I complained awhile back that there were far too many girl series on the early chapter book shelves and not enough boy series. Then, I found some of the boy series. But fair’s fair and I thought I’d size up a few of the girl series as well. Let me just add that my boys have listened to and enjoyed all of these themselves, just like the boy books.
First, while I’ve sung their praises before, there’s the Ivy and Bean books. Ivy is a quiet redheaded girl who sees witchcraft, ghosts and magic everywhere. Bean is a loud tomboyish girl who chafes against adult expectations, not to mention anything her older sister says or does. Together, they turn everyday life at home and school into adventures and intrigues. I think these are some of the most well-written books early chapter books out there today.
Next, my boys love Judy Moody. Judy is a girl famous for her moods of all sorts. She also has a number of catchphrases, like “Rare!” and “ROAR!” Like her younger brother Stink (who has his own series), the Judy Moody books show Judy learning about new things, such as her hero, Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman doctor, as a way of teaching them to readers as well. I like the balance between school, family and friends in these books. Judy and her friends are quirky but realistic characters that are easy to love.
Another girl series we’ve liked has been Clementine. Clementine is an extremely ADD kid, whose thoughts race at a million miles a minute. By the time a grown-up gets around to a second, “What were you thinking, Clementine?” she’s already moved on to a million other things. These books are extremely funny and cleverly written. I like how you can get into Clementine’s head and appreciate her while still groaning at her antics along with the grown-ups in her life.
There are so many girl series out there, that this is just a small sampling. Junie B. Jones, the behemouth of girl-centered chapter book series, is one I bypassed (mostly because I think all the ones I described above are much better). One thing I’ll note is that many of the picture books aimed toward girls have main characters who are extremely girly and pink. For example, Pinkalicious, Lilly from Lilly’s Plastic Purse, Fancy Nancy and Angelina Ballerina are all so very girly. However, once kids graduate from picture books to chapter books, it changes. None of the books I mentioned here are pink dress type girls.