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The Literacy Ledger Reflections, findings, stories and the lowdown

Top books read by Worldreaders in 2019

February 7, 2020 By

Discovering the books that keep people reading

At the start of every year, we take a moment to look back at the books that were most popular amongst our readers in the previous year. It’s a great way to get to know our readers even better – who they are, where their interests lie, what books captured and held their attention the most. Insights like these help us strengthen our library, so we can keep bringing our readers books they love.

7.7 million books read in 2019 

In 2019, just over 2 million people read books from the Worldreader library. These readers were scattered around the globe and read books in 52 different languages, from English and Arabic to Kiswahili and Hindi. 

In some countries, we were excited to see particularly large spikes in the number of readers in comparison to last year. For example, our readership grew by 36% in Ethiopia, 55% in Burundi, and by 13% in both Sierra Leone and Malawi.

Reaching more readers with Opera

88% of our readers in 2019 accessed our library via the Opera Mini browser. Since 2015, Opera has featured Worldreader’s library as a bookmark on the Opera Mini browser, giving millions more readers access to a digital library at their fingertips. 

At Worldreader we’re driven by a relentless optimism that there is always a bigger way to make a difference. Our partnership with Opera over the years has helped us get one big step closer to our vision of creating a world of readers. 

Readers with very diverse interests

These readers were extremely varied in their demographic – parents reading bedtime stories to their children, women looking to understand their sexual health, young adults exploring their career paths.

No matter who they were or why they were reading, one thing is for sure: Worldreaders are anything but boring when it comes to reading! The top books read by readers in 2019 represent a wide variety of genres including romance, folk tales, fiction, and life skills. 

Below are the top books read by Worldreaders in 2019*.

top books worldreader

Children’s books

1. The White Wizard by Tade Adegbindin
Rasmed Publications Ltd.

Ajaka, a renowned wizard, exercises his power and heals hundreds of sick people. But the king begins to suspect that the wizard is making secret plans to destroy him.

2. Princess of Goble by Precious Kyei Bonsu
Treasure Books

How can a magical flute save a kingdom? Find out how Princess Goldie saves her kingdom from the wicked king of Helga.

3. Fati and the Old Man by Therson Boadu
Osu Children’s Library

Who is chasing Fati? This time round little Fati is in trouble with an old man she caught stealing pito. Who is speaking the truth?

4. Afi and the Magic Drum by Thécla Midiohouan
New Africa Books

When war forces people to leave their homes, children often get lost. And that’s what happens to Afi. But luckily, she meets an old man with a big heart and… a magic drum!

5. Kofi and the Crow by Peggy Appiah
Red Oak Limited

Someone stole Grandmother’s food! A test to see who stole it becomes dangerous. A wise crow saves the day and teaches the children not to steal.

Young adult books

1. The Ghetto Girl by Bonnie Raindrop
Story Shares

Tiana, a young mother with dyslexia, shares her life experiences with living in poverty through the eyes of a tutor.

2. Was Nyakeeru My Father by Elizabeth Kabui
Longhorn Publishers

Eavesdropping on his parents, James Kirika hears a conversation that suggests that he is not the biological son of the man he calls ‘Father’. This sends him into a search for the man who brought him into this world.

3. Friends till the end by Amy Lee-Tai
Story shares

Kate and Liz have always been best friends. Will a new boyfriend change that?

4. Plain Yellow by Ruby Yayra Goka
Ruby Yayra Goka

When financial constraints make Amerley relocate to a plush neighbourhood, she puts her own dreams aside in order to be a maid to make her family’s life better. But how far should her self-sacrifice go?

5. The Girl with the Magic Hands by Nnedi Okorafor
Worldreader

Chidera is at an all-time low when a chance encounter with a group of mysterious women and the arrival of a magical pen leads to life-changing realizations.

Life and career skills books

1. Choosing the Right Thing to Do by David A. Shapiro
Berrett-Koehler

This book offers real-world help for intelligently addressing the troubling choices we face every day in our personal relationships, jobs, and lifestyles.

2. Changing Careers 
The Saylor Foundation

Understand how career change is different from a traditional job search.

3. Succeeding In High School by Helena Amon-Cofie
Step Publishers

This book gives you  in-depth knowledge for making it through high school and beyond.

4. The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo
Berrett-Koehler

Dr. John Izzo and his colleagues present their valuable advice on what really matters in life, and how to put this cumulative wisdom into practice.

5. A Writer’s Manual: 11 Powerful ingredients to make you a Prolific Writer by Suniti Chandra Mishra
V&S Publishers

This book is dedicated to individuals who have a burning desire in their hearts to write. The book will help readers’ writing quality and is meant to make their road to success smooth.

Inspiring Books

1. How Stupidity Saved My Life: Life Lessons from an Overanalytical Engineer by Okechukwu Ofili

Growing up, I always had a knack for engineering, a knack that intensified when I began my full-time job as a design engineer right out of college.

2. Doctor in a Mirror by Edward Mwangi
Moran Publishers

Annabel sees a doctor in herself and does not want to be operated on by the village doctor. This, however, is contrary to the community’s culture. She risks a lot with her refusal. What will happen?

4. Against the Odds by David Sangmor
Mountype Publishing

Young Kwaku Obeng, falsely accused of a crime, comes to Accra to seek his fortune and find a means of clearing his name. Will his tarnished image be restored? Will he ever be able to go home again?

3. Bully by Tiffany Jones
Story Shares

Holly is a teen struggling with anger issues, until she finds a ring that changes everything.

5. Ghetto Flower by Kenneth Kaigua
WordAlive Publishers

The year is 2037. Kenya’s first female president is sworn in. Makena Akai takes charge as Commander-in-Chief with gusto. She soon faces challenges that will affect her private and public life.

You can access these books and thousands more by visiting read.worldreader.org on any mobile browser. Happy reading!

* These results represent the top books read from our Worldreader library in each of the categories listed (children’s books, young adults, life and career, inspiring) via mobile phones in 2019.