Tami Furlong, owner of Fundamentals Children’s Books in Delaware, Ohio, talks about what’s moving well in her store this summer.
Our staff concurs that the biggest sellers recently—as usual—are novels by Margaret Peterson Haddix. She’s a fairly local author, but that really doesn’t matter. Kids just love her books and we can’t keep them in stock. At the end of this month, her latest novel, Torn, is coming out, and kids are reading or rereading the earlier books in the Missing series in preparation for the latest. She visits our store fairly often and her appearances are always well attended, but her books sell no matter what. Kids can identify with the children in her novels and can easily put themselves in the stories.
Another book with a local connection that I’m handselling successfully is The Liar Society, a mystery set in a posh private school. It’s written by Lisa and Laura Roecker, who are also from Ohio. I did a display in the store of books by Ohio authors, which gave the book some publicity. Lunch-Box Dream by Tony Abbott, a book that just came out this week, also has a local tie-in. The characters in this novel pass through Delaware on a road trip, so there are several mentions of our town. I’ve been pushing it, and we had a bit of a waiting list for the novel before it came out.
I’m sure I’m following a national trend in saying that dystopian novels have been huge for us, particularly Divergent by Veronica Roth, Ally Condie’s Matched, and Delirium by Lauren Oliver.
In picture books, we can’t keep anything by Mo Willems in stock. The Elephant & Piggie titles are all popular, as is his latest book, Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! He really appeals as much to parents as kids, since his books are so much fun to read because of their humor. And another tried-and-true strong seller is Judy Schachner’s Skippyjon Jones series. The latest book, Skippyjon Jones, Class Action, is doing very well.
And I have a little shelf behind counter where we have a few adult books for parents and grandparents. On it is A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, which is written from the point of view of a dog. It’s a book that really catches people’s attention—word has gotten out about it and everyone loves it. Though it’s an adult book, quite a few young adults are reading it too.