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Endangered Series #14: Marvin Redpost by Louis Sachar

Popularity comes, popularity goes. As librarians we’re always balancing between what will circulate like crazy and what we need to have in the collection. And we’re not the Library of Congress – we can’t (and shouldn’t) keep everything.

An endangered series is one that appears to be waning in terms of popularity. But popularity isn’t everything. Should it stay, or should it go? Or think of it this way – if you were starting a library today, would this series make the cut? Let’s discuss.

Marvin Redpost (Series) by Louis Sachar

This eight-book series began in 1992, with books coming out until the end of that decade.

The Case for Keeping: Through Newbery winner Holes and the Wayside School series (which will be growing in 2020), Sachar has proven to be a wonderful author. And when some students find an author they love, they want to read everything we have by them. Hanging on to this series will give Sachar fans more options.

The Case for Not: There’s no shortage of boy-centric chapter book fare out there, and maybe the shelf space would be better used with something more current.

Refresh? The entire series was re-released in 2007 with updated covers and illustrations:

My Verdict: We’re weeding them. It’s a brutal world out there, I know, but they haven’t been circulating enough to keep. Holes and Wayside School series is not going anywhere, though.

What are you doing with this series at your library?

Previously:

Endangered Series #1: The Boxcar Children

Endangered Series #2: The Hardy Boys

Endangered Series #3: American Girl

Endangered Series #4: The Baby Sitter’s Club

Endangered Series #5: The Bailey School Kids

Endangered Series #6: Nate the Great

Endangered Series #7: Cam Jansen

Endangered Series #8: The Kids of the Polk Street School

Endangered Series #9: Pony Pals

Endangered Series #10: Little Bill

Endagered Series #11: Animal Ark

Endangered Series #12: Arthur

Endangered Series #13: The English Roses

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. I got the new covers and promoted them to 2nd grade in the spring using Why Pick on Me? for read-alouds during state testing time. The kids loved it, and the size of the book with the illustrations is something that’s not overwhelming for kids trying to go from picture books to chapter books before attempting novels. This is an area of the school library that I am trying to develop because we need those smallish books to help kids transition to reading more independently. I did get rid of the books with the old covers.

  2. Barbara Gogan says:

    We have much better options and no one was reading them, even with our spotlighting them. However, when I noticed one was There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, I realized that was not a message out inclusive school would want to promote and we tossed them all. Now the section looks much more appealing with those gone.

  3. TRACY FERGUSON says:

    I kept them–put them in my Easy Chapter section–which was a HUGE need….those transitional chapter books that help kids go from picture books to chapter books. I JUST recommended this to a pre-teen who is a struggling reader. She did NOT want the ‘girly’ books–her words–and so I recommended Marvin Redpost. She took two and came back the next day and told me she loved them and wanted more!!! Success! I am keeping them-for now.

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