As the year draws to a close, everyone is naming their "Top Ten" for 2010. I'm sick of them. After the first few, the following lists were repetitive and predictable. Of more interest is Scholastic's "Top Ten" trends in Children's Books for 2010, which helps give the rational for books that have made others' "Top Ten" lists, as well as help those in the industry see where we've come from...and where we're going for 2011 (so exciting!).
Drawing on their experience distributing books from all children's publishers through their school book clubs and book fairs, Scholastic's editors created a list of ten trends from the year in children's books. President of Scholastic Book Clubs Judy Newman remarks in the release, "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."
1. The expanding Young Adult audience
2. The year of dystopian fiction
3. Mythology-based fantasy (Percy Jackson followed by series like The Kane Chronicles, Lost Heroes of Olympus and Goddess Girls)
4. Multimedia series (The 39 Clues, Skeleton Creek, The Search for WondLa)
5. A focus on popular characters - from all media
6. The shift to 25 to 30 percent fewer new picture books, with characters like Pinkalicious, Splat Cat and Brown Bear, Brown Bear showing up in Beginning Reader books
7. The return to humor
8. The rise of the diary and journal format (The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dear Dumb Diary, Dork Diaries, The Popularity Papers, and Big Nate)
9. Special-needs protagonists
10. Paranormal romance beyond vampires (Linger and Shiver, Beautiful Creatures, Immortal, and Prophesy of the Sisters)
Most of the books I've read this year can fall into one of these categories or another; all of my favorites definitely can. I can't wait to see where the trends take us next year...I'm looking forward to more dystopian (Divergent, hello!), curious to see how long paranormal romance lasts (and what creatures we fall in love with next) and praying that somehow historical fiction comes back! We shall see!