100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Top 10 Circulated Graphic Novels of 2015

The end of the school year: the time when pizza and ice cream sandwiches miraculously appear in the teacher’s lounge. It’s also when I like to look back at the most checked-out books in our K-4 school library during the year.

This year, I thought it would be interesting to look at the most popular by category. Let’s do graphic novels first. If you don’t have any of these, what are you doing?! Pick them up A.S.A.P.


10. Crown of Horns (Bone #9) by Jeff Smith

To tell you the truth, I didn’t expect to see a Bone book on the list – these have been around a while now and I figured they would have a lot of circs, but not top 10 level. As you can see, I was wrong. It’s a classic.


9. Smash: Trial by Fire by Chris A. Bolton; illustrated by Kyle Bolton

I’ve shared my love for this book before. It’s great. I also love that students love it.


8. Donner Dinner Party (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales) by Nathan Hale

Can we all say it together: thank you Nathan Hale. The world needed this sort of high interest nonfiction visual storytelling.


7. Game On! (Squish #5) by Jennifer L. Holm; illustrated by Matthew Holm

It’s always interesting to me when the newest book in a series isn’t the circs leader. That’s the case here and I’m willing to bet the video game element put it over the top.


6. The TOON Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics

This brings a tear to my Sunday comics loving heart. It has a couple things going for it. First, it has a wide range of comics, so there’s a little something for everyone. Secondly, it’s huge, and kids love huge books.


5. Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood: A World War I Tale (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales) by Nathan Hale

More Hazardous Tales


4. Tiny Titans: Penguins in the Batcave! by Art Baltazar; illustrated by Franco

This book is probably the biggest surprise to me. Tiny Titans is a great (and Eisner-winning) series.


3. Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5) by Kazu Kibuishi

Any self-respecting graphic novel popularity list has to have some Amulet.


2. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

I really expected this to top the list. It’s been one of the most talked about books in our school library this year. It was checked out and read a ton. But there was one book that quietly beat it out for the top spot by…


1. Robot Frenzy (Stone Rabbit #8) by Eric Craddock

Who knew? While the Stone Rabbit series has been a workhorse around here, I didn’t think this one would beat out every other graphic novel. But that’s why we do this.

Look for the Top 10 Circulated in other categories coming 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. Tracy Ferguson says:

    Thanks for this list! I must buy the Stone Rabbit series for my library!!! And the Nathan Hale books!

  2. What an honor for SMASH to make such a great list, alongside some of our favorite creators. Thanks for compiling this, Travis!

    You might want to mention to your students that we recently started posting a free weekly SMASH webcomic while we work on finishing Book 2: http://smashcomic.tumblr.com/

  3. The TOON Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics! Thanks so muchTravis–it looks like the kids are making good use of it. This brings a tear to MY eyes! A HUGE tear–it was an insane amount of work to gather the comics in this Treasury–our hope was that it would be the cornerstone of every library’s GN/comics section–it looks like it’s happening!

    • Travis Jonker says:

      I’m glad you saw this, Francoise

    • Mary Lynn Morris Kennedy says:

      My son and I LOVED The Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics. Snuggling up and reading his favorite ones over and over again at bedtime is one of my best memories. Thanks to your hard work there are so many parents and children who have had – and will have – the same experience. Merci beaucoup!