Minneapolis has earned its reputation as the most literate American city, boasting independent publishers, bookstores in every neighborhood, a multitude of acclaimed authors, and a host of literary events and spaces. One of Minnesota’s most exciting literary accomplishments is the number of children’s book publishers it houses; Minneapolis and Mankato are established literary hubs for school and public library markets.
With two of the nation’s three largest independent children’s book publishers (ABDO Publishing Group and Lerner Publishing Group, as well as Cherry Lake Publishing) Ebooks MN’s children’s book publishing partners contribute some of the most popular titles in the collection. And independent publisher Milkweed Editions also adds some of the most widely read K-12 books.
As school winds down and summer begins, check out the top five K-12 titles to add to your child’s summer reading list. The list promises adventure with Captured by Pirates as the most popular title. It has been read 878 times since the Leap Day launch. The book, written by Justine and Ron Fontes and illustrated by David Witt, is the first of eighteen action-packed graphic novels where readers choose their own story. Lerner says, “Match your wits against a band of pirates on the high seas and try to defeat them—or join them! Every Twisted Journeys® graphic novel lets YOU control the action by choosing which path to follow. Which twists and turns will your journey take?” The imaginative adventure series also takes the last spot on the list with Escape from Pyramid X in which readers must escape from mummies. This book, written by Dan Jolley and illustrated by Matt Wendt, was read 384 times.
Continuing in the trend of popular graphic novels, Graphic Novel: You Write It by award-winning author and screenwriter John Hamilton, takes fourth place with 396 reads. ABDO says, “This title gives children the tools they need to turn their creativity into readable, cohesive stories … Novice writers of all ages will find this book a detailed yet easy-to-follow guide for turning thoughts and ideas into readable written works.”
Coming in second with 594 reads is It’s a Baby Giraffe! By Kelly Doudna from ABDO Publishing Group. Part of a twelve-book series on african animals like the cheetah, gazelle, and meerkat, It’s a Baby Giraffe! teaches young readers about the life of a giraffe from birth to early adulthood with fun facts and pictures. The book even includes information about the environmental dangers the giraffe faces. This must-read book for classrooms also makes a fun summer read, especially paired with a visit to the Minnesota Zoo.
The Hole in the Wall by Lisa Rowe Fraustino from Milkweed Editions takes third place with 505 reads. This adventure is one of the Top Ten Environmental Books for Youth (Booklist) and winner of the Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature. The story follows eleven-year-old Sebby, who stumbles into a mysterious world after finding a secret cave behind his house where the landscape has been devastated by mining. The Hole in the Wall will capture the attention and imagination of young environmentalists and curious readers.
Ebooks Minnesota is a two-year pilot project of Minitex and State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education. The collection was made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and by Minitex.