Monday 4 February 2019

Familiar stories are most popular for Clare’s young readers

There are no big surprises in children’s reading choices indicated by the most popular books borrowed in 2018 from Clare County Library branches. David Walliams, Jeff Kinney, Rachel Renée Russell and Dav Pilkey are constants year on year, showing that children are happy to keep reading the authors and series they love.

David Walliams’ Bad Dad is at number one and is the most borrowed book by children in Clare, written by the biggest selling children’s author to have started writing since the year 2000.

Tom Gates Epic Adventure (kind of) is in second place. Author Liz Pichon is the author of this best- selling series for 9+ readers. The first book in the series THE BRILLIANT WORLD OF TOM GATES has won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, The Red House Book Award Best Book for Young Readers and the Waterstone¹s Best Fiction for 5-12 year olds prize.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney are as popular as ever and are well represented in Clare’s top 10 children’s books by three titles in the series, The Getaway, Double Down and Old School. These hilariously funny diaries that chronicle Greg Heffley’s middle school years have turned millions of kids into readers.

Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry books remain popular with younger children who seem to never tire of reading about the escapades of this very naughty boy and his maddeningly good, little brother Perfect Peter.

Meanwhile the most popular Irish writer for Clare’s children is Marita Conlon McKenna whose Children of the Famine trilogy, including Under the Hawthorn Tree, Wildflower Girl and Fields of Home was an unparalleled publishing sensation in 1990. An amazing 20 years later, the books continue to be popular with new covers created by Ireland’s leading children’s illustrator, PJ Lynch in 2018.

Rachel Renée Russell’s Dork Diaries also make the top 10 and the ever popular Jacqueline Wilson whose books have entertained and inspired child and adult readers for nearly three decades is unsurprisingly included also.

Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants books first published in 1997 are still favourites among Clare’s young readers twenty years later, indicating that overall, familiarity with characters and knowing what to expect from favourite authors seems to be what children want when choosing library books and reading for pleasure.

Top 10 Children’s Books 2018
1. Bad Dad by David Walliams
2. Tom Gates Epic Adventure (kind of) by Liz Pichon
3. The Getaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
4. Double Down: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
5. The Midnight Gang by David Walliams
6. The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams
7. Old School: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
8. Frenemies Forever: Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell
9. Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman by Dav Pilkey
10. Horrid Henry’s Krazy Ketchup by Francesca Simon

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