Children's Books discussion

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Themes, Topics & Categories > What's currently popular in Children's Books?

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message 1: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 3 comments I've been out of the loop of children's writing for quite some time and the popular genre of children's books was multicultural titles. Everybody was joining the multicultural bandwagon. I am curious what subject is popular with children's books now?


message 2: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2472 comments Mod
The popularity of the Harry Potter books brought in a whole slew of fantasy books for children. Now, with the advent of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, journal type books are popular. Also, graphic novels for all ages are becoming more and more popular.


message 3: by Leigh (new)

Leigh (leighb) The variety of stories is all over the map, but the most popular formats are graphic novels and journal style books with lots of pencil drawn illustrations. But the variety is immense-scary stories, funny stories, super hero stories, historical novel/graphic novel stories...the list is endless. Go to James Patterson's web site ReadKiddoRead dot com for some ideas on what kids are reading now.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
I see an awful lot of middle-grade fantasy adventure, and I'm tired of it.


message 5: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Vaagen (crystalvaagen) I'm hoping that feel good stories with valuable moral lessons will always be "in."


message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
One of the things I've noticed is that historical family stories about the Great Depression and WWII seem to be quite popular lately. For me, while I love historical fiction, I am also getting a bit tired of having so many Great Depression stories (I would rather have more historical fiction spread though more historical periods).


message 7: by Cemeread (new)

Cemeread Multicultural is still being sought, but not so much as a genre, more included in all genres. Books with children of different backgrounds appeal to more readers.


message 8: by Dena (new)

Dena McMurdie (batchofbooks) | 18 comments A lot of magical stories are popular, as are contemporary stories.


message 9: by Michele (new)

Michele | 181 comments Popular in what way? As a elementary school librarian, I would say that graphic novels, or even novels that look to be a handwritten diary with pictures (aka -- Diary of a Wimpy Kid) are extremely popular with children. Girls and boys alike love DWK and the female look alikes, The Dork Diaries. Raina Telgemeier's Smile and Drama. Yes, Harry Potter and the world of fantasy is still popular, but it's a bigger group reading these books.


message 10: by Michele (new)

Michele | 181 comments Top 10 titles in my library:

1. American girl.[ Serial ]

2. Diary of a wimpy kid : hard luck

3. Pokémon : essential handbook : the need-to-know stats and facts on over 640 Pokémon.

4. Diary of a wimpy kid : the third wheel

5. How they croaked : the awful ends of the awfully famous

6. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid : Rodrick Rules

7. Diary Of A Wimpy kid: The Ugly Truth

8. Pokémon black version, Pokémon white version handbook : stats and facts on over 150 brand-new Pokémon!

9. Wonder

10. The apothecary


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
lol, Michele - well, at least they're reading *something* - !


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
The Apothecary does look interesting, and I have Wonder on my list already.


message 13: by Dornel (new)

Dornel Cerro (dcerro) Hi, I'm a K-8 school librarian and would agree with Michele that graphic novels, comics like Garfield, etc., and Diary of a Wimpy Kid (and its spin-offs) are very popular. I'm not complaining, though, 'cause they're flying off the shelves! Something that just recently became popular due to an author visit: trivia and Q & A type books. BTW, just started the Apothecary and am finding it wonderful.


message 14: by Michele (new)

Michele | 181 comments Hello Cheryl! I know that I have essentially disappeared in this group. I have just been insanely busy. I may have mentioned that my class time has been doubled at work so I wind up doing a lot of work stuff at home. It is ridiculous. Whatever. I have to admit that I have never actually read a DWK (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) book. I always tell the kids that I don't NEED to read those--they "sell" themselves. :)

I would actually say that books like "Wonder" are also fairly popular--that is books about a child with some kind of disability or problem. I'm not sure why that is exactly. Maybe it is because teachers tend to read them aloud and then everyone talks about them. This year, it's "Wonder." Last year it was Out of My Mind.


message 15: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (weebeaks) For the older middle school (12ish), my son and it seems every one of his friends (male), seems to enjoy the action adventure theme ala Rick Riordan, etc. Grisham has a YA series and so forth.

I personally like that some of those have historical components. It fires them up for history. Nearly every child I know in that age group can name all the Greek gods and info about them now due to those books. :)


message 16: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 160 comments We will be reading Wonder in Children's Fiction, keep it on the shelves. :)


message 17: by Aimee (new)

Aimee | 54 comments I recently read Wonder, and I enjoyed it. We bought copies for my daughter's friends for their birthdays. It was a story well told, and I loved the uplifting themes.


message 18: by Alfreda (new)

Alfreda Morrissey | 6 comments Crystal wrote: "I'm hoping that feel good stories with valuable moral lessons will always be "in.""

Try Kendra Kandlestar. I read it to my daughters 5 and 7 and they are addicted. It explores themes of secrets, racism, conflict, patience, the lure of power. Both my kids and LOVED it. I also like the vocabulary used. Even I had to look up some words, but they are used beautifully so it doesn't come across as awkward or wordy. It is a pleasure to read aloud because the characters have strong personalities, the races have weird accents it is easy to inject personality into the voice you use when you read the dialogue.

