Here in the 5th grade trenches we LOVE a good middle grade literature series. My credit card is steaming from overuse as I fill our shelves with the latest installments of our favorites. I get excited when a kid comes charging in the door waving a new series they’ve just discovered. I’m a pushover. I’ll make a beeline for the bookstore and grab up every piece of the series I can get my hands on.
What hooks a middle grader on a series?
О Characters – Who wouldn’t want Harry Potter for a friend?
О Adventure – It’s a blast to face obstacles, danger, or wonders we’ll never face in real life. Let’s ride a dragon, fight the Minotaur, or live underwater.
О Humor-Humor-Humor – Make us laugh and we’ll follow you home.
О New Worlds and Fantastic Places – We all voted here in Room 15 that we want to go to school in a castle like Hogwarts.
О Relatability - Kids love seeing themselves in the situations and dilemmas they find in books. It helps them understand similarities in their own lives and can be very validating.
О Attachment – Readers, 5th graders included, make emotional investments in stories that we follow over multiple books. There is a sense of loss and sorrow when the path we’ve been sharing with our characters comes to an end. How many of us took to our beds for weeks after finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, knowing it was the last time we’d break bread with Harry, Ron, and Hermione?
The top three series being read in our classroom even as we speak are:
PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS by Rick Riordan
“It’s fun watching a kid have to make big decisions.”
Robyn, Kyle, Ilker, Fernanda
“Every page is heart pounding, exciting, and breath taking.
Mark, Tyler, Sal, Caleb, Aryanna
HARRY POTTER by JK Rowling
“The Harry Potter books make you wish you had magic. We would
like to have teachers like Mad Eye Moody, Dumbledore, and
Hazel, Kathleen, Pratik, Rylee
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID by Jeff Kinney
“It’s a funny look at facing challenges.”
Melina, Jerry, Kait, Gage
MENTIONS: THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by CS Lewis
LAST DRAGON CHRONICLES by Chris D’lacey
SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS by Lemony Snicket
THE 39 CLUES by Various Authors
What are your favorites?