A kids’ book series is a fun and memorable way for your child to connect to reading. Surely you can recall the series that “raised” you as a reader through childhood and into your teenage years, whether they were detective stories, fantasy, or books about friendship. Book series for kids today are still a hugely popular — and successful — way for parents to get their children hooked on reading. Once your child finds a story and characters they’re interested in, they’ll want to continue exploring that world and see where those characters end up.
And as a parent, you’ll see your child successfully finish one book after the other.
“When children feel successful with understanding the story, they want to read more books in the series,” says Leana Malinowsky, a second-grade teacher and reading specialist in New Jersey.
The first book in a series can tell you much about your child, including their reading progress and any developing interests. Here are three valuable reasons to give the first book in any series a try.
1. You can gauge your child’s literacy development.
With the first book in any series, you’ll quickly see how and why your child reads, and what they take away from the text. Engage with your child about how the book is going — ask questions like, “Are you enjoying the plot?” “What do you think will happen to the characters?” Questions like these stimulate your child’s memory and reading comprehension. They also allow you to guide book discovery and selection.
2. You’ll see your child’s interests develop over time.
Think of Book #1 in a series as a marker for your child’s interests. If your child loves the book, they’re likely to enjoy more of the series, which means they’ll be reading regularly. And if you can pinpoint what your child enjoyed most about the first book — whether it’s the subject, illustrations, or dialogue — you can gather similar materials or resources for further reading.
These needn’t be confined to fiction: You may want to introduce nonfiction or more knowledge-based learning materials at this intersection if you discover your child is drawn to science, history, or adventure.
If your child loses interest quickly in Book #1, ask why. Do they prefer shorter books over chapter books? What would they like to read about instead?
Series are a great means of testing out what sticks and what doesn’t for your child.
“You could introduce them to a series you enjoyed reading as a kid, or introduce them to one that may cover a different topic than they would normally pick,” suggests Kristen Pishkin, a second-grade teacher in Massachusetts.
3. Your child will look forward to reading.
Perhaps the most valuable reason to try out the first book in a series is that it can lock your child in for long-term reading engagement. Teachers and literacy experts agree: Series are great for increasing reading frequency.
“I often share with families that if a student is given one or two books from a series and they enjoy them, this opens up the conversation for reading others in the series,” says Malinowsky.
Get started with the first book from popular series below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.