Tweens, preteens, whatever you want to call them, they are in your home and sometimes you just do not know what to do with them! They are at that stage where they still enjoy playing and having fun but are becoming a bit more independent and curious about who they are and what mark they want to make in this world. Providing preteens with plenty of opportunities to read, both fiction and non-fiction, will help them to explore and expand their mind the old-fashioned way. Yes, I just called books old-fashioned simply because through the eyes of your typical pre-teen, that is what they are. Especially in the digital age they are being raised in when they can simply, “ask Alexa,” or search Google to find out why a spider is not an insect or to see what the capital of Kenya is in mere seconds instead of learning these facts from a book.

Fortunately, my boys revert to reading when they are bored and have dived into many books that I remember reading when I was their age. My kids have recently enjoyed several Ralph and the Motorcycle books, The Whipping Boy, The Chocolate Touch, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks, to name a few! The problem with these books is that they can be read in an afternoon or two and then, they are done.

It frustrates my kids to no end because they want more. They want to keep reading about the same characters and find out what happens to them. So here is where I encourage my children to find a book series that they want to read. I might buy a few of the books online for them to get started and then I’ll have them keep their eyes open at thrift stores, book sales or yard sales. If we can’t find what we are looking for that way then we just head to the local library and check a few out at a time. There are so many series to choose from, at all different reading levels, the following three are ones that my older three children have been enjoying. They are presently in the age seven through eleven age range.

The Boxcar Children
I never realized that this series was a mystery series. Each of the books has a mystery element that the Boxcar Children must solve. Not only do my boys love it but my daughter has taken to this series too. My boys are huge mystery fans. My eleven year old has no trouble with mysterys geared toward older kids such as Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys but his siblings find the vocabulary a bit challenging, so the Boxcar Children is a perfect fit for them. He will pick up a Boxcar Children book and read through it in a few hours because he enjoys the characters and storyline.

Encyclopedia Brown
Another mystery series. This one has more of a humorous tone to it and is a big hit with my boys. They love trying to find out the answer to the mystery in each chapter. The best thing about this series is that each book stands alone so you don’t need to worry about reading them in order.

Imagination Station
We own almost all of these. I mentioned the series to our local librarian and she said she will keep an eye out for them next time she is ordering books, which would be great because I find this series an excellent, Christian alternative to The Magic Tree House. It basically is the same except the children travel back in time using an imagination station instead of a treehouse. Each story is set in a particular historical setting that teaches children facts from history in a fun way. My eleven year old is looking forward to reading the newest book slated to hit the shelves this Spring!