Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Classroom Library

This coming week is my last week at school.  I need to start packing up my room and my ever expanding bookshelves.   As I was pondering this overwhelming task, I got to thinking about my classroom library.  I thought about which books were the most popular and which books never left my shelves.  As I was looking through my classroom library, I was sad that there were a lot of really good books that never left my shelf this year and were overpowered by the popularity of addicting series, such as The Hunger Games.  I'm going to share with you guys some really great books that were overlooked this year and fell under the radar as well as the most popular books.  Next year I will have showcase "some oldies, but goodies" more often, because they were definitely neglected.

Overlooked This Year: (*indicates my personal favorites)
1)  Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
2)  Ender's Game by Orson S. Card
3)  Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse*
4)  The Giver by Lois Lowry*
5)  Fever, 1793 by Laurie H. Anderson*
6)  True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi*
7)  Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
8)  Graceling by Kristin Cashore
9)  Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia R. Giff
10)  Love that Dog by Sharon Creech*

Classics I LOVE, But Were Overlooked:
1)  Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
2)  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
3)  Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott
4)  Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M. Montgomery
5)  The Chronicles of Pyrdain series by Lloyd Alexander
6)  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Popular Books This Year:
(I couldn't keep these books on the shelves! There were often waiting lists!)
1.  Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2.  Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3.  Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz
4.  Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
5.  Fallen by Lauren Kate
6.  If I Stay by Gayle Forman
7.  Wings by Aprilynne Pike
8.  Chains by Laurie H. Anderson
9.  Travel Team by Mike Lupica
10. Summer Ball by Mike Lupica

What do you guys think? Have you read any of these? How do you feel about my overlooked books? I need to promote these books a bit more next year and show them some more love! 


  1. Interesting reading trends. I am not surprised about The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson books being so popular. I am surprised that Graceling was overlooked.

    Do you booktalk to your students to get them interested in the books or mostly rely on displays?

  2. Hmm... Some great books not used on the list. Maybe have a monday moment where you share one that has been overlooked. Also recommending the books specifically to students you think will enjoy it based on their other preferences.

  3. Christina- I talked up Graceling a lot and a few people took it out, but towards the end of the year, it was definitely neglected. :( I try to do booktalks about books that I recently read, but I need to work on re-visiting some oldies, but goodies.

    Bekah- Monday moment- I LOVE THAT! Thanks for sharing that great idea. I will have to implement that next year.

  4. I have Fever 1793 on hold at the library - I'm glad you like it so much. Good luck next year promoting your favorites with your students.

  5. The popularity of certain books seems to go in cycles. I love Sharon Creech, Lloyd Alexander and Avi too and try to talk them up at the library, but lately they haven't been going out as much. Even though a lot of people consider them classics or classics in the making, I wonder if they have gone "out of style?"

    Having a display helps or even a if you liked this book you might like this other one list. Sometimes just getting one student to read a book and love it enough that they want their friends to read it so they can talk about it gets certain books read more often. The Monday Moment idea is great and so are personal recommendations. Or even having the students book talk. Maybe each student could talk about a favorite read and why they liked it so much.

  6. oh wow, i love graceling!! maybe try to play up the girl power aspect, surely girls will be attracted to that. I hope so at least.

    As for the older books, even though we all know and love them, I admit when i was in school, I would rather read new current stuff too, rather than the classics. Don't worry, they will come around. Or maybe get the publishers to issue shiny new covers for our old faves lol!

  7. Some of my favorite books are on your "overlooked" lists! But I am not surprised by the books that were the most popular; they are the most commercial, mainstream books in the bunch. They are quick, easy, and entertaining reads. Hopefully next year you'll be able to get some of your more advanced readers and bookworms to read the ones that were overlooked this year!

  8. Hi Christina,
    I love this post. This is the sort of thing that I am constantly thinking about at work so it is really interesting to hear how things are over in your classroom.

    I have never heard of Fever 1793 and I wonder would you be able to review it? I'm intrigued.

    In terms of popularity this year in my library it has been all about Percy Jackson and then Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I have multiple copies of both but there is always a waiiting list.

    I'll have a think about books that get overlooked and get back to you.

    Fabulous post!

  9. Thanks for the great advice, everyone. I will have to have more book talks next year and I really like that Monday Moment idea.

    Becky- Fever, 1793 is an amazing read! My students raved about it a few years ago. It takes place in Philadelphia which may be why so many of my students were interested. Maybe I will write a review of it soon, because it is one of my favorites.

  10. Will you believe I don't think I've ever read Little Women?

  11. Kids seem to be picky about the age of the book and the cover (that's what I've observed with my classroom library). I notice they gravitate towards newer books with eye-catching covers.

  12. So sad Ender's Game got overlooked. It's such a great book and everyone I've recommended it to have loved it. I think like someone else mentioned covers can play a huge part when people don't recognize a title. I have to admit all the covers I've seen of Ender's Game look so cheesy. I wouldn't have picked it up until a friend recommended it.

  13. you get more points and more free stuff. If you decide to do something like this, be sure to send a letter home to your parents encouraging them to order books so that you can then order free books for the classroom.


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