- Picture Books - without a doubt, the majority of the books I have received this year have been picture books. I am guessing it has to do with the Common Core Curriculum and a focus on books for younger children.
- Biographies - biographies for younger readers seems to be huge this year. While there are a few of the staples like Sacajawea and Sojourner Truth, there are also those on singer Elvis, author Judy Blume, guitarist Doc Watson, artist Benny Andrews, inventor of the ear muff, Chester Greenwood, and even the soldier and his bear that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, among others.
- Diversity - well, the campaign to "produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people (weneeddiversebooks.org) has made an impact! There are biographies, as mentioned above, about people with diverse backgrounds, such as Mahalia Jackson, Sonia Sotomayer, Jackie Robinson, trombonist Troy Andrews, Jelly Roll Morton, and Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez. As well, there are topics that could be included here such as interracial marriage, differing cultures, different types of families, and even natural Native American remedies.
- Science - oh, how I love to see the beautiful photographs included in these! From the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Common Core educational requirements comes this influx of beautiful books for younger readers about science. Topics cover a wide range from wind, to plants, to dinosaurs (that should be very popular with Jurassic Park out now,) to leaves, to birds, to the science behind amusement parks, to bees, to octopuses (hey! that should be my book!)
- History - the picture book makes those boring dates and facts much more accessible. There are many on civil rights and cultural history, such as the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz. There are those on the Founding Fathers, Dolly Madison, and Jane Addams. And then there are the unique that show the passage of time through history with the use of clothing and food.
As I head to San Francisco next week to discuss non-fiction books with my committee, I will be anxious to hear their opinions on our selection of non-fiction books and listen for other trends I may have missed. I will have an update on this topic at the end of my term, I'm sure, and will be able, at that time, to write reviews about them.