In the first five months of this year, more than 2.4 million YA books were sold, compared to 981,000 in 2006, according to Neilsen BookScan.
We are in the midst of a second golden age of young adult and middle grade literature. The numbers of titles and books sold prove the incredible success of the genre. The modern era started with the Harry Potter books. This fantasy series generated a passion for reading in young children and teens, and many have carried that interest with them to other books.
Some young adult books are so engaging that adults want to read them too. To that end book publishers have targeted some of their young adult book marketing dollars and efforts toward adults. This crossover payoff is seen in best-selling series such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games.
It’s no surprise that adults are interested in young adult books. Today’s YA books remind adults of the more adventure-oriented and thrill-filled plots they grew up with.
According to Scholastic, the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, here are some current trends dominating the YA and children’s expanding fiction literature markets:
* Dystopian fiction (The Hunger Games series and “The Maze Runner”)
* Special-needs protagonists (“My Brother Charlie” and “Marcelo in the Real World”)
* Paranormal romance beyond vampires (“Beautiful Creatures”)
* Mythology-based fantasy (the Heroes of Olympus and Goddess Girls series)
* The rise of the diary and journal format (the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series)
* Multimedia series (The 39 Clues and the Skeleton Creek series)
The growing popularity of the young adult genre can help to improve our children’s literacy, and its constant trend innovation can help to ensure teens stay interested in reading.