This week there is a surprise leader of the charts in Kids eBooks and some new niches and trends are finding their way onto the chart. A quick note first however, fiction is the overwhelming favourite, as are picture books.
This week, A Tiger Like Me, by Michael Engler, is up for pre-order and has leapt to the top of the charts already. This is a very sudden rise for something that was wan’t even on the chart last week! However it also shows how useful a long pre-order period can be, and should be a good reminder for other writers to consider doing something similar with their own work. But back to the book itself. It is a beautifully drawn picture book, showing once more that often style is far more important than realism in this niche. It is also a book made for bedtime stories as the message is clear that the little boy’s happiest times are when he is getting tucked up into bed. A message that should be used by parents and carers with little difficulty.
Also popular this week, are fantasy novels. Harry Potter is always on this list, but even beyond that series there seems to be a real growth in popularity, especially in books which have dragons. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien, is still doing well, as are books in the Lord of the Rings series, and the Silmarillion. This last one in particular is something of a surprise, since the Silmarillion is seen as a tough read even for adults, so it might be a case of mistaken tagging rather than evidence that nine year olds are reading it. On the other hand, if you read or know someone who read the Silmarillion as a kid please leave a comment as I would love to hear from you!
However, one of the books on the chart which may be more age appropriate, is The Poison Jungle, from the Wings of Rage series, by Tui T. Sutherland. This is the thirteenth book in the series, so clearly it is doing very well to reach so far. The story seems to be about dragons living on a world populated almost entirely by dragons, and includes the usual fantasy elements of revenge, war, and murder. This is another one of those books where the fact that the book is populated with non-humans helps to reduce the threat and fear level of the book to one more friendly to children.
Finally, readers seem to be as in love with brands as ever, if the profusion of Marvel Superheroes, Disney Princesses, and cartoon characters is any indication. Some of these stories are retellings of the movies and shows that the characters come from, others are new tales. Some of these stories are also written to solve problems, or educate the child being read to. So characters go to the hospital, or experience moving house, or some other problem that can be eased with a friendly character telling them that it would all be well. This is a particularly popular niche and can be used by those who are not lucky enough to have the might of a huge corporation behind them.
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