We know as writers that we need to read, read, read—especially books like the ones we want to write. So this week we’ve listed the current frontlist fiction for children in middle grades and up. Frontlist books are a publisher’s sales list of recently published books, especially those with popular appeal. In contrast, the backlist is comprised of the books that a publisher has kept in print over several years.
Here are the top selling juvenile books as of early March 2014. There are humorous books, lighthearted fantasties, dark themes, legends, toughing novels, and stories based on history.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with those that fit your target age range and category. Scan several chapters of each to get a feel of the tone, style and pace. Also, research the publishers in Writer’s Market or Book Markets for Children’s Writers to learn what their guidelines and current needs are.
1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books; Oct. 2013)
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books, Feb. 2014)
3. Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books, Nov. 2013)
4. Frozen: The Junior Novelization by Sarah Nathan, (Adapted by Random House
Disney, Oct. 2013)
5. Mockingjay (Final Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press,
6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Quirk Books,
7. Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue by Tom Angleberger (Amulet Books, March
8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, Oct.
9. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (Quirk Books, Jan. 2014)
10. The Finisher by David Baldacci (Scholastic Press, March 2014)
11. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (Margaret K. McElderry Books, March 2014)
12. Lego: The Lego Movie: Junior Novel by Kate Howard (Scholastic Inc., Dec. 2013)
13. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press, June 2013)
14. Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with
Exceptional Americans by Rush Limbaugh (Threshold Editions, Oct. 2013)
15. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (Disney Press, Oct. 2013)
16. Now Look What You’ve Done by Stephan Pastis (Candlewick Press. Feb. 2014)
17. Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale (Little, Brown
Books for Young Readers, Oct. 2013)
18. Panic by Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins, March 2014)
19. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Hardcover edition, Katherine Tegen Books, Feb. 2014)
20. Inside Divergent: The Initiate’s World by Cecilia Bernard (Katherine Tegen
Books, Feb. 2014)
21. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (Disney Press, July 2013)
22. Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
(Candlewick Press, Sept. 2013)
23. I Even Funnier: A Middle School Story by James Patterson (Little Brown and
24. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Razorbill, Dec. 2013)
25. Isabelle by Laurence Yep (American Girl Publishing Inc., Jan. 2014)
On page 13 of our workbook, we show you how to research and analyze the market niche you want to break into. It’s in Week 1—“Unravel the Mysteries of the Market”—in our easy to follow guide, Write a Marketable Children’s Book in 7 Weeks.
As always, we welcome your comments and quesitons.