Reading Trends 2010/2011

I recently came across an article by Scholastic discussing the 10 trends in children’s books from 2010. I think all librarians working with children/young adults should keep up to date on current reading trends to be able to provide exceptional reader’s advisory. I am constantly reading book blogs, journal reviews, scanning bookstore shelves, bestseller lists and of course, reading as much YA as I possibly can.  I think you will find their findings interesting and useful:

  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 Shiver and Linger, Beautiful Creatures, Immortal, and Prophesy of the Sisters shows this genre is still uber-popular and continues to expand.

We can use these trends from 2010 to predict some of the future reading trends for 2011. I think 2011 will see an increased presence of angels (not the happy white angels, but the dark fallen angels). I’ve read Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, and really want to get my hands on Halo by Alexandra Adornetto. I think dark angels is a nice change from the drawn-out vampire craze.  Do you agree with their findings, and do you have any predictions for 2011?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shiftersseries
    Jan 08, 2011 @ 16:38:14

    Interesting predictions. I have been curious about the recent move toward dystopian stories in the last couple of years. What do you think the draw is? Is it a pessimism about the future, a catharsis (where one can read about lives and situations that are so much more horrible than one’s own and find some small degree of comfort in that, or do you think that it is something else?


  2. booksintransit
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 16:50:51

    Hmm, well dystopian stories are not new. Dystopian fiction like ‘1984’ have been around to warn us about some kind of current trend. Today, teens live in a world of tragedy- war, disease, natural disasters. I think readers can understand and relate to the characters is such stories. Dystopia (in a sense) is already happening in their world, and fiction like ‘The Hunger Games’ shows what could happen if we don’t change. I really like that in most teen dystopia novels, the author encourages the reader to not sit back, but to take a stand and fight back no matter how difficult the issue is.


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