I was scrolling through Twitter today, catching up on tweets from several education-related conferences this week.
One tweet caught my eye, proclaiming that series books were the perfect way to maximize summer reading. In second grade, series books are a powerful way to get students reading a lot, while improving their comprehension skills. This tweet reminded me of many of my students this year. One worked his way through The Magic Treehouse series all in order (yes, I’m looking at you, B). Another student was so enamored with Junie B. Jones, she read the whole series and then reread her favorites (yes, C, I’m talking about you). Others plowed through all of the Mercy Watson books. Once I brought in the Kingdom of Wrenly series, there was a wait in our classroom library to get these books in their book bins!
While series books are perfect for younger readers, upon reflection, I realized that I often read series books as an adult reader. I read the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series and couldn’t wait for the next installment. I read all of the Hunger Games. While I didn’t make it through the whole series, I know Miss Leonard has read every Harry Potter, probably more than once.
In addition to reading series books as an adult, I often read books by the same authors. In fact, the Goodreads website sends me emails to let me know when a new book is out by one of my favorite authors, because it knows this tendency of mine. This strategy of picking books by the same author began for me in elementary school when I read all of the Nancy Drew books. In sixth grade, my teacher read The Egypt Game aloud, and I proceeded to read every Zilpha Keatley Snyder book I could get my hands on. Now, I am likely to pick up a new Emily Giffin or Lianne Moriarty book, because I know I’ll enjoy it. I anxiously await new books by Kate DiCamillo, Sharon Creech, Jhumpa Lahiri, or Khaled Hosseini.
So, why are series books so great?
- We know the characters. They become our friends.
- We can predict what the characters will do because we know them so well.
- Series books tend to follow a similar plotline. We know how the book “works.”
- We want to know what happens next!
- We always have a new book to read when we’re hooked on a series!
Are you hooked on a series or a favorite author this summer? Why do you like reading these books? Please comment below!
Terrific series books for 2nd and 3rd graders:
- Cam Jansen
- Horrible Harry
- Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot
- Junie B. Jones
- Judy Moody
- Galaxy Zack
- Black Lagoon
- Magic Treehouse
- Ballpark Mysteries
- Calendar Mysteries
- Capitol Mysteries
- A-Z Mysteries
- The Kingdom of Wrenly
- The Lunch Lady
- My Weird School
- Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew
- Ramona Quimby
- Time Warp Trio
- Geronimo Stilton
- The Boxcar Children
- Who Would Win?