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The 10 Most Popular Books in Public Schools


Thousands of books are requested every year by public school teachers using DonorsChoose.org. Thanks to the analysis of Jeremy Kratz, we’ve compiled a list of the some of the most popular book requests on our site. Check out some projects posted by teachers and learn how you can help create life-long readers:

  1. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Grades 6-8)The first book in the best-selling young adult series that follows the heroine Katniss as she fights to the death in the annual Hunger Games put on by the rulers of her dystopian society, Panem.
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney (Grades 3-4)An incredibly creative series, the books detail the daily battles of middle school student Greg Heffley. Inspired by a child’s diary, the books are “handwritten” with doodles in the margin.
  3. Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan (Grades 4-6)These action-packed fantasy books are strongly rooted in Greek mythology. They follow teenage demigod Percy Jackson as he embarks on adventures and encounters mythical creatures.
  4. Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling (Grades 4-6)Follow Harry Potter and his friends as they balance growing up, wizarding school, and the ever pending threat of the most feared wizard Lord Voldermort.
  5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Grade 9)Set in Nazi Germany, Death narrates the story of Liesel Meminger as she lives through World War II.
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney (Illustrator) (Grade 9)Take a look at the life of Native American Arnold Spirit Jr. as he embarks on a heartwarming yet funny journey to free himself from a predetermined life.
  7. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Grade 9)Set in Berlin in the midst of World War II, a young boy named Bruno fearlessly faces life in a concentration camp. Making the best of his situation, Bruno explores his new home and finds an unlikely friend.
  8. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Grade 9)Speak tells the story of Melinda and her high school experience as an outcast. Ostracized by her classmates and traumatized by an awful abuse, Melinda is given a second chance when she encounters her tormentor once more.
  9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Grade 9)After Clay Jensen's crush Hannah Baker commits suicide, Clay finds a series of tapes she left detailing the 13 reasons why she decided to take her own life. As the tapes guide Clay on a journey around their town, he comes face to face with the reality of his own role in her death.
  10. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Grades 4-5)After eight disappointing years with his aunt and uncle, orphan Jeffrey Lionel (or as he is known "Maniac") Magee runs away. Through his adventure, Maniac Magee touches the lives of the people living in his segregated town.

To learn more about what materials teachers request through DonorsChoose.org, check out Jeremy’s DonorsChoose.org Factbook. Data from September 1, 2009 to September 1, 2011 was used to create this list. Grade level ratings were determined using the Scholastic Book Wizard.

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