100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

The Unexpecteds: 5 Sneakily Popular Books in My K-4 Library

While I was gathering data for my Top 10 Circulated Books of 2014 posts…



…I noticed a few unexpected titles that weren’t quite at the very top of the checkout count, but were close.

I’m calling them The Unexpecteds. Hollywood movie execs, call me if you’d like to use that as the title for your next blockbuster (current asking price: 1 box, Kashi granola bars).

Here are five books that were more popular than I thought, in no particular order.

The TOON Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics selected and edited by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly

This book has two things going for it. Firstly, it’s full of comic strips. Secondly, it’s really huge. Kids love comics, and they love large books almost as much.

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta; illustrated by Ed Young

I mentioned this one in my ninja post the other day, and then it popped up among our most circulated books, so I thought I’d give it another plug. This is a great combination of subject matter and an irrefutably eye-grabbing cover.

Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng

Could it be that this book is actually hypnotizing kids? I have to say, there aren’t a ton of books that feature hypnotism out there. And the shiny cover doesn’t hurt.

Alice-Miranda at School by Jacqueline Harvey

This fish-out-of-water mystery has been getting checked out all year, but you’d never know – I haven’t heard kids talking about it or mentioning the title. Goes to show that books don’t have to be getting buzz to be fan favorites.

Case File 13: Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage

You know, you buy these books, hoping that they will catch on with kids, but you never quite know how it’s going to work out. I thought this one might have a shot, but that feeling wasn’t confirmed until I looked at the stats. There aren’t that many good zombie books for the middle grade crowd, and this book filled the void nicely.

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.