Back when I was a children’s book editor and regularly read the slush pile, the words that held the least meaning in a manuscript cover letter were “My grandchildren/children love this story!” Did that make me want to invest thousands of dollars in publishing that author’s book? Not so much.
But that doesn’t mean that children’s and teens’ opinions don’t matter. In fact, as online technology brings readers and authors ever closer, kids are weighing in on literature more vocally than ever before. Reflecting that shift is the Second Annual Children’s Choice Awards finalists, announced yesterday by the Children’s Book Council. The winners will be announced in May, but as you can see from the list, the nearly 15,000 children and teens who voted have pretty good taste. It’s also nice to see a mix of fiction and nonfiction, at least in the younger categories.