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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is Most Checked Out Book in 125 Years

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is the most checked out book in Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) history. In culmination of its 125th anniversary celebration, BPL announced its Top 125 Most Borrowed Books, with the beloved children’s classic taking the top spot. To determine the most borrowed books, a team from BPL evaluated several factors, including checkout and circulation data, historical bestseller lists and years since publication dates.

The countdown launched in October with BPL’s 125th Most Borrowed Book of All Time, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, featuring a special video greeting from author Judy Blume. BPL received birthday greetings from a number of authors on the list, including Mo Willems, who appears on the list eight times, and Lois Lowry, whose classic, The Giver, is one of the most frequently banned books nationwide.

“We’re thrilled to close out our yearlong anniversary celebration with a list that gives us insight into what Brooklynites have been reading over the last 125 years — from beloved children’s books to classic literature, graphic novels and everything in between,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library.

“We look forward to the next 125 years of providing free and open access to information and connecting readers to the books and stories that will inspire them, spark curiosity, and keep them reading for decades to come.”

BPL’s Top Five Most Borrowed Books Are:

Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak (1963)

The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats (1962)

The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss (1957)

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (1843)

Are You My Mother?, PD Eastman (1960)

Where the Wild Things Are was originally published by Harper & Row in 1963. The book tells the story of Max, a young boy who wreaks havoc in his household and is sent to bed without his supper. He then sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

To honor the book, BPL is hosting a Wild Rumpus celebration on Saturday, December 3 at its Central Library, with special guest Julian Shapiro-Barnum, of “Recess Therapy” fame. All children attending will receive a special surprise gift, while supplies last. In addition, in celebration of its 125th birthday, BPL is giving away a free reusable bags to every patron checking out a book at branches across the borough.

View the full list of BPL’s 125 Most Borrowed Books here.

About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library  is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st-century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 60,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. We give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.