Kids love series, and I know why. It gives them a quick and easy place to go for their next read. Books in a series can get a bit redundant, but in some ways books after the first one can be even better, because the author can jump to the meat of the story without so much background.
But there is a problem with series: waiting for more!
There is a lot that goes into a book making into a reader’s hands. There’s the time and creativity that goes into writing the book, of course, but beyond that there is editing and publishing and marketing.
A couple of authors I’ve enjoyed with my kids have found a way around some of that red tape to put stories into the hands of their readers a little more quickly.
When my daughter was in middle school, we read a great book together that I reviewed: Nerd Camp.
My 12-year-old daughter and I read Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman together. It was the first time we’d buckled down with a read aloud in a long time, and it was just the kind of book we like to enjoy together — funny and sweet.
I’m not big on the word “nerd,” because it’s used as an insult, and like any insult it makes people feel bad about who they are. However, it totally works in this book. I think that the secret that most adult nerds know deep down is that they don’t really care what other people think. (Read more of my review at 5 Minutes for Books)
Nerd Camp 2.0 came out three years later (click through to read my review), she was probably too old to enjoy it, but Kyle had already read the first one, so he and I read it together, laughing and enjoying the adventures of the sweet kids at the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment.
Are you reading with your tweens and teens? I hope so! This is just a quick selfie that I took with my phone two years ago, but if this scene of a tween boy nestling in my arm as we read together doesn’t convince you to give it a try, I don’t know what will.
When the author of the Nerd Camp books, Elissa Brent Weissman, contacted me about a 3rd installment, this is what she said:
The first Nerd Camp found a huge following in Florida last year thanks to the Sunshine State Young Reader Award, and I had lots of kids asking for a third book in the series. In order to get something out relatively quickly, I decided to launch a spinoff series of short books (novellas, really), that I’m calling Nerd Camp Briefs.
Once again, Kyle and I read aloud. I especially liked that it was only 83 pages, so we experienced the satisfaction of another story, but it didn’t take us too long, even reading aloud.
Please click through to 5 Minutes for Books to read my full review of the first in the Nerd Camp Briefs series.
Elissa Brent Weissman wanted to give her fans something more, to deliver some content while they were still of age and interested.
There’s another series that I read with Amanda which employed one of these techniques as well. We were reading the books as they came out, and it’s hard to wait.
Julie Kagawa started publishing ebook novellas in between books in her Iron Fey series, which was a great little snack to tide us over. I am glad I remembered this series, that was full of action and suspense, because I’m going to move the books over from Amanda’s bookshelf to Kyle’s.
I’m curious to see how authors keep striving to meet the content needs of their fans, aren’t you?