 – 12 years)
An action-packed adventure to find Megan. The clues lead them to the Clarksville City Zoo and its’ secret entrances. Kids love these books!
Winterling by Sarah Prineas (8 + years)
In the forest Fer finds a puck who shows her the secret passage to another world – a world of magic where she feels like she belongs finally. But who were Fer’s parents and why does the evil Mor want to keep the land in endless winter? I think this book should be more recognized – it’s a great adventure.
Enjoy! Let me know which your kids are loving!!
Books for 8-year olds
Books for 9-year olds
Books for 10-year olds
Books for 11-year olds
Books for 12-year olds
Don’t miss these book lists:
- Books for kids who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Books for kids who like Junie B. Jones
- Best chapter books series that kids will love