Series for Readers Age 10 – Young Adult

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Series for Readers Age 10 – YA

There is nothing better than using the school holidays as a chance to become totally immersed in the world of a brilliant book series! I remember reading John Marsden’s iconic ‘Tomorrow When the War Began’ series during one Christmas holidays (in my twenties!) and never wanting the holidays to end. I LIVED in those books. I KNEW Ellie. I WAS Ellie.

If you have readers from 10 years – young adult in your life I highly recommend the following series. Some are for an older audience and I have marked them as such – use your discretion of course – some readers are ready for ‘older’ books, some are not. If you would like books aimed more at readers 10-12, check out my ‘Year Six Book Club’ posts here.

Click on titles of series or cover images to add these books to your home, school or library collection.

I have also been asking my Year Six students this week to write lists of their fav books of 2014 (on old library card catalogue cards!) and some series have come up time and time again including; ‘The Hunger Games’; ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’; ‘Mortal Instruments’; ‘Divergent’; ‘Mosquito Advertising’ and ‘Tomorrow When the War Began’.

Year Six Fav Books of 2014

‘Hidden’ series (10+) by Lian Tanner

Short-listed, Aurealis Awards, Best Children’s Book, 2013. Petrel is an outcast, the lowest of the low on an ancient icebreaker that has been following the same course for three hundred years. In that time, the ship’s crew has forgotten its original purpose and broken into three warring tribes, the Cooks, the Officers and the Engineers. Everyone has a tribe except Petrel, whose parents committed such a terrible crime that they were thrown overboard, and their daughter ostracised.
But Petrel is a survivor…


‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ (9+) by A.L. Tait

I anticipate big things for this series. My inteteview with the author is here. ‘Race to the end of the world’ is the first book in ‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ adventure trilogy. The King is determined to discover what lies beyond the known world, and has promised a handsome prize to the ship’s captain who can bring him a map of the whole globe. To do that, they’ll need mapmakers – and 14-year-old Quinn is shocked to be one of the chosen. While his older brothers long for adventure, Quinn is content with a quiet life on the farm, but when word of his special talent gets out, he has no choice but to pack his bags and join the mismatched crew of slaves and stowaways on board the Libertas. Nobody knows what lies off the edge of the map (dragons? sea monsters?), but Quinn discovers that it’s a lot more than anyone bargained for…


‘The Samurai Kids’ series (9+) by Sandy Fussell

The ‘Samurai Kids’ series has remained eternally popular in whichever library I have worked in. I’ve worked in a co-ed school, a boys school and now a girls school and I know that this series has remained a favourite. I had a teacher at my current school become quite obsessed with these a few years ago – proving once again that good literature totally transcends publisher imposed age ranges. Niya Moto is the only one-legged samurai kid in Japan, famous for falling flat on his face in the dirt. The one school that will accept him is the Cockroach Ryu, led by the legendary sensei Ki-Yaga. He may be an old man overly fond of naps, but Ki-Yaga is also known for taking in kids that the world has judged harshly: an albino girl with extra fingers and toes, a boy who is blind, a big kid whose past makes him loath to fight. A warrior in his time, Ki-Yaga demands excellence in everything from sword fighting to poetry. But can the ragtag Cockroaches make the treacherous journey to the Samurai Trainee Games, never mind take on the all-conquering Dragons? In a fast-moving, action-filled tale that draws on true details of feudal Japan, Niya finds there’s no fear they can’t face as long as they stick together — for their friendship is more powerful than a samurai sword.


‘The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’ (9+) by Michelle Paver

Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world. Only one boy can stop it – 12 year old Torak, who has seen his father murdered by the bear. With his dying breath, Torak’s father tells his son of the burden that is his. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg that spirit’s help to overcome it. Torak is an unwilling hero. He is scared and trusts no one. His only companion is a wolf cub only three moons old, whom he seems to understand better than any human. Theirs is a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life.


‘Ranger’s Apprentice’ series (9+) by John Flannagan

I met John Flannagan when the first book in this series was released – before it took the literary world by storm. A series had not suckered me in for quite some time…and when these started…I couldn’t get enough. I was working at a boys school at the time – and I pretty much had to read each new title overnight as there was such a long waitlist for them! John Flanagan’s bestselling ‘Ranger’s Apprentice’ adventure series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. The series has come a long way since then. Now sold to more than twenty countries, the series regularly appears on the NYT Bestseller List and has been shortlisted in children’s book awards in Australia and overseas. John, a former television and advertising writer lives in Sydney.


