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Books that get kids reading

Dear LA Teacher,

Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback is a delightful story packed full of summer camp pranks and mystery.
Solstice Publishing
Series books are popular with the YA and MG audience.
Vendera Publishing

I’m trying to motivate my 14 year old to read more. I just love the Stuart Woods books featuring former NYPD detective Stone Barrington turned investigative lawyer. Are there any series of books out there for middle school and high school age kids?

Dad who reads

Dear Dad who reads,

By reading you are providing the role model you want your child to emulate. With that said, there are plenty of series books published for tweens and teens. The Harry Potter series or the more recent Hunger Games books quickly come to mind.

Authors like to write series books around the adventures of their main characters because they have the opportunity to create a fictional timeline around the life of a character they’ve grown to love. One challenge is to maintain a consistency across all the books.

Michael Thal, author of the Koolura Series said, “I decided to write the second Koolura book because I saw a lot of possibilities in the Koolura Akopyan character.” Koolura is a middle school child with tremendous psychic powers. She can make objects move, read minds, teleport, and even fly.

Thal says, “When I wrote the second book, Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback I referenced back to the first book, The Legend of Koolura, to encourage readers to read that book, too.” In his current work in progress (WIP), “Koolura and the Mayans,” he is referring back to both books while creating a third novel independent of the other two. Thal says, “In book three Koolura is transported back to the time of the Mayans with her best friend, Leila, to stop a possible invasion of Earth by aliens from a distant star.”

Jessica Tornese, author of the Linked Series said that after writing Linked Through Time people showed interest in a sequel. Tornese says, “I really had to sit down and figure out what people would want to read about. I enjoyed the time travel aspect, so I wanted to incorporate that again, along with some real facts and history from the area where I grew up.”

In Lost Through Time Tornese has her main character, Kate, travel back to the Baudette, Minnesota fires of 1910 to locate her missing Aunt Sarah. Tornese says, “Book Two really was about bringing in a villain, someone people could get angry with. I wanted them to hate the villain, but also empathize with them as to why they became so set on ruining everyone else’s life.”

Book Three, Destroyed Through Time, was all about wrapping up unanswered questions. Tornese says, “It takes place ten years after books one and two. I wanted the reader to see the change in my characters, to see the hurt and ruin caused by selfishness. But, I still wanted the key element to be about family—It was hard to write, as I didn’t include time travel. I was afraid my readers would be disappointed.”

Anne McGee, author of the Cedar Creek Mystery Books says, “It was never my intention to write The Mystery at Marlatt Manor as part of a series. I first wrote it as a stand-alone book. Turning it into a series came about after my publisher said how well the book was selling. He felt that with so many requests for a sequel, I should turn it into a series.”

McGee really got excited about writing book two, The Mystery of the Missing Ming, when she reacquainted herself with the Cedar Creek characters—independent Mallory, her sidekick Kyle, and the affable grandma Aggie. McGee says, “It seemed like they’d all been waiting patiently (or impatiently as is often the case with these three characters) for me to send them off on another new and exciting adventure. With that much enthusiasm, I couldn’t wait to grab some pencils and paper and start doing it.”

The Mystery Beneath Midville Museum is book three in the Cedar Creek Mystery Books. McGee says of her WIP, “In this story Mallory, Kyle and Aggie become involved in the strange happenings surrounding an Egyptian exhibit on loan at the nearby Midville Museum. Among the many ancient artifacts on display is the mummy of a young woman known as a muse (a temple singer). But it’s not until Mallory’s paranormal abilities begin to kick in, that things get even stranger. An eerie story indeed.”

The Koolura Series, Linked Series, and the Cedar Creek Mystery Books are action packed books for middle grade, Young Adult, and even adult readers. They are exciting, entertaining and pure fun.

LA Teacher

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