Stories set around children have always had a unique charm. They have a simplicity that contributes to easy reading. The child's point of view is often exhilarating and mitigating. However, the most attractive quality of children's literature remains to be the optimistic vibes and acceptable fancies without the weight of reality. If you are new to the genre, here are some of the best novel series to start with.
'The Baby-Sitters Club' is a series of 36 novels written by Ann M. Martin from 1986 to 1990. The plot revolves around a group of friends living in a fictional suburban town called Stoneybrook in Connecticut. The original main characters of the series are Kristy Thomas (founder and president), Mary Anne Spier (secretary), Claudia Kishi (vice-president), and Stacey McGill (treasurer). The girls decide to run a local babysitting business to raise money and for fun. The novels deal with themes like illness, moving, and divorce. After Martin stopped writing, the series was picked up by several ghostwriters. You can also check out spin-off novels like 'Babysitters Little Sister' (suitable for younger readers around the age of seven), 'The Kids in Ms Colman's Class', and 'California Diaries'.
'Anne of Green Gables' is a series of six novels by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Considered to be a classic, the plot centres on Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan who is mistakenly adopted by elderly siblings Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert. Most of the plot revolves around Anne's adventures related to settling into the life of Nova Scotia. Anne struggles due to her eccentric personality and unfamiliarity with family life. Anne's talkative and imaginative nature also stands out in the sophisticated society. Major themes of the novels are friendship, family, and the need for love.
'A Series of Unfortunate Events' is written by Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket. The series of 13 novels follows siblings Violet (the inventor), Klaus (the bookworm), and Sunny (the biter) Baudelaire who struggles with foster parents after their parents' tragic death in a fire. Unlike other children's novels, the theme of Lemony Snicket's A series of Unfortunate Events stays true to its name. The Baudelaire children are taunted by a villainous relative Count Olaf who wants to steal their inheritance. The novels are known for dark humour and sarcasm.
'The Chronicles of Narnia' is a series of seven fantasy novels. Set in the fictional universe called Narnia, the plot begins with the creation of the world and ends with its eventual destruction in the last book. The main protagonists of the story are four Pevensie siblings - Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter - who are separated from their parents and sent to live in the country with their relatives during World War II. Aslan, a lion, the rightful king, and all-powerful creator of Narnia is one of the most loved literary figures in children's literature. Author C.S Lewis dedicated the series to his godchild Lucy Barfield.
Harry Potter novels are known for being one of the best based on the wizarding world. Author J.K Rowling centred the plot on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the three best friends - Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley, and Lord Voldemort. Harry Potter books are the best-selling book series in history. Some of the themes of Harry Potter novels are coming of age, friendship, orphanhood, adventure, horror, prejudice, corruption, and madness. Author J.K Rowling is known for her rags to riches life story. She has been vocal about being poor before the publication of the first novel. She later wrote spin-offs like 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', 'Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide', 'Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power', 'Politics and Pesky Poltergeists' and 'Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies'.
'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' is a series of five novels based on fantasy and adventure inspired by Greek mythology. The book series is known for being on The New York Times Best Seller list for children's book series for 245 weeks. The plot is centred in Camp Half-Blood. The plot follows Percy Jackson who discovers that he is a demigod, son of Poseidon (God of the sea) after his mortal mother's death. He finds himself in a camp for demigods and Zeus accuses him of stealing his weapon, the lightning bolt. To clear his name, Percy sets out to retrieve the bolt from the real thief with Annabeth (daughter of Athena) and Grover (a satyr). Author Rick Riordan wrote the stories for his son who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia and loved Greek Mythology. Once he ran out of stories, he started making up new stories using existing mythical characters. He presented the books to children critique prior to the publication.
'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' and its sequels make up for a series consisting of six books. It is one of the newer children's books as author Ransom Riggs started writing them in 2011. The sixth installment was released in February 2021. The plot centres on Jacob Magellan Portman whose grandfather leaves him clues to a bunch of fantasy worlds. He finds a magical place called Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children where he learns about other residents and their powers. Slowly, he also learns about his own powers which turn out to be extremely rare. Upon the first book's publication, it spent seventy weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list.
If you harbor a love for detective plots, Nancy Drew is your protagonist. There are about 175 Nancy Drew novels based on an iconic teenage sleuth who investigates mysteries. The character 'Nancy Drew' was created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer in 1930. However, the books are ghostwritten by several authors under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The original 'Nancy Drew Mystery Stories' was published from 1930 to 2003. The original series was replaced by more contemporary ones titled 'Nancy Drew: Girl Detective' (2004-2012) and 'The Nancy Drew Diaries' (2013). However, they were not well received by the readers.