Endangered Series #20: The 39 Clues
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 39 Clues (Series) by various authors
This adventure series began in 2008 with Maze of Bones and continued (through various spin-off series) until 2016. A lot of well-known authors wrote books in the series. It made a big splash, with interactive online elements for readers to explore.
The Case for Keeping: The series isn’t all that old yet (or am I being too generous?). It still feels fairly modern and the adventure/mystery genre is always a page-turner. A big-screen adaptation could potentially give a boost. Steven Spielberg acquired the film rights in 2008, but the movie has yet to make it to the production stage (so we probably shouldn’t hold our breath on that).
The Case for Not: I don’t know about your library, but the interest in these books at my school has really dipped. They are paper over board books, and our collection is looking a little ragged at this point.
Refresh? Since this is a relatively new series, there are no new covers or reboots.
My Verdict: We are weeding the damaged copies and not replacing, unless a booktalk next year can get them going again.
What are you doing with this series at your library?
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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