5 Book Series for Elementary-Age Girls

I haven’t made it a huge secret that when I was a kid, I was a huge book nerd (I still am a book nerd, but I’m also a very tired book nerd, so I don’t read nearly as much as I used to or as I would like to). When the other kids in our neighborhood were out running around on long summer nights, I was holed away in the house somewhere, reading. All. the. time. Often the same books over and over again (which I still like to do…and not all of them are books that show off my literary prowess–I’ve read The Firm an embarrassing number of times.)

My 7-year-old daughter has reached the stage where the she’s outgrown the little story books and she’ll often become totally immersed in the longer chapter books. And, like I did when I was her age, she loves books that are a part of a series because she can revisit the characters again and again. So I’ve put together a list of 5 of her favorite series of chapter books. Some of them are newer and some of them are old classics that are just as magical to her now as they were when I was her age. (Unless specified otherwise, I’m just linking to the first book in the series.)

1. The Boxcar Children.

Boxcar Children

looooooved The Boxcar Children when I was in elementary school (and so did my son when he was in his first few years of elementary). If you’re unfamiliar with these books (especially the first one), they’re about four orphaned children who set up a home in the woods in an old boxcar. I would dream about finding an abandoned boxcar and living in it (although the whole being an orphan thing was kind of my big hangup) and being awesome and resourceful like those kids were. Especially that beef stew they made, or the potatoes by the fire. It’s a wonder they didn’t inspire in me a greater desire for campfire cooking…

2. The Never Girls series. 

The Never Girls

These books are my daughter’s all-time favorites. She’ll read them again and again and talks about them like they’re her real friends: “Can you believe Lainey did that?!” Lainey who? Did what? And then I remember we’re talking about books. It’s about a group of real girls who are magically transported to Neverland, so they’re for a girls a little older than the Tinkerbell scene. They’re cute and sweet and I think the artwork on the covers is little girl magical perfection.

3. The Ramona Series.

Ramona Series

This is another series that I loved as a kid (and actually, my son really loved these books when he was in 1st-2nd grade). We kind of missed the boat with Ramona the Pest–she didn’t have the attention span to listen to it when she was smaller and now that she can read them on her own, she’s more interested in Ramona when she’s a little bit older. But she relates a lot to Ramona’s hilarious antics and kind of feeling like the misfit middle child.

4. The Friends for Keeps series.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.23

I snagged the first book in this series for her on a whim at the school book fair–I felt like she could relate to a lot of it (changing friendships, girl drama, etc.) She ended up really, really loving these books and I like that it handles the ins and outs of girly relationships in a real and responsible way.

5. The Baby-Sitters Club.

Babysitter's Club

You guys…they’re still here! These were my ALL-TIME FAVORITE books from about 3rd-6th grade. I read them againandagainandagain–like to the point where the covers were gone. When I went on my son’s field trip in November, I was so happy to see an entire new generation of 4th grade girls experiencing the BSC (I always wanted to be Stacey, but in reality, I was pretty much Mary Ann.)

So these are a few of her favorites, but between these series, there are plenty of books to keep your kiddos occupied!

P.S. The Winner for the Blendtec Giveaway will be announced first thing in the morning, so stay tuned! 🙂



  1. Perfect! I have a fourth grade girl and LOVING this list. She’s read a couple but some are new so I’ll be checking into those right away! She’s not a huge reader but has quite a bit of reading to do with her homework assignments so we are always looking for book ideas … She just finished reading Wonder and it was her first successful cover to cover chapter book that she actually looked forward to reading daily 🙂 thanks for putting this together and sharing 🙂 Plus … She loves your recipies ( she will try anything if I tell her it’s from Kate and Sara … Yes, we talk about you like we actually know you ) … So I can just tell her these are your favorite books and she’s sure to give them a chance 🙂

  2. Love the suggestions. Thank you! I faithfully check your site every day (except Tuesdays) and Thursdays are my favorite! I had the baby sitters club game. Good times. Thanks for the fun reminder.

  3. I loved to read (still do) when I was younger, but I never got into the series, so I feel like I need to go back and read all these that I missed out on.

    1. So, apparently I read way too much YA, but some of my favorites are the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and anything by Cassandra Clare. As far as actual adult authors, I’ve been a little obsessed with Ken Follet (Pillars of the Earth was amazing). I also have become a follower of Neil Gaiman, though I haven’t read as many of his. If you are looking for something lighter, I love Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Sarah Addison Allen.

  4. Thanks for this list! My daughter is in 3rd grade and is a huge reader. It can be hard to find books that she likes, that aren’t too easy, that aren’t too scary (she’s pretty sensitive) and that don’t overly focus on the boyfriend/girlfriend thing (that kills me).

    She really enjoyed The Doll People series by Ann M. Martin of BSC fame, especially the first book. She’s also loving The Penderwick’s series. There’s a little of the whole 10 year old boys and girls liking each other (which my daughter thinks is ridiculous), but the books read like a delightful old classics. She also just got some Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books out of the library and she’s loving them! My nephew who is her age loved them, too!

  5. I am also a huge book nerd who loves to read my favorites over and over again! Although as a kid I wasn’t usually inside reading…I was on a swing, or sitting on a tree branch! One of my favorite parts of being an elementary school teacher is that I’ve never had to stop reading children’s literature.

    I adored the Boxcar Children, Ramona, and the Babysitter’s Club as a kid. I hadn’t heard of the other two series but I will keep them in mind for my students. As a kid, my all time favorite series was the Little House books. I also loved Anne of Green Gables and the Bobbsey Twins. Right now my students are really into the “Whatever After” series, which are quite entertaining.

    1. I absolutely adored Anne of Green Gables too!!! My copies are falling apart! They are the only books that I can read over and over and over.

      What grade do you teach?

  6. My son loves boxcar children books too! And the first one is definitely the best-he was so intrigued by it for all the same reasons you were.

  7. Oh, The Babysitter’s Club! I also read those againandagainandagain. I used to love reading in the tub and would sometimes disappear and read an entire BSC book in one bath. Ha! Many of my copies of the books suffered water damage. My mom was a nice lady. 🙂

  8. My son loves the boxcar children also. So if you have sons and daughters it would be a great series to purchase because they can go either way.
    My daughter is in first grade and is in LOVE with Never Girls and so is everyone else in her class. Thanks for the other suggestions.

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