Now is the perfect time to dive into a new series or revisit an old favorite. Find a full list of series recommendations for readers of all ages here!
Plus, download a FREE 2020-2021 School Year Calendar, featuring popular middle grade series!
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Picture Book Series
Pout-Pout Fish Adventures by Deborah Diesen; illustrated by Dan Hanna
Mr. Fish has a permanent pout, until with the help of his friends, he learns that the “dreary wearies” aren’t for him. Children will love these picture books, with their charming rhyming verse and appealing lessons.
Our Universe by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by David Litchfield and Stevie Lewis
Stacy McAnulty’s fact and fun-filled Our Universe picture book series invites children to explore our solar system from the points-of-view of the celestial bodies that hang out among the stars. These charming and humorous “autobiographies” are beautifully illustrated by illustrators Steve Lewis and David Litchfield.
Little Elliot by Mike Curato
Mike Curato’s heartwarming, lavishly stylized, illustrated Little Elliot picture books for young readers follow the polka-dotted elephant and his best friend Mouse on a series of adventures in Big City.
If Animals Disappeared by Lily Williams
An engaging series of picture books about wildlife conservation and the ramifications of species extinction. Williams’s simple text and vivid illustrations imagine a world without certain animals, and allow inquiring young minds to learn about our beautiful planet and the delicate balance of various ecosystems.
“A solid addition to the climate-change canon for those interested in saving a fragile world,” says Kirkus Reviews.
Sparkella by Channing Tatum, Kim Barnes
Leading actor, producer and director Channing Tatum’s picture book debut, The One and Only Sparkella is a charming ode to self-esteem and the love between a father and daughter—illustrated by Kim Barnes.
The Truth About Your Favorite Animals by Maxwell Eaton
A fun and fact-filled picture book series featuring colorful cartoon talking animals revealing the secrets of their lives and lifestyles. Young children will learn all about the animal kingdom with these hilarious and entertaining picture books.
★ “The truth is…this series may well inspire a new generation of animal scientists and conservationists,” says The Horn Book in their starred review.
Chapter Books & Middle Grade Series
Stella Diaz by Angela Dominguez
Meet Stella Diaz, a sweet Mexican-American girl who wants to make the world a better place. Sometimes her shyness gets in the way, but with the support of her friends and family, Stella finds the courage to use her voice. This wonderful middle grade series by award-winning author/illustrator Angela Dominguez is based on her own childhood. With black and white illustrations throughout, and simple Spanish vocabulary integrated into the text, these charming books are ideal for young bilingual readers.
“Dominguez introduces a character many readers can relate to, especially bilingual kids or English language learners who struggle with expressing themselves. An excellent, empowering addition to middle grade collections.”—Booklist
Jasmine Toguchi by Debbi Michiko Florence
Debbi Michiko Florence’s charming chapter book series for young readers, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic, stars Jasmine Toguchi—a spunky, eight-year-old Japanese-American heroine unafraid to try new things while learning life lessons about family, friendship, and sisterhood along the way.
“The Toguchi family’s warmth and affection for one another will leave readers eager to spend more time with them.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Fix-It Friends by Nicole C. Kear, illustrated by Tracy Dockray
Precocious Veronica Conti assembles the Fix-It Friends, a crew of problem-solving kids, in this charming chapter book series.
“Hooray for these young friends who work together; this diverse crew will have readers looking forward to more.”—Kirkus Reviews
Monster and Boy by Hannah Barnaby; illustrations by Anoosha Syed
When Monster (who lives under the bed) meets Boy (who sleeps in the bed), Boy starts to scream—and Monster promptly swallows him. It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship! With the super sweet bond between Monster and Boy at its heart, this illustrated chapter book has just the right balance of friendship, adventure, and monster fun. Told with a warm, cozy voice, these books are perfect for sharing with kids just aging out of picture books, and for newly independent readers.
