Endangered Series #26: A to Z Mysteries
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.
A to Z Mysteries (series) by Ron Roy
This chapter book series began in 1996 with The Absent Author and continued alphabetically until the 26th and final book, The Zombie Zone, was published in 2005.
The Case for Keeping: The series has a good hook – a book for each letter of the alphabet. It’s the sort of thing where certain readers want to work through all the way to Z. The mystery element also distinguishes them from other books in this chapter book zone.
The Case for Not: So many of these late 90s, early 2000s series are at the same crossroads: they get to a point where they are looking beat up and dated, and it comes to a decision about keeping them or not. That’s the case with our copies.
Refresh? A few years back, updated covers were released:
A to Z Mysteries: Super Editions and spinoff series Calendar Mysteries expand the world as well.
My Verdict: When it comes to weeding books, circulation is king, and these books still circulate in our K-3rd grade library. We’re keeping them and might go for the updated covers at some point.
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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