We’re halfway through the year, and a brief look at the stats shows that Children’s and Younger readers up to middle grade has had the most entries – though some middle grade books have been classed as Young Adult – the argument could be made that some a borderline. As NSW, in particular Greater Sydney and its surrounds including my area, the Central Coast, weathers an extended lockdown, I’m keen to see what we read and how much we read. This time last year, if I recall correctly, our number of reviews burgeoned. This year, we had seven reviews for kids and younger readers (which when I entered these into my spreadsheet were mostly from me!) and about four YA books – 50% of those are the same book.
To begin, I’d like to look at the first half of the year. In total, we have 41 Young Adult reviews, and 91 books aimed at younger children aged to about eleven or twelve – an interesting statistic. I know most of these are due to my reading and reviewing, but at the same time, the trends are repeating from last year. In fact, we had 68 reviews for children and younger readers by this time last year – so we’re up 23 in 2021. For young adult, we had 46 reviews up to the end of June last year compared to this year’s 41.
This year, so far the author with the most reviews in the young adult area has been Jessica Townsend with three reviews for Hollowpox, the latest in the Morrigan Crow series. This is one of those middle grade/early young adult crossover books that is enjoyed by any reader aged ten and older, so it seems based on reviews across the Internet and in book groups such as Your Kids Own Next Read and others I frequent. In the Children and Young Adult area, the most read author – thanks to my reading – was R.A. Spratt. I read half of the Friday Barnes series this year. It will be interesting to see how these trends have changed in the next six months.
Overall, it looks as though reading this year across children’s and young adult books is quite diverse – in terms of authors and genres, series and stories. This has been great, as I don’t always get to read everything and my to get lists are getting way too long!
In June, there were seven reviews – mostly from me, so I have highlighted some of my favourite reads to write this post, as it was what I had to work with. So where do I start? With one of my absolute favourite reads of the year, The Right Way to Rock by Nat Amoore, as it is a wonderful celebration of the arts and supporting the arts from school all the way up to adulthood and the role that the arts play in our lives – the importance they play in our lives and the idea that investment in the arts benefits everyone.
The second book I want to highlight is The Boy Who Stepped Through Time by Anna Ciddor, a wonderful timeslip, historical fiction novel about bravery and friendship. These two books really stood out to me in June, and are ones that I can’t wait to revisit.
In the Young Adult, I want to highlight Claire’s review of Waking Romeo, a futuristic novel retelling Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set in 2083. In this retelling, Romeo and Juliet are together, with Juliet (Jules) waiting for Romeo to wake up. Yet when a time traveller appears, things get complicated, and Claire calls this an ingenious novel that plays with Shakespeare’s play. Another review of this book was written by Dark Matter Zine.
So that’s June for 2021! Onto July reading – and there are many that I have to get through.