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Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, released its annual predictions of top trends and themes in children’s books for 2018.

  1. MORE BOOKS WILL CELEBRATE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS: Research from the Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition shows that children look for characters that 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 that made history, as well current changemakers that continue to advance social progress.
  2. THE DEMAND FOR KID-FRIENDLY NONFICTION WILL CONTINUE TO GROW: Civics and media literacy education 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. To make the home-to-school connection, families will work with educators to select nonfiction titles that help educate and engage children. Many new nonfiction children’s books will place the reader in a time, place or situation through the protagonist’s eyes across various topics – ranging from climate change to World War II – to help a child understand complex topics.
  3. ICONIC SERIES AND CHARACTERS RETURN WITH NEW STORIES: This past year, 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 from beloved book series, such as The Boxcar Children, The Magic School Bus and Jigsaw Jones, with new stories, but with a special twist as these worlds expand with new characters and unexpected situations.
  4. LITERARY MAGICAL CREATURES WILL TAKE CHILDREN TO NEW WORLDS: Research from the Kids & Family Reading Report™ shows that many children (31%) look for stories that “explore places and worlds I’ve never been” when reading a book for fun.  Unicorns, mermaids 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. Expect to see a reemergence of local lore and world mythology to take children on an imaginative, literary adventure.
  5. BOOKS FEATURING HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES WILL ENGAGE CHILDREN OF ALL AGES AND INTERESTS: The call to educate children about STEM-related activities grows as 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 makerspaces appear in classrooms and libraries nationwide, families can now access affordable activity books in Scholastic Book Clubs flyers, Scholastic Book Fairs events and KLUTZ® activity books at local retailers in the new year.

To read more about what kids want in books and other timely data, download the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition at www.scholastic.com/readingreport.

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