Finding books that are simultaneously wholesome, interesting, and entertaining for a variety of ages and interests can be daunting. Books that you know will interest your older children might be too scary or too difficult to follow for your younger children.
You might have a mix of both boys and girls of varying ages, but you don’t really want to take on different read-alouds for each child. The good news is that there are always books out there that will fit most of your needs. They may not interest all of your children, but the following list of family-friendly book series are ones that are most likely to entertain everyone.
Books series are a good choice for family read-aloud time because if you find that the first book in a series works for your family, then you can simply pick up the next book. This reduces the time spent searching for new books.
The following list of family-friendly book series are ones that are most likely to be enjoyed by both girls and boys between the ages of K to 6.
Family Friendly Book Series
The Latsch Valley Farm series by Anne Pellowski
The Latsch Valley Farm series is a charming set of books about a Polish family that immigrated to America in the mid-1800s.
These books are a multi-generational series; each book focuses on a different generation of the author’s own family. Many adventures and misadventures are in store for each member of the family, making sure that children of all ages will fall in love with these books.
- First Farm in the Valley
- Winding Valley Farm
- Stairstep Farm
- Willow Wind Farm
- Betsy’s Up-and-Down Year
The Mitchells series by Hilda van Stockum
The Mitchells series by Hilda van Stockum follows the story of a family living in Washington D. C. in the 1940s.
The first book begins with Mr. Mitchell leaving home to go fight in the war. While he is gone, the children begin collecting a menagerie, something they know their father wouldn’t approve of, so they work to reduce the animal count before their father returns. In the meantime, they befriend a refugee girl and have many adventures together.
All three books in the series are fun and entertaining and are appropriate for various ages and interests.
The Bantry Bay series by Hilda van Stockum
Hilda van Stockum works her magic once again, whisking her readers far away to another world. This time the destination is Ireland, in the 1930s, where you will be introduced to the instantly loveable O’Sullivan Family.
Life with the young twins, Liam and Francie, ensures that father, mother, Michael, and Bridgid never know a boring moment. This exciting trilogy is one that your family is sure to fall in love with.
The Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright
The Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright has been and continues to be one of my very favorite family-friendly books series. Another World War Two era, family-centered book series, the Melendy Quartet tells the story of the Melendy siblings and their adventures living in New York and later moving out to the countryside. Every time I re-read these books, it feels like I am visiting old friends.
The Vanderbeekers series by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers series by Karina Yan Glaser is a more modern book series. Once again set in New York, the Vanderbeekers are a band of siblings who work together to save their home. There are currently four books in the series, but a fifth is on the way!
- The Vanderbeekers on 141st Street
- The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden
- The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue
- The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found
Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is a classic family-friendly book series to read aloud. Boys will particularly enjoy Farmer Boy. I would recommend reading just the first six books in the series with the whole family if your children are within the K to 6 age range.
- Little House in the Big Woods
- Farmer Boy
- Little House on the Prairie
- On the Banks of Plum Creek
- By the Shores of Silver Lake
- The Long Winter
The Moffats series by Eleanor Estes
The Moffats series by Eleanor Estes is another charming series about a family working together to overcome adversity. This particular series is filled with plenty of funny and entertaining occurrences that kids are sure to enjoy.
The Story Girl series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
If you are looking for books by L. M. Montgomery to read with the whole family, consider The Story Girl series. The Anne series and Emily Starr trilogy, though much beloved, are both for perhaps slightly older audiences and likely less popular with the boys.
The Story Girl series is actually ‘narrated’ by a boy and follows his adventures, as well as, the adventures of his younger brother and several of his cousins. The Story Girl and its sequel The Golden Road were the inspiration for Road to Avonlea (a tv series.)
The Adventures of Nick and Sam by Paul McCusker
The Adventures of Nick and Sam by Paul McCusker are great Catholic books. Children can follow the adventures of the Perry twins, Nick and Sam, as they learn more about their faith.
- Perfect Gifts
- Hidden Treasures
- The Best Advent Ever
- Trouble With Lent
- A World of Wonder
- View from the Top
Winnie-the-Pooh series by A. A. Milne
The Winnie-the-Pooh series by A. A. Milne is certainly geared for a younger audience. However, a few weeks ago I was reading Winnie-the-Pooh to my three-year-old sister and was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it was and how many more of the humorous elements I picked up on, as opposed to when I first read them around the age of seven. Give them a try as a quick and easy family read-aloud and see what everyone thinks. You might just be surprised.
Paddington series by Michael Bond
The Paddington series by Michael Bond is pretty entertaining as well. There are many, many, books recording Paddington Bear’s adventures. The first book in the series is A Bear Called Paddington.
Rose Cottage Adventures by Emily Bearn
The Rose Cottage Adventures series by Emily Bearn are cute stories about a pair of mice called Tumtum and Nutmeg. They live in Rose Cottage, where they help the inhabitants of the house overcome their biggest problems. In later books, they go on adventures and solve mysteries. These books are really sweet and entertaining. Your family is sure to love them.
- Tumtum and Nutmeg: The First Adventure
- The Great Escape
- The Pirate’s Treasure
- A Christmas Adventure
- A Seaside Adventure
- Trouble at Rose Cottage
- A Circus Adventure
The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope
There are two different Bobbsey Twins series. The first is the debut series that was written around the turn of the twentieth century. Those are primarily charming stories about the Bobbsey Twins going here and there and trying out new things. They are reminiscent of E. Nesbit’s books.
The second set of Bobbsey Twins books is the comeback series written around the 1950s. These are all mystery books. The Bobbsey Twins solve a new mystery in every single book. Both series are great. If you are more into family life, then choose the originals, if you prefer mysteries go for the newer ones.
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Boxcar Children are a fun mystery series to read as a family. Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote the first eighteen books in the series. After that, the series writing was taken over by various ghostwriters.
The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West (Andrew E. Svenson)
The Happy Hollisters were written by Andrew E. Svenson under the pen name Jerry West. This is another family-solving-mysteries book series. The author of the Happy Hollisters also co-authored several other mystery novel series including The Hardy Boys and even the Bobbsey Twins.
I hope that these fifteen family-friendly books series help you in your quest to find wholesome books for your family to enjoy.
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