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Many of us can remember favorite series books from childhood–those books we read nonstop, those books that were so important on our journeys to becoming lifelong readers. We know how important series books are for young readers and that is true for both fiction and nonfiction. I remember when I read my first Scientists in the Field series as a teacher. I loved it so much that I read others that were not even on topics I thought I was interested in. During the last several years, having baskets of nonfiction series books was important for classroom library set up.
If we want our students to choose to read nonfiction, we have to invite them in in a variety of ways. Series books invited children into nonfiction reading by giving them a collection that could expand the topics they read and support them as readers as they knew what to expect from the next book in the series. They build different skills as different series require different skills as readers. Nonfiction series books are a great invitation for readers to read more nonfiction, to expand topics they love, to get to know nonfiction authors and to build strategies as nonfiction readers. This week’s text set will highlight some series books I’ve found to be popular with elementary readers in grades K-5. These books are perfect for all ages as there are several entry points depending on the reader.
Suzi Eszterhas is one of my favorite nonfiction authors. She is a wildlife photographer so the photos in every one of her books are incredible and they engage readers immediately. This series–Eye on the Wild–focuses on the first year in a baby animal’s life. Suzi Eszterhas has other books and series (Wildlife Rescue)–all about animals– so this series is a great way to introduce this incredible author.
Two other authors who have several nonfiction series books for young readers are Melissa Stewart and Kate Messner. A Place for Birds and Over and Under are two series that have so much interesting content. I love these because understanding of the bigger science concepts build across the series. So the more children read in the series, the better they understand the bigger, complex concepts of our environment.
The Truth About series is a fun series with lots of entry points. There is a lot of content packed into a fun format and readers enjoy the humor throughout. We are lucky to have so many great series books about animals as so many children are interested in animals. Reading across a series or finding a variety of books about a single animals support young readers and there are plenty of options for laddering their reading (Thanks Dr. Teri Lesesne for teaching us about Reading Ladders!).
The If Animals Disappeared Series is a powerful one in helping children (and adults) understand the interconnectedness of our world. These books are packed with information and also make for great read alouds. The author makes a very complex issue accessible for our youngest children.
Jess Keating is definitely an author that knows how to engage young readers. Her photos, her sense of humor and her expert knowledge of the topics she writes about make every one of her books a must-read. Jess Keating has two nonfiction series books that engage readers of all ages. Big as a Giant Snail and Set Your Alarm, Sloth! are both new this fall so celebrating these book birthdays would be a great way to introduce the series.
This week’s books were linked at Bookelicious and/or Cover to Cover Children’s Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous local children’s bookstore to support, Cover to Cover is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio! If you don’t have an independent children’s bookstore in your town, check out Bookelicious. They are an online independent bookstore for children with an incredible curated collection. (Warning: You will want to create a bookmoji while you are there. This will be the highlight of your weekend I’m sure! Below is one of mine:-)