Blogger Abby Johnson

Time to Stock Up for Summer

As much as you (okay, I) may want to deny it, summer is coming! That makes spring the perfect time to stock up on the series books that kids will be looking for as they swarm through the doors to the public library once school’s out. Each year around this time, I go through our most popular series, trying to make my best guess about what the kids will be crazy about this year. I replace missing books and books that are falling apart. I fill in any holes we have in the series and I might order additional copies of the first books in series.

My go-to database for series titles is the Mid-Continent Public Library’s Juvenile Series and Sequels page. And if you use Baker & Taylor’s TitleSource, here are instructions for easy series searching. (Anyone else have tips for other vendors or other series websites you use??)

Amy of The Show-Me Librarian and Anne of so tomorrow did a great series popularity poll recently on their blogs, so that’s definitely worth a look.

Here are some of the series you might want to check up on before school’s out for the summer!

Picture Books

  • Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney
  • Where’s Waldo by Martin Handford
  • Pinkalicious by Victoria Kahn. There are picture books and easy readers in this series.
  • Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin
  • Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor. There are picture books and easy readers in the series, and don’t forget the new Nancy Clancy chapter books.
  • Dr. Seuss books
  • I Spy by Walter Wicks
  • Mo Willems – Make sure you have plenty of Pigeon books, and don’t forget Knuffle Bunny, Elephant & Piggie, and Mo’s many standalones!

Chapter Books

Keep your eyes on those comic book / novels that kids are eating up:

  • Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  •  Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
  •  Dork Diaries by Renee Russell

Replenish your beginning chapter books with series like:

  • Geronimo Stilton
  • Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osbourne (don’t forget the nonfiction research guides!)
  • Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
  • Rainbow Magic

Stock up on perennial favorites like:

  • American Girl
  • Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrow
  • Warriors by Erin Hunt (also Seekers and the graphic novels)
  • Judy Moody by Megan MacDonald
  • Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parrish (new chapter books just came out this year!)
  • Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
  • Everything by Rick Riordan (especially since the Sea of Monsters movie will be coming out this August!)
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – each year a new batch of kids become ready to start this series for the first time!
  • Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
  • I Survived… by Lauren Tarshis

And don’t forget some standalones that have been very popular this year:

  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Graphic Novels

  • Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
  • Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Lunch Lady by Jarrett Krosoczka
  • Bone by Jeff Smith

High-Interest Nonfiction

  • American Girl guides
  • Guinness Book of World Records – even volumes from previous years often circ!
  • Lego Encyclopedias
  • Magic Tree House Reference Guides – these are great to hand to kids if/when your Magic Tree House fiction books get picked over.
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not books
  • Who Was… – I don’t know about you, but these slim biographies fly off the shelf year-round here!

Media Tie-In

  • Hello Kitty
  • Ninjago
  • Smurfs – Smurfs 2 hits theaters this summer!
  • Sofia the First – the newest Disney “princess” on the block
  • Star Wars
  • Superhero books – There are several superhero movies coming out this summer: Man of Steel (Superman), Iron Man 3, and The Wolverine (X-Men)


Restock those super popular authors like:

  • Cassandra Clare
  • Suzanne Collins
  • Allie Condie
  • Sarah Dessen
  • John Green
  • James Patterson
  • Veronica Roth
  • Scott Westerfeld

Stock up on classics being turned into movies this summer (and maybe replace beat-up classics that may be required for summer reading assignments):

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

And don’t forget to look for holes in your manga series!

These are some of the authors and series I’ll be making sure to stock up on for summer, but every community is different (and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some). What’s super popular in YOUR community? What series, authors, or standalones would you add to this list?

— Abby Johnson, Children’s Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN


  1. Anne (@sotomorrow)

    Another great source for finding the order of series books is Kent District Library’s What’s Next database:

    Thanks for linking to our series poll!

  2. Jennifer

    Sean Kenney’s Lego guides are a must-have, especially if you have a lego club. We’re also huge fans of any kind of picture book with ballerinas and I’ve bought extra copies of James Mayhew’s Ella Bella Ballerina, since we’re having a big Ella Bella party this summer. And Angry Birds! They have nonfiction books with National Geographic.

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