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#holdshelf: September 2012

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

– Woody Allen, US movie actor, comedian, & director (1935 – )

Sometimes you make a grand entrance, and sometimes you just…enter. The first #holdshelf of of the year is in the latter category. We’ll save the fanfare for October – today, it’s just the nuts and bolts.

Starting a couple years back, I began snapping monthly pictures of the books on hold at my school libraries. I wanted to show, in unfiltered glory, the books kids were lining up to read. Last year I teamed up with Our Nation’s Foremost Librarian (just a nickname I’m testing out) – John Schumacher – to make the snapping of hold shelf pictures a participatory event.

This time out, I’ll just be sharing our shelves – no big gallery – but you can still take part. Tweet a hold shelf pic with the hashtag #holdshelf, or post a hold shelf photo on your blog. You can also follow the #holdshelf board on Pinterest.

First up, we have Mr. Schumacher’s shelf:

(Click to enlarge)

I always appreciate Mr. Schu’s hold shelf arranging skills. It looks like he has…

Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth by Jane O’Connor

Fancy Nancy is growing up. She’s ditched the “Fancy” (an improvement, in my book), and is solving mysteries in this early chapter book series.

The EPIC OFFICIAL Guide Club Penguin by TraceyWest

These are the sorts of books that you know will always be on hold. Like it or don’t like it, entertainment tie-ins circulate.

The Star Crusher (Missile Mouse #1) by Jake Parker

Have I mentioned that I like this graphic novel series? If you have Amulet fans, give them this – a sure fire hit.

Unusual Creatures by Michael Hearst

I love seeing nonfiction on the hold shelf and this new book on strange animals looks like it will be a big draw.

The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kibuishi

This graphic novel series continues to pick up fans.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

It’s pretty much impossible to not like this lower level graphic novel series.

The Great Ice Age (Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novel Series #5) by Geronimo Stilton

If you haven’t made the foray into the graphic novel version of the popular Geronnimo Stilton series, it’s worth checking out.

Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers by Dav Pilkey

Of course.

Creepy Carrots! by Peter Brown

It’s rare when I find a picture book on the hold shelf – must be due to the fact they can be read so quickly. The latest from Peter Brown seems to have already acquired a following.

On to my shelf. As the school year is only a couple weeks old, holds haven’t been rolling in. My modest 5th and 6th grade shelf:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

I don’t think you can ever have enough of these.

The Michigan Wolverines Football Team by David Aretha

A bit of an old-timer with homer appeal! And a good reminder that sports books can remain popular, even if they aren’t hot off the presses.

Gun: A Visual History by DK Publishing

It’s difficult to overstate the popularity of this book. I work in a Michigan community where hunting is popular, and this is always on hold.

Look for more #holdshelf 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. Love the #holdshelf idea–what a great tool for collection development!

  2. I always enjoy seeing what your kids have on hold – often different from what I have kids asking for at my public library! Looking at Mr. Schu’s list, sadly, made me realize how many books in those graphic novel series have gone lost from my library. Time to reorder!