From the Beacon: Stories continue with popular series

We all know what a pleasure it is when we find a book that is so good we just don't want it to end.
It's even better when we discover that such a book is not the end of the story, but rather one part of a bigger series. This can especially hold true for young readers.

Here are some of the library's more popular series:

'THE BOXCAR CHILDREN,' BY GERTRUDE CHANDLER WARNER

One of the oldest series in the children's library, "The Boxcar Children" began in 1924 with the first book telling how Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny came to be the "Boxcar Children."

Due to the popularity of the book, Warner would go on to write 19 other books about the children before turning it over to other authors. These authors continued writing under Warner's name for more than 100 books.

Throughout the series, the children have remained essentially the same, though the setting has shifted to modern days.

'HARDY BOYS,' BY FRANKLIN W. DIXON, AND 'NANCY DREW,' BY CAROLYN KEENE

Both the Hardy boys (Frank and Joe) and Nancy Drew have been solving mysteries since 1927. Not only have they appeared in hundreds of books in their original series but also in spin-offs, television, films and computer games. Though credited to Dixon and Keene -- neither of whom actually existed -- Joe, Frank and Nancy were created by Edward Stratemeyer for his publication syndicate and their adventures were penned by ghost writers.

'DEAR AMERICA,' BY VARIOUS AUTHORS

The "Dear America" series began in 1996 and related tales of young girls throughout American history. Though fictional narratives, the stories and events contained within the pages help show young female readers where they stood in relation to those who preceded them in our nation's experience. The series was so popular, a companion series for boys, "My Name Is America," was launched.

'MAGIC TREE HOUSE,' BY MARY POPE OSBORNE

Like the "Dear America" series, the "Magic Tree House" helped children travel through history. In this series however, no attempt was made to present the protagonists as real historical characters. Rather, Jack and Annie use the Magic Tree House to visit different people and places. Later in the series, Jack and Annie begin to visit well-known, but fictional, literary realms, such as Camelot.

'THE 39 CLUES,' BY VARIOUS AUTHORS

Though one of the newest series, "The 39 Clues" has already made its mark on children's lit. Amy and Dan Cahill have been searching for their family's secret through 14 titles written by such big-time children's authors as Gordon Korman, Rick Riordan and Linda Sue Park.

A truly 21st century series, the books have tie-ins with collector's cards and online games.

'AMERICAN CHILLERS,' BY JOHNATHAN RAND

This is perhaps the most popular children's series in the library right now. The series' popularity can be attributed to Rand's simple writing style and his quirky way of relating scary stories from each of the 50 states (and, in a spin-off series, numerous Michigan towns).

Visit any Beaufort County library branch. Maybe you'll find that book that you just can't put down.