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Ottawa’s most requested library books in 2018: Teen fiction and children’s books

By Jessica Green on January 3, 2019

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and Apt613’s Librarian-in-Residence.

To switch things up this year, instead of reviewing the titles that went out the most at the Ottawa Public Library, we’re going to look at the titles with the most requests. It’s a great snapshot of what people are interested in reading, and a good reflection on what people want to read currently, even if the book came out months ago. This will be split into two posts, with the children and teen reads in the first post, and the adult titles in the second.

Picture Books

1. The Wonky DonkeyCraig Smith
2. The Log Driver’s WaltzWade Hemsworth
3. We Don't Eat Our Classmates!Ryan T. Higgins
4. The Wall in the Middle of the BookJon Agee
5. Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of ChristmasJames Dean
6. Mary PoppinsAmy Novesky
7. I am Human: A Book of EmpathySusan Verde
8. The Day You BeginJacqueline Woodson
9. They Say BlueJillian Tamaki
10. The Rabbit ListenedCori Doerrfeld


This is an interesting list of picture books. The Wonky Donkey is a hilarious tongue twister of a book and I suspect that its popularity can be traced to YouTube readings. The Log Driver’s Waltz and Mary Poppins are perfect nostalgia filled reads. There are also some great books about feelings and being different, like I Am Human, The Rabbit Listened and The Day You Begin. Pete the Cat continues his well-established series with a Christmas read, and the list rounds out with great titles from Jon Agee, Jillian Tamaki and Ryan Higgins.

Children’s Fiction

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid : The Meltdown Jeff Kinney
2. Dork Diaries : Tales from a Not-So-Happy BirthdayRachel Renée Russell
3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s StoneJ.K. Rowling
4. The Trials of Apollo : The Burning MazeRick Riordan
5. Wings of Fire: The Lost ContinentTui Sutherland
6. Keeper of the Lost Cities: FlashbackShannon Messenger
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The GetawayJeff Kinney
8. The Secret of the Crystal FairiesThea Stilton
9. Wings of Fire: Darkness of DragonsTui Sutherland
10. Whatever After: Seeing RedSarah Mlynowskisss

As you can see here, books that are part of a series dominate the juvenile fiction section. Harry Potter remains a perennial favourite, especially with the recent Fantastic Beasts movies, but the various spins on diary novels like Diary of  Wimpy Kid and the Dork Diaries have their devoted followings as well. Other fantasy titles round out this top ten, and our juvenile experts also wanted me to mention that various classics have had a bump in popularity due to movie tie ins, like Wonder or A Wrinkle in Time, although they did not appear on this list. As well, the recent award winners are also quite popular, which is a similar trend in the adult titles too.

Teen Fiction

1. The Hate U GiveAngie Thomas
2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeJenny Han
3. Kingdom of AshSarah J. Maas
4. Children of Blood and BoneTomi Adeyemi
5. Bridge of ClayMarcus Zusak
6. What If It's UsBecky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
7. War StormVictoria Aveyard
8. The Cruel PrinceHolly Black
9. The Darkest MindsAlexandra Bracken
10. One of Us is LyingKaren M. McManus

The top book of this year was #2 in last year’s list, and The Hate U Give remains one of the best teen novels about shootings and race that has come out recently. Movie tie-ins also kept The Hate U Give popular, and offered bumps to To All the Boys I Loved Before and The Darkest Minds. Much like juvenile fiction, this list is dominated by fantasy books with the occasional ‘real-life’ tale thrown in, like What If It’s Us or One of Us is Lying. It’s an excellent reflection of the past year where you need books with escapism, along with books with plots that could really happen, in order to deal with reality!

Coming soon is the second half of the Most Requested Books of 2018: Adult Titles. Stay tuned!