Why start with the first one?

While in the library a while ago, I got into a conversation with another mom about the Charllie Bone  books.  I recommended them to her as a fun new series for her son.  She then asked if he could start with book 3  since they didn't have the first two.  "Uh, I beg your pardon?"  This seems like such ridiculous question to me, and yet I've heard it a hundred times! 

For the majority of book series, particularly as we move into Early Teen, the books in the middle won't make sense without the background information from previous books.  Think if you tried to watch Gilligan's Island without seeing the pilot, or even hearing the theme song (if you don't know what Gilligan's Island is, you are too young to be reading this).  You would see an episode and wonder how these 7 people came to be on this deserted island, why they don't have a boat to get off of it, and why Mr.and Mrs. Howell packed so many clothes for a 3 hour tour.... ok, I still wonder about that last one. 

Anyway, as a general rule, you should always read a series in the order the books were written.  They make more sense that way, and are much more entertaining since authors tend to build on previous material.  Most importantly, you would hate to ruin the story by accidently discovering major plot details by reading out of order.  Imagine finding out Darth Vadar was Luke's father before Luke had even saved Princess Leah from the Death Star (and if you don't understand how that is possible, you are definitely too young to be reading this!).


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