Our Top Kids' Bestsellers of 2023
Early in August, we did a bit of a check-in to see which books were topping our bestseller lists for young readers. Now that the year is done and the final tally is in, we were surprised to see how much that list changed in just a few months!
Check out our bestselling books for young readers age 0-12. Did your 2023 favorites make the cut?
(Looking for our overall 2023 bestsellers? They're over here!)
#10 (tie): Who Would Win: Battle Royale by Jerry Pallotta
Frankly, we're surprised we don't see more of the Who Would Win? series on our bestseller lists, because they are wildly popular both in-store and at school book fairs. Each answers the pressing question of who would win in a showdown between competitors like an orca and great white shark, or a hippo versus a rhino. This compilation stacks up some of the fiercest competitions the series has covered so far.
#10 (tie): Moon Rising: A Wings of Fire Graphic Novel by Tui T. Sutherland
The #1 New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series soars to new heights in the sixth graphic novel adaptation, with art by Mike Holmes. This one slid quite a ways from it's perch at #4 in August, but the competition was fierce and it managed to cling to a tied-for-10th spot on our list.
#8 (tie): The Legend of the Petoskey Stone by Kathy-Jo Wargin
The Legend of the Petoskey Stone focuses on the naming of this unique fossil, found only on the shores of Lake Michigan. Though it's usually popular, this year it went above and beyond our expectations for this local favorite!
#8 (tie): Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale
From bestselling superstar duo Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham comes a delightful kitty and unicorn story that celebrates the magic of friendship—and being exactly who you want to be! Though everyone's favorite Kitty-Corn now has even more adventures (like Party Hearty, Kitty-Corn! and Pretty Perfect Kitty-Corn), the book that started it all remained steadfastly the most popular.
#7: Night-Night Michigan by Katherine Sully
Children and parents alike will be delighted to spot their state's landmarks and landscapes from Detroit to Ann Arbor as they drift off to sleep. We started to see more tourists this year as pandemic pressures lessened, so we saw quite a spike in popularity for books like this among visiting families.
#5 (tie): Little Michigan by Denise Brennan-Nelson
Narrowly avoiding a three-way tie for 5th place, Little Michigan squeaked ahead of Night-Night Michigan as the most popular Michigan board book, featuring state birds, flowers, trees, and animals for the youngest book lovers.
#5 (tie): Diary of a Wimpy Kid: No Brainer by Jeff Kinney
Another of our top 10 titles that benefited from a book fair boost! It was released this fall in the height of the autumn book fair season and sold out time and again. If the publisher had been able to get us more copies quickly enough , it might have made it even higher on the list!
It's become a book fair staple, and even though it lost some ground since August, this the all-in-one, comprehensive guide to Pokémon remained a must-have for 2023. With over 560 color pages and info on over 875 Pokémon, the Super Extra Deluxe Essential Handbook is perfect for Trainers of all ages.
Though it's been on our shelves since last May, it wasn't until this fall that this little book skyrocketed to stardom (much like its subject!). With many young Swifties thrilled to see it at our book fairs and others (of all ages!) excited to make it part of our holiday gifting, we'd have been surprised if it hadn't made the cut for our 2023 bestseller list!
#2: Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea by Dav Pilkey
Dog Man could not be brought down. Since it hit shelves in March, it was a favorite all year long with everyone from summer visitors to school book fairs shoppers. The next installment, Dog Man: The Scarlet Shedder, is due out this spring!
#1: The Legend of Sleeping Bear by Kathy-Jo Wargin
What was a narrow 1st-2nd place spread back in August has widened dramatically! By nearly 50 copies, this Up North favorite claims the #1 bestselling children's title this year. In 1998 writer Kathy-jo Wargin and nature artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen combined their talents to bring The Legend of Sleeping Bear to life. Published to wide acclaim, the book was soon named the Official Children's Book of Michigan.