8 Book Series I Loved As A Kid

If there’s one fact that you should know about me, it’s this: I’ve loved reading ever since I was three years old. I learned how to read before I learned how to talk, which isn’t very common. When I was in elementary school, I read all of the time. I read at school, at recess, on my bed, in the bathtub, even at dinner by placing a book on my lap under the tablecloth so my mom didn’t catch me. You name a place, I was most likely reading there.

The thing I loved about books was that they opened my mind up to a new world. Suddenly, I wasn’t sitting in my bedroom, I was standing in the treehouse with Jack and Annie. Or I was charging into battle behind Percy and Annabeth. No matter what story I was reading, I got completely sucked into it. It was like leaving the real world for a few hours and walking in someone else’s shoes. I absolutely loved the feeling of escaping reality, and very quickly got addicted to it.

I mostly read book series because I never wanted a story to end. One day I want to re-read all of series I’ve read to remind myself how much I loved them as a kid! But for now, I want to remind any other book-lovers out there of some iconic books you may have also read when you were younger!

 

1. Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

When I say I was obsessed with these books, I mean I was obsessed. I was six years old when my cousin dropped off a box of the books at my house and that night I remember picking up the first one and reading it under the covers of my bed. I loved the Magic Tree House books for a few reasons. First, they were greatly entertaining and imaginative. Second, they intertwined fact with fiction, so while you were immersed in Jack and Annie’s adventures, you were also given some fun facts about the time period they traveled to. For instance, I remember reading the seventeenth book, Tonight on the Titanic, and telling my mom all these facts about the Titanic afterwards. I never got tired of reading these books and Mary Pope Osborne never seemed to stop writing them! I stopped keeping up with the series around seventh grade, when I decided I was a bit too old to be reading children’s books. To this day, however, I still have all of the books in my house!

 

2. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

I read Junie B. Jones between second and third grade and thought they were hilarious. Something about the way they’re written made me giggle all the time while reading it, and I’d sometimes read passages to my mom. I recently read that the series were placed on the Top 100 Banned Books due to the consistency of poor social values and Junie not being a good role model for children because of her bad spelling and grammar. While I agree that this is true, it’s important to emphasize the series were supposed to be written that way in order to entertain children. The books are very easy to read and are short, so they’re great for younger readers.

 

3. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

In my third grade classroom, there were different bins of books we could choose from when we had silent reading time. One day I was browsing through the bins when my friend told me I should read Goosebumps because he loved them and thought they were amazing. I’d never read horror stories before then, so I gave it a shot. The very first Goosebumps book I read was The Girl Who Cried Monster, which is about a girl who goes to the public library in her town and realizes the librarian is actually a monster. However, no one in her family believes her because she’s known for telling lies hence the title of the book. I remember both loving and hating the story because it was incredibly scary but also gripping. After that, I tried to read all of the series but it was hard because my classroom only had a few of the books. I think these books are great to read, especially at night when you feel the full effect of the story!

 

4. The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

My older sister bought the box set of these books when we were younger, and I read them after she told me how good they were. I don’t think this series is as popular as some of the others on this list, so here’s a short summary: The Spiderwick Chronicles is fantasy series about three siblings named Mallory, Simon, and Jared Grace. Mallory is the oldest, while Simon and Jared are twins, and they have opposite personalities and interests. The story begins with the kids moving into the Spiderwick Estate with their mother shortly after their parents’ divorce and their mother decides they should move there as a way to start fresh. After arriving there, the children discover the secrets the house contains, and soon are introduced to a world of fairies they never knew existed. I loved these books because they have an element of scariness to them, but are mostly fantasy. They are a bit dark, but overall gripping and intriguing. I’ve never read books like them before! You should definitely check them out: they’re not very long either-- I read them all within two hours.

 

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

One of my best friends in middle school loved Percy Jackson and would always talk about them at lunch. It didn’t take long for me to be convinced to read them, and I borrowed The Lightning Thief from her and finished it in two days. I soon as I read one I was completely in love with the story and had already asked my mom to drive me to the library soon afterwards so I could check out the rest of the books. I think Percy Jackson and the Olympians were written fantastically. They’re funny, filled with imagination, and Rick Riordan does an excellent job at storytelling by combining Greek mythology with modern day references. I’ve read the Percy Jackson series three times now and they still make me laugh as hard as I did the first time. I hadn’t known anything about Greek gods prior to reading these books, but now I’m fascinated by Greek mythology. All of the characters are so likeable and intriguing, it’s impossible not to fall in love with them while reading the books. The books also paint such a vivid picture of the fictional world Rick Riordan has created, there are so many points throughout the books where I’m convinced demigods (people who are half mortal, half God/Goddess) are real. If you’ve never read Percy Jackson please please do. They are definitely in my top 5 favorite book series!

 

6. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I’d heard mixed reviews about A Series of Unfortunate Events before I even read the first book. Some people loved them because they were dark, but intriguing. Others thought they were way too depressing to be children’s books, and were turned off by the fact that there were no happy moments. In fourth grade I decided to give them a shot, and was immediately drawn in after reading The Bad Beginning. It’s true; the storyline is awfully upsetting and heartbreaking. However, that’s the appeal of the stories. What I love about these books are that despite how horrendous and miserable the lives of the Baudelaire children are, the three of them remain close and fiercely protective of each other. As you read their story and feel your heart ache at how unfair their lives are, you also develop a sense of fondness for them. I’ll admit these series might not be for everyone but if you’re in the mood for a good, but depressing story, these will satisfy your craving.

 

7. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

How could I not add Harry Potter to this list? Just like many other Potterheads out there, I fell in love with the series very quickly. I first read them when I was in fifth grade, but didn’t really understand the plot. So I re-read them a few summers ago, and read them through a third time this past summer. I don’t know how in the world J.K. Rowling created such an intricately detailed fictional world, but she did an outstanding job. Whenever I read the books, I find myself fully immersed in the story. I feel like I’m standing in Hogwarts, sitting in Transfiguration. Or I’m at the Gryffindor table with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. The characters all have such depth, you start to feel like they’re real. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading the books. Each time I read them, I pick up on something I missed earlier, and that small detail helps me understand the storyline better. I feel like most Mount Holyoke students have read the series, but if you haven’t, I truly hope you do! These books are life changing.

 

8. All Stories by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl didn’t write a book series, but he wrote multiple wonderful books that I read as a kid. I haven’t read all of his books yet, but the ones I have read are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits, Matilda, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, and George’s Marvelous Medicine. Oh my god, these books were so much fun to read. I’ve read them all at least once and am always so entertained. Roald Dahl’s imagination was superb and unlike anything else I’ve ever read. I remember while reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I started drooling at the description of the candy. Dahl’s adjectives are so vivid and brilliant, they make all of his books come to life in your mind. I’ll definitely have to read them again soon. If you’ve only read one or two of his children’s books, I recommend you check more of them out! They’re all so different from one another, yet they’re all so imaginative and entertaining.

With the summer fast approaching, you might find yourself with some free time over the course of the next four months. If you’re bored, start reading a new book! Reading is such a simple but satisfying way to pass time, especially if the book you’re reading is good. If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic, maybe you can re-read some of your favorite books from your childhood! I know I might do that at some point this summer.  

What book series did you love as a kid? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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