- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Like adults, children have a wide range of preferences when it comes to books. But also like adults, a book or book series sometimes becomes a craze.
Kids’ picks range from the classics to hit series. In between are books feeding specific interests, from princesses and trucks to vampires and athletes, area library staffers said.
Movies often bump a book to the top of the must-read list.
For at least two years, Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” was the most popular book in John Hardin High School’s library, said library media specialist Jan O’Daniel. It was required summer reading for freshmen two years ago. Now, the second book in the series, “Catching Fire,” is becoming a student favorite.
The series’ popularity is also clear at the Hardin County Public Library. Before “The Hunger Games,” the The Twilight Saga was all the rage, said youth services librarian Gloria Stahl.
At the high school level, O’Daniel said, graphic novels also are among the favorites. The library at JHHS includes a graphic novel collection and such a book recently ranked No. 4 on the check-out list.
It seems young readers like to get into a series. Jessica Hundley, library media specialist at Bluegrass Middle School, noted multiple hit series for young readers.
The list includes the I am Number Four series, a sci-fi story about teenage aliens living on Earth and being hunted by an enemy that only can kill them in numeric order. Another notable is the Hush, Hush series, of which the fourth and final book will be released later this month.
The series Diary of a Wimpy Kid is often requested, too, especially when buzz about the book increases as a new release approaches, Hundley said.
“We’ve had to replace several of those in the past three years,” she said.
There are favorites among the very young readers, too.
“I think the Magic Tree House series is the most popular here,” Stahl said.
And among those still learning to read, Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss are a couple of the most enjoyed authors while Clifford remains one of the most loved characters, said Amy Truitt, who oversees the library at Panther Academy, the preschool and kindergarten center in Elizabethtown Independent Schools.
It’s not always a new book that engages a child, Stahl said.
“The classics are definitely still there,” she said, referring to winners of the Caldecott Medal for children’s picture books and the Newbery Medal for children’s literature. For younger children, books such as “Curious George,” “Charlotte’s Web,” and “Little House on the Prairie” are as popular as ever.
Children about 9 years old and older are avid nonfiction readers, too. They like to read about what interests them, said Rene Hutcheson, director of the Hardin County Public Library. She noted topics such as dinosaurs and volcanoes.
Also, biographies are popular with children, though they are more likely to choose a title about a living public figure, she said. They prefer a book about Brad Pitt, President Barack Obama or an athlete over a biography of George Washington Carver, for example, Hutcheson said.
Library staffs must to keep up with their young patrons’ interests. And their interests are diverse so variety on the shelves is key, she said.
“Sometimes, we’ll just ask them and they’ll tell us,” Hutcheson said.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarah Berkshire can be reached at (270) 505-1745 or email@example.com.