Our exploration of great books continues with an easy category to love: series.

Most of us enjoy following characters as they develop through ongoing adventures, but a reliable series is particularly a gold mine for parents. For awhile we are relieved of the fluster over what everyone will read next, and we can settle into that longer story arc like a second home.

Here are some of my favorites across all age groups; giants and dwarfs standing together, but all equally suitable for the children who need them. With the exception of an irrepressible mouse and a grumpy bear, all of these stories have such complex themes that they are all best read with, or at least discussed with, the guidance of an adult.

The Chronicles of Narnia

This beloved series hardly needs any introduction; read them all as a reflection of our faith, from before the beginning of time until forever.

The Lord of the Rings

I have some trouble thinking of this exquisite trilogy as a series, but as one massive epic it will keep even voracious readers occupied for a little while. Don’t forget The Hobbit!

All Creatures Great and Small

These real-life books are fun to read, but they are not just animal stories. They offer compassionate – but astute – observations on life, death, and how people behave in between.

Little House on the Prairie

The precious tale of a pioneering family certainly bears discussion, but the depiction of a childhood so different from today’s – and yet so similar in the critical elements – remains essential reading.

BabyLit

Start the littlest readers off right with this darling collection of board books. You’re never too young to start appreciating the classics!

The Penderwicks

You’ll fall in love with this family and their warm-hearted shenanigans. Domestic life is, after all, an adventure.

Redwall

Noble rodents defending the castle and countryside from a villain named Cluny the Scourge? All that and more in this richly-written series.

Bear and Mouse

It might look slightly out of place in such a noble company, but this collection of picture books is thoroughly pleasant; a charming take on the efforts of friendship that is a delight to read over and over again.

Harry Potter

A brilliant modern representation of the struggle between good and evil; between destiny and the power to choose how one will act in this world. Complete with scenes of sacrifice and resurrection, this series should not be dismissed.

First Faith Treasury Series

Beautifully-illustrated board books introducing saints, Scripture verses, catechism, and prayer; these are the best gifts you can give to godchildren.

And since I do hope that there are godparents, teachers, grandparents, and others reading here along with parents: please do not miss our final list tomorrow. These last will be for you – thoughtful books for all of us who are keeping faithful homes and sharing the love of God through our relationships.

See you – God willing! – tomorrow.

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