Many kids love to read book series.
And series can be great for supporting children’s reading development. For example, they provide familiarity and ease of choice. Reading ‘the next book’ in a series reduces the angst of choosing and the anxiety of trying something new. It’s reassuring to know what to expect in a book, especially for less confident readers.
Kids feel a real sense of achievement when they finish one book, and then two, and then three in a series. And each time they finish another, they have more confidence that they can read and are readers.
While it’s not unusual for kids’ enthusiasm for reading to wane at various times, it’s great to be able to keep them reading by offering ‘more’ of what they’ve loved. It’s much trickier to have to rekindle their enthusiasm than to maintain it.
And lots of kids like to collect stuff – kids who collect can find it very motivating to acquire and read the whole set of something.
There are literally dozens of series on the shelves in bookstores and libraries, many of which have stood the test of time. Tashi, WeirDo, the Treehouse books and Wimpy Kid all remain popular for good reason.
If you’re looking for a fresh, new series, though, here are some of our favourites from recent months. By coincidence, they’re all Australian, too! (Click on the titles or cover images below to read more about each book or purchase a copy.)
Squishy Taylor – launching this month (February 2015), this brand new series for early readers sits somewhere around the same reading level as ‘Lulu Bell’, ‘EJ12′ and ‘WeirDo’. It features a little bit of intrigue, some clever problem solving and wonderful family dynamics. We’ve just finished reading Book One and can’t wait to meet the appealing, curious, mischievous and relatable characters again in future books.
Ella Diaries – Ella shares everything with her diary. This series is light-hearted, artistic and very girlie, with pages laid out with decorative illustrations. It suits readers of around 7 and up.
The Bad Guys – these highly illustrated paperback ‘chapter books’ feature the mischievous artwork and quirky characters you’d expect from much-loved picture book creator Aaron Blabey (Pig the Pug). They’re good for reading alone, and lots of fun for parents reading aloud too. Mums we’ve spoken to say ‘now they’re a find’ and ‘so funny, clever and cheeky’.
Danny Best – funny, quirky and very Australian. Our friend Nicole from Story Box Library says ‘it’s hilarious and imaginative. This has been our gift of choice for my 9 year old’s friends this year.’
Coco Banjo – a pacy, humorous series from N.J. Gemmell, set in the world of an Aussie primary-schooler, who is daring and bold and has a bit of the Pippi Longstocking about her. You can read our interview with N.J. Gemmell here.
Trickstars – this is a charming mix of acrobatics (great for gymnastics and ballet fans); horses; magic; and terrific, strong characters who also happen to be identical triplets. It will appeal to readers of around 7 and up.
The Anti-Princess Club – this series follows the lives of 10-year-old best friends who thumb their noses at helpless fairytale princesses and form a club with the motto: ‘we don’t need rescuing’. Mia Freedman says of it ‘Finally! An engaging fiction series for girls that shows them there is more to life than wearing a tiara.’
Tiny Timmy – it’s really motivating for young sports fans to read about the sports they love, and having a big sporting ‘name’ attached to a book can send a great signal about the value of reading. This new soccer series is from Aussie star Tim Cahill.
Which series are your kids enjoying at the moment? We’d love to hear from you in comments, below.
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