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The Book Tasting – trends in Swedish Children’s and YA books 2020.

Book Tasting Report 2020

Each year the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books issues a report on the books published for children and young adults in Sweden in the previous year.

The Book Tasting is an annual event arranged by the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books. The aim is to give an overview of the children’s and young adult books published in Sweden the previous year by examining prominent themes and presenting statistics. The Book Tasting consists of lectures and a written report, and it also includes an exhibition displaying the children’s and young adult books published in Sweden the previous year. 

We asked Kajsa Bäckius and Sofia Gydemo at the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books to share some reflections about the report:

What are the most interesting results in this year's Book tasting report?

It is quite remarkable that, for the third year in a row, there has been a decrease to the number of books published. It is the number of picturebooks, young adult novels and translated titles that has decreased the most. Maybe not surprising, considering the pandemic, was the large numbers of books with thematic connections to covid-19.

Can you identify any specific trends in Swedish Children and YA books last years?

New in 2020 is the high number of books on Pandemic, viruses och hygien. These books often want to teach the reader how to stay safe and they often include instructions on how to wash your hands. Other common themes during the last years are environmental issues, norms, LBTQ, and horror. Books about horror have become more common even in books for younger children.

What does the report say about the decreased number of translations we have seen the last years?

Publishers that the Institute has spoken to testifie that it is difficult to reach an audience with translated books. This means that the publishers think twice before they start projects with costs for translation. We see that very few titles are translated from other parts of the world than the West, which means an absence of descriptions of other cultures and other parts of the world.


Book Tasting Report 2020 (pdf)

The Swedish Institute for Children’s Books