Today Scholastic, the leading publisher and distributor of children’s books, released its list of top ten trends in children’s books for 2010, put together by its editors and literature experts.
So what was hot this year? According to Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Book Clubs, the answer is a great story told differently. “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. 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’s Scholastic’s list:
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 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 & Ferb.
8 ) The rise of the diary and journal format: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is the most well-know example of this trend, but the success of Wimpy Kid is leading 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: 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.