Kids consider reading an investment. It makes sense if you think about it. Reading a book takes time, imagination, and brain space. There are a lot of activities competing for these resources. For kids, it only makes sense that if they take the time to meet and know some likeable characters, they’ll want to spend time with them in the future. Here are some of their top reasons:
A series has recurring main characters. Think Frog and Toad, Henry and Mudge, Ivy + Bean, Percy Jackson, and Trixie Belden. These characters are engaging. Kids enjoy sharing the characters’ ups and downs. They become what Katherine Paterson refers to as Book Friends.
Books in a series come with a promise. If the first book used magic, kids can assume they’ll see more magic. If the first book is a funny mystery, their expectation is that future books in the series will also be funny mysteries. The same goes for a series with mythology, best friends who get into trouble, and books with a lot of excitement and adventure.
Series books share the same style and skill level. If the first book is well-written, engaging, and at the appropriate reading level, it just makes sense that the next book – and the one after that – will be well-written, engaging, and at their reading level.
Series for older kids typically set out to tell a longer tale. The events in each book depend upon the events in the book before. Characters grow and develop as the series progresses. All of these characteristics appeal to kids who read with ease and are becoming more interested in fully realized characters and plot.
Series for younger kids typically have books that are complete, fairly simple stories. They can be read out of order because the attraction of these books is that they provide an opportunity to have some fun with their Book Friends.
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