30 incredible book series for kids ages 8-12

A few weeks ago I posted a list of amazing books for kids ages 8-12. When I started compiling the list I ended up with so many good titles that I decided to break it into two parts, and today I’m sharing part 2: 30 incredible book series for boys and girls ages 8-12, which corresponds to US grades 4-6. Series are great, especially for reluctant readers, because if you can find one your child likes, chances are he or she will want to start on the next one as soon as they’ve finished the first. As always, if you have any great recommendations for this age group, please let us all know in the comments!

great list of fantastic series for kids ages 8-12. great books to put on the summer reading list!

NOTE: all photos in this post are linked to Amazon so you can easily find these books if you’d like to buy them (affiliate). But don’t forget to check for these books at your local library. Many libraries have summer reading programs to encourage kids to keep reading.

The Princess Tales (3 book series). Each book in this series is a compilation of fairy tale retellings by Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted. Readers can expect fun and funny new twists on familiar princess tales. Grades 3-5.



The Penderwicks (4 book series). A charming modern classic about four motherless sisters, their absentminded professor father, and their exploits and misadventures. Lighthearted, warm, and just plain fun. Grades 3-6.



The Great Brain (8 book series). J.D.’s older brother Tom is known as “The Great Brain” around town because he’s always conning the other kids into doing his chores or giving them his prized possessions. Set in Utah in the early 1900’s, these boys have plenty of adventures and get into plenty of trouble. Grades 3-6.



Tuesdays at the Castle (3 book series). Every Tuesday, the castle changes: adding a new room or hallway or an entire wing, and the only person who keeps track is Princess Celia. When her parents go missing, will she be able to use her knowledge of the castle’s every twist and turn to find them? Grades 3-6.



Charlie Bone (7 book series). When Charlie starts hearing voices, he thinks he’s going crazy, but he isn’t: he can hear the voices of people in photographs. His unusual power lands him in an elite school for the magically gifted. Grades 3-7.



Inkeart (3 book series). Meggie’s father can make books come to life–literally. When he reads aloud from a book called Inkheart the villains appear in his world, while Meggie’s mother gets trapped in theirs. Grades 3-7.



Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (4 book series). On his 13th birthday Alcatraz receives a bag of sand from his long lost parents, and on the next day his grandfather arrives to tell him why the sand is important and how it will help him defeat the evil librarians, who have taken over society. Grades 3-7.



Spirit Animals (8 book series). In the world of Erdas, each 11 year old child must discover if he or she has a spirit animal, a bond between human and beast that brings great power. Four children and their animals must work together to save the world. Grades 3-7.



Pegasus (5 book series). When Emily meets a pegasus who has crashed during a storm, she is thrust into a battle between Roman gods and stone warriors. She ends up on a quest to save Mount Olympus. Grades 4-6.



Magyk (7 book series). Septimus Heap disappears the night he is born, and his father brings home an abandoned baby girl on the very same day. The heaps raise the girl as their own, but who is she really, and whatever happened to Septimus? Grades 4-7.



Kingdom Keepers (7 book series). Thanks to new technology, five teens are transformed into holograms to direct people through Walt Disney World. When it turns out that Disney villains are threatening the park, the teens must figure out how to save The Magic Kingdom. Grades 4-8.



The Chronicles of Narnia (7 book series). Four bored children stumble through an old wardrobe into a magical land in the midst of an eternal winter. Can they save the friends they make their from the witch who rules the land? This classic series hasn’t lost any of it’s appeal. Grades 4-8.



Percy Jackson and the Olympians (5 book series). Percy’s always had trouble at school, but now that his algebra teacher’s turned into a monster and is trying to kill him things are just getting worse. Soon Percy finds out who he really is and sets out on a quest to the Underworld to prevent a war between the gods. Grades 4-8.



The Chronicles of Prydain (The Black Cauldron – 5 book series). This timeless fantasy series begins when Taran, a lowly pig keeper, has a run in with a sinister horned rider. He’s joined by a minstrel, and princess, and furry little Gurgi in a quest to save Prydain. Grades 4-8.



Among the Hidden (7 book series). In a future where only 2 children are allowed, third child Luke spends his life hidden in an attic, until one day he discovers he may not be the only one in his situation. Is he willing to defy the government for a different kind of life? Grades 5-8.



