Scholastic Picks Top 10 Children’s Book Trends for 2013

By Catherine A. Cardno — December 11, 2012 3 min read
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The end of the year is always a good time to predict trends for the coming year, and who doesn’t love lists? I know I do. Evidently the editors at Scholastic do as well, and today the company announced its forecasted top 10 trends in children’s books for 2013. The list was culled from Scholastic book editors.

The list that follows includes the trends that the editors have identified, the books they are looking forward to seeing in 2013, and some of my own notes:

1. Bullying

The Meanest Birthday Girl by Josh Schneider (Clarion, May 2013)
The Call of the Bully: A Rodney Rathbone Novel by Scott Starkey (Simon & Schuster, January 2013)

2. Science Fiction

Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel & Friends, February 2013)
Enders by Lissa Price (Delacorte, December 2012)
Pulse by Patrick Carman (HarperCollins, February 2013)

3. Nonfiction
(The editors predict that common-core literacy requirements will create an uptick in what they see as “intriguing” nonfiction titles.)

Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson (HarperCollins, January 2013)
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet (Knopf, January 2013)
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin (Scholastic, January 2013)

4. Novels-in-Cartoons
(They certainly aren’t graphic novels, but I’m sure you’ve all seen these types of books popping up everywhere in the last decade or so. The genre includes such series as Bad Kitty, Captain Underpants, and the Dork Diaries.)

Chickenhare by Chris Grine (Scholastic, February 2013)
Stick Dog: A Really Good Story with Kind of Bad Drawings by Tom Watson (HarperCollins, January 2013)
Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic, January 2013)
Bad Kitty: School Daze by Nick Bruel (Roaring Brook, January 2013)

5. Movie Adaptations

Ender’s Game by Scott Orson Card (TOR Books)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown)
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series (Hyperion Book)

6. War
(The editors note that nonfiction titles are often timed to anniversaries—the 150th anniversary of the Civil War being no exception.)

I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg by Lauren Tarshis (Scholastic, January 2013)
What Was the Battle of Gettysburg? by Jim O’Connor, John Mantha and James Bennett (Grosset & Dunlap, February 2013).

7. Tough Girls
(The Scholastic editors foresee a new trend in tough-girl protagonists, noting that this category builds upon the feisty character Katniss from the Hunger Games trilogy—but I would argue that the tough-girl antecedent can be traced back further to Hermione, in the Harry Potter series.)

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion, May 2012)
Legend and its sequel Prodigy by Marie Lu (Putnam, January 2013)
Lawless by Jeffrey Salane (Scholastic, February 2013)

8. Survival Stories
(Tried-and-true children’s classics throughout the last few centuries have included survival books like Robinson Crusoe (1719), The Swiss Family Robinson (1812), My Side of the Mountain (1959), Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), Julie of the Wolves (1972), The Sign of the Beaver (1983), and Hatchet (1987). Count me intrigued as to whether new releases will be able to offer a different spin on conventions in this category. The editors do note that while survival books have been popular in the past, TV shows are increasing their popularity.)

Finding Zasha by Randi Barrow (Scholastic, January 2013)
Stranded by Survivor host Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbetts (Puffin, February 2013)

9. Diversity
(These books will teach students about families and cultures from a variety of backgrounds, the editors note. Given that most realistic fiction does this already, I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of books in the future.)

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine (Putnam, January 2012)
Hold Fast by Blue Balliett (Scholastic, March 2013)

10. Ecology and the Environment
(These titles will range from campy, fantastical sci-fi to more realistic eco-thrillers, according to the editors.)

Killer Species: Menace from the Deep by Michael Spradlin (Scholastic, July 2013)
Infestation by Timothy J. Bradley (Scholastic, April 2013)
Last Dogs: The Vanishing by Christopher Holt (Little, Brown, September 2012)

And there you have it—a trends list to end all trends lists. Happy (anticipated) reading for 2013!

A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.