2018 children’s book trends: Our Scholastic Book Clubs editors make top predictions

What will be next year's top trends in children's books?

Curated by Scholastic Book Club editors, this list aims to help families discover new books to add to their home libraries, as well as showcase what kids will want in books when reading for fun. All titles will be available for purchase through Scholastic Book Clubs in 2018. Be sure to ask your child's teacher if his or her classroom or school offers Scholastic Books Clubs.

“Scholastic Book Club editors have unique insight into the trends surfacing in children’s literature through their dedicated effort to feature a wide range of choice all year long in our monthly, in-classroom flyers. Their expertise helps more children find just the right book at the right time to encourage a love for independent reading,” said Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Book Clubs. “As we predicted last year, kids gravitated toward books that made them laugh – as seen with Dog Man, which has appeared for more than 52 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list to date and was also one of our most popular titles in Book Clubs. We look forward to seeing how our predictions will play out in 2018 as more families take time to read aloud together – and laugh together – and work closely with their child’s educators to build a home-to-school connection through books.”

As you check out these trends, we also suggest you and your family try the Scholastic Parents New Year Reading Challenge (#NewYearReadingChallenge). Our parenting experts team created a beautiful calendar featuring a special challenge each day to help families inspire their children to discover the joys of independent reading, as well as unique tips to make reading aloud together as a family a daily tradition. To download a printer-friendly version of this calendar visit: http://bit.ly/2z1RpFK

 

Top Trends in Children’s Books for 2018 by Scholastic Book Club Editors:

1. MORE BOOKS WILL CELEBRATE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS:

Research from the Kid & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition shows that children look for characters who are “smart, brave or strong” when reading a book for fun. Expect to see new fiction titles that will feature strong, female protagonists as role models for both girls and boys. In addition, many new nonfiction titles will explore stories about notable women who made history, as well current changemakers that continue to advance social progress.

 Top titles include:

  • This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode (Simon & Schuster)
  • Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls by Kelly Greenawalt & illustrated by Amariah Rauscher (Scholastic)
  • Rookie Biographies: Mae Jemison by Jodie Shepherd (Scholastic)
  • Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai & illustrated by Kerascoët (Hachette)
  • The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson & illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Simon & Schuster)
  • You Should Meet: Women Who Launched the Computer Age by Laurie Calkhoven & illustrated by Alyssa Petersen (Simon & Schuster)
  • What Would She Do?: 25 True Stories of Trailblazing Rebel Women by Kay Woodward & illustrated by various artists
  • Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias (Scholastic)
  • Bad Princess: True Tales from Behind the Tiara by Kris Waldherr (Scholastic)
  • The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani DasGupta (Scholastic) 

2. THE DEMAND FOR KID-FRIENDLY NONFICTION WILL CONTINUE TO GROW:

Civics education and media literacy will become a major emphasis in classroom lesson plans. Classroom resources such as Scholastic Classroom Magazines and the new We the People website will help kids make sense of the world with age-appropriate news covering current events. Families will connect with educators to select nonfiction titles that help educate and engage children at home. Many new nonfiction children’s books will place the reader in a time, place or situation through the protagonists' eyes across various topics — ranging from climate change to World War II — to help them understand complex topics.

Top titles include:

  • Gives Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton (Penguin Publishing Group)
  • There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Map! by Lucille Colandro & illustrated by Jared D. Lee (Scholastic)
  • Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons by Sara Levine & illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • Fly to the Rescue! (Tiny Geniuses #1) by Megan E. Bryant (Scholastic)
  • A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks (American Girl) by Denise Lewis Patrick & illustrated by Melissa Manwill (Scholastic)
  • Dumb Crooks Hall of Shame: True Tales of Bloopers, Botches & Blunders by Allan Zullo (Scholastic)
  • Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Marting Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin by James L. Swanson (Scholastic)
  • Finding Gobi: Young Reader’s Edition: The True Story of One Little Dog’s Big Journey by Dion Leonard & adapted by Aaron Rosenberg (Ingram Publisher Services) 

3. ICONIC SERIES AND CHARACTERS RETURN WITH NEW STORIES: This past year, many films and television series reimagined comic book and literary characters for a new generation. This trend continues in children’s books as readers revisit memorable characters like The Boxcar Children, The Magic School Bus and Jigsaw Jones, with breand new stories as these worlds expand with new characters and unexpected situations.