Hatchet (5 book series). Brian is stranded in the Canadian wilderness after the pilot of the small plane he’s on has a heart attack and dies. He deals with questions of survival as he struggles with his feelings about his parents’ recent divorce. Grades 5-8.



Princess Academy (2 book series). Miri never expected to live anywhere but her small village on a mountain, but when the king’s priests decide she may be a candidate to marry the prince, she is sent to princess academy, where she must prove herself and save her friends. Grades 5-8.



Ranger’s Apprentice (12 book series). When 15 year old Will is chosen as an apprentice to the mysterious rangers, he doesn’t realize they protect the entire kingdom. And the biggest battle of all is about to arrive. Grade 5-8.



Anne of Green Gables (7 book series). Precocious orphan Anne ends up with elder brother and sister Marilla and Matthew by mistake, but they decide to keep her anyway. Anne’s heart is in the right place, but her imagination can’t be tamed so she makes mistakes and gets into scrapes almost daily. Charming and funny. Grades 5-8



Stranded (3 book series). Four kids who are thrown together as a family as a result of their parents’ marriage are sent sailing, with the plan that they’ll get to know each other better. But they don’t expect to be stranded together on an island when the boat capsizes. Grades 5-8.



Far World (3 book series). Marcus travels to Farworld, a place where everyone has magic, except Marcus’ new friend Kyja. The two friends must work together to defeat the Dark Circle and save Farworld. Grades 5-8.



A Wrinkle in Time (5 book series). Meg’s father disappears while doing secret work for the government, and a mysterious strange appears with information for Meg. She travels through space and time with the help of her little brother Charles Wallace and new friend Calvin to try to save her father. Grades 5-8.



Peter and the Starcatchers (5 book series). This fast paced pirate adventure tells the story before the story of Peter Pan, filling in all the questions you never knew you had: where did pixie dust come from and how did Peter get to Neverland in the first place? Lots of swashbuckling action, humor, and a great story. Grades 5-8.



The Mysterious Benedict Society (3 book series). Children respond to an ad in the newspaper to take mind-bending tests; the few who pass are sent on a mysterious mission. Expect riddles, villains, and adventures. Grades 5-8.



Holes (2 book series). Cole is unjustly sent to a youth detention center, where the warden makes the boys spend their days digging holes in the desert. The plot thickens when Stanley realizes they aren’t digging just for punishment: the warden is looking for something… Grades 5-8.



Warriors (6 book series). Rusty’s an ordinary housecat looking for adventure. He finds it when he joins the ThunderClan, a group of warrior cats. The ThunderClan is in danger from a rival clan, and Rusty (renamed Firepaw) must do what he can to help his new family. Grades 5-8.



The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (5 book series). The incorrigible children in this book were found roaming the woods on Ashton place (they actually were raised by wolves!), and it’s up to their young governess (Penelope, age 15) to teach them manners, geography, and Latin. But what else is lurking on the edge of the estate? Grades 5-8.



The House with a Clock in it’s Walls (and at least 10 other John Bellairs mysteries). All the Bellairs mysteries are deliciously creepy adventures set in places like haunted castles or mansions with secret passageways, and feature evil wizards, mummies, and more. Spooky and fun! Grades 6-8.



Dragon Slippers (3 book series). When Creel’s aunt decides to sacrifice her to a dragon (in hopes a handsome knight will come and save her), Creel doesn’t know she’ll end up with treasure from the dragon’s hoard, a pair of blue slippers. But the slippers are more than they seem, and it may be up to Creel to save the entire kingdom. Grades 6-8.



Tripods (3 book series). Huge three legged machines control the earth and nearly everyone on it. 13 year old Will Parker never thought he’d be the one to start the revolution, but that’s what he’s about to do. Grades 6-8.


And of course, there’s always Harry Potter, which is an absolute favorite at our house. If, by some miracle, your kids haven’t read this series yet, 4th or 5th grade is the perfect time to start. Remember, if I missed your favorite, please let me know in the comments!

great list of fantastic series for kids ages 8-12. great books to put on the summer reading list!


