I love it when someone puts out a wish list from publishers. Publisher’s Weekly recently ran an interview with two librarians on what they’ve love to have on their shelves. Jennifer Hubert Swan is the director of library services at Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School in Manhattan. She has been on committees for the Michael L. Printz Award and the YALSA Award.
Katie Richert is assistant head of youth services at the Bloomingdale Public Library in a Chicago suburb. This means that she gets to do storytimes. She was also on a Michael L. Printz Award committee.
Here is a quick glimpse at some of what they would like to see:
- Parents ask her for preschool picture books on following routines.
- Teachers need picture books about personal space.
- Young readers want books about cyber-bullying or things like getting cut during tryouts for a sports team.
- More great stand-alone books. Young readers love series but great stand-alones are also needed.
- Psychological thrillers ala Lois Duncan. They have great hooks and pull middle grade readers in.
- More in the horror genre, like Rick Yancey’s Monstrumologist books. See also Brenna Yovanoff books and Lauren Myracle’s Bliss. These are great for kids who want scary but aren’t ready for Stephen King.
- Fiction with characters who are grappling with spirituality. There are books with teens exploring their Judaism and Islam but not Christianity. “Where is the nuanced Christian YA version of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret?”
- Middle grade novels that are smart and funny. Think A Tale Dark and Grimm and The Schwa Was Here.
- Young adult books that are gross but laugh-out-loud funny like Don Calame’s Swim the Fly. “There is no bodily function that Calame is afraid to write about, which makes for some hilariously horrifying situations that seem to be especially appreciated by eighth-grade boys.”
While these aren’t tips from publishers, these are the people who interact day-to-day with our readers. Maybe you already have something in the works that can fill this kind of need. If not, does any of this inspire you? Read the full PW article here.