Every year Scholastic projects key trends in the publishing industry and what books are likely to become bestsellers. Last year the company predicted Harry Potter and the wizard universe to grow in a large way in 2016. Now we know Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two was the number one selling book according to many retail sellers. In addition, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them became a pop culture juggernaut. Other predictions that became a reality were the growth of superheroes in kid-friendly titles, the boom of coloring books for all ages, as well as the continual growth and demand for graphic novels.
- LESSONS ON KINDESS WILL BE KEY: This past year’s news headlines can provide children a false perception that the world is unkind and hostile. Parents and educators can take the opportunity to find books by authors and artists who are doing their part to implement the need for kindness in an uncertain world. For younger children, look for titles that teach the importance of empathy, openness and sharing. For older children, discover titles that showcase the power of unexpected friendships.
- BOOK ANNIVERSARIES WILL REINTRODUCE MODERN CLASSICS: Millennials will remember the joys of picking out the latest titles from their favorite book series at the Scholastic Book Fair or through monthly Scholastic Reading Club flyers. The 30th anniversary of The Magic School Bus, the 25th anniversary of Goosebumps, the 20th anniversary of Captain Underpants and the 10th anniversary of The Invention of Hugo Cabret will introduce a new fan base to these popular stories and franchises. In addition, the new television series revamp of The Magic School Bus, as well as the upcoming film release of Captain Underpants and a new release in Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man series will be on every kid’s reading wish list.
- “FUNNY” IS STILL NUMBER ONE: Recent research shows that kids worldwide say that the number one characteristic kids look for when picking out a book to read for fun is “make me laugh.”* Looking for “laugh out loud” reads is one way to help a child associate reading as a fun and pleasurable activity.
- THE IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH WILL GROW: As social media grows and it becomes more difficult to decipher what’s “real” news versus fake “news,” parents and educators can introduce children to the structure of nonfiction reads, biographies and other important titles that will teach children the basic skills of discerning accurate information.
- CLASSICS WILL RETURN – AND BE REINVENTED. A great way to get kids introduced to new genres and stories is reading classic fairy tales – with an unexpected twist. Meet Little Red Riding Hood, but this time as a superhero. Revisit the land of Oz with the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion as the cast of characters from the Geronimo Stilton series. Children’s literature is always being reimagined in new ways and putting favorite characters into a new world of hijinks is bound to get children of all ages interested in reading for fun.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.