starter series

4 Starter Series to Make Readers Out of Children

They are timeless, exciting and work magic on hooking children to the habit of reading.
February 15, 2018
7 mins read

Booklovers of all kinds from all over the world can testify their love for books most likely stems from their childhood. Some people owe it to that one book they found in elementary school that had them wanting to experience the world of diving firmly into a story all over again. Others owe it to the wonderful genre of book series that continue on and elongate the adventure, making it easy for anyone, even kids, to want to keep reading.

Personally, I am more of a fan of book series because they are what dragged me into the life of a bookworm, and I have seen them do the same for others. And while there are hundreds of book series that have captured the hearts of children and made readers out of them, there are some special ones that do so with an almost preternatural success rate.

Here are five starter series that are almost guaranteed to make kids fall in love with reading.

1. “The Magic Tree House” Series by Mary Pope Osborne

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Cover of ‘The Magic Tree House’ series (Image via Variety)

“The Magic Tree House” series follows the adventures of siblings Jack and Annie, who explore amazing places with the help of some magical books that they find in a magical tree house. These (real) books are the perfect introduction to reading for young kids, as not only are they full of daring and mystery, they are educational as well.

Because of how they are written though, kids forget that they are learning and just enjoy the ride. The plot revolves around the two kids getting plopped into different periods of history and, occasionally, into mythical worlds, which allows the narrative to provide just the right amount of fantasy and realism to balance out and keep kids interested.

The series is responsible for introducing many kids to the world of books, and it can still be a starter series for the newer generations.

2. “The Baby-Sitters Club” by Ann M. Martin

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Covers of ‘The Babysitters Club’ series (Image via Barnes & Nobles)

This book series might seem like it’s tailored more for little girls only, but it is surprisingly diverse and enjoyable for all. There are many sections to the series, the first couple of which follow the daily lives of a group of girls who have created and are running a babysitting service, as well as all the business’s attendant ups and downs.

These books can be relaxing and entertaining to kids who just want to relate to someone or see how others live their lives. The series also extends into “The Baby-Sitters Club: Mysteries,” along with many other specials and adventures, which makes it quite lengthy, but not one of the sections disappoints. They are entertaining, relatable and interesting, and they have been the starter series for many kids growing up and more the new generation coming around to reading.

3. “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket

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Covers of ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ series (Image via Hypable)

A series so well known to the point that it has almost turned into a cliché — though some would say a classic, “A Series of Unfortunate Event” is a great kickstart for any children simply because it tells kids’ stories. Sure, those kids in the novels go through dangerous adventures to solve extreme problems, but that’s what makes it the more exciting. The story is intriguing, emotional and exciting, a guarantee to grabs a kids’ attention.

In “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” readers get thrown into the sad and crazy lives of the Baudelaire siblings — three extraordinary children who weren’t handed the best hand in life — as they deal with circumstances that are just out of this world. With a blunt writing style that is drenched in humor that kids can appreciate, Snicket’s narration stands out among all other books following the same theme of mystery and continues to charm generations of children.

With “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” even kids want to keep reading.

4. The “Cirque du Freak” Series by Darren Shan

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Covers of ‘Cirque du Freak’ series (Image via Pinterest)

This series is a little darker and may be suitable for kids who jump on the reading band wagon at a little older later, around middle school. Unlike “The Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Cirque du Freak” falls more under the genre of horror and thriller, which makes it the perfect gift for those kids want to go on adventures beyond magical tree houses and unfortunate events.

The thrill that “Cirque du Freak” brings lies in its sense of fright, which is rather an uncharted realm for many other children books. The novel opens up a world where exist a menagerie of all kinds of creatures one can only dream of (vampires and half-vampires are the most conventional ones here!) that will most certainly satisfy any kids’s imagination.

It’s a story that is captivating from the very first words until the last ones with constant introduction of new worlds and creatures that will only leave you yearning for more.

These four series’ have made real readers out of many kids. They have given them the inspiration to continue adventuring through the literary worlds, and have certainly helped make me into a reader. They offer that timeless push children need to fall in love with the habit of reading, which will introduce them to their endless journey of imagination.

Valeria Garcia, University of Texas at Austin

Writer Profile

Valeria Garcia

University of Texas at Austin
English Major, Creative Writing Minor

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