It was exactly one year ago today, June 8, 2017, when Carol and I made the 3.5-hour trip to Northshire Books in Manchester, Vermont to meet John Grisham and to hear him speak about his life and career in writing. The event was limited to 200 people and he was also autographing his 30th book, Camino Island.
His 300 million books in print worldwide have been translated into some 42 languages – and a number of his titles including A Time to Kill, The Firm and Pelican Brief, have made it to the silver screen.
When it came time for Carol and I to be escorted into the room to meet Mr. Grisham, I told him I had a confession to make. He was autographing a book for us and without looking up he paused and said, ‘okay, go ahead…’
I said, “I have never read one of your adult novels.” Then after my own quick pause told him, “I’m a Theodore Boone fan.”
That brought a laugh and a big smile from him and an admission that a good friend of his was similarly a Boone-only fan.
I have been surprised to learn how many do not know about the Theodore Boone series which was suggested by his daughter and is written for kids. There are six volumes in the series for far and I was thrilled to learn from him that he plans to write one more!
I read series books as a boy and read series books to my son and then we began to write The Adirondack Kids® series of books together. And I continue to be excited about series books because for decades they have proven effective to attract and grow solid readers.
Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, refers to the research which found “series to be the uncontested favorite of young readers for the past one hundred years” – and that the best readers have fallen in love with series books and once hooked consume them and learn to read faster and with greater comprehension. “He’s on the road to becoming a terrific reader who in his own good time will be ready for classics.” (pp, 120, 122)
I grew up on the Hardy Boys series and Justin loved the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. A new generation is now discovering Theodore Boone and we are humbled by the thousands who have entered the world of our characters who are The Adirondack Kids®.
There are many great series books available today. If you have a new or reluctant reader in your life, introduce him or her to reading for pleasure. And when a series resonates with a young reader you care about, fuel it. It will be one of the very best investments you will ever make in that child.
Questions: Did you have a favorite book series when growing up? Does your children or grandchild have a favorite series right now?
We had a great time this past week hiking with some 60 students and their teachers and parents up Rondaxe (Bald) Mountain in the Central Adirondacks. Many thanks to Lisa Aiello (pictured above) for inviting us to join them. Be watching for some video footage of the hike sometime soon!
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© 2018 Adirondack Kid Press, Ltd.