The 5th graders in room 204 do a lot of reading, both inside and outside-of-class.  A LOT.  So I decided to poll them to see which book series they are currently enjoying most.  Their top results surprised me a little and I was also surprised to learn that there are several book series out there that I haven’t tried reading yet.  The following is a list of the most popular series’ in our class this year (2017) as well as a much longer list of other series that are being read, which I have divided into “currently popular” and “the classics.”

Which books are you reading?  Put your favorites in the comment section below.

Most popular Series’ in Room 204

5. I survived… by Lauren Tarshis.

There are 15 total books in this Historical Fiction series. While the books are super short and easy to read (below grade level) I like that the students are learning a little bit about history while reading them.  Each book forcuses on a historical disaster from the perspective of someone who lived to tell about the tale.  The series includes events like the sinking of the Titanic, Attacks of September 11, and the Hindenburg disaster.

Average book length: 93 pages.
Range of ATOS Book Level rankings: 3.9-5.1.
Dates published: 2010-2017

4. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine. Prolific American author R.L. Stine published 62 horror fiction novellas from 1992 to 1997. This series also had a few spin-off series, a television show, a feature film, and a lot of merchandise.  The stories are mostly about children in scary situations that involve monsters and other supernatural elements.  Great for the Halloween season, but my students love reading these books year round (probably because they are so short and easy to read).  Like the “I Survived” books, I see this series as an “at least they’re reading” series where I wish my students were reading more difficult books but something like this is great every once and a while.

Book length: 110-140 pages.
Range of ATOS Book Level rankings: 3.0-5.0
Dates published: 1992-1997

3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I’ll admit, I was very happy to see this series make the Top 5. I love that my 5th graders are being introduced to Fantasy, that the books are above grade level, and that they are long and difficult books to read (for many of my students).  This particular fantasy series is the most popular YA series ever written.  It follows the life and adventures of Harry Potter—a young wizard—and his friends, who attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  There are seven books in the series and the first two are very family friendly and perfect for fifth graders.  The books do get increasingly dark and mature but I am comfortable recommending them to ten year olds. Fantastic series.

Book length: 309-870 pages.
ATOS Book Level rankings: 5.5-7.2
Dates published: 1997-2007

2. The Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud. More confessions… I had never heard of this book series prior to polling my students, so it’s now on my “to-read” list. According to Wikipedia it is “a series of children’s novels of alternate history, fantasy, and magic.”  It chronicles how teenage magician Nathaniel summons and controls Bartimaeus (a 5,000 year-old djinni) through an alternative history of the peak of London’s domination as a magical oligarchy.  And I don’t know anything more than that.  Apparently this book series road the coattails of Harry Potter fever and is in the same general genre/category.

Book length: 448-570 pages
ATOS Book Level rankings: 3.9-5.9
Dates published: Trilogy from 2003-2005, prequel in 2010

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Jeff Kinney). Final confession… though I consider myself fairly well read (I read about a book a week), I have never bothered to read a Wimpy kid book. I thought they looked especially juvenile so I didn’t take the time, but in all fairness I guess I shouldn’t dismiss the series just yet, as it was voted the most popular book series in my classroom. There are 12 books in the series (the most recent one coming out this year), which included fictional journal entries written by Greg Heffley, the fictional protagonist. The books are filled with hand-written notes and drawings chronicling Greg’s adventures.

Book length: each book is exactly 217 pages
ATOS Book Level rankings: 5.2-5.8
Dates published: 2004-Present (2017)

Currently Popular Series

There are tons of other great series out there.  The following is a list of the series currently being read by at least a few students in room 204.  They are listed alphabetically with title, author, number of books in series, page count range, and accelerated reader grade level range.

  • Aretemus Fowl (Eoin Colfer). ? books, ?-? pages, AC range of 5.0-6.6
  • Big Nate
  • Captain Underpants
  • Fablehaven (Brandon Mull), 483 (4.8-5.6)
  • The Guardians of Ga’hoole (Kathryn Lasky). 16 Total books, Accelerated Reader level 4.8-5.5; Average page length 213 pages. Guardians is a fantasy book series that follows the adventures of a young barn owl
  • Heroes of Loympus
  • Lemony Snicket
  • Magnus Chase
  • Michael Vey (Richard Paul Evans), 314, (3.5 – 4.4)
  • Percy Jackson (Rick Riordan), 342, (4.1-4.7)
  • Rangers Apprentice
  • Underland Chronicles (Suzanne Collins), 347, (4.7 – 5)
  • Wings of Fire (Tuit Sutherland), 305, (5-5.6)

The Classics

These books are also being read by my students (with some prompting by their teacher):

  • Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis), 193, (5.4-5.9)
  • Great Brain (John D. Fitzgerald), 148, (5-5.8)
  • Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder), 295, (4.6-5.8)