Welcome to 2021, and the 2020 wrap up post, which also includes December in its count. In December 2020, we had four children’s books read, and sixteen young adult books! So a bit of a reversal, but we still have more reviews for children’s books in 2020 overall – 170 versus 93 young adult books.
Of the four children’s books reviews, three were mine, so I am highlighting one this month by Jess at Underground Writers – Little Jiang, which celebrates diversity and Chinese Folklore. Jess highlights the theme of kindness and its presence throughout the book – and the idea that the problems of the world could be solved if people had empathy, and tried to understand each other. This is a book that I have heard lots about, and maybe I will track it down to read this year, as the themes appeal to me and I would love to learn more about Chinese folklore and mythology.
In young adult, we had sixteen reviews from a varied array of genres, authors and reviewers, so I’ve picked a few that stood out, before I go onto my stats. One book that I enjoyed was You Were Made for Me by Jenna Guillaume. Whilst it was a romantic comedy, it didn’t shy away from the awkwardness of being a teenager, and the power of friendship. I loved the way the friendship was executed, and it felt so genuine and so Australian. It was a delight to read about the Australian teenage experience.
Emily – a Keyboard and an Open Mind reviewed A Very Krampy Christmas by P.A. Mason, which seems like a perfect book for December, as it is a Christmas book! Emily says she recommends it for people who like seeing folklore and fairy tales turned on their head.
Those were the reviews that stood out to me this month, and I had to be careful with how many I included as I also needed to wrap up the year, so find it below!
170 books for children and younger readers read and reviewed
93 young adult books read and reviewed
Most reviewed Children’s book: The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks – 6 reviews
Jackie French, Jacqueline Harvey and Katrina Nannestad all had five reviews for their books, with the other authors reviewed coming in between 1 and 4 reviews for their books.
Our most prolific reviewers:
Ashleigh Meikle @ The Book Muse – 89 reviews for children and younger readers
Dark Matter Zine – 16 reviews for children and younger readers
All other readers came in with between one and six reviews for children and younger readers.
The most reviewed Young Adult book appeared to be Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley with ten reviews.
The rest were scattered between one and nine reviews each.
The most prolific reviewer for young adult books:
Dark Matter Zine – 11 reviews
Ashleigh @ The Book Muse – 9 reviews
Emily – A Keyboard and an Open Mind – 8 reviews
Brenda Telford – 7 reviews
Every other reviewer had between one and six reviews logged for this category.
What a year – we had some months that went up and down, and consistently had at least fourteen reviews every month for children and younger readers, with at least 6 a month for young adult readers. It’s an interesting trend that more children’s and younger readers books have been read in 2020. Perhaps we had more books all round read in 2020 – it would be interesting to compare 2020 to 2019 and then both those years to 2021.
Maybe this is due to the pandemic, lockdowns, restrictions and the fatigue we all felt, and many of us turned to shorter, or familiar reads that whilst they dealt with issues of diversity, bullying, feminism – there was something comforting about them, because the stakes were not always as high as young adult books.
In my case, it was partly that, partly what I was sent, and partly because I work in children’s books. I’m a contract quiz writer with Scholastic Australia and looking forward to getting back into that soon after a break due to the pandemic. So I read a lot for that job, but also, to keep on top of the industry I work in. It is also possible that guardians may have been reading these books with their children, which bolstered this category. It will be interesting to see what 2021 brings for books for our readers eighteen and under (even though lots of adults enjoy kids and YA books!)
Join me next month for the January 2021 round up!
What an interesting post.
Thanks for your insights especially around shorter reads and the comfort of the familiar. I know I’ve been reading a lot more in this space and non-fiction too.
All the best, Charlie.
Thanks Charlie, I’m glad you’ve liked the post!
Interesting stats for the year. I always think that YA is more popular than children’s books but that’s clearly not the case. Going by your review stats as top reviewer, we definitely have you in the right job!!
It was interesting to see – we did start YA off on a good run, but it dropped off throughout the year.
I’m noticing a similar trend so far this year. More kids and middle grade than YA books. I’ve got a few good Y.A. ones to add this year.