Thursday, December 4, 2014

December musings and what kids want to read

I spent a glorious Thanksgiving break reading, thanks to Jenn's Bookshelves' brilliant idea to curl up with a book. I made my way through the better part of the pile of books I had waiting for me; some I read all the way, some I put aside to give away. Alas, the cupcake cozy just wasn't for me.

I've also been spending this past month or so thinking about what I want to write next. I've been reading middle-grade and YA, brainstorming ideas, and most of all...

I've been listening to kids. The ones who walk up to my signing table, and also the ones who don't. I watch to see what books they pick up, what books they take home. I've been listening to third, fourth--all the way to high school aged kids when they tell me what books they like, and why.

The younger kids like funny, fast, and some fantasy. Teens want to be swept away to a different place--they love those big, epic tales. Dystopian is still a favorite. Retellings of fairytales, too.

Scholastic did a quick study on what kids like; you can read all about it here. And one of my favorite MG reviewers Ms. Yingling has been talking (with exclamation marks, because this stuff is important) about how depressing recent books are that she reviews for her library. The study tells us kids want funny books, a whopping seventy percent.

So why the disconnect?

I don't know. If I can have a soapbox moment here... I think we should focus more on what kids want to read than on what we think they should read. In any case, I hope we'll see more funny books, don't you? We could all use a laugh.


  1. I agree with you that we should tap into what kids want to read! They know what they want and don't we want them to want to read? ;) Glad you made a dent in your TBR pile!

  2. Thanks, Jess! The TBR pile keeps growing, so I'll have lots to read for December's holiday break :-)

  3. Interesting. I'm always looking for books for Elizabeth, who is a bit of a reluctant reader. She likes action, adventure and fairy tales. And I think, too soon, romances will become a favorite.

  4. She might like Barrie Summy's "I So Don't Do..." series, and Raina Telgemeier's graphic novels "Smile" and "Sisters"--they're a hit at this (tween girl) house :-)