This Year's 10 Trends in Children’s Books
Children's book publisher Scholastic has released a list of "10 Trends in Children’s Books from 2010." The list was compiled by Scholastic editors, "including children’s literature experts from Scholastic Book Clubs and Scholastic Book Fairs, divisions of Scholastic that distribute books from all publishers through schools nationwide," according to the company.
“We’ve seen some exciting innovation in children’s publishing in 2010, including new formats and platforms for storytelling that are helping more and more kids become book lovers,” says Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs. “At the same time, we’re seeing a rejuvenation of some classic genres, which I think is evidence of the timeless power that stories and characters have on the lives of children.”
Here are the 10 trends in children's books from 2010, according to Scholastic, which cites several of its own titles as examples:
1. The expanding Young Adult (YA) audience: More and more adults are reading YA books, as the audience for these stories expands.
2. The year of dystopian fiction: With best-selling series like "The Hunger Games" and "The Maze Runner," readers can’t seem to get enough of fiction that suggests the future may be worse than the present.
3. Mythology-based fantasy: Rick Riordan’s "Percy Jackson" series set the trend—and now series like "The Kane Chronicles," "Lost Heroes of Olympus" and "Goddess Girls" are capitalizing.
4. Multimedia series: "The 39 Clues," "Skeleton Creek" and "The Search for WondLa" are hooking readers with stories that go beyond the printed page and meet kids where they are online or via video.
5. A focus on popular characters—from all media: Kids love to read books about characters they know and recognize from books, movies and television shows. Titles centered around those popular characters (like "Fancy Nancy," David Shannon’s “David” or "Toy Story" characters) are top sellers.
6. The shift in picture books: Publishers are publishing about 25-percent to 30-percent fewer picture book titles than they used to as some parents want their kids to read more challenging books at younger ages. The new trend is leading to popular picture book characters such as "Pinkalicious," "Splat Cat" and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" showing up in Beginning Reader books.
7. The return to humor: Given the effects of the recession on families, it is nice to see a rise in the humor category, fueled by the success of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series, Dav Pilkey’s "The Adventures of Ook & Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future" and popular media characters like Spongebob, and Phineas and Ferb.
8. The rise of the diary and journal format: The success of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series has lead to popular titles such as "Dear Dumb Diary," "Dork Diaries," "The Popularity Papers" and "Big Nate."
9. Special-needs protagonists: There is a growing body of literary fiction with main characters who have special needs, particularly Aspergers Syndrome and Autism. Examples include "My Brother Charlie," "Marcelo in the Real World," "Mockingbird" and "Rules."
10. Paranormal romance beyond vampires: The success of titles like "Linger and Linger," "Beautiful Creatures," "Immortal" and "Prophesy of the Sisters" shows this genre is still uber-popular and continues to expand.