(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

BooksJune 2, 2022

The Unity Books children’s bestseller chart for the month of May

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

What’s the best way to get adults reading? Get them reading when they’re children – and there’s no better place to start than Unity’s top-selling kids’ books.


 Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong (Hachette, $25, 13+)

Gong’s romantic, bloody YA duology has been all over the New York Times bestseller charts for ages now. Why are sales spiking again in New Zealand? Because the writer has popped home for a tour in the run-up to release of her first novel for adults, Foul Lady Fortune, which we are extremely excited about.

Our Violent Ends is the second in the YA series.

2  These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (Hachette, $20, 13+)

And this is the first.

3  The Noisy Book by Bravi Soledad (Gecko Press, $25, 0-2)

Misnomer. Does not make noise. Is just a great board book.

4  The Lighthouse Princess by Susan Wardell and Rose Northey (Puffin, $20, 3+)

Fantastic, terrific, wonderful, brilliant – honestly we’re enchanted by this new picture book and we can’t wait to see what Wardell and Northey come up with next.

5  The World’s Worst Pets David Walliams, illustrated by Adam Stower (Harper Collins $27, 7-12)

“We have met the world’s worst children, the world’s worst teachers and even the world’s worst parents. Now you must prepare yourself for the absolute worst of the worst … The world’s worst pets!”


6  Counting Creatures by Julia Donaldson and Sharon King-Chai (Two Hoots, $25, 3-5)

Julia D is always great, and this one is great even for her.

7  1 to 20 Animals Aplenty by Katie Viggers (Lawrence King, $25, 3+)

Nine cats in matching hats, etc.

8 Big Emotions for Little People by Rebekah Lipp and Craig Phillips (Wildling Books, $19, 2+)

Can’t vouch for this one – haven’t seen it yet – but the Lipp / Phillips team has been making brilliant books about emotions and mental health since way before it was cool.

9 Māui and Other Legends: 8 Classic Tales of Aotearoa by Peter Gossage (Puffin $40, 4+)

The classic.

10 Heartstopper Volume One by Alice Oseman (Hachette, $28, 13+)

Via Wikipedia: “Oseman started publishing Heartstopper as a webcomic on Tumblr and Tapas in September 2016. It gained significant following, and Oseman decided to self-publish a limited run of physical copies of the first two chapters. On 20 June 2018, she launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publishing, and within two hours reached the targeted pledge. In October 2018, Hachette Children’s Group acquired the rights to physical publishing … ”

Now it’s on Netflix, of course, and back in the charts.


1  These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (Hachette, $20)

2  The Lighthouse Princess by Susan Wardell and Rose Northey (Puffin, $20, 3+)

3  Heartstopper Volume One by Alice Oseman (Hachette, $28, 13+)

4  Goose the Artist by Kimberly Andrews (Puffin, $20, 3+)

Andrews is one of our favourite writer / illustrators. This is the fourth in her excellent series of picture books also featuring Puffin the Architect, Hound the Detective and Moose the Pilot.

5  Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong (Hachette, $25)

6  The World’s Worst Pets by David Walliams (HarperCollins, $27, 4+)

7  The Adventures of Mittens: Wellington’s Famous Purr-sonality by Silvio Bruinsma, illustrated by Phoebe Morris (Penguin, $20, 3+)

Will there be a sequel following Mittens’ move to Tāmaki Makaurau?

8  I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (Macmillan, $30, 12+)

Via the New York Times: “Casey McQuiston has written two best-selling adult romances, but their Y.A. debut, I Kissed Shara Wheeler, starts as a thriller: Shara Wheeler, the daughter of the principal of Willowgrove Christian Academy, vanishes in the middle of prom, and her academic arch-rival, Chloe Green, is determined to find out why. Shara’s quarterback boyfriend, Smith, and the troubled boy next door, Rory, complete our Scooby gang of investigators, and we’re off on a classic missing-girl hunt.”

Those two best-selling adult romances, btw, were Red, White & Royal Blue and One Last Stop, both brilliant and funny and sexy and cool.

The Noisy Book by Bravi Soledad (Gecko Press, $25, 0-2)

10 A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (Hardie Grant Books, $23, 10+)

“love a good small town murder mystery and this was so good!!

trigger warnings: rape, drug use, death of a pet, kidnapping”

– chloe on Goodreads

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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