Rescue Princesses

The Rescue Princesses combines the love of animals with the fantasy of being a princess. The series also emphasizes friendship, courage, and diversity–perfect for little girls (and hey, even boys) navigating the social structure of elementary school.

CatStronauts: Mission Moon

If you ever want to see your second grader have a meltdown in Barnes and Noble, then take him to get his free copy of CatStronauts: Mission Moon for completing his reading list, and then find out the store is out of them.

Puppy Place

You know what kids love?

Puppies. They love puppies.

I dare you to say differently.

Puppy Place is a chapter book series for any child, because at one point or another, we all have a dog or know someone with a dog.

The Bad Guys

How can you not fall in love with the big bad wolf when he’s trying to show you what a nice guy he is? And when all his bad guy friends fail to cooperate during his persuasive little speech about being good,  and then they all make a crazy–CRAZY–plan to change their image, how can you not laugh your head off?

I Survived

I was very excited when I first spied these books at Barnes & Noble (I do a lot of bookshelf stalking at that store). What a great way to introduce history to readers through some of the most intense events. My son has consumed a number of these with me, and I imagine he’ll continue to read them on his own as he gains more confidence

Magic Tree House Series

The popularity of this children’s series, which began publication in the 1990s, cannot be denied. The series came out when I’d already graduated into adult novels, so until my daughter picked them up, they were just barely on my radar. Now, I’ve read many of them, and I am thrilled that this series exists for our kids.

The Haunted Library

This little gem is the first in a chapter book series that really got my daughter “hooked on books.” In the same category is Puppy Place and Magic Treehouse, but I like this because it gave her something fun and spooky…a little outside the norm. Some cute illustrations help kids who are finding their way out of picture books and into ones with narratives.