Sunday, May 18, 2008

Series Series Series

My students read lots of series. Some of my students' favorites this year have been: the Twilight series, the Uglies, Pretties, and Specials series, the Warriors series, the Deltora series, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, the Cirque Du Freak series, the Percy Jackson series and the Hank Zipzer series. Yeh, my kids are all over the map on both their reading and interest levels.

I don't have any questions about the value of reading series. Of course I know they're rarely spectacular literature, but they hook kids into reading, build their vocabulary and fluency, and I think they're actually quite wonderful for my kids who are still mastering English because they are fairly predictable and you don't have to learn new characters and settings for each book. A Children's Literature professor once had us put our heads down and answer two questions: Did you read series books as a kid? Are you an avid reader today? Usually, adults who answer yes to one question, answer yes to both.

For the series that my students love I often wonder how many books in each series I ought to read. I like to be able to talk to my students about the books they're reading, but I can usually only handle one or two books per series, and once I've read enough to "hook" my kid readers, I don't feel motivated to read the entire series myself. What about you?

Also, what are some of your favorite series, or ones that are big hits with kids you know?