By Will Griggs
The wonder of young adult and children’s book series is that they are so fantastic and inclusive. Most center on the basic trope of good vs. evil; yet, it is the organization of disparate characters to form the will of the good that truly gives the reader a basis for connection. The following ten series all provided me with a connection to an incredible world that allowed me to experience emotions and adventures within myself.
Artemis Fowl (8 Books & 2 Shorts)
Artemis Fowl is a wonderful set of stories where the protagonist can also be the anti-hero. Also, like Encyclopedia Brown later in this list, Fowl celebrates intelligence and doesn’t belittle it.
Chronicles of Narnia (7 Books)
Narnia was transformative in the publishing world. An incredibly fantastic world centered on the very real troubles of British children in the World War II era. Targeted at those not yet ready for Middle Earth, they are also well-known as vessels for disseminating Christian theology.
Chronicles of Prydai (5 Books & 3 Shorts)
Think Narnia without the overhanded Christian theology and one of the most badass villains—The Horned King.
Encyclopedia Brown (29 Books)
Sherlock Holmes for the pre-tween set. Plus, how many children’s books actually celebrate intelligence instead of dismissing or ignoring it?
Harry Potter (7 Books & 3 Shorts)
How many books had midnight release parties? Exactly.
Hunger Games (3 Books)
This is definitely not for little kids, but this young adult series dares to use the standard tropes of post-apocalyptic futures and love triangles to give an interesting treatise on the battle between communism and fascism.
Indian in the Cupboard (5 Books)
Before there was Toy Story, there was Indian in the Cupboard. Small figures come to life and magic ensues.
Kairos (A Wrinkle in Time) (8 Books)
While most readers stick with the five books of the Wrinkle in Time series, the Kairos series also includes the three books of the O’Keefe family. My favorite is still Many Waters, where the twins find themselves transported back to the time of Noah and his family.
Rookies (6 Books)
Probably the most unknown of any series on this list, The Rookies follows the first season of three high school teammates as they navigate the ups and downs of friendship and baseball.
Sherlock Holmes (9 Works)
Although the Sherlock Holmes stories may not be particularly targeted at younger audiences, I discovered them at a fourth grade book fair. My dad bought me all four books the fair offered and I consumed them immediately. And I am still enamored with this signature sleuth.