There are 4 books out and the last one should be coming out this year. Strangely nobody else seems to know about this series. I LOVED Harry Potter but I think this series is even better.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Kendra Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers for the link to one of the series.


message 20: by Roderick (new)

Roderick Hart Hi

I'm thinking in the age-range 9-12 and and have two questions which might help me when writing.

1) Are books of stories more popular or less popular than novels?
2) Is it out of the question to write a book aimed at boys or a book aimed at girls?

I have spent quite a while in the children's section of a bookshop but failed to come to a conclusion on the first point.

As for the second, I'm guessing - but could be wrong - that books aimed at girls or books aimed at boys were probably more common in the past than now.

rod


message 21: by Claire (new)

Claire Caterer | 24 comments Roderick wrote:

1) Are books of stories more popular or less popular than novels?


I think novels are always more popular, but that doesn't mean there's no market for story collections. Usually what I see are more anthologies from a variety of authors, however. In terms of selling to publishers, I would go for a novel--and a reasonably sized one, too (say, 45,000-60,000 range). Obviously, longer novels sell too, but in that golden mean, you have a better shot.

2) Is it out of the question to write a book aimed at boys ...

Write the book you want to write. I wouldn't "aim" it at anyone in particular. Editors do like to try and court boy readers, but that doesn't mean girls shouldn't appear in those books. If you like writing action/adventure, then by all means, do so. Ideally (from the editors' viewpoint), a book should appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and really, that means not excluding one gender or the other. In the real world, boys and girls are friends and they interact, so to write a book in which no girls appear (for example) wouldn't be realistic. Ditto for a "girl" book.

But the fact is that some books appeal to more girls than boys, and vice versa--in a very GENERAL sense. I say, write the story that speaks to you, and be aware that an "all girls" or "all boys" tale will likely seem dated.

Hope that helps--I'm certainly not the final authority on these issues. :)

Claire Caterer


message 22: by Roderick (new)

Roderick Hart Hi Claire

Thanks for your answers, which help a lot.

I found anthologies in the local bookshop, and I suppose the originals had to come from somewhere. But I take your point about novels being a better bet when it comes to publication.

I agree with your comments about boys/girls books, but they also got me thinking since my only main character so far is a girl.

Anyway, it was good of you to take the time to explain these things to me.

rod


message 23: by Claire (last edited May 03, 2014 12:47PM) (new)

Claire Caterer | 24 comments Roderick wrote:

"I found anthologies in the local bookshop, and I suppose the originals had to come from somewhere."


The anthologies I've seen generally have been commissioned--in other words, an editor/anthologist gets the idea and then invites authors to contribute stories. Some recent ones include The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales and the upcoming YA collection Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. Also, on the younger side, the curators of The Cabinet of Curiosities blog have been approached to do an anthology of their works, which is coming out May 27 (The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister).


message 24: by Roderick (new)

Roderick Hart Hi Claire

Thanks for this, you've set me straight again.
I had stupidly assumed that anthologies comprised existing stories from various sources which, now you mention it,need not be the case.

Thanks also for the links.

rod


message 25: by Claire (new)

Claire Caterer | 24 comments Roderick wrote: "I had stupidly assumed that anthologies comprised existing stories from various sources which, now you mention it,need not be the case."



You're welcome! Yeah--sadly, there aren't many sources that publish short stories anymore. Maybe someone anthologizes stories from HIGHLIGHTS or magazines like that? I'm not sure. Hard to keep up with how fast publishing is changing these days. :)


message 26: by Mari (new)

Mari (marieathenium) | 9 comments Are ebooks becoming more popular?


message 27: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 185 comments Diane wrote: "Are ebooks becoming more popular?"
Boy, I sure hope so, said the guy with the fantasy eBook series.


message 28: by Claire (new)

Claire Caterer | 24 comments Diane wrote: "Are ebooks becoming more popular?"

According to what I've read, ebooks are growing in popularity among kids, but not at the rate that it's happening in adult fiction. Especially in the 12 and under set, kids like to hold a book and look at illustrations, etc., which is a big draw for traditionally published works. But yes, the market for ebooks is definitely increasing in all age groups.
Publisher's Weekly did an interesting analysis on this topic back in February.


message 29: by Mari (new)

Mari (marieathenium) | 9 comments Steve wrote: "Diane wrote: "Are ebooks becoming more popular?"
Boy, I sure hope so, said the guy with the fantasy eBook series."

:0)


message 30: by Mari (new)

Mari (marieathenium) | 9 comments Claire wrote: "Diane wrote: "Are ebooks becoming more popular?"

According to what I've read, ebooks are growing in popularity among kids, but not at the rate that it's happening in adult fiction. Especially in t..."


Thank you for the link Claire.


message 31: by Jennifer (last edited May 27, 2014 12:56PM) (new)

Jennifer Sullivan (adventuresinstorytime) I work at a public library and graphic novels, diary-type novels, fantasy, and adventure are most popular. Sadly, historical fiction does not circulate well here at all.


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