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Crash Course: Series books for elementary students

Post four in my crash course series of posts about books for younger readers. Hope back to previous Tuesdays/Thursdays this month to see the others.

Our series section is a popular place for students to be. They’re going to find favorites like Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Big Nate (none of which need any boosting help from me here—I’m guessing you’re all familiar with these titles) . There are older series that are still popular, such as Horrible Harry, Animal Ark, 39 Clues, Geronimo Stilton/Thea Stilton, A-Z Mysteries, and Hank Zipzer.

I’m going to run down a dozen series here that see a lot of interest and may be newer and/or less well known.

As with all of these posts, a huge shout-out to my coworker Heather for curating and maintaining such high-interest titles with lots of diverse characters. I’m lucky to have landed in a library where diversity is valued and promoted.

Onto the series!

Museum Mysteries series by Steve Brezenoff

Book one: The Case of the Haunted History Museum

Wilson, Amal, Clementine, and Raining Sam solve mysteries in various museums. Fast-paced plots, diverse characters, and appealing art.

Squishy Taylor by by Ailsa Wild, Ben Wood (Illustrator)

Book one: Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters

Funny mysteries starring the charismatic Sita, aka Squishy, and her blended family.

Classroom 13 Series by Honest Lee, Matthew J. Gilbert, Joelle Dreidemy (Illustrator)

Book one: The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13

I love this wacky little series. Throughout the books, each student in the class wins over a billion dollars, gets to use a genie to grant wishes, becomes famous, gains superpowers and more, only to find each seemingly amazing thing has big negative and unlucky consequences.

Girls Who Code Series by Stacia Deutsch

Book one: The Friendship Code

Middle school girls learn about coding and friendship in this STEM-focused series. Smart, diverse characters and eye-catching art. This one covers a wide age range for appeal.

Kicks Series by Alex Morgan

Book one: Saving the Team

Another series featuring middle school-aged main characters. New girl Devin quickly gets settled in her new town thanks to the friends she makes on the soccer team. Focus on teamwork and sportsmanship.

Amulet Series #1 by Kazu Kibuishi

Book one: The Stonekeeper

These are THE series to read at my school. Graphic novels about siblings (and a mechanical rabbit) who traverse nightmarish fantasy worlds in various quests.

Conspiracy 365 by Gabrielle Lord

Book one: January

ANOTHER series featuring slightly older characters. In the wake of his father’s death, 15-year-old Callum (yep!) is drawn into a tense world full of plots, crimes, and villains while he tries to avoid his own death. Age-appropriate thriller series for those who like lots of action.

Clubhouse Mysteries Series by Sharon M. Draper, Jesse Joshua Watson (Illustrator)

Book one: The Buried Bones Mystery

Reissued/repackaged series. Mysteries, diversity, and a clubhouse—what’s not to like?!

The Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey

Book one: Bad Guys

WILDLY popular at my school. Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Shark aren’t really bad guys—they just look like they are. Truly funny with a format that will keep readers turning pages.

Magic Kitten Series by Sue Bentley

Book one: A Summer Spell

The series is actually more than just Magic Kitten. There’s also Magic Puppy, Magic Ponies, Magic Bunny, and so on. This is exactly what it sounds like—cute animals and magic.

Star Wars: Jedi Academy Series by Jeffrey Brown and Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Book one: Jedi Academy

Star Wars except cuter mixes with real-life kiddo problems and comics for a winning series.

Ghost Detectors series by Dotti Enderle, Howard McWilliam

Book one: It Creeps!

Science-minded Malcolm obtains a tool that allows him to detect ghosts and hilarity ensues. Tamely “creepy” for fans of potentially scary-seeming books.