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10 best book series for young adults

Can't get your tween or teen excited about reading for pleasure? Welcome to the gateway books: Once your kids get hooked on the right series, they won't be able to stop.

By GreatSchools Staff

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The Baby-Sitters Club

By Ann M. Martin

Our favorites: Kristy's Great Idea, The Truth about Stacey, Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls

Perfect for: Girls 10 and up starting to become obsessed with boys and clothes.

The hook: A close-knit group of middle-school girls from the fictional town of Stoneyville, Connecticut start their own babysitting business. Their trials and tribulations – many ordinary, some more trying (like Stacey's diabetes) – are made easier thanks to their strong friendships. While some of the books in this mammoth series (78 total, written between 1986 and 2000), feel a little dated, for the most part the portrayal of adolescent girls' growing pains ring emotionally true.

Comments from readers

"The Artemis Fowl, Mortal Instruments, Lord of the Rings and Cherub series would all be good reads for boys that like fiction, especially fantasy fiction. The problem is this is a list of recommended series. Many boys prefer non-fiction or very true to life. The majority of those books are not written is series but in sets, where books by the same author have similar themes but the stories don't lead into each other. Gary Paulsen is the gateway author I would recommend boys who would rather have true-to-life action. Most of his books are survival stories similar to Jack London, but from a human perspective. "
"a list of better Young Adult books: Icefall by Matthew Kirby When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson "
"These books almost all have females as the main protagonists. It's the boys that are having trouble in school. How about books specifically for them? "
"Why are 95% of these books for girls and have female protagonists? The boys are the ones who are doing worse in the academic system. Where are the books to inspire them? Shame on you GreatSchools Staff for not addressing their needs. "
"As for boys books, the Eragon series, Inkheart although the main character is a girl, Hunger games, Percy Jackson and Red Pyramid Series. I agree with the comment about Clan of the Cave Bear, Excellent series although it is quite sexually explicit. There are many positive things also, this writer did her research. I read this book at the age of 14 and Ayla quickly became my role model. I will let my 13 year old daughter read it but under close supervision( many conversations to be had) "
"I am surprised Clan of the Cave Bear is recommended for middle school. It is a good series but has explicit sex and rape in it. And it is not suggestive but descriptive. Re-think this recommendation. "
"This list is so heavily biased towards girls and girls' interests I cannot recommend it to my teenage son."