Got a little reader on your gift list this year? Our resident children’s librarian, Janssen, here today with one of our favorite gift ideas ever – the series starter. Here are all the details…
Whether you’re looking for a book to give to a voracious reader or a struggling and reluctant reader, series are always a good idea.
For an avid reader, a series gives them not just one book to devour, but a whole set. While for the reluctant reader, entering a series means they can continue reading after the first book without having to be introduced to a whole new set of characters and world again, which makes the initial plunge into a book that much easier.
Here’s how a “series starter” gift works. Pick 3 to 5 of your favorite books series and wrap up just the first book (or first few if you wanna go crazy) in each series, add a homemade bookmark or book light, package it with a note with the names of all the books in each series, and let them discover a whole new world to get lost in.
Not sure which series to go with? Whether you’re buying for a preschooler or beginning reader, a third through sixth grader, or a teenager, there’s sure to be a few series on this list that’s perfect.
- Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems. It takes a master to use so few words to tell such hilarious stories, and Willems is just such a master. Some easy readers are mindless and plotless, but this series is anything but.
- Ling & Ting by Grace Lin. Ling and Ting may be identical twins but they aren’t exactly the same. Each book is broken into several chapters and readers will love seeing how different these two identical twin girls really are.
- George and Martha by James Marshall. These two hippo friends will have you in hysterics. These are great for early readers to work through on their own or perfect for reading aloud. Either way, prepare for giggling!
- Oliver and Amanda Pig by Jean Van Leeuwen and Ann Schweninger. This sweet series about a pig family has been one of my life-long favorites. With books correlating to practically every season and occasion, you’ll never run out of opportunities to pull out one of these titles.
- Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes. If your child loves you reading aloud other Kevin Henkes titles like Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, they’ll love his easy reader series about a little mouse and her various light-hearted escapades.
- The Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. How could you not love a book about time travel? Starting with The Knights of the Kitchen Table, three friends discover a magic book that transports them to various high-adventures points in history. Each book isn’t very long, which makes them perfect for kids who aren’t interested in hefty volumes but still want a high-interest story.
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald. My daughter couldn’t get enough of these stories of childhood ailments (bad table manners, kids who won’t go to bed, bath resisters, etc) and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s magical remedies. After I read her the whole series, she listened to them all again on audio.
- Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix. In the prologue, a plane appears out of nowhere with 36 babies onboard (no adults at all). Thirteen years later, two of the children start getting sinister notes. Time travel, mystery, and history make this series one you can’t put down!
- Lunch Lady by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Even reluctant readers seem to be delighted by graphic novels, and this series is one of my favorites. It’s inventive, funny, and full of the kind of bizarre villains that delight most children. And with ten books in the series so far, there’s plenty to read.
- Mythlopedia. I’ve pretty much never met a child who wasn’t fascinated by Greek mythology and these books were never checked in at my library because they were so wildly popular. Perfect for the non-fiction lover, the fun cartoon-y illustrations make them even more delightful.
- The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. If you like your high society intrigue with a historical twist, this lush series is just what you’re looking for. Rich heiresses, mistaken identities, and love triangles galore make this perfect vacation reading.
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. This fantasy trilogy has it all – romance, high-action, mystery, and top-notch writing. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t loved it, and the second book is one of those few books that’s possibly even better than the first.
- The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen. Sarah Dessen’s books aren’t a true series, since each book stands alone, but they all take place in the same universe and it’s fun to spot characters from her other books make brief cameos in each book.
- Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison. This light-hearted diary of a British school girl is ridiculous and laugh-out-loud funny from start to finish. Stop by World Market and pick up a package of Jammie Dodgers (British raspberry shortbread cookies) to package up with it for a perfect gift.
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Perfect for teen boys and girls alike, this book starts with Thomas who wakes up in a mysterious enclosed world and no memories of his former life. Throw in a couple of bucks or a gift certificate so they can rent the movie, when they’ve finished the book.
What are your favorite series to gift?
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