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What Genre of Children’s Books Are Most Popular in Publishing?

What Genre of Children’s Books Are Most Popular in Publishing?

When it comes to choosing a genre to write it, writers should definitely not base it on what is most popular in publishing. For one thing, publishing trends change like the wind – or in other words, at any time without rhyme or reason. Instead, you should choose a genre that you like to write in. However, it is worth knowing a little about some of the most popular genres in children’s fiction to help you determine what you like. Each of these genres is a little different, and good writers are going to actually enjoy reading books in them if they want to be successful at writing them. Let’s take a look at some popular genres.


Understanding Genre Differences Based Upon Age Group

Before we get to the actual genres, you should know that there are differences in how the genres are handled or which ones are popular depending upon the age group. For example, middle grade science fiction is usually going to be soft science-fiction such as Bruce Coleville’s Aliens Ate My Homework, while young adult novels we usually handle much more mature science-fiction themes based upon hard science. When looking at a genre, you must allow for different interpretations of that genre in different age groups.

Reality or Close-to-Reality

Reality fiction is pretty popular in both middle grade and young adult novels. Vignettes of school life can be found throughout popular fiction, detailing struggles with dating, coming to terms with your own skills and abilities and lots of other scenarios. Mainstream middle grade and young adult fiction is usually fairly close to reality, but may incorporate fantastic elements or unusual characters that you wouldn’t normally find.


Fantasy can range between sword-and-sorcery fantasies to something like Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments novels. Harry Potter is an example of a fantasy series, as is the Percy Jackson series.


Science-fiction is a pretty popular genre in middle-grade fiction, but you can also find some young adult novels that are based around science-fiction concepts. Some dystopian teen books can be considered science-fiction as well; the Hunger Games or the Divergent Series for example.


Mystery novels are books like Nancy Drew or The Super-Secret Science Club. Mystery novels are all about a group of kids solving a mystery. Sometimes, mystery can be combined with fantasy, such as a group of kids solving a mystery with magic. But the basis of the mystery novel is about bringing the reader along on the journey of looking for clues and trying to solve the mystery before the group the kids do.


Humor books are mostly written to make kids laugh and they can use many genres. A good example of the humor genre is the Wimpy Kid books. Humor books are generally written to make kids laugh, although they can have complex storylines and handle adult themes just like any other book. The most important requirement for a humor novel is that it makes you laugh.