Series books to get hooked on during lockdown
Whether you are homeschooling or remote learning, what better time than being stuck at home than to read aloud an addictive series of books as a family. Here are a few suggestions – some we’ve read ourselves and some come highly recommended. But be warned: you won’t want to stop at just one!
The Wingfeather Saga
We read Andrew Peterson’s fantasy series of four books when the children were in their teens, and they are pitched to young adults. I would recommend them for age 10 up. They are one of our favourite series and pass the test of truly being a story for all ages. The first book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness begins the saga with three siblings and their dog trying to escape from the vicious Fangs of Dang in search of the lost jewels of Anniera. A skilful writer, Andrew Peterson has spun a fun and highly imaginative story with lots of word play, puns and clever dialogue. If you’re after a series with literary value, a well-woven story full of adventure, endearing characters, mystery and lots of fun, then this series is sure to be a hit.
Little Britches series
We certainly got hooked on this series. Ralph Moody had an interesting life growing up in the American West. With limited formal education, he was an opportunistic learner and grew to be a successful businessman. This is the story of his life, and to a large degree, his family’s, as they lived and worked to survive after his father died when Ralph was eight.
There is plenty of entertainment and adventure here, but also a good deal of ingenuity and entrepreneurialism. This is the story of a self-made man. We loved every book in the series.
Crown and Covenant Trilogy
Set in the time of the Covenanters and Scottish Reformation, this historical fiction series follows a Scottish family and their generations as they live and fight through the clash between the English crown and Scottish Covenanters during the 17th century. The Covenanters refused to recognize the king as head of the church and thus endured hardship, persecution and war. This is a great story to learn the history of this period. It’s heartfelt and heart-wrenching but also laced with humour. One thing – you absolutely will find yourself reading with a Scottish accent, and all the better! Och!
You can buy them individually, or as the set Crown & Covenant Trilogy.
The Gammage Cup and The Whisper of Glocken
Not technically a series since there are only two books, but definitely worth a mention here. The Gammage Cup really resonated with me being a home educator making politically-incorrect decisions and going against the norm. I think you will identify with some of the characters in this book. Would you dare to paint your front door orange when everyone else’s is green? A story of underdogs saving the day, full of quirky characters and sweetness making it a great children’s book that still communicates thoughtful concepts. Our kids read and reread these ones.
Set in Ireland and beyond during Viking times, the Viking Quest series is the story of Bree and her brother Devin who are taken from their homeland by Viking raiders. After the young Viking prince Mikkel sets Devin free on the Irish coast far from home, the story follows Bree and Devin on their separate journeys. Bree sails to Norway on a Viking ship and Devin attempts the dangerous road back home. They both must trust God through harrowing situations. These stories are a lighter read and seriously addictive. They are a must read when you are studying the era of the Vikings. Our kids loved them.
Our kids were addicted to this series, and those of you who have read it will understand why. There are plenty (too many to list here) of follow on and related titles to keep your kids reading for years.
From the blurb: What can the peace-loving mice of Redwall Abbey do to defend themselves against Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned army of rats? If only they had the sword of Martin the Warrior, they might have a chance. But the legendary weapon has long been forgotten-except, that is, by the bumbling young apprentice Matthias, who becomes the unlikeliest of heroes. Teeming with riddles, humour, unforgettable characters, and high-bounding adventure, the original Redwall, the launching point for a series
Little House series
This is a classic American pioneer series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder beginning with Little House in the Big Woods. Follow Laura and her family’s real-life experiences as they face the challenges of American pioneer life. Wildcats, a sod house, snowed in during winter, corn dolls and lots more.
If you’d like to study any of the books in this series in more depth, Progeny Press has literature guides here.
If you’ve had these on your to-read list, then now is the time to make a start! Follow on in this order:
Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years and The First Four Years. And don’t forget Farmer Boy.
Ashtown Burial series
Another fantasy series for teens, N. D. Wilson has created a fascinating story set in modern times but interwoven with lost civilisations, ancient secrets and buried treasure. The two main characters, brother and sister, become involved with a secret society, fight villains and try to solve a mystery.
Acclaimed as powerful and captivating, you just have to give them a go. One of my sons read these aloud to our family a few years ago, and they have been some of the most enjoyed books our children have ever read. Here’s a review:
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Take advantage of your extra time at home and finally get around to reading these to your kids if you haven’t done so already. More fantasy, adventure and good triumphing over evil than you can poke a stick at.
Enjoy reading these and then watch the movies – in that order!
The Chronicles of Narnia
CS Lewis’ fantasy allegory is full of truth. Take your children on a journey of adventure and faith through the land of Narnia. In their adventures they will meet curious creatures, heroes and danger, and take part in epic battles in the war between good and evil. You know the drill. Get started!
IF you’d like to study any of the narnia books in more depth, you can with a Progeny Press literature guide.
For more ideas of what to read while at home with your kids, check these blog posts: