The Bookseller Children’s Conference Forthcoming titles

Children’s publishing trends

Ten titles not to miss A

Focusing on key trends for the season ahead, this preview highlights 10 wide-ranging titles that promise to draw young readers in

Fiona Noble @fionanoblebooks

t this year’s Bookseller Children’s Conference we’ll be asking how, in today’s divided world, all

children can have access to books and develop a love of reading. It’s what all of us in the industry want and work towards, yet it remains very far from a realit. I’m excited to host the conference for the first time and to welcome a broad spectrum of speakers from across our industry and beyond. They will explore how we can reach more children more effectively and the challenges we face. What can we expect from publishing itself this autumn? Drawing on my

Comedy Sequels awareness Social Unicorns adaptation

Tom Gates: Spectacular School Trip (Really) Liz Pichon Scholastic, 3rd October, £12.99, hb, 9781407186726

Comedy No Walliams announced (yet) but

the comedy genre storms on, and the new Tom Gates, Wimpy Kid et al will be among the year’s bestsellers.

The Fowl Twins Eoin Colfer HarperCollins, 5th November, £14.99, hb, 9780008324810

Sequels Colfer’s return to the world of

Artemis Fowl is big news in children’s fiction, while in picture books expect Wonky Donkey follow-up The Dinky Donkey to be another top seller.

The Star Outside My Window Onjali Rauf Orion, 3rd October, £6.99, pb, 9781510105157

Social awareness Major authors

tackle social issues in Middle- Grade fiction. Rauf explores the impact of domestic violence through the eyes of a 10-year-old.

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Unicorn’s Christmas Rhiannon Fielding Chris Chatterton (illus) Ladybird, 3rd October, £6.99, pb, 9780241414576

Unicorns Despite the best efforts of

llamas, flamingos and sloths, nothing can usurp this mighty legendary beast. It’s going to be a unicorn Christmas, again.

Northern Lights TV Tie-in Philip Pullman Scholastic, 3rd October, £7.99, pb, 9781407198750

TV adaptation Adaptations will almost

certainly drive kids’ book sales this autumn, led by the BBC’s “His Dark Materials” series and its Christmas animation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Snail and the Whale.


monthly new title previews, I’ve selected 10 books that represent some of the key themes in children’s publishing this season. As you’d expect at this time of year, big commercial titles are very much in evidence: the growth of Halloween publishing, the unstoppable unicorn trend, Middle Grade comedy and fantasy and TV adaptations. But alongside this runs a seam of more inclusive and socially aware books, published as mainstream leads rather than niche issue books: more diverse voices, commercial fiction with thought-provoking themes, titles about mental health and the environment.


BAME voices


Mental health


Earth Heroes Lily Dyu, Jackie Lay (illus) Nosy Crow, 3rd October, £9.99, hb, 9781788008525

Ecology Eco non-fiction is a big emerging

trend, and here Dyu profiles 20 inspirational climate activists. See also Greta’s Story by Valentina Camerini (Simon & Schuster) and Dougie Poynter’s Plastic Sucks (Macmillan).

08 6th September 2019

With the Fire on High Elizabeth Acevedo Hot Key, 19th September, £7.99, pb, 9781471409004

BAME voices Lots of new BAME voices in

YA this autumn. Acevedo follows her Carnegie-winning début with this new prose novel; look out too for Dean Atta’s The Black Flamingo and SLAY by Brittney Morris.

The World of the Unknown: Ghosts Various, Various (illus) Usborne, 3rd October, £7.99, pb, 978144976688

Halloween From board books to YA, Halloween is

bigger than ever. My top pick is this 1970s cult classic, brought back from the dead by an inspired social media campaign.

My Monster and Me Nadiya Hussain, Ella Bailey (illus) Hodder, 17th October, £12.99, hb, 9781444946437

Mental health Mental health has been a

major theme across children’s books in 2019. Hussain makes her picture book début with a reassuring story about childhood anxiety.

Frostheart Jamie Littler Puffin, 3rd October, £7.99, pb, 9780241355220

Fantasy Middle-Grade fantasy continues to have

its moment. Littler makes his author-illustrator début with a rip-roaring action adventure set in a frozen world where humans are under siege from terrifying monsters.

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