Every writer wants their book to become the next big thing, right? How do you go about doing that? Well, children’s fiction is a pesky wave and sometimes you get lucky and ride it to the top; other times, you get lost under the water. If you’re trying to write for an age group you don’t relate with, it can be hard to figure out what those readers want to see.
Check out my awesome interview with Brandi Stewart, children’s book buyer for the indie bookstore, Changing Hands, in Tempe, Arizona. She helps breakdown what the current trends and popular books out in the YA and middle grade world, while also recommending what writers should stay away from and what they should look into for new story ideas.
Now I don’t necessarily believe in writing for trends, because a good story should be a good story whenever it comes out. By the time you get your book out on whatever hot topic is turning pages, it’ll be done and over with and not worth anyone’s time. But it’s smart to know what interests kids and learn what commonalities hit books have as well as discover new ways to bring up old subjects.
I like to think about what I used to like reading when I was younger and see the parallel books out now in stores. Some of my favorites were the Magic Tree House series (still going strong), American Girl series, Mary Kate and Ashley mysteries, The Magic Attic, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, Harry Potter, the Boxcar Children and Captain Underpants. Currently, I can see elements of those books in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Percy Jackson series, the 39 Clues, the Hunger Games, Nerds, Theodore Boone:Kid Lawyer, and Pretty Little Liars.
I have a lot more footage of great YA and middle grade books that Brandi recommends for readers, but there was just too much to fit in with this video so I’ll be putting that together in another one for my next post. Oh and if you’re interested in the book clubs for kids and teens that Changing Hands has that help discover the latest and greatest books in children’s fiction, there’s Club Read and BIT:Before It’s Trendy. There will be more on that in the next video as well. Don’t miss out!
Article to Note:
- Children’s And YA Still Selling: But For How Long? (huffingtonpost.com)