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On Hold @ the Library: March 2012

The library hold shelf – window to the soul? Not quite (unless your soul is mainly comprised of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books), but it does tell you which books kids are truly excited about.

On Hold @ the Library is getting participatory, thanks to the brave folks who submitted photos of their hold shelves. John Schumacher of Watch. Connect. Read. and I have teamed up and will be alternating hosting duties each month.

We’re also going all high tech, with a Twitter hashtag (#holdshelf) and a Pinterest board you can check out if you’re into that sort of thing (or are, perhaps, from the future).

Let’s begin today with the hold shelf at my 5th and 6th grade school:

The contents:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid #6: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

No introductions needed.

Half-Minute Horrors by Various

I first learned of this book a couple years back from Bookends, and it’s been popular in my library ever since we added it. Extremely short and spooky stories from a cast of excellent writers.

My Name is Mina by David Almond

This is a brand-new book to our collection and it’s cool to see that it’s already getting a lot of attention.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

There’s a lot of genius going on in Brian Selznick’s illustrated novel. I love this book and kids are right there with me, apparently.

Guinness Book of World Records 2010

How do you know kids like their world records? This isn’t even the glossy photo-filled edition – it’s the black and white paperback edition and it’s still pulling holds.

More True Lies by George Shannon

Surprise alert! There are always a couple unexpected books that tend to show up here, and this book is one of them. Most often, these surprises are due to teacher recommendations (which is the case here).

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Special Edition 2009

In terms of sheer “must…grab…book” quality, this edition of the ever-popular Ripley’s series deserves to be in the hall of fame. Kids are drawn to this cover. The Ripley’s folks must also know this, as it seems like every cover since 2009 seems to be of a similarly tatted and pierced dude.

Small Steps by Louis Sachar

The sequel to one of my all-time favorites makes an appearance.

Ellie McDoodle: Best Friends Fur-Ever by Ruth Barshaw

This heavily-illustrated series has seen steady popularity in my 5th-6th grade library over the years. It’s not a hold shelf regular, but the books have made the rounds very nicely.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

You know that part in the movie High Fidelity when John Cusack’s character says “I will now sell five copies of The Three EPs by The Beta Band”?

Playing the book trailer for The Unwanteds works similar magic. Put this on for kids and watch the holds accumulate:

I Survived #4: I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis

This is a new series from Scholastic that has been getting a lot of circulations. High interest historical fiction are four words that you don’t see together as much as they should be, so it’s nice to add to this niche.

Now on to your hold shelves…

(Click to enlarge photos)

John Schumacher starts us off:

Anne from so tomorrow:








Julie H.:



 1. Draw 50 Horses
 2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
 3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
 4. Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt
 5. Franny K. Stein: Attack of the 50-Ft Cupid
 6. My Weird School Daze: Mr. Sunny is Funny
 7. Babymouse: Skater Girl (?)
 8. Babymouse: Beach Babe
 9 & 10. Super Diaper Baby 2
 11. Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace
 12. Run For the Hills, Geronimo! (Geronimo Stilton)
 13. Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star
 14. Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
 15. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
 16. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
 17 & 29. Bad Kitty vs Uncle Murray
 18. Bad Kitty Gets a Bath
 19. UFOs
 20. The California Gold Rush (Graphic History)
 21. Army Rangers in Action
 22. El Capitan Calzoncillos y la Furia de la Supermujer Macroelastica (Captain Undies)
 23. Diario de Greg: Esto es el Colmo (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
 24. Attack of the Vampire Weenies
 25. The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies
 26. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
 27. My Weird School: Miss Holly is Too Jolly
 28. Bad Kitty Meets the Baby
 30. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
 31. Amelia’s BFF
 32. A Bad Kitty Christmas
 33. I Spy Year-Round Challenger
Thanks to everyone who sent in hold shelf pictures. Look for more On Hold @ the Library next month at Watch. Connect. Read.
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. Love the idea of documenting the hold shelves! Looks like The Hunger Games and Diary of a Wimpy Kid are running a tight race. It is so refreshing to continue to see that kids are still interested in reading books over playing video games.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Mandy @ The Chockboard

  2. Are you kidding? *I* want to read The Unwanteds now! I hadn’t heard about this book before and it looks AWESOME!Thanks for the head’s up, Travis!

  3. Maureen’s shelf: Rifles for Watie? Seriously? Is someone at her school doing the Newbery challenge? I’m impressed!

  4. I’m glad I am not the only person fascinated by what’s on hold. It’s also interesting to see how many books are on hold at some libraries. If we had 30+ books on hold at a time in my children’s department, we’d be scrambling to find places to put them!
    Maybe sometime you could survey your readers and ask about how their circulation policies might affect what’s on hold. How long do the kids keep the books? Fines or no fines? How long do they have to pick held books up? We only give 3 days, which I often think is too short for a public library where kids don’t control whether they can get here in that time period or not.

  5. Your posts are always great, Travis. I love this “HOLDS”
    feature/ idea as it cuts right to the chase and shows us what the kids want to read and what they ARE reading, day to day and week to week. Have fun in Anaheim and thanks again for another terrific post!

  6. The number of holds at my library have increased tremendously since students learned to place holds themselves. Managing the holds can get really overwhelming, but it’s worth the headaches when a student who’s been waiting on a book for months *finally* gets to check it out. The #1 question at my library is “What number am I on the hold list for Bad Kitty/WimpyKid?”

    Anne, at my library we keep our holds on a long sideboard that one of the teachers threw out. It’s absolutely hideous- as you can probably tell by the water rings in the picture- but it’s long enough to hold all the…holds. :)

  7. Late to the party! I posted a screenshot of our holds tonight.