Editors at Scholastic have released 2010's top 10 trends in children's books, which includes a focus on popular licensed characters.
The top 10 trends are:
Expanding the young adult audience
Dystopian fiction or titles that suggest the future may be worst than the present ("The Hunger Games" and "The Maze Runner")
Mythology-based fantasy ("Percy Jackson," "The Kane Chronicles," "Lost Heroes of Olympus" and "Goddess Girls")
Multimedia series with ties to online or video ("The 39 Clues," "Skeleton Creek" and "The Search for WondLa")
Focus on popular characters from movies and television shows (Fancy Nancy and Toy Story)
The shift toward less picture books for younger readers
Humor ("Diary of a Wimpy Kid," "The Adventures of Ook & Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future" and characters SpongeBob SquarePants and Phineas and Ferb)
Diary and journal formats ("Diary of a Wimpy Kid," "Dear Dumb Diary," "Dork Diaries," "The Popularity Papers" and "Big Nate")
Special-needs protagonists ("My Brother Charlie," "Marcelo in the Real World," "Mockingbird" and "Rules")
Paranormal romance beyond vampires ("Linger," "Beautiful Creatures," "Immortal" and "Prophesy of the Sisters")
"We've seen some exciting innovation in children's publishing in 2010, including new formats and platforms for storytelling that are helping more and more kids become book lovers," says Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs. "At the same time, we're seeing a rejuvenation of some classic genres, which I think is evidence of the timeless power that stories and characters have on the lives of children."