Young readers of Western New York have spoken.
Students from 30 school districts, ages 7 to 15, participated in a "Kids Choice" survey listing their five favorite books through the Buffalo Alliance for Education and the Newspaper in Education program of the Buffalo News. And the winner is -- Harry Potter!
The schools with the most participants were Buffalo parochial schools, Williamsville, Fredonia, Niagara Falls City, Buffalo Public Schools, Alden and Roy-Hart. "We were really surprised and happy at the number of students" who listed their favorite books, said Pat Jensen, executive director of the Buffalo Alliance for Education. News Education Coordinator Cindy Sterner and her staff spent hours and hours going through the ballots to come up with final Kids Choice booklists, which were placed in public libraries with the idea that kids looking for a book might like the Kids Choice list.
In honor of Children's Book Week this week, here are the top 10 favorite books or series: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, 834 votes
"Holes" by Louis Sachar. (The publisher reports a sequel is in the works!), 448 votes
Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park, 148 votes
"Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, 138
"Captain Underpants" series by Dav Pilkey, 126
Goosebumps series by R.L Stine, 109
"Magic Treehouse" series by Mary Pope Osborne, 93
Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket, 78
"The BFG" by Roald Dahl, 70.
"The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton, 63 votes
The top five authors were:
J.K. Rowling for Harry Potter
Louis Sachar was popular not just for "Holes" but for his "Wayside School" books, "Dogs Don't Tell Jokes" and "There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom" and others.
Barbara Parks was also popular for "Skinny Bones" and "Psst! It's Me the Bogeyman"
Dav Pilkey was also popular for "Dog Breath" and "Dogzilla"
Roald Dahl was also popular for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "James and the Giant Peach" "The BFG" and "The Witches."
Find the complete Kids Choice list on the Web site, www.buffaloalliance.org. Here are other favorite books of readers 13 to 15 from the survey:
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
"A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive" by Dave Pelzer;
"Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen
"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares
"Walk Two Moons" by Sharon Creech
"Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul"
"Princess Diaries" by Meg Cabot
"The Contender" by Robert Lipsyte
"Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine
"My Brother Sam Is Dead" by James Lincoln Collier
"The Giver" by Lois Lowry
"Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls
NEW BOOKS FOR FALL:
Here are some great new books for fall:
Nancy Farmer, "The Sea of Trolls" (Atheneum, $17.95) is a marvelous epic fantasy about a young Saxon boy who is kidnapped during a Viking raid and taken on a quest across a sea of trolls. (Farmer also wrote the excellent "House of Scorpions" and "A Girl Named Disaster.")
"Soul Surfer" by Bethany Hamilton (MTV Books, $18) is the compelling true story of the 13-year-old surfer whose devout Christian faith helped her not only survive a shark attack but to get back on the board for competitive surfing -- with only one arm. Bethany wrote her story with the help of Sheryl Berk, who collaborated with "Sopranos" star Jamie-Lynn DiScala on her memoir "Wise Girl," and Rick Bundschuh, a surfer and a pastor with the Kauai Christian Fellowship.
Christopher Paul Curtis, author of "Bud, Not Buddy" and "The Watsons Go to Birmingham," has a very different, hilarious new novel, "Bucking the Sarge, (Wendy Lamb Books, $15.95)" for readers 12 and up about a teenager trying to escape the grip of his horrible mother, a loanshark who owns an empire of slum housing and shoddy group homes in Curtis' hometown of Flint, Mich.
Eva Ibbotson, "Star of Kazan" (Dutton, $16.99) is a wonderful adventure set in 20th century Vienna, about a girl who was abandoned as a baby and adopted by housemaids, then is claimed by a beautiful artistocrat who shows up one day pretending to be her mother and takes her away to a crumbling castle called Spittal.
Peni R. Griffin: "11,000 Years Lost" (Amulet Books, $18.95) is like a "Clan of the Cave Bear" for younger readers. An 11-year-old Texas girl finds a prehistoric spearhead and is mysteriously transported back 11,000 years where she is adopted by a band of mammoth hunters and must learn their ways of survival.