Start-to-finish Book vs. Series

Discuss the September 2016 Book of the Month, A Spiritual Dog: Bear by J. Wesley Porter.
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bookowlie
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Start-to-finish Book vs. Series

Post by bookowlie » 02 Sep 2016, 09:44

This book is a start-to-finish book about a dog's life. It covers the various things that happened to Bear over the course of his life - his adjustments after being adopted, interests and quirks, aging issues, etc. I started thinking about the popularity of children's series about a character's adventures.

Do children prefer one start-to-finish book or a series of books about the same character?
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Post by e-tasana-williams » 02 Sep 2016, 16:40

Perhaps it depends on the age of the child. Preschool children seem to like picture book series about one character. For example, Little Bill, Diego, Dora the Explorer, etc. These are not necessarily books that have to be read in order, but focus around the same character. As for sequential books, it seems those are better reserved for older kids. Examples are the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, etc. Perhaps it also depends on the child's ability to remember what happened in the previous book in the series.
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Post by bookowlie » 02 Sep 2016, 17:59

Eatsleaves wrote:Perhaps it depends on the age of the child. Preschool children seem to like picture book series about one character. For example, Little Bill, Diego, Dora the Explorer, etc. These are not necessarily books that have to be read in order, but focus around the same character. As for sequential books, it seems those are better reserved for older kids. Examples are the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, etc. Perhaps it also depends on the child's ability to remember what happened in the previous book in the series.
Good point! I actually think that younger childen get attached to certain characters and like to read different books about them. The books wouldn't need to be read in order, such as a pig going to the movies, playing at the park, having a birthday party, etc. I do agree that older kids love to read series with a sequential order of events, such as Harry Potter.
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Post by L_Therese » 02 Sep 2016, 21:45

Younger children also don't have the attention span for a more comprehensive book. Think of Marley and Me. While the book in its original form is appropriate for teens and adults, a picture book series was released after the book was made into a movie. Each of the picture book show snippets of Marley's adventures (especially as a puppy). A child can enjoy the humor and the character without having to actually connect events or think about a timeline. As the child grows older, they can start to see the larger story behind the collection of picture books and eventually read/watch the full narrative when sufficiently mature.

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Post by gali » 02 Sep 2016, 23:47

I agree with the posters above.

I also think it depends on the child and his age. My son like both options as long as the book is good.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by hsimone » 06 Sep 2016, 10:15

bookowlie wrote:
Eatsleaves wrote:Perhaps it depends on the age of the child. Preschool children seem to like picture book series about one character. For example, Little Bill, Diego, Dora the Explorer, etc. These are not necessarily books that have to be read in order, but focus around the same character. As for sequential books, it seems those are better reserved for older kids. Examples are the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, etc. Perhaps it also depends on the child's ability to remember what happened in the previous book in the series.
Good point! I actually think that younger childen get attached to certain characters and like to read different books about them. The books wouldn't need to be read in order, such as a pig going to the movies, playing at the park, having a birthday party, etc. I do agree that older kids love to read series with a sequential order of events, such as Harry Potter.
I agree with both! With this book (or something similar), it could have easily been split into several different short stories to portray Bear's life and I think children would enjoy that a lot. But, like others have said, it does depend on the age. Great question!
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Post by ashley_claire » 07 Sep 2016, 09:03

I agree with above posters. My 5-year-old especially loves finding different books about her favorite characters. She knows the sections that those books are in at the library and always goes straight to those to see if there's a new one that we haven't read yet.

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Post by anneloretrujillo » 08 Sep 2016, 23:39

I think children enjoy both. I remember reading both types of books as a child. I didn't really have a preference of one over the other. When I was first reading, I don't really remember reading series. I remember most of my books just being one book. As I got a little older (about 8-11) I preferred series. I loved the Nancy Drew series and the Bernstein Bears series. It really depends on the child and age. But again, I think children like both.

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Post by Megwe85 » 18 Sep 2016, 21:50

My child and the young students I've worked with don't seem to have a preference. Kids love popular characters like Clifford, Cat in the Hat, Berenstain Bears, and will read any book that involves them. Kids like standalone books too - Where the Wild Things Are comes to mind.
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Post by hsimone » 21 Sep 2016, 01:43

Megwe85 wrote:My child and the young students I've worked with don't seem to have a preference. Kids love popular characters like Clifford, Cat in the Hat, Berenstain Bears, and will read any book that involves them. Kids like standalone books too - Where the Wild Things Are comes to mind.
I absolutely love these examples! :)
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Post by Kia » 22 Sep 2016, 17:27

I absolutely agree that it would depend on the age of the child, as well as the child themselves. I know when I was little I was reading way above my grade level, so even as a very young child I preferred series. At the same time I know kids who preferred short, stand alone books (or books about the same character that could be read out of order) well past when most of their classmates started reading series.
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Post by Serena [Poetree] » 06 Oct 2016, 15:26

I agree that it somewhat depends on the age of the child. The older I got, the more excited I was about my favorite books being a part of a series, or my favorite author having written multiple books. In middle school, especially, I enjoyed several series that included 10+ books.
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Post by MerryLove » 09 Oct 2016, 19:38

I think it varies on the genre. Usually it is the fictional series where young children tend to love readng books about the same familiar characters over and over. With nonfiction though, I would say stand alone, start-to-finish books make much more sense.

It's also important to note that while children do tend to love series, they love something new too. It's also very important for children at a young age to get exposure to a lot of different books too.

I personally think that large series are great for students in the process of learning to read with confidence (pre-K to 2nd) because it gives them a sense of similarity and security. They need that. However, beyond that, it is great to spend the majority of reading experiencing different things. Many children don't know what types of books are out there until they are exposed to them a few times. Reading is all about exploration for them, and exploration can happen more with start-to-finish books.
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Post by CatInTheHat » 09 Oct 2016, 20:14

When I was a child, I loved series. The Little House on the Prairie series, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys are some that I remember. I also enjoyed stand alone books but it was fun reading more about favorite characters.
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Post by bobRas » 12 Oct 2016, 18:04

When I was a kid, I used to read these child-friendly mystery books with the same characters solving them. I liked having familiar characters solving mysteries. Trying a new series wasn't something I usually did, though. I generally stuck with one series and read some standalone books.
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