100 Scope Notes
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Calde-bump, Newbery Jump

Newbery Bump

Now’s a good time to check on how the recent Newbery and Caldecott winners are faring on the New York Times bestseller lists, I’d say.

Caldecott first:

As a reminder, here are the winners:

And the children’s picture book list as it stands right now:



Click here for the entire list.

They All Saw a Cat and Du Iz Tak? made it on the list – good to see, good to see. Here’s hoping the others jump up there too.

Now, Newbery:

The winners:

And the children’s middle grade hardcover list as it currently stands:


Click here for the entire list.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon is the lone representative, coming in at #4. Here’s predicting it gets some Newbery company soon.

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. Lynn Van Auken says:

    Hi Travis ~ I am still sharing the winners with my students, as I like to incorporate mini author/illustrator studies as we go along.

    Do you know if this is the first time a child (Javaka) of a former Caldecott winner (John) has received Caldecott honors?

    Thanks for your reply!

    • Travis Jonker says:

      A very good question that I don’t think I have the answer to. Anyone out there know for sure?

      • A similar, but not identical situation, in which the father is the medalist and the child the honoree: Jerry Pinkney (5 honors 1 medal) & son Brian Pinkney (2 honors).

        Beyond that, not sure–I’m still often surprised to discover who in children’s literature is related to whom!

  2. A co-worker pointed out to me that Radiant Child has NOT gotten onto the picture book list yet. Seems a bit late at this point and it has me worried. Has a Caldecott Award winner ever not gotten on the list? Inquiring minds want to know. Where is Peter Sieruta when we need him?

    • That worries me too, but I wonder if it has anything to do with availability and the number of copies printed before the awards were announced. I mention that because it is currently on backorder through both Baker & Taylor and Ingram. The status also says “Publisher out of stock” on B&T.

    • Travis Jonker says:

      Yeah, we’ll see what next week brings, but I was hoping to see more of the winners on the bestseller lists. The Radiant Child question is a good one.

  3. I just took a look at Amazon at the Caldecott winner and honor books, and there is zero availability problem. However, CONGO SQUARE is ranked at about 5500 in sales, and RADIANT CHILD at about 1100. (LEAVE ME ALONE,is about 2500, but its foreign sales prospects are enormous). So many people have been saying that all diverse books need is good publicity and some marketing to go flying off the shelves. These books prove otherwise, and publishers will take notice of the demand problem. I would have thought that intersectionality would lead to these books selling hugely among all marginalized peoples, but I guess that isn’t the case. I hope it reverses, because the books are amazing!

    • February 12 Amazon update.

      Both CONGO SQUARE and RADIANT CHILD backsliding. Radiant Child ranking is #5010, while CONGO SQUARE is #7161.

      By way of contrast, DU IZ TAK is Amazon sales #1118, THEY ALL SAW A CAT is #331, and LEAVE ME ALONE is #3466.

      More evidence that the intersectionality argument about diverse books getting widespread support may be limited to academic and literary circles, and not the actual marketplace.

      • February 18 Amazon update.

        The sales slide for RADIANT CHILD and FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE continues, only more so.

        RADIANT CHILD Amazon ranking this morning is #13203.
        FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE is #8169.

        By way of contrast, DU IZ TAK is Amazon sales #1685, THEY ALL SAW A CAT #552, and LEAVE ME ALONE is #2803.

        Even more evidence that the intersectionality argument about diverse books does not translate to the, actual marketplace. Is what is happening is those of one ethnic, racial, or national group may not be buying books about other group? Is the “mirror” theory actually that mirrors are small, and “windows” aren’t being looked into even by those we would expect would be most curious? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that great books are getting overlooked not by awards-givers, but by book buyers.