Friday, May 10, 2019

Popular Series With The Youth™

If it's time for me to start planning my summer reading, it's also time to start sharing what books were most popular in my classroom this year. I'm actually planning a unit in a week or two where they choose, argue, and vote on their favorites, so I'll hold off on sharing the stand-alones, but it's already clear which series kids could not put down this year.

Graphic Novel/Comics series
The Walking Dead
Are these appropriate for a middle school classroom? Probably not. But most of the kids who read them talk a lot about how they differ from the TV show. I keep them behind my desk because they are also expensive, and I can't afford to be constantly replacing them.

I'd never really heard of these before, being a very non-manga, non-anime person. But my students started asking for them, so I got a couple of used copies. They were published before my students were born, so I'm not sure where the sudden interest came from. Now I have the first 17 and a loyal contingent of readers that cheer each time I bring the next few in. There's a kid in the next class over who quietly comes in during class, checks out the Naruto section, and borrows what he hasn't read. I have no idea what his name is or anything, but I'm glad he knows I'm the Naruto source.

This series is popular with all kinds of kids. One of my least enthusiastic readers just set himself the challenge of reading all 8 (so far) in 4 weeks, and he finished today.

Scott Pilgrim
First semester I had a group of boys all reading these in a sort of round. After the first guy finished the first book, he got his friend to start it. By the time that kid was done, the next kid had gotten curious. They all read all six books, one after the other.

Berrybrook Middle School
I just love these big hearted book about kids who are diverse in a way that feels intentional yet authentic. My students seem to agree.

Raina Telgmeier's work is still popular, but not as wildly so as a few years ago. There are other series that one or two kids got into (Wings of Fire adaptations, Sunny Side Up, Nnewts), but the above are the ones that I couldn't keep on the shelves all year.

Novel series
The Lunar Chronicles
In the past, I haven't had many fantasy readers in my classes, but now that we've mixed in kids who like reading with kids who need to work on their reading, I suddenly have a bunch of kids who will read my favorites. Their have been a few tense moments when the person reading book 2 is going faster than the person reading book 3, but the friendships seem to have survived.

The Lunar Chronicles Boxed Set: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter

Chaos Walking
I LOVE these books so much, and it's been a few years since I could get any kids to read them. So glad they started getting buzz again this year in my classroom!

Chaos Walking: The Complete Trilogy

In The After/In the End
These were a discovery of a colleague. She read the first one to her classes, and they all were clamoring for the sequel, and kids with other teachers started asking about the first book, so now I have a couple copies of each, which get steady circulation.

The Circuit
A perennial favorite. Kids read the first book in either language arts or Spanish classes, and then want to keep going.

Five Nights at Freddy's
I haven't read any of these, but I suspect they're trash. Oh well. Kids love them.
Five Nights at Freddy's Collection

Laura Jean series
Yes, this is owing to the Netflix adaptation. Some of the readers have gone on to read Jenny Han's other series as well.
The To All the Boys I've Loved Before Collection


  1. Glad to see "the youth" are reading Jenny Han. Love her! I am impressed that the kids are all over the Lunar Chronicle books. I have heard they are amazing, but the sheer size of them keeps me away.

  2. Haha, you know your classroom library is good when kids you haven’t even met show up in your room. The Five Nights At Freddy’s videogame is terrifying. I didn’t know there were books. I suspect the books are less terrifying because there aren’t jump scares or random screaming in books. Manga and anime were super popular when I was in middle school and high school. I guess some things don’t change.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. It's always interesting to me to see how the trends change among kids. I love seeing what they are into now, and getting some recommendations for myself!

  4. It's always itneresting to see what kids are reading and what's popular. I mean, these aren't all really surprising since they are all well known series but there are a couple that have me questioning what kids are thinking. I mean, Five Nights at Freddy's? Really? I did smile when you said there were tense moments when people are reading at different speeds in a series, I feel their pain. I used to hate it when I was stuck waiting for the next book in a series and someone was being slow about reading, but I then learnt I read way faster than some people and not everyone binges a book in a day.


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!