There is little that beats the discovery of an amazing series. I remember when I finally read Hunger Games and had to painfully wait for the final book along with the rest of the world. I caved to Harry Potter when the 5th book was released and understood exactly what all of the hype was about. I got caught up in Twilight fever after the 3rd book and waited seemingly forever for the final book. Series are one of my favorite things to read aloud, to hand to a child, and one of the most typical reading suggestion requests I get from adults. So here are a few of my favorite complete series, meaning that all books have been released in the series. Most are for 5th grade and up readership. (And yes I love The Hunger Games and All of Rick Riordan’s books as well but thought I would showcase a few others).
The Legend series by Marie Lu remains one of my favorite series to get students hooked on, in fact, it works really well as a gateway series into science fiction for students who otherwise refuse to read science fiction. I love the alternating perspective, the indecision, and the love story that is intertwined in its series. This is great for 4th and up.
Oh how I resisted this series even after one insistent student kept asking me whether I had read it yet. He then proceeded to hand me his personal copy and then checked every day in the hallway if I had read it yet. I finally lied and told him that I just didn’t have the time, but the truth was that the cover just did not awaken any kind of interest me. On our vacation that summer I figured I would bring it and boy was I hooked. I read all of the 5 first books that week, even making my family take an hour detour so I could find the 5th book at a bookstore. I love The Mortal Instruments series, absolutely love it. It is more mature though in some of its relationships so I had it in my 5th grade classroom library but made sure it made it into the hands of the right readers. And they loved the series just as much as me.
Another series that I stayed away from, hmm, I am detecting a pattern here, but then finally read The False Prince on a summer day. And loved it. And then gave it to as many students as I could who loved it as much as I did. Together we waited for the release of the second book; I still remember holding it up gleefully to my students as they entered the classroom after specials and being greeted with squeals. Squeals! The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen is a phenomenal read aloud as well and one that I have used on several occasions. This is definitely great for 5th or even 4th grade and up.
My 7th grade girls love this series; The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefwater. With love, werewolves, intrigue and how it feels to grow up it seems like it has everything a great 7th grade book needs. In fact, I am pretty sure I never saw Shiver on my book shelves until the end of the year after I had handed it to a student at the beginning of the year.
Another perpetual favorite both in 5th grade (mature readers) and in 7th grade; the books of the The Matched Series by Ally Condie practically fell apart at the end of the year. I also loved how many kids had an opinion on the main character of this book and whether or not she was making the right decision. With love, fighting, and a Utopian society it does have hints of Hunger Games, but nowadays, which books don’t?
I am not sure you can call this a series but any time I can highlight the incredible books that are Pivot Point and Split Second by Kasie West is a chance I can’t pass up. What surprises me is how few people have actually read them, it is a major book gap that should be remedied immediately. I promise you won’t regret it and neither will your students. (5th grade and up – mature).
The Selection series by Kiera Cass has long been a favorite in my classroom. In fact, two of my most well-read students quickly declared it their most favorite series of all time. They couldn’t wait to see what would happen in the end and were giddy when the companion book The Heir came out.
We fell in love with The Maze Runner series by James Dashner long before the movie came out. This was another series that a student had handed to me and then had to hand to me a few times before I finally read it. I loved it so much, I immediately went out and purchased several copies of it for classroom so I could hand it to as many students as my budget would allow. Don’t bother with The Kill Order, the prequel type book to the series. As one student summed it for me; “They fight, then they search, and then they fight again.” Yup that pretty much told the story.
Which series have been dominating your classrooms? Please share.