Top Checked Out Books by Kellee’s Middle School Readers 2014-2015



As part of our blogiversary, Ricki and I decided to revisit some of our favorite posts and recreate them with a new twist. My original post, on July 28th, 2013, shared my recommendation for books that struggling/reluctant readers had enjoyed in my classroom. Although many of these books are still favorites, thought it would be interesting to let the students speak for themselves.

I have a mix of students who check out from my classroom library; however, the students who visit the most are from our intensive reading classes which is an intervention class for students reading below grade level. I did decide, though, not to include the word “struggling” in my title because this is a list of books that all readers of all levels can enjoy.

Today I am going to share the top books that were checked out from my classroom library this last year.  
**I did combine some series into one if all of the books in the series were high volume check outs.**

Tied for 15. Hereville by Barry Deutsch


Tied for 15. Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium 3 by Jake Parker


Tied for 15. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri


14. Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack


13. Bad Island by Doug TenNapel


12. Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel


Review of Tommysaurus Rex

11. Scorch Trials (#2 in the Maze Runner series) by James Dashner

   scorch trials

10. Teen Boat! by Dave Roman


9. Mal and Chad (series) by Stephen McCranie

mal mal 2 mal3

8. Cow Boy by Nate Cosby

cow boy

7. Bird and Squirrel: On the Run by James Burks


6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (specifically The Long Haul, Hard Luck, and The Third Wheel) by Jeff Kinney

long haul hard luck third wheel

5. Hazardous Tales (series; I only had #1, 2, & 3 in my library last year) by Nathan Hale

hazardous 1 hazardous2 hazardous3

Review of Hazardous Tales #4: The Underground Abductor

4. Drama by Raina Telgemeier


3. Explorer (#1 & #2) edited by Kazu Kibuishi

explorerboxes explorer

Review of Explorer: The Lost Islands

2. Smile and Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

FC_BC_9780545132060.pdf sisters

1. Amulet (series) by Kazu Kibuishi
**By far the most popular book in my classroom since book #1 came out**

amulet amulet2 amulet3

amulet4 amulet5 amulet6

As you can see from the list, graphic novels are very popular with my readers. To be more precise, 34 of my top 35 checked out books were graphic or illustrated novels/series.

I think there are many reasons why graphic novels are favorites: helps students visualize, fun to read as many of these students have only found reading to be a horrible chore, and colorful! Graphic novels are something I truly believe will help students love reading more and become better readers, and if you look at how much these students are reading and increasing in their reading ability, I think they back me up. (To see more research about the importance of graphic novels, check out my graphic novel teaching guide with Abrams.)

What books/series do you find to be most popular with your middle school readers who are reading below grade level?
Have you found success with the books I listed above?
Have you read any of the books I’ve listed? Did you enjoy them?

I hope this list of books helps point you in the direction of some texts that your struggling readers will truly love!


8 thoughts on “Top Checked Out Books by Kellee’s Middle School Readers 2014-2015”

  1. My students this year mostly had trouble finding time to read in their very busy schedules. One boy discovered Agatha Christie novels, and read a bunch. The favorite of many who love sci-fi was The Martian. Many read Through The Woods, a scary graphic novel.

    • It is always hard when students have super busy schedules. I had a boy who was on a traveling basketball team year round and he found a very hard time reading because when he had time, he did homework.

      I want to read The Martian! It looks so good!
      Also, I didn’t realize that there was a Through the Woods GN–thank you for sharing!

  2. So interesting to see what real middle-graders are reading! I only have one left in our extended family – my 9-year old nephew who LOVES to read 🙂

    I see that graphic novels are very popular! I’ve been exploring them the past few years, and my mom thought the term meant books that have graphic violence in them! lol She couldn’t figure out why I liked them!


    2015 Big Book Summer Challenge


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