Best Book Series for Tweens

One of the easiest ways to get kids hooked on reading is to get them into a great book series. All it takes is a captivating Book 1, and they're off and running. Fantasy, mystery, science fiction, school stories -- whatever! Some are trilogies, others are multivolume sagas that will keep tween readers hungry to find out what happens after the last cliffhanger. Here's a selection of our all-time favorite kids' book series, with reviews of either the first installment or the whole series. (For even more ideas, check out our lists Best Book Series for Early Readers and 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12.)

 

And for the hottest books of summer 2020, check out our Summer Reading List!

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Amber Brown Series Book Poster Image
Amber grows up in funny, touching early reader series.
By Paula Danziger
(2018)
(2006)
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The Bad Guys Series Book Poster Image
Snappy dialogue and irreverent humor in fun graphic novels.
By Aaron Blabey
(2017)
(2016)
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The Boxcar Children Series Book Poster Image
Engaging classic mystery series great for beginning readers.
By Gertrude Chandler Warner
(2013)
(1942)
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Captain Underpants Series Book Poster Image
Fun, irreverent series delights with action, wedgie jokes.
By Dav Pilkey
(2019)
(1997)
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The Magic School Bus Series Book Poster Image
Smart science-based series mixes facts and fun.
By Joanna Cole
(2012)
(1986)
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Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Series Book Poster Image
Younger Nancy Drew solves cases in beginning mystery series.
By Carolyn Keene
(2016)
(2016)
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Precious Ramotswe Series Book Poster Image
Kind, brave 9-year-old solves fun mysteries in Botswana.
By Alexander McCall Smith
(2016)
(2012)
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Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Series Book Poster Image
A mouse and robot fight evildoers in fun graphic novels.
By Dav Pilkey
(2016)
(2014)
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Ruby Lu Series Book Poster Image
Spirited Ruby faces changing family, friends in fun series.
By Lenore Look
(2016)
(2004)
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The Zack Files Series Book Poster Image
Silly stories of 10-year-old Zack's improbable adventures.
By Dan Greenburg
(2016)
(2016)
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The 13-Story Treehouse: The Treehouse Books, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Madcap mayhem perfect for Big Nate fans.
By Andy Griffiths
(2013)
(2013)
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The Baby-Sitters Club Series Book Poster Image
Fun, updated graphic novel version has deep layers.
By Raina Telgemeier, Gale Galligan, Ann M. Martin
(2018)
(2015)
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Beetle Boy, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Fun, engaging mystery about a boy and his helpful beetles.
By M.G. Leonard
(2019)
(2017)
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Emily Windsnap Series Book Poster Image
Mermaid-human girl finds friends, family in fun adventures.
By Liz Kessler
(2016)
(2012)
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Dragonbreath Series Book Poster Image
Great banter and adventures for a young dragon and friends.
By Ursula Vernon
(2017)
(2012)
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Dragons in a Bag Book Poster Image
Exciting tale of New York kid's journey to magical world.
By Zetta Elliott
(2020)
(2018)
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Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom: Frazzled, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Girl conquers middle school worries in fun graphic novel.
By Booki Vivat
(2016)
(2016)
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Gabby Duran Series Book Poster Image
Fun babysitting adventures are full of heart -- and aliens!
By Elise Allen, Daryle Conners
(2017)
(2016)
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Gabby Garcia's Ultimate Playbook: Gabby Garcia, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Goal-focused Latina scores big hit in series opener.
By Iva-Marie Palmer
(2017)
(2017)
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Book Poster Image
Magical start of the fantastic boy-wizard series.
By J. K. Rowling
(2005)
(1998)
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Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat Series Book Poster Image
Funny mishaps of battle-loving alien cat and kind boy.
By Johnny Marciano, Emily Chenoweth
(2019)
(2019)
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The Last Kids on Earth Series Book Poster Image
Post-apocalyptic romp has humor and heart, kids and zombies.
By Max Brallier
(2019)
(2015)
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Little House Series Book Poster Image
Engrossing frontier tales but they include racist attitudes.