★ “No need to be afraid of monsters after reading this sweet and unusual friendship story.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
A Is for Elizabeth by Rachel Vail; illustrated by Paige Keiser
Spun off from her beloved Justin Case middle grade chapter books, Rachel Vail’s A Is for Elizabeth series—featuring illustrations by award-winning children’s book artist Paige Kaiser—follows a young second grader as she navigates schoolwork, friendships, and the growing pains that occur along the way.
“The prolific Vail turns her attention to early chapter books in this introduction to second grader Elizabeth… The clever dialogue is matched by the delightful pencil illustrations that capture Elizabeth’s shifting emotions.” —Booklist
The Treehouse Books by Andy Griffith, illustrated by Terry Denton
Join New York Times-bestselling author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry
Denton on a series of wild storytelling adventures! Andy and Terry live in a tree. And when we say “tree,” we mean “treehouse,” and when we say “treehouse,” we don’t mean just any old treehouse, we mean the most amazing treehouse in the world! It’s filled with things like shark-infested see-through swimming pools, secret underground labs, and marshmallow machines that follow you around and automatically shoot marshmallows into your mouth whenever you’re hungry. The treehouse is also where they make books together. Andy writes the words and Terry draws the pictures…or they would if it weren’t for all the invading pirates, giant gorillas, out-of-control inventions, and evil vegetable attacks that keep distracting them!
“The Treehouse books are a perfect balance of minimal text, maximum black-and-white drawings packed with jokes,and unbelievable amounts of nonstop action, gags and exuberant, anarchic storytelling. These books seem ideally designed to make a new reader feel—and be—successful.”—The New York Times
Jigsaw Jones by James Preller
Solving mysteries is elementary for grade-school sleuth Theodore “Jigsaw” Jones and his best friend/fellow detective Mila Yeh as they investigate missing bicycles, smelly sneakers, and even ghosts and mummies in James Preller’s wonderful Jigsaw Jones Mysteries for young readers.
“With short sentences, bits of humor, and engaging illustrations… Plenty of appeal for young independent readers.”—Booklist
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
Bad Kitty is bad. Very bad. But she doesn’t always mean to be. Whether she is trying to be a good little kitty and eat her vegetables or be a quiet little kitty and behave at a birthday party, it seems that trouble finds a way to her. Children will fall in love with Bad Kitty–and be roaring with laughter at all of her antics. Bad Kitty is a delightful picture book and an alphabetical romp through berserk cat behavior, and the follow up books are the perfect introduction to chapter books for young readers.
“A must-have for early chapter book readers.”—School Library Journal
My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet by Mo O’Hara; illustrated by Marek Jagucki
My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet is Mo O’Hara’s and Marek Jagucki’s epic and hilarious illustrated series—spun-off from the New York Times bestselling My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish books—featuring an aspiring evil scientist full of diabolical plans, and paranormal pets even more devious…
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara; illustrated by Marek Jagucki
Get ready for dangerously hypnotic, laugh-out-loud funny stories in this New York Times bestselling series written by Mo O’Hara and illustrated by Marek Jagucki.
When Tom’s Evil Scientist big brother dunks his goldfish, Frankie, into radioactive gunk, there’s only one thing Tom can do – zap the fish with a battery and bring him back to life! But there’s something weird about the new Frankie. He’s now a Big Fat Zombie Goldfish with hypnotic powers, who has appointed himself Tom’s bodyguard, and together, with a little help from their friends, they thwart Mark’s Evil Scientist plans.
Babysitting Nightmares by Kat Shepherd
As if watching over someone else’s child wasn’t frightening enough, Kat Shepherd’s action-packed middle grade Babysitting Nightmares series features babysitters protecting their charges from supernatural forces of darkness.
“Fans of Goosebumps and the updated Baby-Sitters’ Club graphic novels will find lots to like in this delightfully monstrous mash-up.”—School Library Journal
Cilla Lee-Jenkins by Susan Tan, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Meet the character who #1 New York Times-bestselling author Rachel Reneé Russell calls “50% Chinese, 50% Caucasian and I think 100% wonderful!” Chinese American Cilla Lee-Jenkins is an aspiring writer with lots of stories to share. In the Cilla Lee-Jenkins series, author Susan Tan seamlessly weaves experiences growing up biracial with universal stories about making friends, getting along with family, and overcoming fears.
“Meeting Cilla felt like making a new best friend.” —Grace Lin, bestselling author of Newbery Honor book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Epic Athletes by Dan Wetzel
New York Times bestselling author and celebrated sports journalist Dan Wetzel’s Epic Athletes biographies for young readers presents the inspiring true stories of Olympic Gold Medal tennis legend Serena Williams, Super Bowl football star Tom Brady, World Cup soccer champion Alex Morgan, basketball MVP Stephen Curry, and more. Each book features graphic-style illustrations by Kazimir Lee Iskander, Sloane Leong, Cory Thomas, and Zeke Pen͂a, among others.
★ “Wetzel knows how to organize the facts and tell a good story…an unusually informative and enjoyable sports biography for young readers.”—Booklist starred review on Epic Athletes: Stephen Curry
Arlo Finch by John August
A magical fantasy series for middle grade readers, the Arlo Finch books tells the story of a boy who moves with his family to Pine Mountain, Colorado. As if moving to a new town wasn’t hard enough, he soon discovers ancient dark forces lurking right in his own backyard.
“Much like other popular series such as Percy Jackson, [this is] an exciting fantasy novel grounded in reality with a strong emphasis on friendships and great characters. This new series will appeal to fans of mystery and adventure as well as reluctant readers.” —School Library Journal
My Life by Janet Tashjian, cartoons by Jake Tashjian
Janet and Jake Tashjian’s award-winning My Life series follows the coming-of-age misadventures of middle-grader Derek Fallon in school and through his attempts to follow his bliss as a cartoonist, videogamer, stuntboy, ninja, and more. Hilarious and uplifting, young readers will find themselves relating to Derek’s problems and inspired by his solutions.
★ “Give this to kids who think they don’t like reading. It might change their minds.”—Booklist, starred review
“A kinder, gentler Wimpy Kid with all the fun and more plot.”—Kirkus Reviews
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson; illustrations by Chloe Bristol
From author Ben Guterson and illustrator Chloe Bristol, the middle-grade urban fantasy Winterhouse series is the story of a young orphan finding a home in a hotel full of secrets.
Sent to live at the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, Elizabeth Somers discovers a magical book of puzzles in the library that reveal a mystery about Norbridge Falls, the hotel’s owner—as well as her own connection to her new home.
“Guterson provides readers a treat: mean caregivers à la the Dursleys; a vast, luxurious hotel where oddities abound; a new word-puzzle-loving friend; a shrouded history for Winterhouse; and sinister circumstances. . . Clever and captivating.”—Kirkus Reviews
The Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
In Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s New York Times bestselling Book Scavenger series for young readers, Emily and James explore San Francisco, solving puzzles and finding clues to uncover the whereabouts of hidden books. But there are those who play the Book Scavenger game for higher stakes, drawing the young heroes into dangerous mysteries they must use all their wits to solve.
★ “Full of heart and replete with challenging ciphers for readers to decode, Bertman’s debut is literary cousin to classic puzzlers like The Westing Game, and a story that values books and reading above other pursuits. Sure to be popular with voracious readers, it’s also a valentine to anybody who knows that a 13-digit clue that begins with 978- is not a phone number.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Young Adult Series
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
A fantasy saga from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo, the Shadow and Bone Trilogy is the story of Alina Starkov, a soldier in the kingdom of Ravka who discovers she possesses magical abilities. Training with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite, Alina falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes she is the only one with the power to defeat the forces threatening the kingdom—forces that will test old alliances and challenge the very limits of magic, one that will forge a leader from a frightened girl.
