Friday, March 24, 2006

"Children's Books???"

Condensed from commentary from UW-Madison, about 2005 children's books reviewed:

1. We noted more than thirty titles, including over twenty novels, about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youth and gay- or lesbian-parented families.

2. We still have yet to see multicultural literature make up more than 10 percent of the total number of new books published annually. This percentage drops to less than 5 percent when it includes only titles written and/or illustrated by people of color.

3. We continue to see authors and editors pay closer and closer attention to the importance of documentation in books of information for youth, and more and more writers are including primary sources in their research.

4. Continuing the trend of the last few years, the number of newly published picture books, especially those of first-time authors and illustrators, was down in 2005 from recent all-time highs.

5. Edgy fiction for teenagers has been in the spotlight quite a bit in recent years, but a few notable books for younger audiences also nudged the envelope of what some think of as “acceptable” topics or treatments.

6. We have seen the number of beginning and transitional readers grow significantly over the past five years.

7. The phenomenal success of Harry Potter continues to exert a huge influence over the publication of fiction, as evidenced by the continued proliferation of fantasy trilogies, series, and stand-alone works.

8. One highly noticeable trend that is relatively recent and continued to grow in 2005 is the explosion in the number of original paperbacks published for young adult readers.

9. Five years ago, there were a mere handful of libraries collecting graphic novels. Today, graphic novels have become standard in many public library collections, and in many school libraries, too. And as educators become more attuned to the graphic novel format’s many potential classroom applications, these books are making their way into some classrooms as well.

10. Celebrity publishing gets way too much attention.

HT: Nancy Brown

1 comment:

Joey said...

Maybe they should quit writing these stupid "studies" and write their own "children's" books. Good luck to them getting them sold though. This world can only handle so many "Heather Has Two Mommies."