At Square Books Jr., the classic GOODNIGHT GORILLA (#6) is as likely to show up on its bestseller list as the latest picture book from Michael Kaplan, BETTY BUNNY DIDN’T DO IT (#16), and there are always surprises. The number 1 spot, which one would expect to be occupied by John Grisham’s fourth Theodore Boone novel, THE ACTIVIST (#2) was WHERE DO THEY GO ON GAME DAY? (a.k.a. the squirrel book) by newcomer Laurie Fisher. In fairness, we have to point out that the third installment of the Theodore Boone series was at #14. FANCY NANCY THE FANCIEST DOLL IN THE UNIVERSE (#3) was boosted by a visit from the illustrator, Robin Preiss Glasser. Others who visited were Ree Drummond, CHARLIE GOES TO SCHOOL (#12), John Marciano Bemelmans, MADELINE AND THE OLD HOUSE IN PARIS (#25), Loren Long, AN OTIS CHRISTMAS (#18).
Teens and adults alike took home John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (#10) and interest in the forthcoming movie spurred sales for DIVERGENT (#21). Middle graders were glad to see the release of the 8th in the DIARY OF A WIMPY KID series (#5), and Dan Gutman’s new series THE GENUIS FILES (#7), while the intrigue factor for THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET (#17) remains. But picture books ruled, with Leita’s pick LITTLE BEAR’S LITTLE BOAT (#8), Sarah Frances Hardy’s PUZZLED BY PINK (#25) and Manning fan favorite FAMILY HUDDLE (#11). For another year PETE THE CAT: I LOVE MY WHITE SHOES (#9) showed, with other Pete books holding places at #s13,15,19. A huge new favorite is THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT (#4), which all find clever, meaningful, and funny. The significance of a bestseller list for Square Books Jr. is a bit different than it is at what we call "the big store," as the staff at Jr. hand sells the books they love. That passion is as timeless and unregulated as are the interests and enthusiasms of the children who visit Square Books Jr. They know better than the rest of us that Square Books Jr. is a world unto themselves.