(credit)by Jemi Fraser
Trends, trends, trends.
What's going to be next? ... What's hot right now? ... Should I write to trends?
Who knows? ... Varies, depending on who you ask. ... No.
But, it is always interesting to see what your prospective audience is reading. If you find trends over the years in the same audience, you might see something useful.
For years, I've taught middle and upper elementary school—grades 5 - 8. The kids are 10 to 14 in this age group. For the most part, they love to read. I tell them the first day of school that they'll love reading in no time. They always prove me right.
So, what trends do I see? It changes, but here's what's hot in my class (Grade 5/6) in MG this year.
Humour. Kids love to laugh. They like different kinds of humour too: jokes, small smile humour, giggle inducers, I-wouldn't-want-that-to-happen-to-me humour, and laugh-out-loud-until-you-cry humour.
Big hits this year: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, Dear Dumb Diary (these are all series which totally supports Cat's discoveries at SCBWI!)
Mysteries. Kids love to solve mysteries—love to put together the clues to see if they can figure it out before the main characters. Detective and spy stories are popular.
Big hits of the year: Treasure of Turtle Lake, Alex Rider series
Adventure. This is the most popular genre by far in my classroom this year. Kids love to imagine themselves being heroes, participating in adventures. They like big, outrageous adventures that could never happen. They love adventures that happened long ago and those that happen in other worlds. They adore adventure that is something they could actually do under the right circumstances.
Big hits of the year: Dogsled Dreams, Ranger's Apprentice, Lightning Thief, Golden Compass, The Divide, anything by Gary Paulsen. Some of these books are fantasy as well, but the kids tell me the adventure part is why they like them the most.
So, those are the MG trends I'm seeing so far this year.
Are you seeing similar trends? Any suggestions for books my students might like?