 Top titles include:

  •  Meet the Class (The Magic School Bus Rides Again) by Samantha Brooke & illustrated by Artful Doodlers, Ltd. (Scholastic)
  • Clifford’s Fairy Tails: Clifford and the Fairy Dogmother & Clifford’s Fairy Tails: The Three Little Pigs and the Big Red Dog by Daphne Pendergrass (Scholastic)
  • Motor Goose: Rhymes that Go! by Rebecca Colby & illustrated by Jef Kaminsky (Macmillan)
  • The Boxcar Children Great Adventures by Gertrude  Chandler Warner & illustrated by Anthony VanArsdale (Albert Whitman & Company)
  • Babymouse Tales from the Locker: Lights, Camera, Middle School! by Jennifer L. Holm & illustrated by Matthew Holm (Random House)
  • Jigsaw Jones Mysteries by James Preller (Macmillan)
  • I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888 (I Survived #16) by Lauren Tarshis (Scholastic)
  • Wonderful Winter: All Kinds of Winter Facts and Fun by Bruce Goldstone (Macmillan)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling & illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill (Scholastic)
  • Sink or Swim: Exploring Schools of Fish: A Branches Book by Judy Katschke (Scholastic)

4.  MAGICAL CREATURES WILL TAKE CHILDREN TO NEW WORLDS: Research from the Kids & Family Reading Report™ shows that nearly a third of children look for stories that “explore places and worlds [they've] never been” when reading a book for fun.  Unicorns, narwhals (yes, we know they're real!) and dragons will lead the way this year with engaging storytelling that explores the beauty of being unique and staying true to oneself. These stories come with a healthy dose of humor – the number one thing kids look for when reading a book for fun. 

 Top titles include:

  • Thelma The Unicorn by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)
  • Not Quite Narwhal by Jessica Sima (Simon & Schuster)
  • Do You Believe in Groovicorns? by Rosie Greening (Make Believe Ideas)
  • Nella the Princess Knight by Christine Ricci & illustrated by Alessandra Sorrentino (Random House)
  • Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) by Ben Clanton (Tundra Books)
  • Third Grade Mermaid and the Narwhals by Peter Raymundo (Scholastic)
  • Louie Lets Loose! (Unicorn in New York #1) by Rachel Hamilton (Scholastic)
  • Unicorn Power! (Lumberjanes) by Mariko Tamaki & illustrated by Brooklyn Allen (Abrams)
  • Razzle Dazzle Unicorn (Phoebe and Her Unicorn Series Book 4) by Dana Simpson (Simon & Schuster)
  • Dark Wyng (The Erth Dragons #2) by Chris d’Lacey (Scholastic)
  • The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta (Scholastic)

5. BOOKS FEATURING HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES WILL ENGAGE CHILDREN OF ALL AGES AND INTERESTS: The call to educate children about STEM-related activities grows, and as a result, more book titles will feature special coding activities, scientific experiments, and more. Many books will be paired with popular characters and franchises to attract more readers to the world of STEM. As more maker spaces appear in classrooms and libraries nationwide, families can access affordable activity books in Scholastic Book Clubs flyers, Scholastic Book Fairs events and KLUTZ® activity books at local retailers in the new year.

 Top titles include:

  • My Little Night Light by Editors of Klutz (Scholastic)
  • Disney Learning: Frozen Snow Science by Scholastic Book Clubs (Scholastic)
  • My First Learn to Draw: Animals (Pencil Toppers) by Melissa Webb (Silver Dolphin Books)
  • Karina Garcia’s DIY Slime by Karina Garcia (Sizzle Press)
  • Maker Electronics Kit (Scholastic)
  • UV Science Lab (Scholastic)
  • CoderDojo Nano: Make Your Own Game: Create With Code by Jurie Horneman (Scholastic)
  • Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani (Penguin Publishing Group)
  • Space Rocks by Adrianna Edwards and Ron Edwards (Scholastic)