“Set in a fascinating, unique world rich with detail, Shadow and Bone was unlike anything I’ve ever read. Alina is a clever, sympathetic character I will gladly follow.”—Veronica Roth, New York Times bestselling author of Divergent
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling The Grisha Trilogy, Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows introduces readers to a whole new cast of fantastic characters, cities, and cultures. Bardugo’s magical worldbuilding powers are in full force in this widely-praised, action-packed young adult fantasy series.
★ “This has all the right elements to keep readers enthralled: a cunning leader with a plan for every occasion, nigh-impossible odds, an entertainingly combative team of skilled misfits, a twisty plot, and a nerve-wracking cliffhanger.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
King of Scars Duology by Leigh Bardugo
#1 New York Times bestselling “master of fantasy”* Leigh Bardugo returns to the Grishaverse with the King of Scars Duology.
As a diminished Grisha Army confronts new enemies, young King Nikolai Lantsov confronts the dark magic within him that threatens to consume his very soul. To vanquish his inner demons, he must undertake a journey across the realm to where the deepest magic survives—risking everything to save his country and himself.
★ “Deadly clever political intrigue, heart-stopping adventure, memorable characters, and several understated, hinted-at romances (how will we wait?!) come together in one glorious, Slavic-folklore infused package. Bardugo’s star continues to rise.” —Booklist, starred review
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles is a New York Times–bestselling series of five young adult novels that reimagine classic fairytales in a futuristic world where humans, androids, and cyborgs coexist. Beginning with Cinder, a teenage cyborg named Cinder deals with her wicked step-mother, finds love, and discovers secrets about herself. As the series continues, Cinder forges an alliance with Scarlet, a spaceship pilot; Cress, an imprisoned computer hacker; and Winter, a Lunar princess. Along with a diverse crew that includes a soldier, a criminal, and a royal guard, they must work together to rise up against the evil Queen Levana to possibly save the country and even the world.
“In an interesting mash-up of fairy tales and science fiction, the book is a cross between Cinderella, The Terminator, and Star Wars.” —Entertainment Weekly, for Cinder
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
In Marissa Meyer’s New York Times bestselling young adult series, superheroes and supervillains battle for supremacy of Gatlon City in a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.
Possessed with extraordinary abilities, the Renegades are champions of justice, protecting the citizens against the Anarchists determined to destroy them.
But Nova walks the line of both hero and villain—torn between a desire for revenge against the Renegades and a deepening love for one of its members…
“Delivers a balance between intricate world-building and fast-paced action sequences… Back-stabbing, plot twists, and hidden agendas will have readers turning pages in an attempt to discover the truth.” —School Library Journal
The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson
Mary E. Pearson’s young adult series, The Remnant Chronicles, focuses on Lia, a princess who’s determined to change her preordained fate. Born into a highly traditional society, Lia decides to run away from home and an arranged marriage in The Kiss of Deception.While on the run, she encounters the prince she was promised to and an assassin who’s been sent to kill her. The three become bonded as they explore new kingdoms and meet new friends and enemies all while Lia wrestles with love, her loyalties to her home country, and tries to forge her own destiny.
“Packs a wallop…solid and absorbing high fantasy, with a sudden breathless hook to the next installment.” —Kirkus Reviews on the New York Times bestselling The Heart of Betrayal
The Nightmare-Verse by L.L. McKinney
In L.L. McKinney’s fantasy series reimagining Alice in Wonderland, an Atlanta teenager fights monstrous creatures in a dark version of Wonderland by night–and balances high school, friends, and family in the mortal world by day. And living such a complicated double life could cause Alice to lose her head…literally.
“With memorable characters and page-turning thrills, the Nightmare-Verse is the fantasy series I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Alice is Black Girl Magic personified.” —Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Hate U Give
Traitor’s Trilogy by Erin Beaty
Erin Beaty’s young adult fantasy Traitor’s Trilogy follows Sage Fowler, a hot-tempered apprentice royal matchmaker in a kingdom rife with political intrigue. Recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate enemy ranks and act as a spy, Sage enters a treacherous world of deception, unable to determine friend from foe, and who she can trust in a realm of shifting alliances and agendas.
