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Endangered Series #13: The English Roses by Madonna

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.

The English Roses (Series) by Madonna, illustrated by Jeffrey Fulvimari

A few years after The English Roses picture book was published, this realistic fiction chapter book series began in 2007, with 12 titles published in total.

The Case for Keeping: Every library is going to be different on this series, but in our case the books still see some modest circulation. I feel like the covers are still pretty appealing and they don’t yet seem overly dated.

The Case for Not: I am a firm believer that all celebrity books should be kept on a short leash. For one, it’s pretty rare that they are good (this series saw mostly lukewarm reviews). For two (and this one’s personal) books by children’s literature tourists should be ruthlessly weeded as soon as they wear out their welcome.

Refresh? While the originals are all out of print, some books in the series were recently brought back in full color:

My Verdict: We aren’t weeding them yet. Holding off until they show more damage or the circulations drop off a bit more.

What are you doing with this series at your library?


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

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.