By Laura Ingalls Wilder
(2017)
(1932)
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Spirit Week Showdown: Magnificent Mya Tibbs, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Layered, fun romp focuses on friendship and trust.
By Crystal Allen
(2016)
(2015)
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Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment Book Poster Image
Orphan uses science to save world in fast-paced adventure.
By James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein
(2018)
(2018)
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Phoebe and Her Unicorn Series Book Poster Image
Funny, sarcastic graphic novels have layers of complexity.
By Dana Simpson
(2015)
(2014)
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Project Middle School: Hope: Book 1 Book Poster Image
Relatable tale of girl finding her voice at new school.
By Alyssa Milano, Debbie Rigaud
(2019)
(2019)
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Ralph S. Mouse Series Book Poster Image
Lovely classics have adventure, empathy, a talking mouse.
By Beverly Cleary
(2020)
(1965)
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The School for Good and Evil, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Fractured fairy tale has plenty of twists for fantasy fans.
By Soman Chainani
(2013)
(2013)
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Secret Coders, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Fun, funny graphic novel promotes programming.
By Gene Luen Yang
(2015)
(2015)
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The Stonekeeper: Amulet, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Tragic events kick off action-packed graphic novel fantasy.
By Kazu Kibuishi
(2012)
(2008)
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Who Was? Series Book Poster Image
Exceptional biography series teaches history, culture, too.
By Who HQ, et al.
(2019)
(2014)
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The Wishing Spell: The Land of Stories, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Captivating, imaginative story of kids in fairy-tale world.
By Chris Colfer
(2012)
(2012)
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Anne of Green Gables Book Poster Image
Beloved classic features lovable, imaginative heroine.
By L.M. Montgomery
(2011)
(1908)
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Artemis Fowl, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Witty and exciting series start with irresistible antihero.
By Eoin Colfer
(2014)
(2001)
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The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1 Book Poster Image
A cliff-hanging orphan adventure wrapped in black humor.
By Lemony Snicket
(2004)
(1999)
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Big Nate: In a Class by Himself: Big Nate, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Milder than Wimpy Kid and a sure hit with boys.
By Lincoln Peirce
(2010)
(2010)
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Laugh-out-loud-funny series start tucks lessons in stories.
By Jeff Kinney
(2007)
(2007)
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Fablehaven: Fablehaven Series, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting but flawed fantasy series launch.
By Brandon Mull
(2007)
(2006)
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Gregor the Overlander: Underland Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
One of the best of the post-Potter fantasies.
By Suzanne Collins
(2005)
(2005)
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Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Super-imaginative adventures of girl whisked to elf world.
By Shannon Messenger
(2012)
(2012)
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The Mysterious Benedict Society Book Poster Image
Suspenseful mystery with a Lemony Snicket vibe.
By Trenton Lee Stewart
(2007)
(2007)
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Septimus Heap Series Book Poster Image
Charming series for kids not ready for big, dark fantasies.
By Angie Sage
(2005)
(2005)
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The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Smart series starter for kids who love haunted houses.
By Jacqueline West
(2012)
(2010)
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The Sisters Grimm Series Book Poster Image
Fascinating fractured fairy tales grow darker, tenser.
By Michael Buckley
(2012)
(2005)
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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda: Origami Yoda, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Funny, charming tale of middle school crushes, friendships.
By Tom Angleberger
(2012)
(2010)
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Virals: Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting story of murder-solving heroine with superpowers.
By Kathy Reichs
(2011)
(2010)
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Warriors Series Book Poster Image
Cat clans mirror human issues in exciting fantasy saga.
By Erin Hunter, Cherith Baldry, Kate Cary, Tui T. Sutherland
(2012)
(2003)
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Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting enchanted forest adventure to save baby brother.
By Colin Meloy
(2011)
(2011)
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"Who Could That Be at This Hour?": All the Wrong Questions, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Snicket in fine form as a 12-year-old solving noir mystery.
