professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Betcha can't read just one...

Do you recall the old Lay's commercial: betcha can't eat just one? Well, this is a riff on that old cliche. I want to talk about the first love of my reading life: series books. It all started with those Little Golden Books. This morning I read through a new collection of LGB from random House.

mary blair golden books

How wonderful it was to take that stroll back into my early reading experiences. I remember my Mom buying me those books at the grocery store all those years ago. They eventually gave way to nancy Drew and Cherry Ames and Sue Barton series which I devoured in my tween and teen years. Later, it was the Crystal Cave books by Mary Stewart not to mention the Harlequin romances and gothic romances by Whitney and others. There were some individual titles in among all these, but I was and still am to some extent a serial reader. While I was teaching middle school I read Orphan Train and Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley High and Flowers in the Attic right along with my kids.

Why serial reading? If you read the work of Margaret Early and G. Robert Carlsen and Donelson and Nilsen you will see reference to the stages in the development of lifelong readers. I refer to it as unconscious delight. That is the time ion my and your reading development where we read and the real world falls away and we become lost in the book. Series books support this stage because we can stay submerged in the world of book after book. I watched this happen one day when I was doing some work with my pal and uber-smart colleague, Kylene Beers. Her daughter was with us with a satchel full of books. As we worked, we watched her finish one book (and I think it was a Babysitter's Club book if I can recall correctly), heave a satisfied sigh, and then reach into the satchel for yet another in the series. She sat immersed in those books all day long. I have witnessed it this summer in College Girl, too, as she revisits Harry Potter and some other favorites. And that is another great point to recall: many of us never lose that ability to get lost in a book. College Girl as not. And I can fall into a book so deeply that I do not feel turbulence during a flight or see someone enter the room or even hear Scout's demand for attention until he uses his paw to push the book down!

So, I hope your libraries (classroom and school) are filled with delicious serial delights. Magic School Bus, Hunger Games, Geronimo Stilton, Chaos Walking, Hank Zipser, Clifford, Pete the Cat, BabyMouse, and more are beckoning to your readers: Come inside and stay. Get to know me. Live in my world. Linger.

betcha can't read just one!
Tags: lifelong reading, serial reading, series

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