Thank you so much to everyone who took my survey on what your kids are reading! (If you didn’t get a chance to fill it out, please do! I’m always interested to hear more about the stories your family loves!) These results were so helpful for me as I begin to chart out my career as an author for kids, tweens, and teens. Are you interested in knowing what I learned?
How Kids and Parents Find Books to Read
First, I wanted to know where you all were getting your books for kids. 60% of the respondents said that kids choose their books on their own, 40% simply find them while browsing at the library, and 20% get books recommended by their friends. (I realize that adds up to 120%. People were allowed to choose more than one option. I do not claim to be any good at reporting data.) This is interesting and a bit discouraging to me, because how am I going to get my stories into the hands of kids? I’m not sure if they’re picking the stories on their own. But it’s good to know.
This is also interesting to me, because I see a great need. It’s scary as a parent to think that my girls will probably simply be choosing their own books as they get older. I can’t always be with them and I’m not sure it’s practical to make them hand over every single book before they read it so I can screen it for them. So what’s the solution? Keep reading…I hope I have it for you.
Types of Stories Kids Like to Read
I gave a few options and the respondents were allowed to choose any or all of them. So here is how they ranked:
Adventure (think long quests and battling nature)
Contemporary (think stories that could happen right now in your neighborhood)
Fantasy (think dragons and fairies and magic)
Humor (think slapstick and Captain Underpants)
Stories about animals
It’s good to know what kind of stories kids want to read these days.
7 Concerns Parents Have About Kids Books
This is the question I was most interested in. Because my goal as an author is to write stories that kids want to read, but also to serve parents by writing stories that they can trust. It’s my solution to the problem that arose in the first question, where kids are mainly responsible for choosing their own books. Here are the concerns according to the respondents:
- The themes of the stories are too adult in nature, or even have sexual themes
- There is too much emphasis on boy/girl relationships at too young of an age
- Vulgar language
- Fixation on vampires and zombies
- Exposing kids to current social topics that they don’t need to know about yet
- The stories don’t line up with the values I’m trying to teach my kids
- The topics aren’t age appropriate
These are all such valid concerns. It is my belief that the stories our kids read touch them deep in their souls, so parents should be confident that the stories their kids are reading are affirming the values and worldview the parents are instilling into their children.
I would love to hear from you!
Tell me what are some age appropriate topics that you would feel comfortable with your kids reading about? Let me know in comments! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar to hear about all my upcoming projects!