First up - I'm a 57 yr old mom and grandmother who started buying these books from the day "Here There Be Dragons" first hit the shelves. I have read every book in the series and love them all. But there is a caution I'd offer.....while this series is categorized as "Young Adult" and it could be enjoyed by kids and teens, it is really best enjoyed if the reader is very well read and already knows a good bit of literature, history and mythology. The books are populated by a large number of famous authors, famous characters both real and fictional, and figures from mythology. If the reader doesn't know who they all are then he/she will have a difficult time understanding all that is happening. There are so very many references to the authors works, the acts of the characters, the stories in the myths and that would all be lost on someone who hasn't read a great deal, especially of the well-known classics e.g. "Lord of the Rings" "Peter Pan" "Gilgamesh" "Chronicles of Narnia" to name a few. Of course kids will enjoy it just for the dragons, the dragon ships, the time travel, etc. But what a shame not to know "the stories behind the story" as well.