Tuesday 29 January 2013

12 series for avid 9 year old readers

A few days ago, I was talking to a friend about books for an avid 9 year old reader. It is a fair few years since we had to find a new children's book each evening for Eldest Daughter. Anyway, here are 10 series. Some of these are long and so useful for rapid readers.

  • Heidi series. The first book is by Johanna Spyri and the latter two books by Charles Tritton, who was Johanna Spyri's translator. There are a few differences between the authors-something to look for in reading.

  • Katie books by Susan Coolridge starting with What Katie did.

  • Trailblazers published by Christian Focus are biographies of famous Christians. I haven't read every book in the series, and there are one or two that I might not have chosen for such a series, but generally worth reading.

  • Jungle Doctor, by Paul White, is a series about an Australian missionary doctor in Tanzania back in the 1920s. I find them fascinating to read now, from a medical history point of view, but they are lapped up by children.

  • The Abbey series by Elsie Oxenham is a long series (38 books). Many of the books are out of print although a couple have been republished by Girls gone by. Some of the out of print books are fairly easily obtainable although prices seem to have risen in the last few years.

  • Animal Ark by Lucy Daniels is another long series. Appreciated by young animal lovers although I would hate to have to read one aloud!

  • Secret Seven by Enid Blyton. The most avid readers will probably have read these by age 9 but worth looking at if they haven't. The great benefit of the Enid Blyton mysteries is that children increase their reading speed dramatically on these. We have not had problems with children getting stuck on Blyton and not wanting to go onto anything else.

  • Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingals Wilder. I have one or two reservations about these books-they are written from the view point of a Christianised but not necessarily Christian society. This means that the Lord's Day, in particular, is represented in a negative light. They are worth reading and discussing.

  • The Chalet School books by Elinor Brent-Dyer are numerous and again, many only obtainable second hand. Some are very reasonably priced second hand.

  • The Ivan books by Myra Grant are the fictional adventures of a boy in Soviet Russia. Useful introduction to this period of recent history and very rapid reads!
Eldest Daughter recommends the Australian Billabong series by Mary Grant Bruce. These are still on my "to be read" list and last, are the Malcolm Saville Lone Pine mysteries from my childhood. These seem to be back in print.

Happy reading and please add to these, in the comments!


  1. We have discovered this with Little House and several other books that are set in the early years of American history. Christianity is presented as what you do on Sunday and is very works-based. The books have provided good discussion, though.

    1. Yes, these have lead to some fascinating discussions and in many other ways we have enjoyed reading them.

  2. I found your comment on Blyton really interesting. I have steered my guys away from reading any series of books, unless spaced out with many other books in between, for exactly that reason (getting used to one style and not wanting to read any other). I had to be weaned off Blyton at 13 (!)onto Judy Blume. I have three avid readers and keeping them in books is always challenging!!

    1. My children haven't been keen on rereading Blyton, so having run out of her stories, they went naturally onto other books. I certainly wouldn't spend time looking for out-of-print books by her so they had to read what was easily available. The Malcolm Saville books made an appropriate next step. I think one of the children read when while we were visiting Shropshire where some of the Lone Pine series are set.
      Keeping avid readers in books can be very demanding!

  3. Thanks for sharing this list. Some (many) of these series I have never heard of. I'll have to check in to them. :-)

  4. I'm always looking for books to add to my kids' reading lists!

  5. Thanks for sharing! Always nice to have some new books to look up.