What’s Hot in Fantasy #fantasy #novel

This week I posted about some interesting results of the annual What Kids are Reading report in dystopian fiction. The report also showed some interesting trends in other fantasy areas among young readers in the UK.
Cassandra Clare had one book in the top 20 last year. This year her showing counted five titles among secondary-school children’s most popular books. What’s all the fuss about? Her urban fantasy Mortal Instruments series, in which human-angel hybrids walk the earth.
In primary schools, the most popular title was David Walliams’s Demon Dentist.
In that same category Liz Pichon took second place with Everything’s Amazing (Sort of), part of a comic series.
And of course no list would be complete without something from JK Rowling. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets took third place.
The report found that UK pupils’ most popular reads were either heavily dystopian fantasies or “irreverent, larger than life anti-hero comedies” like the Wimpy Kid stories and Dahl’s The Twits .
Of special note was that while the overall top 20 split equally between comedy and fantasy, by secondary school the most popular were nearly exclusively darker conflicts from an epic fantasy genre.
The report’s author, Keith Topping, is a professor of educational and social research at Dundee University. He noted a “sharp contrast” in the difficulty of books read by primary and secondary pupils.
“Primary-school pupils, particularly in years one to five, show a strong preference for challenging books that are significantly beyond their natural reading age,” he said.
But “we then see a marked difference in year seven, where favoured books are no longer above chronological age, but six months below it and in ensuing years the difficulty of books plateaus or declines,” he added.
So don’t be afraid to challenge younger readers.

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