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Librarian faves: Top book categories by grade level

By: Rhonda Mihalic | April 03, 2019 |

When it comes to books, you librarians know your stuff. And, you know what your K-12 readers will most enjoy. That’s why we love hearing from you--and learning what book categories are going over best in your libraries.

Based on data from over 23,000 members, we've compiled the top-selling JLG categories by grade level. And the winners are...

Top 5 book categories in Elementary School

  1. Graphic Novels Elementary Plus - Grades 2-6, 14 books/year
  2. Independent Readers - Grades 2-4, 12 books/year
  3. Intermediate Readers - Grades 3-5, 12 books/year
  4. Humor Elementary Plus - Grades 2-6, 14 books/year
  5. Easy Reading Plus - Grades 1-3 14 books/year

We’re not surprised to see Graphic Novels topping your list of book categories winning fans in elementary libraries. This artistic and unique storytelling approach transcends reading interest levels and genres to capture students’ imaginations and attention. This category has become so popular that we recently added a second Graphic Novels category specifically for Early Elementary readers.

We’re glad to see the laughs are bringing students to your libraries with the Humor category in your top 5. Everyone needs a good chuckle! It’s also great to hear that reading-level categories like Independent, Intermediate and Easy Reading are going over well with your kids; when you match their interest and ability to outstanding material, the results are guaranteed to be good!

Top 5 book categories in Middle School

  1. High-Interest Reading Middle Plus - Grades 5-8, 14 books/year
  2. Graphic Novels Middle Plus - Grades 5-8, 14 books/year
  3. Sports Middle Plus - Grades 5-8, 14 books/year
  4. Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus - Grades 5-8, 14 books/year
  5. Mystery/Adventure Middle Plus - Grades 5-8, 14 books/year

Well, whaddaya know? Graphic Novels continue to be a hit with young readers as they grow into the Middle School grades. But look what else starts making its way into their interests--fantastic tales of adventure and excitement with Fantasy/Sci-Fi and Mystery/Adventure. The allure of the unknown and the unreal is a definite draw for these readers and we love seeing that these titles satisfy their cravings.

With Sports and High-Interest rounding out your list, it’s great to hear that books with unique themes are attracting readers--even reluctant readers who may not be enticed by just any book. To continue meeting those students where they are, we recently added a new High-Interest Nonfiction category for Middle School readers. A little something for everyone!

Top 5 book categories in High School

  1. High-Interest Reading High Plus - Grades 10 & up, 14 books/year
  2. Current Trends High Plus - Grades 9 & up, 14 books/year
  3. Young Adults - Grades 9 & up, 12 books/year
  4. Fantasy/Science Fiction High Plus - Grades 9 & up, 12 books/year
  5. Sports High - Grades 9 & up, 12 books/year

Looks like Fantasy and Sports continue to be top performers with High School readers--but it’s not surprising to see that as your students mature, so do their interests. Enter Current Trends and Young Adults books to the rescue. We like to see that your students are being drawn to books about what’s happening in society and what’s happening in their generation!

What a nice addition to your list High-Interest Reading is! This category is great for those High School readers who are reluctant or resigned--but also for those for whom English is a second language. Our newest High School category, Biography High Plus, will help ensure they continue to find books that are a good fit.

Are you receiving books monthly in these top categories?

Now is the time to add them. For every category you add, you'll receive 15 free books of your choosing. Request more information and a JLG Collection Development Expert will contact you with details.

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Rhonda Mihalic

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