Monday, August 17, 2009

Confessions of a Series Junkie

I took one look at my to-be-read-before-school-starts (kids start in just over a week -- eep!) pile and I think there's no point in denying it: I am a series junkie.

A Fabumouse School Adventure
by "Geronimo Stilton"
copyright 2009 in the U.S. by Scholastic
#38 in the series

I haven't read all of these, but I thought it would be a good idea to read one to refresh myself on the series. Incoming 4th graders are often comforted to find a tub full of Geronimo Stilton (along with the entire Magic Tree House series in the two tubs next to Geronimo Stilton). That's one of the best things about series reading: the comfort factor. But lest the faithful reader get bored with the series, out comes a variation on the theme. Case in point:

Thea Stilton and the Dragon's Code
by "Geronimo Stilton"
copyright April, 2009 in the U.S. by Scholastic

This seems to be the first Thea Stilton ("Geronimo Stilton Special Edition"), with another coming out in September and another in March. (On a side note, it looks like Geronimo Stilton is going to break into the graphic novel market next week with Geronimo Stilton #1: The Discovery of America.)

Thea Stilton is Geronimo's sister. In this sub-series, she is all grown up and back at her alma mater, Mouseford Academy, teaching journalism. Five of her students make up a mystery-solving, adventure-loving group called The Thea Sisters. In this book, they solve the mystery of a disappearing classmate.

by Jeff Smith
Scholastic, 2009

This is the final book in the Bone series. But end of series does not necessarily mean last book. (see above: "switch it up" factor) Now we've got the series prequel, in which we see how young Princess Rose (later known as Gran'ma Ben) got started:

by Jeff Smith
illustrated by Charles Vess

The Bone books are enormously popular in my classroom, and because of that, I see it as my obligation to stay current with the series. (or, alternatively, "I am a series junkie.") The first month or two of school, lots of my readers immerse themselves in graphic novels. Some may be "picture reading," but as long as we can talk about the basic plot and the characters, that's okay with me. After these reluctant text-readers have lived in my classroom for a month or two, they've had a chance to see that all kinds of reading is valued there: easy, challenging, graphic novel, wordless, picture book, poetry, and on and on.

With The Light: Raising an Autistic Child, Volume 2
by Keiko Tobe
Yen Press/Hachette Book Group USA, 2008

Back in January of 2008, when I discovered the first volume of this series, I declared it "Required Reading." Recently, I spotted volumes 2-4 on a bookstore shelf, but our public library only has volume 2. I'll be putting in a request that the other volumes be purchased.

These 500+ traditional manga (reads right to left) graphic novels give the reader a glimpse into the struggles and joys of a family learning to understand their autistic child, Hikaru. The first volume was birth through early elementary years. Volume 2 is "Later Elementary Years."

by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
August 25, 2009
(this one is on my to-be-ordered list since it can't be on the to-be-read pile quite yet...)

I had the good fortune to read the first book in this trilogy just last week -- that means I don't have long to wait to read the second book! (unlike the wait for Suzanne Collins' third book in the Hunger Games trilogy...)

So there you have it. Proof positive that I am a series junkie. Excuse me now. I need to dig in and get caught up with my stories!


  1. I just want to say how much I love hearing you say it is okay to let text-reluctant kids wallow in graphic novels and comics for a while. I totally agree that in your environment, they will ACHE to participate in all the great book love and discussions.

    Sorry your holiday is over, but looking forward to reading all your great new adventures in the classroom.

  2. Geronimo Stilton graphic novels? I know a child who will be in Nirvana! And I'll be happy myself, I love Geronimo. (But I can't stand Thea, so I'll steer clear of her spin-off!)

  3. Great post. Thank you for encouraging comics in your class room. Its great to hear that Bone is so popular. I fell in love with Bone when it was still in black and white and Grandma Ben soon became one of my favourite characters ever (I even named my daughter Rose after her).

    Have you tried The Dreamland Chronicles series or Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi?
    They are along the lines of Bone too.

    Geronimo Stilton is a wonderful series, one of the few chapter books my son will attempt to read.


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