Graduating from series to series
By Michael on February 16th, 2012
When I brought up the idea that kids ‘graduate’ from series to series in a recent OOM meeting, there was an almost instantaneous reaction. Of course they did! Several OOM-ers (cough-Morgan…Jessica) had observed the very logical progression from The Baby-Sitters Club to Sweet Valley High.
Kids, inevitably, grow up and read at a higher level so despite their lasting fan-dom of Claudia and Kristy, they will want something more challenging. So a similar series with a group of friends who go to high school instead of middle school is the easy answer.
There’s a new trend in ‘graduating’, though, and to extend the metaphor a little further…kids stay in the same school system.
Take Chronicles of Avantia, for instance. It’s the same author and setting as the popular Beast Quest books but for older readers. I guess you could call it a spin-off but I prefer a ‘graduate book series.’ There’s a degree of comfort in the familiarity of place and concept but an all new coolness in the title and the books come in the more grown-up Hardcover format.
The Percy Jackson books have also gained a graduate series in Heroes of Olympus. Like Percy Jackson, Heroes features Camp Half-Blood and Greek mythology but the books are for slightly older kids.
While it’s exciting to see new series that immediately attract the attention of young readers, there is also an element of aspirational reading in this new trend. Similar to the Harry Potter series, which grows in difficulty as the books progress, these new ‘graduate’ series offer kids a chance to challenge their reading skills in a familiar setting.
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