Children’s Book Trends 2023
As the year progresses, we are seeing children’s book trends that look to have some solid staying power. If you are a parent, teacher, or librarian these book trends might be worth following when stocking your kidlit library.
These children’s book trends are based on what is seen in today’s kidlit marketplace as well as in industry discussions.
Audience age helps determine if a book should be promoted as an early reader, middle grade, or young adult book. But age isn't the only thing to consider. Sales data has shown gains in YA that data analyst Brenna Connor told Publisher's Weekly suggests that “some kids are likely 'reading up' into manga, webtoons, and YA."
YA recommendation: Broken Shards of Time
Despite this trend and a decline in beginning reader and intermediate reader series, Conner says “there is still a hungry market out there for these books, so look for opportunities to refresh and rediscover middle grade. Think about new voices and new stories."
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental health issues are not a faux pas in children’s publishing. Readers are looking for children and teen books that address mental health issues like anxiety and depression in an age appropriate way. In fact, The Guardian reported that several publishers have seen success in publishing books in this category.
Recommendation: Iz the Apocalypse
Inclusivity and Diversity
Kids need to be able to see themselves in the books they read, so it's important to create books that represent the culture and experience of the readers and the world around them.
According to the Huffington Post’s article Kids Books Still Have A Lack-Of-Diversity Problem, Powerful Image Shows “Of the 3,134 children’s books they reviewed in 2018, just 23, or one per cent, depicted Indigenous characters. Five per cent of the pics depicted LatinX characters, seven per cent had Asian Pacific Islander/Asian Pacific American characters, and 10 per cent had African/African American characters.”
Earth and Environment
The world is a magnificent living thing. Books which highlight sustainability, eco-activism, and protecting the planet are on the rise.
STEAM and STEM Books for Kids
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) books for all readers are a trend with schools and libraries. From makerspace areas (where non-fiction STEAM and STEM books work well) and fictional STEAM/STEM books
Recommendation: Asha and Baz
Reading is reading. Thus, reading a graphic novel is reading. Graphic novels are a great format for reluctant readers as well as those who enjoy dynamic illustration with a fast paced story.
Middle grade readers always love to solve a good mystery. Thus, detective stories will always be in demand.
Recommendation: The Math Kids