Without even working in children’s books, it is obvious to most which books are timeless favourites as their names continuously crop up. You know exactly which books I’m talking about, don’t you? The Hunger Games. Anything by Jacqueline Wilson. The CHERUB series. Diaries of Georgia Nicolson. These are just some of the well-known books that school libraries struggle to keep on the shelf. Their popularity is schoolwide and the interest just doesn’t seem to fade. These books are responsible for getting hundreds of thousands of children to read, a feat which in this day and age is actually rather hard!
But where do these children go once they have finished reading these popular choices? Children’s books get the least media coverage despite there being hundreds of new titles published every month, which means it can be difficult for teachers and librarians to discover the brilliant offerings that are out there. This is where I come in!
I am extremely lucky to have a job that consists of reading children’s books. I read everything I can get my hands on, cover to cover, but specialise in fiction for secondary schools. This means I am aware of the popular trends in publishing and who they are targeting as their audience. I can spot similarities in storylines and themes and frequently find myself saying things like ‘ooh this would be good one for fans of The Hunger Games’.
The Like, Try, Why collections have been created to give librarians a collection of books to recommend to those who have finished with the popular series and want something similar. We want pupils reading beyond the top bestsellers and in these packs they can discover an abundance of books that will provide them with the same satisfying and rewarding reading experience. Each book has a specific reason for being chosen and below are a few examples to give you an idea of what the pack contains.
Written by Sarah Capon, Book Collections Developer