I’m doing this series in response to a number of questions I’ve received from moms and dads of five to eight year olds whose children have become very good readers and want to read chapter books but don’t know what to read. And they, like me, have no desire for their children to be reading middle grade books even though they are capable of doing so because of the issues they deal with like crushes on boys, trouble with teachers and parents, jealousy and cliques, bad attitudes, and the fact that a lot of them deal with good and evil in ways that is beyond where little ones need to be.
So without further ado, please enjoy our top ten list of Christian book series for young kids. (This post contains affiliate links to Amazon to assist you in finding the books we are talking about. If you click on them and buy the book(s) or even go on to buy something else, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)
1. Concord Cunningham, The Scripture Sleuth is a series that is currently at five books. Concord Cunningham, whose friends call him “The Concordance,” is very much like Encyclopedia Brown except that he solves mysteries using his extensive knowledge of the Bible. Each chapter is one mystery and ends with Concord announcing that he has solved the case and what Bible verse led him to that conclusion, but to find out why, the reader must turn to the back of the book for the solution. This gives readers a chance to try and figure it out themselves using the Bible verse along with the other clues given in the chapter. My kids like to look up the verse and see if they can solve the mystery before checking the back. You can buy these books on Amazon or directly from the author’s website. (He’ll even autograph them for you!)
2. Janette Oke’s Animal Friends series – This delightful series has 15 books, beginning with Spunky’s Diary, and are simple stories of friendship and life lessons. Sadly, this series seems to be out of print, but you can still grab them very inexpensively from independent sellers on Amazon. You won’t regret doing so as your kids are likely to read them again and again and you may even end up sharing them with your grandkids someday!
3. The Kerrigan Kids by Gilbert Morris is a series of four books about a family of four kids who travel around the world with their father who is a photographer. They travel first to Africa, then to Great Britain, Australia, and Hong Kong. Three of the children are adopted from various countries so that adds an interesting dynamic to the stories. These were some of our first family read-alouds as we love to travel and explore culture together, and as such, they will always hold a special place in my and my oldest daughter’s heart. These books are also out of print but buying cheap used ones is well worth it.
4. The Ruby Slippers School series by Stacy Towle Morgan is a new series to me even though it was published in the late 90s. My daughters found it in the library and really liked it, so much so that they insisted it needed to be on this list. It is similar to the series above but about slightly younger children in 8-year old Hope and her younger sister Annie. The girls are home-schooled and love to join their father on his work trips to various places around the world where they learn about God, other cultures, and life lessons. There are six books in this series, also out of print, but available very inexpensively from third-party sellers.
5. The Adventures of Lily Lapp by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher are fun, mischief-filled adventures starring a small Amish girl, and I’m thrilled to tell you that they are not only still in print, but they are still being written and are even available for Kindle! In the first book, Lily is 6-years old, but she grows quickly in the ensuing books. The series is up to book 4 where Lily is 11 – we have only read the first two, which we enjoyed very much. We can’t attest to the maturity level of the two most recent ones so you may want to pre-read as the synopses seem to indicate there is some boy trouble.
6. Beverly Lewis’ Cul-de-Sac Kids is described by the author as “an exciting and lighthearted chapter book series for young readers that centers on the often humorous escapades of a group of endearing neighborhood friends. Nicknamed the “Cul-de-Sac Kids,” they learn important lessons about friendship, teamwork, and faith through their adventures and mysteries.” Bignificent absolutely loves these books – they are the books that got her hooked on reading independently when she was six years old and she still reads them every now and again at age eleven. These are also still in print and available in boxed sets or for Kindle!
7. In Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson is an old series that has recently been revitalized and reprinted as well as being digitalized and released for Kindle. Hurray! In them, the reader joins a young girl as she listens to her grandmother’s stories of olden times. The books are full of fabulous stories of mischief, discovery, laughter, and learning more about God.
8. Adventures in Odyssey’s The Imagination Station series are time-travel stories in which children travel back to various periods in history. They are highly educational and highly entertaining, still in print, still being written, and available electronically (here’s a link to book 1).
9. Wanda Brunstetter’s Double Trouble series is about a pair of energetic nine-year-old Amish twins, Mattie and Mark Miller, who can’t seem to agree on anything. Their disagreements cause big trouble for their whole community and they have to learn how to get along. Later books in the series have them learning how to deal with selfishness, boasting, and worrying. This series is up to five books and is still being written.
10. The Three Cousins Detective Club series by Elspeth Campbell Murphy follows the mystery-solving adventures of ten-year old cousins Sarah-Jane, Titus, and Timothy. In the books, they learn about favorite passages from the Bible including Proverbs, the Ten Commandments, and the Fruit of the Spirit while solving exciting, adventure-filled mysteries! This is an old series even though it’s new to us so you’ll have to order from third-party sellers or hunt these down in your library. They are worth it though!
So what do you think? Have you and your children read any of these books? What series would you add to the list? Please leave them in the comments below for us. You can bet we’ll be checking out all of your recommendations as we’re always looking for new books to read!