What Young Readers Are Checking Out During the Covid-19 Pandemic

On April 28, I blogged about 10 Ways to Write Funny for Young Readers. In the first paragraph, I wrote, “Recently one of my editors commented that she had just heard from an agent that in adult writing editors want romantic comedy and humor.”

Imagine my surprise when I clicked over to the SLJ article, “What Are Kids Reading Now? Follett Reveals the Top Ebook and Audiobook Checkouts.”  The article included the top 25 ebooks and audiobooks each in K–3, 3–6, 5–8, and young adult for the two-week period ending April 7.

I’m only going to list the top five in each category but take a quick look.  I’ve highlighted the humorous books in green.



1 Matter: See It, Touch It, Taste It, Smell It/La materia: Mira, toca, prueba, huele by Darlene R. Stille
2 Do You Know About Birds?/Sabes algo sobre aves? by Buffy Silverman
3 Shadows, Mirrors and Rainbows/La luz sombras, espejos y arco iris by Natalie Myra Rosinsky
Neck & Neck by Elise Parsley
5 The Tree That Bear Climbed/El arbol que trepó el oso by Marianne Collins Berkes


Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems
A Princess Collection by Cassandra Morris
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel



1 Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Wonder by R.J. Palacio


Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier



Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal by Jeff Kinney


1 The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Ghost by Jason Reynolds



1 The Giver by Lois Lowry
The United Nations Children’s Fund by Ada Veloren
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

You can check out the full listing in each category here.

Something that I noticed is that while there are funny books on this list, there are plenty that are serious including The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  I thought it was especially interesting that the K-3 ebook list included three information titles translated into Spanish.

We don’t know why kids are checking out these particular books.  Some may be for school.  Some may be chosen by the young reader from a list.  But I really was surprised that except for a few notable exceptions – hello, Diary of a Whimpy Kid – there were so few humorous titles.