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Riordan read-alikes


By Kathy Pillatzki
Assistant Director
Henry County Library System

  From time to time I survey the staff at all five Henry County libraries to find out what books and authors are hot right now. I keep up with trends and new releases, but since I donít work with the public on a day-to-day basis, talking to the staff gives me insight into whatís really popular. Inevitably, I hear back from the childrenís staff that Rick Riordanís books and Jeff Kinneyís Diary of a Wimpy Kid series are still flying off the shelves.

  Once kids get hooked on a particular series, it can be hard to get them to move on to anything else. Waiting around for the next book in a series can be tough, though, and we at least want to keep them reading in the meantime. If your kids are looking forward to the release of the next Riordan book in October, or the newest Wimpy Kid book in November, here are some read-alikes to help pass the time. 

  If you love Riordanís Percy Jackson series, try these: Eion Colfer, the Artemis Fowl series. Suzanne Collins, the Underland Chronicles. Chris Dílacey, the Last Dragon Chronicles. John Flanagan, Rangerís Apprentice series. Cornelia Funke, anything at all, but especially Inkheart. Jenny Nimmo, Children of the Red King series. Jon Scieszka, Itís All Greek to Me.

  If Riordanís Heroes of Olympus are favorites, try these:

Caroline B. Cooney, Goddess of Yesterday. Nancy Farmer, Sea of Trolls. Philip Kerr, Children of the Lamp series. Brandon Mull, Fablehaven. Kenneth Oppel, Airborne. John Stephens, The Emerald Atlas. Anne Ursu, Shadow Thieves. Jane Yolen, Odysseus in the Serpent Maze.

  For fans of Riordanís Kane Chronicles: Brandon Mull, Beyonders series. Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game. R.L. LaFevers, Theodocia and the Serpents of Chaos.

  If you canít get enough of Kinneyís Wimpy Kid series, check out these selections for more hilarious middle-school angst:

  Kate Klise, any of hers, but especially Letters from Camp, Regarding the Fountain, and Regarding the Trees. Andrew Clements: you canít go wrong with any of his, but start with No Talking or my personal favorite, Frindle. Megan McDonald, the Stink series or Judy Moody series. Rachel Russel, the Dork Diaries series. Henry Winkler (yes, that Henry Winkler, AKA the Fonz), the Hank Zipzer series.

  Series books are a great way to get kids hooked on reading. Whereas adults may get bored with formulaic writing, kids are comfortable with predictability and the familiarity of favorite characters. If your kids are antsy for the next release in a favorite series, try some of these, ask your librarian for recommendations, or just explore the library until you find some new favorites.



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