By Lemony Snicket
(2012)
(2012)
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Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Super-imaginative adventures of girl whisked to elf world.
By Shannon Messenger
(2012)
(2012)
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The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Greek myths meet fast-paced adventure in boy-demigod tale.
By Rick Riordan
(2005)
(2005)
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Ghost: Track, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Poignant, smart look at track star running from his past.
By Jason Reynolds
(2016)
(2016)
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The Lost Hero: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Percy Jackson series spin-off is almost as delightful.
By Rick Riordan
(2010)
(2010)
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The Lost Tribes, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Teens must win video game to save parents in clever sci-fi.
By C. Taylor-Butler
(2020)
(2019)
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The Outcasts: Brotherband Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Fun underdog tale starts high-seas series.
By John Flanagan
(2011)
(2011)
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The Red Pyramid: The Kane Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Percy Jackson author tackles more complex Egyptology.
By Rick Riordan
(2010)
(2010)
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Redwall: Redwall, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting tale promotes peace in the face of war.
By Brian Jacques
(2005)
(1986)
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Return to Exile: The Hunter Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Monster-hunter series too complex for younger fantasy fans.
By E. J. Patten
(2013)
(2011)
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The Unwanteds, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Magical fantasy has peril, battles, positive messages.
By Lisa McMann
(2011)
(2011)
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The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons Book Poster Image
Brave heroine faces danger with help of magic and friends.
By Barbara Mariconda
(2012)
(2012)
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The Screaming Staircase: Lockwood & Co., Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting ghost-hunter series start is very, very scary.
By Jonathan Stroud
(2013)
(2013)
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The Apothecary, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Cold War kids use magic to save world in brilliant novel.
By Maile Meloy
(2011)
(2011)
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Chains: The Seeds of America Trilogy, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Powerful story of slavery in 1776 New York.
By Laurie Halse Anderson
(2008)
(2008)
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Uglies: Uglies Quartet, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Thoughtful sci-fi about the price of beauty.
By Scott Westerfeld
(2006)
(2006)
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Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Cinderella as a futuristic cyborg. Pretty cool.
By Marissa Meyer
(2012)
(2012)
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City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting start to teen fantasy series in urban setting.
By Cassandra Clare
(2008)
(2007)
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The Fellowship of the Ring Book Poster Image
Spectacular fantasy classic is where Frodo's journey begins.
By J.R.R. Tolkien
(2003)
(1954)
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The Girl of Fire and Thorns: Book 1 Book Poster Image
Plus-size princess turns leader in spiritually tinged tale.
By Rae Carson
(2011)
(2011)
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The Glass Sentence: The Mapmakers Trilogy, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Dense, complex map tale a treat for seasoned fantasy fans.
By S. E. Grove
(2014)
(2014)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 1 Book Poster Image
British humor infuses classic, complex space adventure.
By Douglas Adams
(2005)
(2005)
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The Hunger Games, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting, provocative tale of lethal reality show.
By Suzanne Collins
(2008)
(2008)
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Legend, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Stylish dystopian thriller in a not-so-future Los Angeles.
By Marie Lu
(2012)
(2011)
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March: Book One Book Poster Image
Powerful graphic novel captures spirit of desegregation.
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
(2013)
(2013)
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The Novice: Summoner, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Teens train with demons for battle in exciting series start.
By Taran Matharu
(2016)
(2015)
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Perfect Ruin: The Internment Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Oddly sweet dystopian mystery marred by out-of-place action.
By Lauren DeStefano
(2013)
(2013)
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Revenge of the Witch: The Last Apprentice, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Stalwart tween fights dark forces in deliciously scary read.
By Joseph Delaney
(2012)
(2006)
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Wires and Nerve: The Lunar Chronicles Series, Vol. 1 Book Poster Image
Tough female droid fuels fun Lunar Chronicles graphic novel.
By Marissa Meyer
(2017)
(2017)
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The Young Elites, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Taut tale mixes medieval fantasy, mutant powers, great cast.
By Marie Lu
(2014)
(2014)
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