  1. 1

    Jub says

    I suggest to add :

    The Last Apprentice / The Wardstone Chronicles (serie) : the story of a young boy that is chosen to became apprentice of an old man, whose job is to catch every evil creature around (ghosts, witches…) to protect people. Very well writen, very good illustrations (like stamped).

    Children are found of this serie, but adults to ! I’m a big fan !

  2. 4

    Marika says

    The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull is perfect for this age group. A brother and sister go to visit their grandparents and discover that they are the caretakers of a nature preserve for magical creatures, both good and evil. They discover that someone is trying to loose the evil creatures and take over the world. Can they work together to keep the evil from overtaking the good?

  3. 7

    Marta says

    I teach fifth grade and these series rock, bi put most of my students are struggling readers and wouldn’t be able to read these series by themselves.

    • 8

      Heather BBox says

      The Land of Stories series is great for this age and I believe struggling readers (though the books are large) will love them enough to read themselves if a parent reads the first 3 chapters to them. We read together & take turns with every other page.

  4. 10


    I want to thank you for these posts. My 4th grade son is a voracious reader, and your list has helped me so much to keep up with his reading habits. Thank you!!!

  5. 13

    Kate London says

    I suggest Susan Cooper’s “The Dark is Rising” series. The plots are riveting, and the addition of time travel is appealing to this grade level.

  6. 14

    Allie says

    Thanks for this great list! I would add to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians set the other series by Rick Riordan: The Kane Chronicles, Heroes of Olympus, and Magnus Chase. My 4th grade son has learned so much about mythology (Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse) and just loved all those books. Other favorites are the Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger and The Five Kingdoms series by Fablehaven author Brandon Mull.

    • 16

      Lisa says

      Check out the database at this website. It is the collection of books curated by the AFrican American girl in search of 1,000 books about black girls. You can check the books based on reading level, and more.

      Also my daughters and i have enjoyed books by Jacqueline Woodson, Rita Williams-Garcia, Patricia McKissak, The Pinkneys, Sharon Flake, just to name a few Af-Am authors. I can’t recommend authors of other ethnicities but will be on the lookout for them.

  7. 18

    Nicole Thoreson says

    My third grade loves the Frog Princess series. We read together every night and I enjoy them as much as she does.

  8. 19

    Kris says

    My 10 year old son loves the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. He loved them more than the Percy Jackson and he liked that series.

  9. 20

    Tonya says

    My fifth grader loved the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. There are 3. There are also 2 other series by the same author that wrote Warriors. One is called Seekers, the other is Survivors. My son loved all of them, but Seekers was his favorite.

  10. 22

    Val says

    I taught 4th grade for many years and 2 series that they always loved were The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (the boys especially loved this one). Thanks for all the great suggestions!!

  11. 24

    Geneviève says

    I suggest the Merits of Mischief series by T.R. Burns. My son who does not like reading, could not put these down. He also enjoyed the Spy School serie by Stuart Gibbs and the Candy Shop wars series by Brandon Mull. He read these all in grade 6. Age 11.

  12. 26

    Aoileann Farley says

    Thanks for the great list. Lots there I don’t know, I must check them out. I would include the Alex rider series, the witch baby series(very funny) and how to train your dragon series too.

  13. 27

    Candice Robertson says

    Fablehaven series (5 book series). By Brandon Mull. Author of the Spirit Animal Series you listed. Totally awesome!!!! I read them first and am sharing them with my kids now! They love them! What I love is that at the end of the books there are discussion questions you can ask your kids. We’ve had some really good discussions from those questions provided by the author.

    The Five Kingdom Series (4 books so far one yet to come). Also by Brandon Mull. Super awesome!!! Dare I say even better than Fablehaven??!!! Dunno but your kids will love them.

    I really enjoyed the Beyonders series by Brandon Mull as well. There was one character that freaked me out a little. Ferrin was his name. Totally brilliant and cool concept for a character! But you should find him and read about his particular abilities and judge if you are ok with letting your kid read it.

    You definitely have to add Percy Jackson Heros of Olympus (5 books) by Rick Riordin!!! They are even better than the first series of books. It ties in the Roman personas of the Greek Gods and introduces you to another camp of Roman demigods. Of corse Percy and Annabeth are still major players. Awesome!!!!

    Kane Chronicals (3 books I believe) by Rick RiordinRiordin as well. About the Egyptian Gods told by a brother and sister who are always making snarky remarks while the other is speaking. Totally hilarious banter. The storyline is amazing.

    Basically you can’t go wrong with Brandon Mull or Rick Riordin!!!!

  14. 28

    Sarah M says

    The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley is a hilariously entertaining series! I also enjoyed the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull and the rest of Rick Riordan’s books like several others have suggested.

  15. 29

    Lauren says

    When my mother bought me the Charlie Bone series, she also got Artemis Fowl. I love them both! Artemis is a brilliant, rich criminal mastermind, but he may be in over his head when he kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These fairies are armed and dangerous.

  16. 33

    Kelli says

    Anything by Stuart Gibbs! We loved the Spy School series, Space Case series & the Last Musketeer series!!

  17. 34

    Petrina Murphy says

    These are all wonderful series! One other I think you should add is the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. Next to Harry Potter they are mine and my kids favorites!

  18. 37

    bekah says

    Savvy, Scumble and Switch by Ingrid Law are some of our favorites. It’s about the Beaumont family who have a magical secret. When each member of the family turns 13, they get their “savvy”, their own special supernatural power. The main character in the first book is Mibs Beaumont, is about to turn 13, and with a grandpa who can move mountains, and older brothers who can create storms and spark electricity, she is anxiously awaiting her birthday. The second and third novels are about different members of their extended families. Both my son and daughter enjoyed this series, and we all hope there will be more to come.

  19. 42


    My son loves reading and is starting the 2nd grade. We are already running out of ideas for books to read that are not really scary but are at his reading and interest level. We have read Narnia over the summer so this is a great list of what we can read next!!! YEAH!!!

  20. 43

    Michelle says

    My daughter started reading the Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland in 4th grade and it is her very favorite set of books!

  21. 44

    Lisa Clemons says

    The very best book is Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins! My 3rd grader through high schoolers love them. I did too!

  22. 45

    Lisa Clemons says

    Gregor the Overlander is brilliantly written by Suzanne Collins! Perfect for any age! I enjoyed them as much as my 4th grader and high schooler! Adventure story!

  23. 48

    J Van Weelden says

    If dinosaurs and adventure are what your kids are looking for have them try Edge of Extinction – The Ark Plan by Laura Martin. It has action from the first page. The sequel comes out May 30, 2017.

  24. 49

    Margaret says

    The Redwsll series by Brian Jacques. Thumping good reads. My grandsons have enjoyed the Little House books so far. Especially Farmer Boy.

  25. 50

    Erin says

    Love the list. Here are a few more:
    Floors (trilogy) by Patrick Carman. (Grades 3-6)
    A Tale Dark and Grimm (trilogy) by Adam Gidwitz. (Grades 4 and up)
    100 Cupboards (trilogy) by ???? (Grades 5 and up)

    I can tell by your list that you will really enjoy these!

  26. 51

    Genevieve says

    I would like to see the Alchemyst series added. A very good series about two twin teenagers who must save the world, or destroy it with the help of wizard Nicholas Flamel.

  27. 52

    Wendy says

    The Unwanteds by Lisa Mcmann is a 7 book must read series!
    I also agree with other readers’ suggestions of anything by Brandon Mull or Rick Riordan.
    Wings of Fire by Tui Sutherland.
    Land of Eyon by Patrick Carman.
    Oh, and there’s a new 4th book in the Tuesdays in the Castle series!

  28. 53

    Miranda Watson says

    I just turned thirteen, but when I was twelve I read a book series called Eragon. It is(after Harry Potter) my favorite.

  29. 54

    Jessica Haper says

    The Land Of Stories is an awesome series that I personally guarantee you will LOVE. I absolutely love the series and wish there were more like it. This is a great read so don’t forget to read it. If you think it sounds boring or something I am positive you will love it. My friend said I should read it so I did. Absolutely a great series and if anyone knows a series like it please inform me so I can read it. The best thing about the Land Of Stories is that it is awesome for all ages no matter if you are in 8th grade or in 3rd grade. I think you will love it! Thanks for reading! I know it was long!

  30. 55

    Jack Williams says

    Wings Of Fire is a great series about a movment called the talons of peace that wan tto end a war taking place in the kingdoms


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