Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Airport Book Stores

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Have you ever noticed how pathetic the children’s book section is in airports? (Remember, I’ve been flying a lot lately). I’m moderately impressed with the selection of adult literature in airports. There is the usual collection of best sellers – fiction and non-fiction – business books, romance, humour, you name it. There is even a classics section in most airport bookstores. I’ve seen Hermann Melville, Harper Lee, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many others on the shelves.

But the children’s section? That’s another story – usually only one shelf and minimally stocked to boot! I notice this because, since I happen to write for young readers, it happens to be the bulk of what I read. To be fair, on this last trip, I did spot some Shel Silverstein, Dr. Zeus, and H.R. Rey. But other than that, the selection consisted primarily of Harry Potter (no surprise), and those book adaptations of Disney animated features!

I know that young people probably travel less frequently than adults. But why are they valued less in terms of what they are likely to read? Where are the classics for kids? Where are the Canadian authors? Where are the books that have won literary and children’s choice awards? I won’t even mention the fact, or maybe I will, that none of my books has ever been spotted in an airport book store.

I’m on a campaign to ask the airport books stores to start stocking decent literature for kids. Won’t you join me?

1 comment

I realize it's of only limited use to a typical Torontonian, but if you're ever in Milwaukee, you'll find that Renaissance Books, the used-book store there since 1979, has over five cases of children's books, plus some more fragile 19th- and early 20th-century children's books in the locked shelves.

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Kathy Kacer

Kathy Kacer is an award-winning children's author whose focus is historical fiction and true stories about the Holocaust. Her many books include The Secret of Gabi's Dresser, Clara's War, The Underground Reporters, Hiding Edith and The Diary of Laura's Twin.

Go to Kathy Kacer’s Author Page