Book series polular with kids—December 2, 2011
Books in series are very popular with young people. Once they find characters they enjoy reading about, they want more stories about those characters. However, this is not a new phenomenon--authors have been writing books in series for a long time.
The Hardy Boys, teenage brothers who are amateur detectives, first appeared in 1927 and the series is still popular today. These characters were created by Edward Stratemeyer, founder of a book-packaging firm called the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The books have been written by many different people over the years and are published under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon. Young people also still enjoy reading mysteries about Nancy Drew, another young amateur detective, who first appeared in 1930. This character was also created by Stratemeyer and the books are all written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene.
Trixie Belden is the main character in another series of “girl detective” mysteries, which were written between 1948 and 1986. The first books in the series were written by Julie Campbell, and then the series was continued by various writers under the pseudonym Kathryn Kenny.
Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote “The Boxcar Children,” which was originally published in 1924 and reissued in 1942. It tells the story of four orphaned children who live on their own in an abandoned boxcar in the woods until they are eventually united with their grandfather. The rest of the books in the series tell of the children’s adventures and the mysteries they encounter as they travel with their grandfather. The first 19 books in the series were written by Warner, but the series continues to this day with the books being written by other authors. The newer titles in the series always say “created by Gertrude Chandler Warner.”
The library also has a number of the books in the Bobbsey Twins series. This series, also created by the Stratemeyer Syndicate and written under the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope, tells about the adventures of the children in the Bobbsey family: fraternal twins Bert and Nan who are twelve, and fraternal twins Flossie and Freddie who are six. The first book in the series was originally published in 1904.
Encyclopedia Brown is the 10-year-old son of the chief of police in the town of Idaville. No one in Idaville gets away with breaking the law because Chief Brown’s most difficult cases are solved by his son at the dinner table. Donald J. Sobol created this series, and each volume contains about ten short cases for the young sleuth. The reader is challenged to try to solve the cases, and then check the solutions found at the back of the book to see how they did.
“The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken, first published in 1963, is the first book in the Wolves Chronicles series. It is set in an alternate history of England during the fictional 19th century reign of King James III, and tells of the adventures of several children who attempt to thwart the evil schemes of their governess.
When I was young, I enjoyed reading the books about Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy by Johnny Gruelle. The first book in this series about the rag dolls and their adventures appeared in 1918, and the stories have been popular with children ever since.
Next time you’re looking for something new to read, try something old instead—one of these classic series from the children’s collection!