Series Favourites With Bookwagon
Toward the end of 2022, we were fortunate to work with M.G. Leonard. During her talk to an audience of teachers, she spoke about the value of series reading. She considered the resistance there can be toward children reading graphic novel series. What’s more, she observed how some adults might be concerned when children become hooked upon a series.
M. G. Leonard knows a lot about series writing. After all, she’s created three award-wining series, from the Adventures with Trains‘ series, that opened with the multi award winning The Highland Falcon Thief. It followed her Beetle Boy trilogy which garnered deserved awards and critical acclaim.
Most recently, her focus has been upon Aves Wood, and a gripping, realistic and brilliantly researched series that began with Twitch. In fact her research has led her to becoming a dedicated and knowledgeable birdwatcher. This is evident in the series most recent release, Clutch. Bookwagon is already seeing this title fly off the wagon.
However her talk made us think of adult readers. After all, don’t we get hooked into series? Just think. Don’t most of us have favourite genres, writers, themes within our reading arsenal? Furthermore, many adults are more narrow in their range than children. So what are a few favourite series aboard Bookwagon?
Daisy Hirst’s Monster BooksMonsters Go & Monster Toys- Daisy Hirst (Walker Books)
One of this Bookwagoner’s favourite picture book writers is Daisy Hirst. Not only does she create unique and memorable pictures, full of wit and expression, but then she tells stories. It seems that she’s not creating a situation but she’s capturing an episode, even in this series for the youngest of readers. The Monster books comprise a quartet, with the latest two, Monster Toys and Monsters Go rushing out of Bookwagon. We trust all very young readers have a chance to enjoy her picture books.
Poo BumPoo Bum- Stephanie Blake (Gecko Press)
Stephanie Blake’s translated series of picture books introduces Simon to picture book readers. Not only is he defiant, insulted, annoying and rude, but he’s very, very funny. What’s more, the bold coloured pictures and black edges seem to emphasise Simon’s latest escapade. Then again, there’s always a payback of some kind. Just look at Wooolf! Furthermore, as shown in the first title, Poo Bum, there’s ample room for prediction, though there’s the joy of the unexpected too!
The Jasmine Green series
Jasmine Green lives on a farm for which her father is responsible while her mother runs her veterinary practice. Meanwhile, Jasmine and best friend Tom have plans to run an animal sanctuary in their future. In fact, already, they’ve cared for and healed a number of animals.
The most recent title aboard this series is A Rabbit Called Clover. Yet again, Helen Peters’ research and understanding informs and fascinates readers. What’s more, there’s the individual behaviour of animal species to understand, their needs and the effects of human life upon them. This is real life. Bookwagon delights in sharing this series with our readers at our pop up school book fairs. (Then again, the other Bookwagon reader has only ever been ‘allowed’ to read a Helen Peters’ book first…)
The Dragon Storm seriesDragon Storm- Erin & Rockhammer, Connor & Lightspirit- Alastair Chisholm (Nosy Crow)
Alastair Chisholm’s Dragon Storm series was one that Mr Bookwagon kept to himself. However, this reader managed to usurp Erin and Rockhammer from his grip. Thereafter, I offered my predictions as to what was likely to happen in Draconis. It also meant that I had to read the latest instalment, Connor and Lightspirit, which disproved my predictions. Fortunately, Bookwagon worked at the wonderful Wandsworth’s Secondary Schools’ Fabulous Book Awards ahead of the Easter holidays. It gave us an opportunity to share our love of this series, its popularity and then hope the writer might slip us some spoilers…. (Incidentally, Alastair Chisholm’s Adam-2 was the deserved winner of this event.)
WildsmithWildsmith- Into the Dark Forest & City of Secrets- Liz Flanagan (UCLan Publishing)
Dr Liz Flanagan creates books readers need to read. She crafts rich stories of distant lands and times full of colour and wonder. Rowan’s flight from the city Into the Dark Forest of her grandfather’s hidden home, introduces her to magical creatures and then the special talents of her Wildsmith grandfather. However, what if that talent is sought by evil-doers? Then again, what if Rowan shares the same skills? Could she be at risk? Furthermore, what of one magical creature so special that it can barely be imagined? The second title in this series, City of Secrets, was released recently. Bookwagon has sold out of the first time and time again in our 2023 pop up book fairs.
Nizrana Farook’s The Girl Who Stole an Elephant was one of Bookwagon‘s biggest sellers in the year of publication. Its Sri Lankan setting and the premise of a dangerous and fast-paced adventure proved a huge draw. Thereafter, three further stories in this rich, sensory setting, steeped in history, culture and environment have continued to be popular. They’re not a series as such, but an extension on a theme and that setting. We’re excited to take her latest title, one of this Bookwagon reader’s 2023 favourites, The Boy Who Saved a Bear on the road. How can a delivery of library books prove so precarious a decision? Could it be something to do with a key?
Bookwagon runs a select book subscription service, over which this reader frets for most of a month. In fact, my need to match reader to book is a constant, throbbing consideration. However, in Utterly Dark, by Philip Reeve, we’ve received more feedback, more joyous readership, than with any other selection. We know this writer is a superior series writer- just think of Monstrous Devices or Railhead! However, in this girl, borne from the sea, in an historical setting, we’re immersed in ancient folklore, suffused with environmental considerations alongside the weight of faith and convention. This is superior, spell-tingling storytelling. Each of the two books can be read alone, incidentally, but together, we’re deep within the woods, as in Utterly Dark and the Heart of the Wild, or scenting the might and menace of the sea in Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep.
Readers seem to catapult over each other to own Jennifer Killick’s Crater Lake. It seems the horror and humour of Miss Hoch is addictive. Thereafter, this clever, intuitive writer has introduced the Dread Wood series, that begins with a pulsating Saturday detention. What’s more, the reason for these detentions seems to relate to the horrific discovery the quartet make not long after the gates close…. The latest visit is Flock Horror in which the demonic cackling ‘caretakers’ return with further evil plans of attack. Giant vampire birds? Bookwagon has been overwhelmed by the demand for this series. Then again, the careful plotting of the author has us on the edge of our seats. What next?
These series are just a snapshot of those aboard Bookwagon. Indeed, they’re just a snippet of those loved by our readers, and presented within our events. We will follow with some of our favourite graphic series, too.
We invite readers to 20% discount and free delivery on any of the books featured by applying the special discount code Bookwagonseries1 at checkout. This offer expires on Sunday, April 23rd, 2023.
What are your favourite series? Do get in touch and share. Meanwhile, happy reading wishes.