Get your kids reading with one of Australia’s Favourite Series

Get your kids reading with one of Australia’s Favourite Series

5 TreehouseWhen we asked Australia to choose their Top 50 Favourite Kids’ books, many selected titles from popular series, and with good reason. When a young reader is hooked on a series, they’re encouraged and motivated to keep reading, to find out what happens next. Here are some of the reasons why series are so great for supporting kids’ reading development, and some of the series Australia recommends as their favourites!

Some children’s fiction series are structured as separate episodes in an ongoing story. In the best of these, kids are drawn into complex imaginative worlds and engage with characters they care about, while the clever plotting reveals just enough story in each episode to leave us satisfied and still keen to discover more.

Others series incorporate standalone, separate-but-linked stories that are set in the same world or feature the same characters. The best of these are based on themes that excite kids, and while the stories can be read alone, there will be small rewards for those who read on through the series, such as little ‘reveals’ about the world or characters’ backgrounds.

 

Here are five positives to reading a series:33 Alice Miranda

1. Familiarity and ease of choice: We’ve probably all felt overwhelmed at some point trying to choose our ‘next read’ from all the books on offer in a bookshop. This is all the tougher for kids, for whom reading itself is still unfamiliar and can carry a huge weight of expectation. Reading ‘the next book’ in a series reduces the angst of choosing and the anxiety of trying something new – it’s reassuring for them to know what to expect in a book and feel confident they’ll like it.

2. Accomplishment and reinforcement: 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. Studies show that reading more books and reading regularly boosts literacy skills and promotes academic achievement and emotional development. That’s partly why school programs and projects like the state Premiers’ Reading Challenges focus on the quantity of books read.

41 Percy Jackson3. Reading momentum: 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 regular, ongoing reading helps kids retain the literacy skills they’ve built.

4. Collectability: A lot of kids like collecting stuff. Just look at the popularity of the Woolworths animal cards (or, if you’re a child of the seventies, think back to all those plastic Smurfs). Kids who collect can find it very motivating to acquire and read the whole set of something.

24 WeirDo5. Gift Giving: This point is all about you and the other adults in your child’s life. Sometimes it just makes life easier when your kids are passionate about something and you can tell the grandparents or friends ‘he’d love any book (or the new book) in the … series’ for his birthday!

There are several wonderful series in our Top 50 Kids List. There are plenty starring characters your child can relate to, like Greg Heffley in Diary of a Wimpy Kid (#22), Tom Gates in The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (#49) Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones in Alice-Miranda to the Rescue or Squishy Taylor in Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters.

For fantasy and adventure fans, there’s the mythical land of The Magic Faraway Tree (#9),  Harry Potter (#11) of course, the powerful young gods in Percy Jackson (#41),  or go back to another time in Ranger’s Apprentice (#43).

Does your child want a good laugh? Try the Australian smash-hit Treehouse series (#5), or the wacky Weirs Do in WeirDo!

For teenagers and young adults, there are two bestselling series on the list: Throne of Glass (#36) and Tomorrow, When the War Began (#39), although both series are definitely only suited to older readers.

What do you think? What are some other series your child loves? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Mike Botham says:

    AS a primary school Teacher/Librarian I regularly read children’s fiction. Series that I have recently enjoyed include:

    1. Star of Deltora / Emily Rodda

    2. Brotherband series / John Flanagan

    Popular series amongst my students include:

    1. Treehouse series /Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton

    2. WeirDo series / Ahn Do

    3. Alice Miranda series / Jacqueline Harvey

    4. Max Remy series / Debra Abela

    5. Famous Five / Enid Blyton