Page Turners for Younglings

By Erin Biba | 05.14.12 3:50 PM

Page Turners

Despite what pop culture (and screaming tweens on Facebook) might have you think, there are tons of great kid-lit series beyond The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Twilight. Start one with the kids tonight to get in on the next megafranchise before it hits the multiplex.

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Target Age: 7-10
Gist: The eight-book series follows two fourth graders, George and Harold, who hypnotize their school principal and turn him into a superhero called Captain Underpants. The Captain then does battle with diabolical villains like Wedgie Woman and Bionic Booger Boy. DreamWorks purchased the rights to this series in 2011.

Warriors by Erin Hunter

Target age: 8-12
Gist: Clans of thoroughly undomesticated cats stalk, scratch, and bite to defend their territory and hunt for prey. The books (and there are lots) have an elaborately constructed universe including a clan of strays, a clan of spirit cats, a lengthy origin story, and inevitable attempts to avoid contact with humans.

Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

Target age: 14+
Gist: Set in a postapocalyptic future, these books tell the stories of children trying to elude rulers who would turn them into killing machines. Ship Breaker follows Nailer, a teen who scavenges wiring from wrecked oil tankers. Cities chronicles kids caught in a civil war.

The 39 Clues by various authors

Target age: 8-12
Gist: When their grandmother dies, a brother and sister learn that she has given them a choice: Inherit $1 million each or compete against other family members in a great hunt. With just five minutes to decide, the kids choose the hunt (naturally). They end up chasing clues that take them around the world in 11 books.