Why series books?
Students love to read books in a series. I have found it is one of the best ways to encourage a reluctant reader to read. Why do students love series books? There are a number of reasons.
- Series books make students feel comfortable. Each book in a series usually has the same characters and format and follows similar plot lines. Also the students become invested in the characters and want to read more about them.
- Children know what to expect when they pick up the next book in a series. This gives them confidence. They successfully read book one and two so they know they will be able to read book three. They will begin to see themselves as a reader and will want to continue reading. This confidence in themselves is vitally important for students who struggle with reading.
- Students feel less pressure when they are reading a book series. It can be very challenging choosing a book to read from the thousands that are available on the library shelves. Students become overwhelmed and may decide not to choose anything. Or they grab a book that has a cool cover even though it is too hard for them. Too many choices can be a bad thing.
Which series to buy?
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Book publishers know that series books are very popular and very lucrative. Take the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series for example. After the first couple books became so popular it was almost guaranteed that each subsequent book would be a huge success. This is a good thing but it can make it hard as a librarian or teacher to decide which book series to invest in. So I came up with a list of some of my favorites to help make your decision easier.
I came up with two different book lists. The first list is for younger elementary and includes beginning chapter books. The second list is for older elementary students. The criteria I used to come up with my lists was very simple. The books have to be interesting to students and they have to be books students will want to read. I also only chose books that are not part of well-known and popular series. We all know that we need to have the latest Dork Diaries, Magic Tree House or Captain Underpants book. You can read my picks below. Or you can download a printable version here.
Early Elementary Book Series
- The Princess in Black series by Shannon and Dan Hale. This book series is about a superhero princess who wears black.
- The Chicken Squad series by Doreen Cronin. This series is about a group of detective chickens who solve mysteries in the barnyard.
- Owl Diaries series by Rebecca Elliott. A diary series about an owl named Eva who writes all about her adventures.
- Notebook of Doom series by Troy Cummings. Alexander Bopp moves into a new, creepy town.
- Katie Woo series by Fran Manushkin. This series is about a girl named Katie and her friends. The books focus on everyday events children can relate to and includes positive messages throughout.
- Sofia Martinez series by Kim Smith. Follows the adventures of Sofia, her family and friends.
- Eerie Elementary by Jack Chabert and Sam Ricks. Sam Graves learns that his elementary school is no ordinary school.
- The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey. The adventures for four bad guys who want to be heroes.
- Kung Pow Chicken series by Cyndi Marko. Gordon Blue is a second grader who is also a superhero.
- Lotus Lane series by Kyla May. Stories about a group of friends who go to the same school and have their own club.
Upper Elementary Book Series
- Star Wars: Jedi Academy series by Jeffrey Brown. Going to the Jedi Academy is not at all what Roan Novachez expected.
- Ranger in Time series by Kate Messner. Ranger is a search and rescue dog who is also able to time travel.
- Spirit Animals series (various authors). Some of the children in Erdas discover that they have a special spirt animal bond.
- After Happily Ever After series by Tony Bradman. Each book in the series focuses on a fairy tale and what really happened after the story ended.
- Jake Maddox Sports Stories series by Jake Maddox. Jake Maddox is a very prolific author who writes sports stories for reluctant readers in this age range. Many of his books are graphic novels and they are for both boys and girls. He writes for Stone Arch Books.
- My Weird School series by Dan Gutman. There are a few different series that Dan Gutman has written, all of them very similar and include My WeirdER School and My WeirdEST school.
- Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger. Dwight is an awkward kid who makes an Origami Yoda and other Star Wars inspired characters.
- Diary of a Minecraft Zombie series by Zack Zombie. A diary series about the life of a Minecraft Zombie.
- The Babysitters Club Graphic Novel series (various authors). The classic Babysitter Club books in a graphic novel format.
- Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland. A fantasy series about dragons who have been battling each other for centuries.