Why be consistent? Having just bashed advice lists, I’m now prepared to plug a list of book series to read aloud with your kids. But reading to my children at bedtime was one of the best investments in time I made as a father, and I recommend it heartily.
Ramona: I read to them.
The Mysterious Benedict Society: never heard of it.
Little House on the Prairie: they read them in school.
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket): read one, wasn’t impressed.
Percy Jackson: never heard of it; them seem to be new.
A Wrinkle in Time: I read it to them.
Infinite Ring: never heard of it
Chronicles of Narnia: read some of these to them, not all.
Harry Potter: I didn’t read these to them; I know Abby read the entire set; not sure how many Beth read.
Lord of the Rings trilogy: this was the culmination of bedtime reading to my kids. I read this to my youngest daughter, about 4 pages a night. We started when the first movie came out, but didn’t finish until it came out on tape and we could put it in the VCR. We finished the second book just in time to see it in the theatre. We finished the third book, and then had to wait for the movie. This was really a massive undertaking for bedtime reading and not a project for the faint of heart.
But there are series I would add
Just top of mind, here are a few series I’d add:
Beatrix Potter books, for one. These are books to read preschoolers / early readers. The stories hold up and the illustrations are wonderful.
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn: Are two books a series? Tom Sawyer is a definite for 2nd grade or higher; Huck Finn maybe middle school.
Maus. These graphic novels of the Holocaust are an introduction to the darkness of some of human history.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
Update: My daughter writes,
how did Calvin and Hobbes not make the reading list? This seems wrong on so many levels!
Indeed, how did I forget that? Highly recommended!