100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

On Hold @ the Library: October 2010

What you are about to see is real. These are the books that actual, honest-to-goodness children are putting on hold at the school libraries where I work. The photo below (of books on hold at my 3rd and 4th grade school) has not been altered in any way.

Wait, let’s make this easier on ourselves:

Much better. Okay, since it’s a fairly crowed shelf this month, let’s put these books in categories.

The No Surprises Group:

39 Clues, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Calvin and Hobbes, Goosebumps, Scholastic Book of World Records, Batman/Superman

You didn’t know these were popular? I’d like to welcome you to 2010, because it is very likely you are a time traveler from the past.

The Seasonal Sensations:

Halloween, Mostly Ghostly

There’s something I love about the annual renewal of interest in seasonal books. It’s like they become famous again every year.

The Perennial Classic:

Where the Sidewalk Ends

This book just continues to get love – as you can probably tell by the condition it’s in. It has the pesky top o’ the spine tear going on.

The High Interest Nonfiction Contingent:

The Loch Ness Monster, Buck Wilder’s Small Fry Fishing Guide, The Golden Retriever

Lovers of facts make their presence felt on the hold shelf with this trio of titles.

The “I Didn’t Realize that was Popular Until I Realized It” Crew:

The English Roses series by Madonna, The Young Dancer by Darcy Bussel, The Scary States of America by Michael Teitelbaum

English Roses has been a unquestionable smash hit at my schools. As a result, my tongue-biting strength has never been better. The popularity of The Young Dancer once again re-affirms that one can never underestimate books on this topic. Scary States, a collection of 50 scary short stories is almost always on hold. If I can recommend you purchase one lesser-known title on this list, this crowd-pleaser would be it.

The Fiction Creeper:

Peak by Roland Smith

This book has been getting a bunch of checkouts recently – I’m chalking this one up to positive student word-of-mouth, which is always welcome.

Look for more books On Hold @ the Library next month.

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 scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Travis, this may be a dumb question, but how do students put books on hold? Are they books that maybe their friends checked out and they ask you if they can have it next?

    • Our automation system allows us to place a hold on a book. A student asks to put a book on hold, we enter it into the computer, and when it comes in a message pops up that tells which student gets the book next. Then we put it on the hold shelf until the student comes back in. Usually the books with the most hold action are ones that are getting positive student word of mouth, but teachers also have an influence if they hype up a particular title.

      • Ahhh okay! That’s just like us! And yes, the books that are most popular at my library are the ones that kids recommend to each other and the books their teachers talk up to them.

  2. We got a really well-written review of Peak from a kid in the spring. Since then, I feel like I’ve been seeing it around more and more!

    Here’s the kid-submitted review:

  3. librarygirl says:

    The kids in my school (K-5) like the same exact books! I guess kids are kids!