The best book series for voracious young readers


The beauty of a hefty box set-style book series is that they offer readers the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of never-ending adventures, with rich character arcs, and the twists and turns of simultaneous and compelling narratives.

As a mum of three voracious readers, I am most at peace when I know I’ve slowed them down with a whopper series of super thick books. Bonus points if they’re so on point that they merit an instant re-read to stave off the void of finishing an intense series. If you know, you know.

Friday Barnes

by R. A. Spratt

Friday Barnes box set
The youngest contender on this list is ‘girl detective’ series Friday Barnes. This was my eldest daughter’s first love affair with a book series. At 15. she has now outgrown the antics of this 11-year-old sleuth, but she risked appearing ‘not cool’ to insist Friday gets top billing (closely followed by Ruby, below), which is really the highest form of praise anyone can receive from a teenager.

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The premise is simple: in book one, Friday solves a bank robbery and uses the reward money to send herself to a plush boarding school. In books two – 11 (and counting), she navigates boarding school life while solving crimes and capers on campus.

Further reading: A guide to Queensland’s leading boarding schools

Ruby Redfort

by Lauren Child

The Ruby Redfort series by Lauren Child box set

Ruby Redfort is an agent of Spectrum 8 (and technically Spectrum 5 in Ruby Redfort, Take Your Last Breath). She lives with her parents Brant and Sabina Redfort in Green-Wood House – and at the age of 13 she’s enlisted to become a top-level code cracker for a secret agency.

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If Charlie and Lola were a regular family fixture throughout the early childhood years in your household, this could be a great series to get into. Dive into a more grown-up Lauren Child adventure for a sweet full circle moment.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians

by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan box set

The Percy Jackson series combines Greek mythology with modern-day adventure as readers follow 12-year-old demigod Percy Jackson as he embarks on epic quests after learning he’s the son of Poseidon.

Percy takes on gods, monsters, and life-changing lessons in these humorous and light-hearted stories. Fun fact: Rick Riordan developed the series for his son, who was studying Greek mythology soon after being diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD.

His Dark Materials Trilogy

by Philip Pullman

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His Dark MaterialsnTrilogy by Philip Pullman box set

The His Dark Materials trilogy begins with The Golden Compass and takes readers on an epic journey across parallel universes. Through powerful storytelling, it explores profound themes of free will and, controversially, God, the Catholic Church and organised religion in general.

In 2017, Pullman released The Book of Dust — a new trilogy within the same world as His Dark Materials that continues to chronicle Lyra Belacqua adventures. In this series, more light is shed on the mysterious substance, Dust, as Lyra battles theocratic organisation the Magisterium.

The Mortal Instruments

by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare box set

The Mortal Instruments series weaves a tale of shadow-hunters, demons, werewolves, vampires, angels and fairies in a hidden world underneath New York City, in six beloved books.

The plot blends supernatural elements and complex relationships with Clary Fray’s compelling family secrets and coming-of-age themes, for the perfect balance of fantasy and teenage angst to keep readers hooked.

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The Divergent trilogy

by Veronica Roth

The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth box set

The Divergent trilogy invites readers into a society divided into factions based on personality traits. Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior, who doesn’t neatly fit into one faction, challenges societal norms as the plot explores themes of identity, choice, and courage.

As an added bonus, the related book Four presents a series of short stories told from the perspective of male love interest Tobias, one of the original trilogy’s main characters.

The Maze Runner series

by James Dashner

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner box set

In the Maze Runner series, readers accompany Thomas and his friends through a mysterious and deadly maze. Dashner backs up a gripping plot with intricate world-building and unexpected twists that keep young readers on the edge of their seats in this iconic example of YA dystopian science fiction.

The series consists of The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, as well as two prequel novels, The Kill Order and The Fever Code, the Crank Palace novella, a companion book The Maze Runner Files and a newer sixth novel, The Maze Cutter, set 73 years after the events of The Death Cure.

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The Lunar Chronicles series

by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer box set

The Lunar Chronicles series reimagines classic fairy tales in a futuristic setting. For example, In Cinder, a half-human, half-machine teenage cyborg deals with a wicked stepmother and instigates a coup against evil Queen Levana, all while figuring out her feelings for a handsome prince.

The books offer YA readers strong heroines, inventive sci-fi twists, and a compelling narrative that cleverly keeps them eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

The Selection series

by Kiera Cass

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer box set

The Selection series blends elements of dystopia and romance as it traces America Singer’s journey from a young woman who starts out participating in a competition to win the heart of a prince.

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The series is a ‘clean read’ that combines intrigue, glamour, and themes of identity and choice across five ‘big books’ and five novellas in an imaginary world that is considered to be anti-utopia.

The Throne of Glass series

by Sarah J. Maas

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer box set

The Throne of Glass series introduces readers to Celaena Sardothien, a deadly teenage assassin in the high-stakes fantasy world of a corrupt kingdom and tyrannical ruler, the King of Adarlan.

Action, romance, and political intrigue collide to deliver eight high-speed, thrilling page-turners.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

also by Sarah J. Maas

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer box set

The ACOTAR series gets an honourable mention as it was also a firm favourite with my eldest voracious reader. Over five books, huntress Feyre Archeron slaughters wolves, captures their prey – and lives in fear of what lingers beyond the forest.

When she’s brought into the faerie lands of Prythian for murdering a faerie, a love story and fierce power struggle ensues – and Feyre learns that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price.

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The Hunger Games Trilogy

by Suzanne Collins

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer box set

The gripping Hunger Games trilogy transports readers to a dystopian future where courage and rebellion take centre stage as 16-year-old heroine Katniss Everdeen evolves from reluctant hero to a symbol of hope.

This YA classic resonated with teens worldwide and was adapted for the screen to become the one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time.

These young adult series transport readers to diverse and enchanting worlds, where they can grapple with complex themes, forge deep connections with characters, and embark on unforgettable adventures. Whether you’re a young reader or a young-at-heart reader, these series offer escapists a literary journey with memories to last a lifetime.

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By Charlie
Charlie Writes is a Sydney based, London born, Caribbean writer, interviewer and poet. A colourful 27 year career has taken Charlie from typing poems on the spot on her 1970’s typerwiter named June, to donning a hard hat as a roving reporter in the construction industry. All while living out her favourite quote that the greatest adventures begin with a simple conversation.