The Benefit of Using Series Books with Reluctant Readers

By Colin Reublinger | May 8 2020 | GeneralEnglish Language ArtsFavorite Authors & Series

Reluctant readers in your classroom? If your classroom is anything like mine you’ll have students reading at various levels. I’ve come to realize that whether students struggle with reading or not, kids love to have a choice in what they read! It seems almost cruel to force a student to read a book that they don’t like. We all know that children need to strengthen their reading for so many reasons including increased confidence and academic performance. But, how do we encourage that reluctant reader?

One way to cultivate a joy in reading with your students is to promote a reading culture that incorporates choice and independent reading. Once kids are involved in their own reading, and are able to make their own choices, they’ll be motivated and enthusiastic about the books they read. Series books are a perfect way to get students excited to read independently at any reading level.

A great way to take advantage of series books is to present them for book clubs. This is a fun way to inspire kids to express shared experiences and make meaning of texts with their peers. By using questioning and discussion techniques and cooperative learning, children begin to exchange their own opinions which promotes critical thinking skills. Following a series allows students to see themselves through the lives of the characters, their actions, and motivations. They also begin to use higher order thinking skills to analyze themes, plots and other literary elements.

Students, like all of us, gravitate to books and topics that interests them. Discovery is a huge hurdle for reluctant readers. The key is suggesting books to read by asking questions about what they like and framing it as an entertaining activity instead of school work. Children better understand the meaning of a text when they already have background knowledge on desired topics.

I had a child who didn’t seem interested in anything besides drawing in his notebook. He was actually quite a talented illustrator. As good as his drawings were, he was reading at about a kindergarten level. He would often distract other students in class when he wasn’t drawing. One day, I saw him completely engrossed in a series book that he checked out of the library. He didn’t make a peep the entire period. He didn’t even realize when independent reading time was over and it was time for lunch! He diligently looked and read every book in the series – he even tried reading the books that were above his level! Not only did his reading skills soar, but his behavior improved. Every day he eagerly awaited independent reading time.

Using series books often gets short shrift, but it just might encourage that reluctant student to discover all the wonders of reading.

— Lynn Butta. 2nd Grade Teacher, Brooklyn, NY


Here are a few great series from PRH to help encourage ALL your embrace the love for reading.

Magic Tree House
With the new reality of all kids being home schooled, Magic Tree House has become, once again, THE chapter book series parents still turn to, guaranteed to entertain and educate kids! USA Today recently called Magic Tree House a “perfect series for entertaining kids during the Coronavirus crisis” and Magic Tree House has remained on the New York Times bestseller list for the past 4 weeks as a testament to its popularity.

Magic Tree House Book Collection

Magic Tree House Home Adventures Activity Sheet

Magic Tree House Educator and Parent Activities

Magic Tree House Website

Ordinary People Change the World
Heroes are everywhere in our local communities. The Ordinary People Change the World series helps young children realize how their passions, hobbies, and interests can help shape their dreams, goals, and aspirations, and that they, too, can become heroes! Through extensive research, Brad Meltzer has woven important historical facts about each hero’s life into his engaging text, supported beautifully by Christopher Eliopoulos’ inviting illustrations.

Ordinary People Change the World Book Collection

Ordinary People Change the World Guide

Ordinary People Change the World Website

DKfind Out!
DKfindout! books make learning fun by including stimulating visuals, kid-friendly language, and offering a wide range of topics to be explored. From computer coding to world history, from dinosaurs to space, there is a book in this series that will capture even the most reluctant reader’s attention.

DKfindout! Series Book Collection

DKfindout! Series Educator Guide