The ‘Jamie Reign’ series (9+) by P.J. Tierney

Jamie Reign was born twelve years ago, on the first day of the Chinese Year of the Dragon. This supposedly auspicious start in life hasn’t been much use to him, living a loveless existence with his abusive father, Hector, on a salvage boat. Jamie’s mother Mayling died on the day he was born.

When Jamie inadvertently summons some fiery orbs from the air to tackle some local bullies, he doesn’t understand that he has tapped into The Way, the universal energy source, and in doing so he sets off a chain of events with unforeseen consequences.

jamie-reign (1)

The ‘Mosquito Advertising’ series (9+) by Kate Hunter

Katie Crisp has talent, it’s just that the report card hidden in her room doesn’t show it. School’s out for another year and Katie is set to spend the summer lazing under the sausage tree in the backyard of the only home she’s ever known. So, when she discovers that Parfitt’s Family Soft Drink Company is about to be taken over by a corporate giant, leaving her mum out of a job and them both out of a home, it’s time to finally show everyone what she’s made of.


The ‘Conspiracy 365’ series (10+) by Gabrielle Lord
I love her adult crime titles so I was stoked to see her turn her hand to writing for a younger audience. These books are ACTION packed and brilliant. Gabrielle Lord is one of Australia’s bestselling crime writers for adults. Following the Conspiracy 365 series, she already has plans for another three adult novels and two more young adult books. Research is everything, Gabrielle says. ‘Out of my contacts with experts (who are always far too modest to describe themselves that way) I get not only the fine-tuning necessary for today’s savvy readers, but also wonderful incidents and images that enrich and enlarge my books.’


The ‘Gone’ series (10+) by Phillip Gywnne

Phillip Gwynne has written some of my favourite books for young people and whilst I’ve only read one of these books so far, I’m fairly confident in recommending them! Book One of a high-octane thriller series. Fifteen-year-old Dom is cast out of his comfortable life in the Gold Coast’s Halcyon Grove when he inherits an ancient debt. Now, he has six Herculean tasks to perform…or lose a pound of flesh.


‘Percy Jackson’ series (10+) by Rick Riodan

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God. I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive.
‘It’s Buffy meets Artemis Fowl. Thumbs up.’ Sunday Times


The ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ series (10+) by Derek Landy

In the few years I’ve had these in the library, interest has not waned! Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course). Oh yeah. And dead. Then there’s his sidekick, Stephanie. She’s… well, she’s a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out…


‘The Hunger Games Trilogy’ (11+) by Suzanne Collins

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before – and survival, for her, is second nature. “The Hunger Games” is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.


‘Tomorrow When the War Began’ (11+) by John Marsden

Somewhere out there Ellie and her friends are hiding. They’re shocked, they’re frightened, they’re alone. Their world has changed, with the speed of a slamming door. They’ve got no weapons – except courage. They’ve got no help – except themselves. They’ve got nothing – except friendship. ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ is the first of an enormously popular series that has been translated and published all over the world. It is the book that started the series that became the legend…


‘The Starbound Trilogy’ (12+) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This was the winner of the Best YA title for the Aurealis Awards in 2013 and deservedly so. A young socialite and a war hero crash on an uncharted planet in this timeless and romantic love story of Titanic proportions. ‘Intense, thrilling, and achingly beautiful…’ – Marie Lu


 ‘Twinmaker’ series (12+) by Sean Williams

If you could be anywhere in a moment, where would you go? If you could change your appearance in a minute, what would you choose? If you discovered something was very wrong with this perfect world, what would you do? Action and danger fuel this near-future thriller in a fresh take on technology, identity, and the lengths one girl will go to save her best friend.


‘The Mortal Instruments’ (12+) by Cassandra Claire

Sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is an ordinary teenager, who likes hanging out in Brooklyn with her friends. But everything changes the night she witnesses a murder, committed by a group of teens armed with medieval weaponry. The murderous group are Shadowhunters, secret warriors dedicated to driving demons out of this dimension and back into their own.

Drawn inexorably into a terrifying world, Clary slowly begins to learn the truth about her family – and the battle for the fate of the world.


