The five series I can't wait to share with my kids:
I have to admit, while I like picture books, my great love are chapter books. I still as an adult tend to read young adult novels (admittedly that's because they don't feel the need to throw in gratuitous sex scenes, among other reasons). So, I have many series or authors I'm eagerly looking forward to sharing. Here they are in order of my remembering them.
1. Encyclopedia Brown- I loved these mysteries, and loved trying to figure out the answer before looking in the back to see what the solution was. Sometimes I was able to figure it out, and sometimes I wasn't. There was a familiarity to the series. Every book had a case with the no good teenager trying to get rich quick off the kids; there was always a case where Encyclopedia helped his Dad, the police chief, solve a case, and there was always a case that his partner, a girl named Sally (as I recall), was able to solve. Yes they're predictable, but when you're a kid that's a good thing.
2. Nancy Drew (or Hardy Boys)- Another fairly predictable series. In the first chapter it will introduce Nancy and her friends, there will be a brief recap of the last book (which always got me trying to remember if I'd read it or not). Then the mystery will be introduced, and of course at some point she gets kidnapped. Now, I never much liked the newer Nancy Drew Case Files, or any of the other follow ons. I always liked the traditional ones, you know where her friend Beth was trying to lose weight, and George was a total tomboy. All that new-fangled stuff. Silly.
3. The Pyrdain Chronicles (Book of Three, Black Cauldron.....)- Aw heck, almost anything by Lloyd Alexander. He writes great stuff. Most of it is written on a 4th grade level. It's all a good adventure. A fair amount of it is fantasy (The Book of Three and such is, great series). And, as a word of warning, don't watch the horrid Disney movie that "adapted" the Black Cauldron. It's horrid, it combines a couple of the novels into one, and does a poor job of it. Oh wait, they did the same thing to Alice in Wonderland. So.......
4. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley- The Black Stallion is the first in the series. There's about 15 of them, I think. His son then came and continued the series starting with "The Young Black Stallion," which was actually fairly decent. I liked them, they had a fair amount of character to them, and hey how else do you learn what a furlong is?
5. Misty of Chincoteague- That's the first book in the series, the next would be Stormy, and then Sea Star. It's written on about a third or fourth grade reading level, and I think from 5th-8th grade I devoured all of the books she wrote several times over. Oh, I should mention these are written by Marguerite Henry. And if you ever get to go to Chincoteague, VA to see Pony Penning, it is quite a magnificent sight, and you should stay to see the ponies swim back over. It's much less crowded and you can get a much better view.
Well, that gives you five series to read with your kids someday. As I wrote this I actually thought of about another five, at least: The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Fablehaven (just recently came out, and I'm in the process of reading), Spiderwick Chronicles (I can't wait to share this with my boys in a year or two because it has twin boys in it, and they have swords). My husband would add in Lord of the Rings, and Ender's Game probably. Okay, honestly I have about 3 bookshelves worth of materials to share with my kids as they get older. Some will have to wait until they're late teens (cough) Dresden Files (cough cough).
Thanks for sharing your picks, Ticia! I was a huge Nancy Drew fan as a girl and I look forward to sharing them with my girls someday. I think I'm going to keep my eyes open for some used copies at our local Goodwill!