Endangered Series #1: The Boxcar Children
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.
Today’s candidate is…
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Case for Keeping:
Originally published in 1924, you can’t deny it has staying power. Also, there have been some recent additions to the series, and an animated film coming this summer, both of which may spark additional interest.
The Case for Not:
While more timeless than most, in 2014 it is showing age. The recent prequel (written by Patricia MacLachan) didn’t seem to catch on strongly.
Albert Whitman has published graphic novel adaptations of the first 18 books in the series.
There are also new paperback editions (above) and the aforementioned prequel (below).
We’re keeping the start of the series, but trimming down many of the later installments.
What say you?
Filed under: Endangered Series
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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