There is always talk about what the big trend is in YA literature. Right now it’s vampires and dystopias, but soon it will probably be mermaids and cyborgs, or maybe it will be dinosaurs. Who knows? It fluctuates, and despite anyone’s claim, it can’t really be predicted. But what does seem to be a lasting trend is the popularity of books in a series.
Flavorwire posted a list the other day of what they deemed to be 10 of the greatest YA series of all time, and it made us wonder, what is the appeal of a series over a single book?
We’re not arguing that there aren’t great single books out there, or that they can't be as popular, but you have to admit that when you think of the best-selling books of the time, they are all series: The Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings. The list could go on. And books continue to be bought by publishing houses not just as a single title, but in groups of three or more. There's always a discussion of whether the soon-to-be acquired book could be turned into a series.
And we're no different. We have a few new series in the works, and book two of Scarletta Junior Readers’ Lexicon Adventure series, The Ice Castle: An Adventure in Music, hits shelves in August. (The series follows cousins Ivan and Daphne and their exciting--and sometimes dangerous--adventures in the land of Lexicon. If you haven’t read them yet, you definitely should.)
But back to series as a whole, what’s so great about them? Here’s our list so far:
1. Kids grow up with the characters. When I read the first Harry Potter book, I was the same age as Harry. As the books continued to be published, I stayed roughly the same age as the characters, and it made me identify with them even more.
2. Character development. Series books allow you to know the characters on a much deeper scale since you follow them through many stories.
3. Parents and teachers love them because once you get a kid hooked on a series, they are guaranteed to read the other books. Depending on the series, that’s a lot of pages. And these days, that’s a wonderful thing.
4. They usually have more interesting plot lines. Ok this one may be stretching it, but it’s logical that the story/setting/characters must be engaging and captivating enough to stretch into a series.
5. It's hard making new friends, and it's hard to start over with new characters. So who wouldn't love being able to keep in touch with the old friends we've made in books as they have new adventures?
There's plenty of other reasons why series are great, so if we've missed one or if you just want to tell us one of your favorite book series, be sure to let us know!