Top 10 books that made me want to write a sequel, fan fiction! by Debbie Alvarez

fangirlFan fiction stories are introduced quietly over the years with a rabid fan base of readers. I remember the first time I was introduced to the idea and I thought to myself, I’ve been writing fan fiction for years in my head and on paper, just didn’t realize that it would be called that. Often, I am lost in the world of a story, captured there and the only way out is to replay scenarios and create new ones. I took the time to enjoy reading some of the books in the James Potter fan fiction series, by G. Norman Lippert and then I felt wonderful about my reading explorations when I read the brilliant, thoughtful book Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It was fascinating to read the perspective of a fan fiction writer who just wanted to be accepted, acknowledged, and develop her craft. Then, I thought about mentor texts that teachers use to instruct quality writing and reading skills. They lead to a similar connection to fan fiction in my opinion. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean I want a sequel written for one of the books I list below (a few of the books below actually do have sequels). I appreciate the worlds that these authors create.
Which leads me to the top ten list I created below…


Top 10 Books I Imagined a Sequel to:

10. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Fantasy – 4th grade and up

This is “that” book for me. The one I always stated was my favorite book when people asked. I just loved this book. It took two years for the sequel to be available but I certainly played through many versions of a sequel to this treasure. About the book: Meggie finds out that her dad has a magical ability to read characters out of books but does not have complete control of his abilities. What happens when her father, Mo, reads good and evil characters out of a book they were enjoying together? Enjoy the exciting adventures throughout this book!

9. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Realistic Fiction – 4th grade and up

I never wanted this book to end. About the book: Auggie is a boy who knows he’s just a regular kid inside but people often immediately judge him based on his facial features which are drastically different. This is a beautiful story that changes to different character’s perspectives throughout the book.

8. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Realistic Fiction – 3rd grade and up

Perhaps I still want to read more and don’t want to say goodbye to Ivan. Still thrilled about this treasure winning the Newbery Award in 2013! About the book: Written from the perspective of Ivan, a gorilla who was captured and brought to be an attraction in a shopping mall. This story is written in verse. Find out what happens to Ivan, who his closest friends are, and find hope in hopeless situations.


doll bones

7. Doll Bones by Holly Black

Fantasy – 4th grade and up

This reads like a realistic fiction book. It’s difficult to specifically state this is a fantasy. I had a joyous happy dance moment for this newly awarded Newbery Honor! About the book: What happens when you love playing with action figures but your parents tell you that you’re too old to play with them? Three children are close friends who are joined together by storytelling with their action figures but something goes terribly wrong when one of the friends claims that an antique doll is haunting her. Find out how they solve the mystery of why this doll is haunting and begging for help.

6. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Animal Fantasy – 3rd grade and up

I was ready to enjoy a sequel to this book because it was just too special to leave. I especially wanted to see how special characters changed over the years. About the book: Fantastic story that moves fluidly between three important characters and reveals the connections between them: a mouse in love with a princess, a rat who dreams of a nicer life, and a serving girl.

eleanor and park
5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Realistic Fiction – High School

This was a recent read and I adored every minute of it. When I arrived at the end I thought, Wow, now what? I love how Rainbow completed this book but I started thinking about different scenarios for the next book dreaming about how the characters developed and changed over time.


4. Pickle – The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School by Kim Baker

Realistic Fiction – 3rd grade and up

I just want to read another book with these characters, especially would love to see what pranks they pull next. I enjoyed chatting with my students about pranks that they thought should be included in a sequel.

3. The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

Fantasy/Horror – 4th grade and up

This lovely book made me feel a little creepy and I wanted to think out a sequel simply because I was quite lost in the setting and needed to find a way out!

2. Holes by Louis Sachar

Mixed Genre – 4th grade and up

I loved this book and read it aloud to a class, played the audiobook with my son, and imagined a very different sequel than the one that was released. Just loved the different stories intertwined and how the book was revealed. This has always been one of my favorite books. I’ve imagined the future of many of the key characters and the adventures they might experience next.


trumpet of the swan

1. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

Animal Fiction – 3rd grade and up

I read this book when I was a child. I sat down soon after and wrote what I wished was the sequel. When I was in a Children’s Literature class years later, I was warned that sometimes books you’ve read in the past seem vastly different when you reread them years later. Rereading The Trumpet of the Swan made me avoid reading other favorites for a while. It was quite confusing to remember portions of this book that in my memory had merged with my imagined sequel.
Which book have you mentally created a sequel to?


debbie alvarezDebbie Alvarez is a teacher librarian in Hong Kong. She is constantly on Twitter @stylinlibrarian and blogs over at and is honored to share her passion for reading amongst a wonderful mix of other Nerdy Book Club reading adventurers.