Friday, August 08, 2008

Just how old IS Ellie Berger?

As quoted in the Wall Street Journal:

"There has been a real revolution" in books that "have more kid appeal," especially when it comes to boys, says Ellie Berger, who oversees Scholastic's trade division. "It's a shift away from the drier books we all grew up with."

And I would love to know whose ass this statistic was pulled out of:

Last year, U.S. publishers released 261 new works of juvenile fiction aimed at boys, more than twice the number put out in 2003, according to Bowker's Books in Print database. There were 20 nonfiction entries for boys, compared with just four in 2003.


Sarah Rettger said...

If I spend my weekend looking through old BookScan reports, Roger, it's all your fault.

(My desire to procrastinate instead of writing? Totally unrelated.)

Roger Sutton said...

But what would you look for, Sarah? What does it mean to say that last year twenty works of nonfiction were published for boys? I wonder if they are getting that number by counting the number of books that have the subject heading "boys"--which is, of course, stupid. But there would be more of those last year than in 2003 because of all the copycat Dangerous Book for Boys things we've been seeing.

Sarah Rettger said...

I know, it's ridiculous to even try... I assume they're also counting things like Oh, Yuck! as "books for boys," based on the tone of the article. But that would mean they had actually looked at the title - and maybe even the content - and I have a feeling you're right about searching by subject.

gnomicutterance said...

Hah! I just came up to check my e-mail and feeds as soon as I finished to the spirited discussion downstairs in the kitchen we had over this article. And by "spirited" I mean the following was said: "Oh no, is a journalist talking about children's literature? Somebody take the paper away from Deborah, quick!"

I like that the "new" trend in gross children's books ("New?" said a 35-year-old friend of mine. "I was reading RL Stine when I was a teenager.") is set up in opposition to those other books we all know are being pushed to middle schoolers: Little House on the Prairie. And of course, the only alternative voice suggests children read Jules Verne.