So we’re reading the first of the Animorph’s series and it’s got me thinking about series books in general for kids. Everyone acts like they’re new things but I grew up reading Danny Dunn, Encyclopedia Brown and maybe some Hardy Boys. My dad said there were plenty of series books when he was a kid as well. But the Animorph and especially Goosebumps really took them up a notch in terms of numbers and publisher interest.
Usually you have a series written by one person like Dav Pilkey or Mary Pope Osborne or Barbara Park. Or you have series written by one “author” like the Hardy Boys by “Franklin Dixon.”
But now we have these publishing juggernauts that multiple authors work on and the publishing houses put them out as books but there are trading cards, web sites, merchandise, etc. all coming out at once. The 39 Clues series was the first one I noticed like this. Then the Infinity Ring series.
Now there’s Scholastic’s Spirit Animals series. They just started coming out last year but there’s already five of them and counting so they’ve clearly been in the works. I bring up this series because of the authors associated with it. If you have a geekling interested in adventure fantasy, then these are going to be right up their alley and since they have quality authors with reputations of their own, finding other books to read when they tap out on this one will be pleasantly easy.
The first one is by Brandon Mull of the Fablehaven and Beyonders. Then there’s Maggie Stiefvater, Garth Nix, and Shannon Hale. I’m sure there will be plenty more. Some of these writers also write for the 9-12 crowd, but a few of them write more YA level on their own.
I don’t know how good the series is, but they’re circulating well in my library so far and I look forward to sending these readers on to the author’s other works.
Oh, and one thing I’ve started doing, to help with the confusion of multiple authors is to start shelving them by title instead. So 39 Clues are before the A’s in fiction under “39.” The Infinity Ring Books are under “FIC INF” and these are all together in “FIC SPI” just to make life a little easier.