The Circs So Far: The 10 Most Popular Books in Our K-4 School Library
Now that we’re back into the swing of things after winter break, I thought I’d fire up the computer and look at which books have been checked out the most in my school library, count them down 10-1, and draw a couple conclusions.
10. Become a Pokemon Trainer
Pokem0n is one of those things that you thought would have faded in popularity long ago. But Pokemon has legs, people. This DK Reader has been checked out or on hold all year long. Side note: three cheers for books on popular topics written at a low level.
9. Prince of the Elves (Amulet, Book #5) by Kazu Kibuishi
I’m somewhat surprised that this is (Circs So Far Spoiler Alert) the only graphic novel that appears on this list. Could be that we’ve added to the GN collection to the point where students are reading a wider range of titles, rather than the focus staying on just a couple. Whatever the reason, I’m not surprised an Amulet book is the lone graphic novel representative on this countdown.
8. Bad Kitty: Drawn to Trouble by Nick Bruel
The illustrated novel continues to be a popular format, and this recent addition to the Bad Kitty series has been making the rounds nicely. But here’s my big question: Is that Nick Bruel’s hand on the cover, or a hand model??
7. The LEGO Adventure Book, Vol. 2 by Megan Rothrock
The two most popular requests in our library? LEGO books and … (Circs So Far Teaser Alert) a book series that you will see at the top spot on this list. These adventure books look great and have the step-by-step LEGO building goods inside.
6. Buzz Boy and Fly Guy by Ted Arnold
I’ve talked before (while utterly mangling Shakespeare) about how there should be more books in the sort of zone occupied by Fly Guy: funny, sort-of-cute-but-not-too-cute, and basic with the vocab. This series remains popular in my library and this is the book that popped up to the top.
5. Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All (Dork Diaries, Book #5) by Rachel Renee Russell
I love how many kids are excited about this series, but man, can I not keep the titles straight. Can we stick to numbers? This is Number 5 in the series. Also, it’s Number 5 on this list.
4. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The popularity of this book continues to be very strong. I love how after a teacher reads it aloud to his/her class, students want to check it out and read it again.
3. The 13 Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Another heavily illustrated chapter book series – I’m sensing a trend here (see conclusions below). Andy Griffiths visited our school last year, and that was just the spark needed to send his treehouse books into the popularity stratosphere at my school. The 26 Story Treehouse also has a ton of checkouts.
2. Invasion of the UFONuts (The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut, Book #2) by Laurie Keller
This series (and the last one) are the two that students ask about most often – they can’t wait for the next book. I can’t blame them – this series is incredibly fun to read. The next book, The Spinny Icky Showdown arrives on November 3, 2015.
1. Minecraft Handbook (Series)
It made sense to me to lump these books together, because as a group they generate a ton of buzz. Can’t have enough.
When I look at this list, a few takeaways appear…
Illustrations: Safe at any age. With the exception of just one book (Wonder), all the books on the list have illustrations or images of some kind. I’m not breaking news here, but it’s clear that all ages are drawn to books with visuals.
Humor is king. Funny books make up half of the list. When humor is done right, it’s irresistible.
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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 email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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