My primary goal as an educator of my children is to cultivate a love of reading in their souls. If they become strong readers, they'll be on their way towards becoming lifelong learners. It can be challenging to capture their attention when reading is still a chore. When you find a good book series that your student loves, you can work on building those reading muscles quicker because their desire to find out what happens next will carry you beyond those basic fifteen minutes a day.
When I'm looking for books to share with my kids, I have a few basic criteria:
- ease of vocabulary - I don't want to have to explain every other word
- quality of characters - If they're hooked to these books, I want them to be choosing good friends to share their time with!
- promotion of virtue - I want books that celebrate the good, true, and beautiful even in their simplest form. Disrespecting adults, constant complaining, or inappropriate humor does not fall into that category.
The good news is that there are plenty of great books to choose from while avoiding others. Most of these were readily available at my local library, so that is also a benefit. Here are twenty good options for beginner series:
What kid doesn't like an animal story? There are a great mixture of tales built around animals acting like people and animals acting like animals. They're so imaginative and engaging when done right, and these series are sure to hook your budding reader.
1. Houndsley and Catina
2. Bramble and Maggie
3. Hamster Princess
4. Tales from Dimwood Forest
5. The Adventures of Wishbone
Undeniably the most brilliant feature of mysteries is that they are naturally page turners! If you're looking to get your curious student engaged in a good story, give them one they won't want to put down.
6. Nate the Great
7. Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew
8. Cam Jansen Mysteries
9. The Box Car Children
Sometimes you find kids really struggle with reading fiction. It doesn't appeal at all to their interests. Thankfully, there are some excellent options that are centered around education that might woo your young learners.
10. The Magic School Bus Chapter Books
I was reacquainted with this series recently as I listened to my 2nd grade niece read to me. Since she was familiar with the show, reading these books were engaging and entertaining. Interspersed throughout the story were student's science reports and pictures. This kept the reading light and fun while highly educational. Each chapter took around fifteen minutes to read (with a bit of giggling and chatter interspersed). This is a perfect amount for a beginner reader's daily reading practice.
11. Who Was/What Was...Biographies and Histories
12. The Imagination Station
13. My America
14. Amelia Bedelia Chapter Books
15. Wally McDoogle
16. Princess Tales
17. Doll Hospital
18. A Little House Chapter Book
19. Tales From Maple Ridge
20. The Cobble Street Cousins