Monday 3 February 2014

Most popular children’s books of 2013

Despite their smart phones, tablets and games consoles the children of County Clare borrowed 263,000 books from the library in 2013. The top issuing children’s book of 2013 in Clare library branches was guaranteed to be a title in the phenomenally popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney. Book Two in the series, Rodrick Rules, came in at first place in the list of top issuing books for children in the past year. Books written in diary format are becoming increasingly popular, with many writers taking note and writing books in a style that appeals to today’s social media savvy children. Instant conversation directed exclusively at the reader with text broken attractively into small chunks is an appealing approach and is also less daunting for reluctant readers. Lined pages, pen and ink sketches and cartoons work together to make the books seem like actual diaries or journals. Irish authors who have emulated this format in the past year or two are Anna Carey in her latest instalment of the award-winning series about Rebecca Raftery, Rebecca Rocks, and Marita Conlon McKenna in her very moving story, Love Lucie. Three other books by Jeff Kinney in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series; Last Straw, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid ( first book in the series) and Dog Days are second, third and fourth of the top issuing children’s books in 2013.

Horrid Henry’s Holiday shares joint fifth position with The Guinness World Records 2013. Created by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross, the first Horrid Henry book was written and published in 1984 with new titles appearing every year since then as well as several collections, activity books and joke books. The Guinness World Records is always a hit providing the ultimate record breaking facts and achievements in a reference book that appeals to both children and adults. For children who dislike long reads or favour non fiction books it is the perfect substitute to dip in and out of.

Jacqueline Wilson has held top position for many years now in the best selling book charts for children and teenagers, and her latest title My Secret Diary was sixth in the list of Clare County Library’s most borrowed books. Renowned for and sometimes questioned about her exploration of controversial issues in her books for children, this prolific writer and recent Children’s Laureate remains hugely popular among child and teenage readers. Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter, Horrid Henry’s Underpants and Horrid Henry’s Christmas Cracker take seventh, eight and ninth positions respectively followed by The Match Annual 2013 at number ten.

Most popular children’s books 2013:
1. Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney
2. The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
3. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
4. Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
5. Horrid Henry’s Holiday by Francesca Simon
Guinness World Records 2013
6. My Secret Diary by Jacqueline Wilson
7. Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter by Francesca Simon
8. Horrid Henry’s Underpants by Francesca Simon
9. Horrid Henry’s Christmas Cracker by Francesca Simon
10.The Match Annual 2013

Almost all of the above books have inspired movies or TV serials which in turn increases the popularity of the original books. The adaptation of books for the big screen always sees a surge in demand for these titles, which the library service is more than happy to meet. The same is true of the top issuing books for teenagers. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games was the runaway success of 2013. The popularity of all three books in the series which came in at 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in Clare County Library’s most borrowed books in the young adult category was undoubtedly due to the massive box office success of the film released in 2012. Consistent with previous years’ results other authors featuring high on the most popular books for teens include Darren Shan and Jacqueline Wilson.

No comments: