Fantasy, Kids, Mystery

Three series I can’t get enough of

It’s been awfully quiet on the RHE front lately, thanks to big moves for both of our families.  But even though life’s chaos has gotten in the way of blogging, I have been doing a lot of fun summer reading.  And I’m betting that after long days spent unpacking, Jenny has likely managed to sneak in some time late at night with a good book.  Someday, maybe we’ll get to hear what has kept her sane these past few months!

In the meantime, here are three series that have been keeping me happily entertained this summer.

Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull.  Yes, believe it or not, despite Jenny’s ravings about these books, I just recently read them for the first time.  I have to admit that while the first book was fun — detailing Kendra and Seth’s adventures when they discover that their grandparents run a secret preserve for magical creatures — it wasn’t so interesting that I was dying to move on to the second.  But my daughter was reading it and was excited to keep going, so I read the second and was glad I did.  As the series progressed, things got a lot more fun.  The characters were more likable, and the plot gained a darker edge with higher stakes and plot twists that kept me speeding along until the conclusion.  Some of the violence in books 3-5 made me think it would be better for older children, so I haven’t decided when to let my 8-year-old read them.  But I know when she gets her hands on them, she will devour them in days!

The Sisters Grimm, by Michael Buckley.  At the same time we started the Fablehaven series, my daughter and I also got started on The Fairy-Tale Detectives, the first of Michael Buckley’s series about two young girls who, after their parents’ mysterious disappearance, go to stay with the grandmother they never knew they had and discover that they are the descendents of the Brothers Grimm.  These Grimms evidently wrote not fiction, but true life histories of fairy-tale characters who now reside in disguise in the small town of Ferryport Landing.  As the newest generation of Grimms, Sabrina and Daphne are caught up in solving mysteries involving these Everafters, including the biggest one involving who kidnapped their parents.  I’m about halfway through the series so far, and while I think Buckley is milking it for all it’s worth and taking his sweet time unraveling the big conflict, I don’t mind because each book has been a delightful little romp.  This series still features a good vs. evil conflict, but without the darker intensity of Fablehaven, which makes it a lot more appropriate for younger children or those that scare easily.  And yet, Buckley’s sense of humor makes it fun for adults too, with funny gems that are clearly intended for an older audience.

Flavia de Luce, by Alan Bradley.  I was so delighted to pass through a bookstore a few months ago and see that Alan Bradley had another new Flavia de Luce book out.  A Red Herring Without Mustard continues the adventures of the infamous crime-solving 11-year-old Flavia de Luce.  You can read more about her in previous posts here and here.  She is quickly becoming one of my very favorite characters, and I am excited to see that Bradley has some more novels in the works — including #4 to be released this November.  For those new to this series, be aware that it might appear to be a children’s book but it really isn’t.  This is definitely one for the more mature crowd.  And this is one mature reader who is becoming addicted!


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5 responses to "Three series I can’t get enough of". Comments are closed for this post.
  • Jennifer Johnson says:

    My daughter and I love the Sisters Grimm books too!! I’ve read the first Flavia book and enjoyed it but never continued on with the others.

    • Caren says:

      Jennifer, I’m glad that you have enjoyed the Sisters Grimm books too!

      And if you liked the first Flavia de Luce book, go ahead and try the second. I actually enjoyed the other Flavia de Luce books more than the first. I was a little afraid of her in the first one, but by the second one I was able to just relax and enjoy her quirky, self. I am torn between laughing at her and wanting to give her a big hug!

  • Jenny says:

    I’m feeling slightly smug for having recommended Fablehaven. My smirk will wear off eventually. Wait until I review Mull’s new book, The Beyonders! Hmm, don’t hold your breath or anything, though, because I’m barely functional.

    A new Flavia book! Ack! I have to get a new driver’s license before I can get a library card and this might just get me to the DMV this week.

  • Rachel says:

    I haven’t ever heard of the Sisters Grimm books, but now I have something fun to get me through the last few months of pregnancy. I read the first Flavia book, and was unsure about going on to the next book, but I will give it a chance, after hearing that you liked it. Thanks for the recommends!

  • Jenny says:

    I just finished the latest Flavia and it was fantastic! I loved the added elements about her mother. Awesome. I love that kid.