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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Three Thoughts on the Bestselling Children’s Books of 2016


Publishers Weekly recently released their list of the bestselling children’s books of 2016. Click here to have a look.

A few thoughts came to mind when I gave them a once-over.

1. #1 Outsold #2. By a Lot.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child outsold the next book on the list, Double Down (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11), by over three million copies. I figured HP would be on top, but ahead by 3 mil? That’s nuts.

2. A Big Thank You

The Thank You Book came in at #20 in the Hardcover Frontlist section. Is this the highest ever showing for an Elephant & Piggie book? Is it the highest showing ever for an early reader?

3. Picture Books from Past Years > Picture Books from 2016

The only picture books showing up on the Hardcover Frontlist section are Pete the Cat, Ada Twist, and some Disney stuff, while the Hardcover Backlist is topped by Oh the Places You’ll Go! Fun fact – if you put that book in the Hardcover Frontlist category, it would rank #4 – ahead of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter. This surprised me.

What jumped out to you?

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, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Three million? Wow, I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised because Harry Potter, but…wow. Interesting to see that Chamber of Secrets is also flourishing, ahead of any of the others. Wish I could fast forward a few years to see what classics will have changed.