‘Elementals’ series (13+) by Brigid Kemmerer

Four brothers, four powerful elements, and one girl caught in the middle. When Becca Chandler saves Chris Merrick from being beaten up in the school parking lot, she has no idea how dramatically this one action will change her life. Because Chris Merrick is no ordinary guy and neither are his three older brothers. The Merrick boys are Elementals. Hot. Powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death. And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.


‘The Last Girl’ series (13+) by Michael Adams

The end of the world happened quickly. The sun still shone, there was no explosion – just a tsunami-sized wave of human thought drowning the world in telepathic noise as everyone’s inner-most secrets became audible. Everyone’s thoughts, that is, except sixteen-year-old Danby.


The ‘Pandora Jones’ series (13+) by Barry Jonsberg

Pandora Jones wakes in a changed world at The School – a sanctuary for survivors of a plague pandemic. Haunted by terrible dreams, surrounded by traumatic events, Pandora must trust her instincts if she is to stay safe. And her instincts suggest that The School is hiding secrets. The first book in a brilliant YA series by a multi-award-winning author.


The ‘Divergent’ series (14+) by Veronica Roth

In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior’s world, society is divided into five factions – Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) – each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives.

divergentSeries for Readers 10 to Young Adult

For some other great boy themed reading, checking out the ‘books for boys’ tag, and two of the most read blog posts ever, ‘Top Ten Pirate Books’ and ‘Top Twenty Pirate Costumes’ (and books!).


Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

Check out my mini ebook, 'What to Read Next' or sign up for my FREE webinar, '3 Tips to Start the Best Book Club Ever'.

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  1. Lisa on Dec 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I don’t remember reading any particular series of books as a young adult, I was pretty obsessed with Stephen King & Dean Koontz so I spent most of my time reading all of their books

  2. Margaret Thompson on Dec 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I love the “Mosquito Advertising” Series….My Daughters favourite was “Tomorrow when the War began”. Even now at age 28 they are some of the few books she has taken to her own home. I would donate this series to Bracken Ridge State School Library, even though I only have 1 week till retirement I will always be on the lookout for new books and will be back as a volunteer doing the processing in my retirement.

  3. Megan Thomas on Dec 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    As a “tween”/young teenager, many, MANY moons ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the Virginia Andrews “Flowers in The Attic” series, it was quite risqué and unlike anything I’d ever read before, don’t know that I’d recommend it for my own kids though ?!

    I would absolutely LOVE to win this incredible collection for my eldest son Tom, I’m always looking for great books to keep him engrossed in reading over school holidays. He devours books and I’m at the library every week, it would be lovely for him to have these books to keep as his own and treasure forever.

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity xo

  4. Louise on Dec 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Well before the wheel was invented 🙂 my favourite series was the Chronicles of Narnia. I am so thrilled that these still have a place on the shelves of libraries. And it is on that note that I would donate these books to my school library that suffered some damage in the recent hail storm here in Brisbane.

  5. Megan Thomas on Dec 3, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed the “Flowers In The Attic” series by Virginia Andrews, as a young teen, many, MANY moons ago, it was quite unlike anything I’d previously read, and felt somewhat risqué, not sure I’d recommend it to my children though !

    I’d LOVE to win this fabulous collection for my eldest son Tom, he reads so much I find it difficult to keep up a good supply of quality books. We are at the library every week, and this selection would be perfect for the upcoming school holidays. It’d also be really nice for him to have some beautiful books to keep and own himself, to treasure forever, not having to return them. They might also inspire some creative writing, which I feel goes hand in hand with reading.

    Thank you for this terrific opportunity  xo

  6. Gaby on Dec 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    My favourites series’ as a kid was the Chronicles of Narnia and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. I remember that my name filled the Little House on the Prairie borrowing card! These particular books I would read (love the chance to try something new), then donate what was appropriate to my p.s library and the remainder to the local high school library.

  7. Michael Potter on Dec 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I became hooked on, ‘The Tripods’ by John Christopher. (‘The White Mountains’, ‘The City of Gold and Lead’, ‘The Pool of Fire’ and later, ‘When the Tripods Came’.) The books were easy to read and found them quite engaging. I jumped from reading these volumes to tackling The War of the Worlds. If I won, I’d divide the books up between my niece … and myself. I love well-written Children’s and Young Adult fiction!

