Books in the Media: Children's book reviews dip year on year

Books in the Media: Children's book reviews dip year on year

In August 2019, The Bookseller reported that children's books accounted for just 4.9% of review space, despite making up a third of the market. Latest figures from Books in the Media shows that this figure has dropped to 4.3%, when looking at reviews from the last 12 months. 

Since August 2019, 5,712 reviews have been posted to Books in the Media, making the site's total up to 11,078 reviews across 4,000 different titles. Year on year, the most reviewed category on the site remains General & Literary Fiction — 23% of reviews since last August have fallen into this genre, a total of 1,315.

Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light (Fourth Estate) is the most reviewed book on the site, with a whopping 22 reviews — usurping Sally Rooney's Normal People (Faber) which has 20 reviews in total.

In stark contrast, Suzanne Collins' The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Scholastic) — the much anticipated prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy — was the most reviewed children's book on Books in the Media with just seven reviews. 

In total, children's books were only reviewed 246 times in the past 12 months, dropping by 0.6% from the previous year. 

Biography & Memoir continued to monopolise the non-fiction titles, with 1,223 reviews (21.4%) falling into this space. The 2019 British Book Award winner for non-fiction narrative, Michelle Obama's Becoming (Viking), continues it's reign in this category with 17 reviews and an average weighted score of 4.37. While this year's winner of the same category, Lisa Taddeo's Three Women (Bloomsbury), comes in just shy with 15 reviews and a score of 4.09. 

History books remained strong with reviewers in the last 12 months, with 592 reviews, up 126% on the year before. However, Crime & Mystery fiction dropped significantly from 479 reviews to just 174, just 3% of the total. In the downturn, Robert Galbraith's Lethal White (Sphere) held strong at the top of the category, with 13 reviews in total. 

The Sunday Times and the Times continue to contribute the most reviews to Books in the Media, with 1,176 between them in the last year. With almost identical figures to the previous 12 months, the Guardian and the Observer continue to run a close second with a combined 1,136. 

Figures increased for literary magazines, with the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, the Literary Review and The Bookseller racking up 754 reviews, compared to 572 the previous year. 

Books in the Media is a reviews curation and aggregation service focused on the UK and Ireland created by The Bookseller. Books in the Media pulls together book reviews from all the national newspapers, consumer monthlies, specialist book journals and book prize nominations and wins.