I can’t believe that it’s November, and not just November, but almost Thanksgiving break! It’s been fun getting to know all of the students, learning what they like to read, and seeing them learn about different parts of the library. Second graders are learning about different genres and have already earned their Mystery Expert badge. Third graders are working on becoming Dewey Decimal System detectives. Fourth graders have been listening to Maxi’s Secrets by Lynn Plourde (a Maine author and a title from the Maine Student Book Award list) and working on a name project. Fifth graders are listening to Death By Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart and will start their slogan-writing contest when we return from break.

Thank you to anyone who donated a book from the Scholastic Book Fair to our library collection. And to those who have donated puzzles. We are always on the lookout for chess/checkers set and additional trivia games and puzzles. 

I thought it might be of interest to let you know what our top circulating books are so far this year:
10. The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea (book 1) by Ann Martin. A graphic novel update of the popular chapter book series from the 80s! This is book 1 and has been freshened up by illustrations from Raina Telgemeier. So good!
9. Smile by Raina Telgemeier. A autobiographical graphic novel about Telgemeier’s experience prematurely losing her two front teeth and the trauma and drama that ensued.
8. Minecraft Essential Handbook – a guide to this wildly popular building game. If you haven’t watched your child play this or seen all of the capabilities, take some time to do so; it’s fascinating.
7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – yup, kids still read these!
6. Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey – third book in this hilarious graphic-novel series
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney. Ever-popular series that mixes line drawings with the everyday observations and hi-jinks of an ordinary kid. 
4. Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) by Dav Pilkey
3. The Baby-Sitters Club: Dawn and the Impossible Three (book 5) by Ann Martin – the newest book in the re-issued graphic novel series.
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal (book 1)
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney (book 5) – we have 12 copies of this book, the most of any title in the HBS library. And  it is NEVER on the shelf. Kinney gets what makes kids laugh and has hooked more kids into reading than any other author writing today. 

As you can see, there are many graphic novels and humorous books in the top 10. This is what kids want to read. They are the types of books that engage them and make them want to lose themselves in a story! If you find it difficult to support the reading of these comic books, maybe I could gently suggest that we shift our thinking from, “these are not “real” books” to, “oh my, kids are reading! And they like it!” If we can find ways to support what they want to read, they will keep doing it and, eventually, they will pick up weightier, more nuanced books. The ability to choose their own reading materials and have success with them is essential. Trust me; I was that reader! I fed my love of reading with a steady diet of comic books and today, I read everything that I can get my hands on. I am happy to talk about this further, or to provide great research that shows that letting kids have choice (and this totally includes all the graphic novels they can devour) is what will hook them as life-long readers. Food for thought!

Happy Reading!

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