  8. Carmel Corry on Dec 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I read The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis over and over again! I adored the adventures they took me on. The words stole me from the seclusion of my bedroom and whisked me off to all manner of dangers, wonders, happiness and sadness.
    My ten year old daughter is a book worm like her mother and would just be in heaven if I won this prize for her.
    She might have trouble keeping me from borrowing from her though! 😉

  9. Sandy Addison on Dec 3, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    My avid reader has just started th Percy Jackson series. Between Qut library and Ipswich library we are slowly hunting them down.
    This is a great list Megan to give ideas on where to prompt her to try something new

  10. Natalie on Dec 3, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    My favourites in my early teens were the ‘Clan of the cave bear’ series (not really kid appropriate – lots of sex scenes!), and anything by Anne McCaffery. So glad to see lots of female writers in the sci fi/distopian genre now. My 10 year old son devours books, and we’ve loved seeing all the recent movies together and comparing them to the novels- Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver & Maze Runner. Only if I win the set of firsts I know I’ll end up having to buy all the rest of the series!

  11. Lyn on Dec 4, 2014 at 3:16 am

    I loved Mary Stewart’s Merlin series – books which still stand the test of time! I was also fascinated by the writing of Robert Cormier -scary, edgy and unusual. Series books are wonderful and we can’t help but want more of a good book. Maybe that is why I’ve just added Alexander McCall Smith’s latest, “Emma” to that very large pile next to my bed…

  12. Christine Christie on Dec 4, 2014 at 3:17 am

    I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House books and the Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables books, but my favourite was definitely the Louisa May Alcott, Little Women series – all about strong women they helped to make me who I am

    • Christine Christie on Dec 5, 2014 at 9:11 am

      The books would be for all three of my children who have their noses in a book at every opportunity, they love to read the same books and then discuss/refer to them

  13. Ally T on Dec 4, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I was a Lord of the Rings girl as a early teen, Harry Potter and the Tomorrow series as an adult!! (And the hunger games and Divergent)…any prize here going to my almost teen Lily who reads so fast that I get them soon enough and then her sister does too!

  14. Linda on Dec 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    This would be gifted to my daughter, I remember collecting the black beauty series the railway children as a child

  15. Amanda on Dec 4, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I remember swapping books from the Sweet Valley High series with my friends at school! My 10 year old son has learnt to share my love of reading. He is currently on his third book this week from the Young Samurai Series by Chris Bradford – from one of your lists!

  16. Sue Warren on Dec 5, 2014 at 9:13 am

    After I’d moved on from Narnia and Enid Blyton – I guess loosely speaking the next ‘series’ was first reading The Hobbit and then going on to read every Tolkien book – all of which I still have, although now onto my 3rd set of Lord of the Rings as the others fell apart from all the re-reading!!!

  17. Barbara Braxton on Dec 5, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for this, Megan. I’m doing a collection evaluation task at a primary school and this is a great list to get some new blood into it for next year. The current collection is staid and stale. Will pass the list onto the TL. Getting the kids to write their favourites is also a very simple way of getting student input into what they like because even if you have the titles, it can lead to getting “books like…” Even simpler than the survey I designed!

  18. Christianne Jeffries on Dec 5, 2014 at 10:28 am

    As a kid I loved the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books. I would give the books to my 12 yr old daughter who is always looking for something new to read. She loves book that are series.

  19. Nicole W on Dec 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Sweet Valley High.. Yes I know, I know.. I was a total romantic looser who hung out in the library instead of with.. eeek People.. But I loved them.
    Thankfully I have boys now – one loves to read – the older not so much.. I am hoping some new titles might inspire him to get reading again.

  20. Louise on Dec 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you for this great list Megan. I’m grabbing some of the titles off my library shelves as I type to read over the holidays. It’s so hard to keep up with all the new books and so a guide like yours is really useful. I can remember discovering Pastures of the Blue Crane and the books by Ivan Southall and loving the “Australian-ness” of them – their vivid descriptions of our long, hot, steamy summers and grey-green smoky bush in contrast to the green of England in the Blyton books. Have a wonderful Christmas and well-earned holiday.

  21. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages on Dec 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Bookmarking this so I know what to buy my nieces and nephews. I just bought Mapmaker Chronicles for a christmas present so it’s nice to know I was on the right track.

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