I absolutely love this series by Chris Colfer. As a homeschooling mom, keeping my children in books is a constant challenge. I want them to read things that interest them, that will improve their vocabulary, and that will introduce them to characters who become their friends and heroes. This book has all that in it. My three oldest children, 7, 8 and 10, have all read this series, and I read the first one to them aloud. If you have not raised your children in fairy tales (we definitely did), there is also a book of the stories in the traditional version by Chris Colfer so you know the stories that the books are based upon.
The most serious romance element are crushes, and the children experience intense emotions as they deal with the death of their father and grandmother, but those tragedies become part of the greater adventure at hand. They emphasize creativity, the power of story, bravery and the hero's journey in an exciting way.
While these books aren't in the same league as the Chronicles of Narnia and the Odyssey, they are an exciting read that you can hand your kids without any qualms about what they might pick up. And, I will be forever grateful that these books were my son's transition from early readers to true novels.