One of my favorite parts of my job as an elementary school librarian is seeing which books don’t stay on the shelves for long. I love learning which titles are connecting with my students the most and exciting them. When I’ve memorized a book’s call number because it’s asked for so many times a day, that’s usually a good indication it’s a hit!
If you’re looking for a book for a child in your life, here are some of the books flying off the shelves in my little corner of the world–a K-5 school in Massachusetts:
You can’t go wrong with a funny picture book! Newer books like Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds and The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt are making my students laugh out loud. No, David! by David Shannon also continues to be a crowd pleaser. It’s unusual to have a kindergarten or first grade class where someone doesn’t ask for “the David book”.
You can see the book trailer for The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors here:
For beginning readers, you can never have too many Elephant & Piggie books! My students cannot get enough of these funny early readers from Mo Willems. (I wish he would keep writing more!). Our copy of this Elephant & Piggie Biggie just arrived and it has five books in one, so I think it is going to be well loved in the library! My students are also really enjoying reading about the adventures of Katie Woo in the series by Fran Manushkin and getting into the game with Get a Hit, Mo and David Adler’s other titles in this sports series. And Noodleheads by Tedd Arnold, author of the Fly Guy books, continues to fly off the shelves. These are great books to read aloud together or give to a beginning reader.
Graphic novels are certainly flying off of the library shelves–these are some of the most popular books in the library. I definitely see graphic novels creating voracious readers who are building great habits in their reading lives–such as stopping by the library daily to get their next book!
For early elementary school, some of the most popular series in my library this year are Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (copies of this one in particular don’t stay on the shelf long!), the Narwhal series by Ben Clanton, and the Squish books by Jennifer and Matthew Holm. For third to fifth graders, Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce continues to be incredibly popular (I say “FIC PEI”, the book’s call number, many times a day!), as does the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi. Some other favorites for my students are the Hilo series by Judd Winick and the Four Points series by Hope Larson which starts with Compass South. The graphic novel editions of Ann M. Martin’s beloved Babysitters Club series are also in demand. Like many other readers of my time, that was my favorite series as an elementary schooler, so it’s fun to see these revisited. I have yet to bring in my giant bin of all the original books to show the students, but I need to!
Some of our most popular fiction titles are books with compelling characters that really allow you to walk in someone else’s shoes–books like Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper, and The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. These three incredible books were also on our state book award list for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, The Massachusetts Children’s Book Award program. All three are fantastic reads, but The War that Saved My Life completely stole my heart so I was so happy students across the state picked it as the winner! The sequel, The War I Finally Won is equally wonderful–these are two books that pull you in and won’t let you put them down until you find out the fates of the characters. I also love that these books, set during World War II era England, have turned many of my readers on to historical fiction. Author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley discusses the book in this interview:
For fantasy/science fiction fans, readers are also loving The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, which I think would make a great classroom read aloud. Our copy of the sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes is on its way to the library, so I know we will have some excited readers! Fantasy fans are also loving The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer, which is full of adventure and fairy tale characters come to life.