100 Scope Notes
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#holdshelf: January 2013

The hold shelf is the polygraph test of the library world. What are people truly interested in reading? Check the holds. While the popularity of certain titles is universal (see: Wimpy Kid, The Hunger Games, etc.), often times there will be a run on a book you never expected. As famous librarian, the famous Rasheed Wallace once famously said (and I quote), “Hold shelf don’t lie.”¹

¹Look out – faux sports reference.

Every month (save the months when we don’t) The Children’s Literature Bill Clinton (John Schumacher) and I recap what’s on our hold shelves and invite you to do the same. I’m up first. The theme seems to be Regional Flair:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

The only notable thing here is that it’s the original wimp, and not one of the more recent installments.

Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman


I, Jack by Patricia Finney

Another surprise.

Scary Stories 3 by Alvin Schwartz

This is a mainstay.

Surviving Me by Reginald Raab

This is pretty cool because this book is written by a teacher who works at the school. We have multiple copies in the library and they’re always circulating.

Weird Michigan

I think they have these for other states too, right? I am a fan of Michigan miscellanea, so I get the appeal.

American Chillers: The Michigan Mega-Monster by Jonathan Rand

Have I told you yet about the R.L. Stein of Michigan? His name is Jonathan Rand and his books are like our mitten state version of Goosebumps. Every elementary library has them. After creating the Michigan Chillers series, he went national with American Chillers.

Plunked by Michael Northrup

This has been a steadily popular book. It’s always checked out and often lands on this shelf.

Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

Still going strong, this one! It’s been a hold shelf regular since the beginning, and, it appears, for some time to come.

The Cloud Searchers (Amulet, Book 3) by Kazu Kibuishi

Nothin’ new here.

John Schumacher upped the ante with a hold shelf video:

And now it’s your turn. Thank you to everyone who submitted their hold shelf.

via @Liblaura5

via vlrstn750

via Abigail L.

via Sylvie Shaffer

via Lindsay W.

via @bookdiva414

via @SEMSLibraryLady

via @heidihuestis

via @BenjiHaiku

via @stylinlibrarian

via @erinlibrary

via @CuriousStGeorge

via @sotomorrow

via @LibraryFanatic

Look for more #holdshelf next month.

(Top image: polygraph by spiralstares http://www.flickr.com/photos/spiralstares/1466785860/)

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. +5 points for the Rasheed Wallace reference. The only thing missing was that look on his face after someone calls a foul on him where his eyes bug out of his head…

  2. I adore looking at hold shelves. It’s the voyeur in me hoping to make sure I read all the “good” books!

  3. I enjoyed looking at the #holdshelf pictures. It was my first time to contribute a picture, and I will definitely make this a monthly habit (save the months you don’t). I spied many similar titles I have in my library then added some to my future order list. Thanks!

  4. Vicki Kouchnerkavich says:

    If I were Jeff Kinney I would be so thrilled to see my books on so many of these hold shelves!!

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