100 Scope Notes
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Top 10 Circulated Chapter Books of 2017

Top 10 Chapter 2017

Last week we reviewed the 10 most popular picture books in our school library this year. But that was last week! Which chapter books are tops?


T8. The BFG by Roald Dahl

I’m going to go ahead and call this the Feature Film Effect. The movie released last summer generated interest, and I could feel it – there was a definite rise in the number of student requests this school year.


T8. Eva and the New Owl (Owl Diaries #4) by Rebecca Elliot

This year we did an update and add with all the Branches series books in our collection. If you know me, you know I have love for Branches. And Owl Diaries is probably the most popular Branches series at our school.


T8. Danger in the Darkest Hour (Magic Tree House Super Edition #1) by Mary Pope Osborn

This book was quietly checked out so often this year that I thought we had lost the book. I kept thinking, “Where is that thing?” This is the first book in the Super Edition series, which is for a slightly older audience thank the original Magic Tree House books.

Long Haul

T4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (#9): The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

Here’s how these things usually work – the most recent Wimpy Kid Books always end up on this list. This is the third most recent release . . .

Old School

T4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (#10): Old School by Jeff Kinney

Okay, we have #9 and #10 – will we see the newest Wimpy Kid on this list? STAY TUNED!!!


T4. Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants by Dav Pilkey

If anything, Captain Underpants has grown in popularity the last couple years – new books and full color reissues (like this one) have given the series a boost (oh yeah, and the movie thing).

Dog Man

T4. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Even though it didn’t end up in the top slot, no book generated more requests than this one.

Double Down

T2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (#11): Double Down by Jeff Kinney

Ahhhh. It is library law: the most recent Diary of a Wimpy Kid will be at or near the top of any circulation list. All is right with the world.

52 Story

T2. The 52-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton

This series rolls on and students at my school are all in. How many stories can they come up with?

Pet Sitter

1. Tales From a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter (Dork Diaries, Book #10) by Rachel Renée Russell

All the Dork Diaries books were checked out constantly, but it was this one that ended up with more checkouts than any book in our fiction section during the 2016-17 school year.

What chapter books were popular at your school this year?

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

    Our school is PreK – 8, so these circulation stats represent a wide range of ages and readers.

    If I look at regular fiction only, 9 of our top 10 books are Wimpy Kid, with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone representing at the #4 slot.

    If I include graphic novels, Dog Man wins top honors by a landslide, with the Amulet books taking the #2 through #7 slots hands-down. Wimpy Kid stays on the chart at numbers 8 and 9. Harry Potter holds on at #10.

    I am planning on adding several Portuguese editions of the Wimpy Kid books to our collection next year, for our sizable and still-growing Brazilian student population. That is how Harry Potter kept it’s place on our fiction Top 10 this year, so I expect our ELL readers will boost the Wimpy Kid book circulation even more next year.