Wednesday, December 08, 2010

2010 Trends in Kid's books

Thanks to Marsha Skrypuch for alerting me to Scholastic's take on what's been happening in the world of kids' books over the last year. Number one on their list is the expanding Young Adult (YA) audience. This may be in part because YA books just keep getting better. Or it may be because YA books are also popular with a fair number of adults. Sadly, the picture book market seems to have shrunk. They also point to dystopian fiction as high up on the list of last year's trends with series like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. Not surprisingly, the rise of the diary or journal format is on their list. This is partly due to the success of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which started out on line rather than in book format.
A couple of things I've noticed over the last year is that no matter what the target age, series seem to be flying off the shelves. This is a trend that I predict will only increase. Another trend is an increasing number of books being turned into movies. E-books weren't mentioned in the Scholastic roundup, but I'm pretty sure this is another area of the kids's book market that's ballooning. For example, Harlequin has jumped into the ring with a new online YA Romance presence with Harlequin Teen. Lastly, a trend I'm sad to say I've seen is that in addition to a shrinking picture book market, there are fewer complex cross-over picture books being published. This is perhaps the most disturbing trend of all given what a wonderful reading opportunity picture books can be for everyone; especially since kids have less time for reading. Picture books can be particularly beneficial to populations like ESL students and reluctant readers, and the art is often some of the best in the world. PB offer a wealth of opportunities to address complex issues and open the doors to discussions both in schools and homes. In the push to get kids reading chapter books, sometimes we forget that many picture books are richly crafted gems that contain the elements of larger works of fiction.

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