★ “An action-packed, expertly plotted story, drenched in double crosses and intrigue, with an irresistible heroine and a sweet and sexy romance.” —Publishers Weekly starred review for The Traitor’s Kiss)
Legacy of Orisha Series by Tomi Adeyemi
Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired young adult fantasy debut. Children of Blood and Bone, debuted at #1 on The New York Times Bestseller list and is being developed into a movie by Disney’s Fox & Lucasfilm. Children of Virtue and Vengeance also debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.
“You will be changed. You will be ready to rise up and reclaim your own magic!”—New York Times-bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton
Graphic Novel Series
InvestiGators by John Patrick Green
Meet Mango and Brash, the super spy alligator duo in John Patrick Green’s goofy graphic novel series InvestiGators. These gumshoe gators travel through the sewers and fight the forces of evil with their Very Exciting Spy Technology and never-failing method of toilet-based traveling. Can the two follow the clues, crack the cases, and catch the criminals in the jaws of justice? Find out in this fun, laugh-out-loud gator sleuth series for kids.
Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
From graphic novel superstar Gene Luen Yang comes Secret Coders, a wildly entertaining new series that combines logic puzzles and basic coding instruction with a page-turning mystery plot! Follow Hopper and her friend Eni as they use their wits and their growing prowess with coding to solve the many mysteries of Stately Academy.
“Well-rounded, informative, and gamelike, this will appeal to plenty of graphic-novel fans.”—Booklist
Science Comics by Various Authors & Illustrators
Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic–dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!
“This series seems determined to offer a useful introduction to anything a curious grade-school student might wonder about. The insight behind these books is a powerful one. So much information about the world around us is actually better conveyed visually, through charts, illustrations, and sequential panels, than purely using words.”—The New York Times
History Comics by Various Authors and Illustrators
The past comes alive in this nonfiction graphic novel series from First Second! With History Comics, you can travel back in time to the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, the deserts of the American southwest, the riot at the Stonewall Inn, and beyond!
Like its sister series Science Comics, History Comics are lively and engaging graphic novels with manageable page counts that make history accessible to readers 9 to 12 years old and beyond, from curious history lovers to those who think (for now) that history is boring. And the focus isn’t only on the facts—History Comics also examine how we know what we know, and the ways that our ideas about these topics have changed over time, providing perfect conversation starters for classrooms and for readers ready to think beyond the timelines and info boxes.
History Comics brings top-notch writing, world-class illustration, and a discerning editorial eye to both famous and less well-known historical events. Make History Comics your time machine, and get ready to experience the past like never before!
Maker Comics by Various Authors and Illustrators
The ultimate DIY guides, each Maker Comics graphic novel includes inspiring illustrated step-by-step instructions from such writer/artists as Chris Schweizer, Falynn Koch, and Sarah Myer to help you accomplish such feats as Fix a Car, Bake Like a Pro, and Create a Costume, building your skill set and your confidence.
Olympians by George O’Connor
George O’Connor is a Greek mythology buff and a classic superhero comics fan, and in this series of graphic novels, he’s out to remind us how much our pantheon of superheroes (Superman, Batman, the X-Men, etc) owes to mankind’s original superheroes: the Greek pantheon. In Olympians, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama fantasy adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.
★ “Vibrant, energetic illustrations portray athletic gods and goddesses, grotesque beasts, and frenzied battles, veering between cartoonish humor and intense drama. O’Connor’s copious research is evident and his love of all things Greek is contagious.”—School Library Journal, starred review
World Citizen Comics by Various Authors and Illustrators
World Citizen Comics is a bold line of nonfiction graphic novels designed to educate, entertain, and empower the citizens of tomorrow.
These civics-focused graphic novels equip readers to be active citizens and informed voters, shedding light on complex topics with vibrant illustrated narratives and colorful infographics. Adult and young adult readers who want be more informed about and engaged in political discourse will find entry points to topics that can seem daunting, like dark money, constitutional law, media literacy, the legislative system, and more.