March 6, 2018

Spotting microtrends

"Wow, I bet you read A LOT of books."

This is the #1 response I get when I describe my job to people. Sound familiar, fellow librarians? My invariable reply is that while I do read a lot of books, I read them on my own time -- at work, I read a lot of book reviews. And I mean A LOT. (Not to brag or anything, but my title-tracking spreadsheets are epic.) One benefit of being so immersed in book reviews is that I'm well-positioned for spotting microtrends -- those curious little clusters of books, all published during the same time period, that share a very specific topic.

For example: in 2017, there was a little flurry of kids' books about island castaways (Orphan Island, Beyond the Bright Sea, Pablo and Birdy); in 2015-2016, there were a handful of YA books about organ donors (Things We Know by Heart, Alive, Hold Me Like a Breath, The Way Back to You, Some of the Parts), as well as a couple of books featuring face blindness (Bone Gap, Holding Up the Universe); and within the last year, I've seen at least 3 picture books starring anthropomorphic rocks (The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, Petra, Chip Off the Old Block). You get the idea. While microtrends aren't necessarily indicators of bookish zeitgeist, they can help you show off your library's collection in a quirky, attention-grabbing way. 

Below, you'll find a downloadable flyer highlighting a recent microtrend in tween fiction, along with a search strategy for finding more books like them -- combine the two to create an easy display.

Copy and paste this search string into your NoveList search bar to find more books about LGBTQIA tweens:

(RV "10-14" OR RV "11-14" OR RV "Gr* 5–8" OR RV "Gr* 4-7") AND (CC "LGBTQIA diverse" OR SU "Coming out (Sexual or gender identity)")

Looking for more information about finding children's and teen books with diverse characters? Check out our search strategy for more tips. 

Rebecca Honeycutt is a Readers' Advisory Librarian at NoveList. Stay in touch and up-to-date with the latest reading and book trends for kids and teens by signing up to receive email updates from Rebecca and the Book Squad. 

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