But what books do children actually like?
Never mind publishers and literary critics, what are the readers' favourites?
This article is from 2011.
Of course, stuffy literary critics shouldn't always have the final say. Kelly Apter finds out which authors actual children (including List critics' own) are getting excited about
Poppy Apter, 14
I like Malorie Blackman because she writes about things that are happening in the world, and how the characters feel about them is the same way real people would. The stories are interesting and I always want to read more. Her books are good for people my age because the stories are not too simple, but not too hard to follow either. I have read Hacker, Thief!, Pig Heart Boy, all of the Noughts & Crosses series, and liked them all.
I also like Jacqueline Wilson because her stories are usually about young girls and their problems, which is helpful and interesting to me and other people of a similar age. I particular enjoyed Lily Alone because the story could be true (mostly!) and I liked the characters.
Tilly Bradley Bevan, 10
I love Liz Kessler's Emily Windsnap books. She turns into a mermaid and the books are interesting, telling how she tries to keep this a secret. She only does it at night! There's quite a bit of suspense in the books, which makes me want to read on. Keeping her secret about being a mermaid causes Emily lots of problems and there are some funny bits in the books when she tries to stop people finding out. It's interesting that she has other problems in her life as well as a shiny tail!
Nancy Donaldson, 9
I like the Flat Stanley books by Jeff Brown because they are funny and exciting, and when you read them you can see the scene in your head. My favourite character is Stanley because he is brave, and kind to his brother Arthur and other people. I love Scott Nash's illustrations because they have lots of detail. My favourite books are Flat Stanley, Invisible Stanley and Stanley, Flat Again!
I also like the Horrid Henry books by Francesca Simon because they're funny and so are the names of people, like Moody Margaret and Beefy Burt. I like the pictures and the fact there are girls in them, even though they sound like boys' books. My favourite stories are 'Horrid Henry's Sick Day' and 'Horrid Henry's Nits'.
Theo Bradley Bevan, 8
I love Eoin Colfer because he is a talented writer. I would say he has a great imagination! I really like graphic novels and he is very good at writing these too. I like the character sketches. Artemis Fowl is calm and intelligent. I also really like all the detail the writer puts in his books and the character names are really good! I love all the adventures and travels to interesting places. I learnt a lot about different places from reading the books.
Daniel Mason Bone, 6
I like the black and white illustrations and smudgy pages in Andy Stanton's Mr Gum books. The stories make me laugh and Alan Taylor (a gingerbread man) is my favourite character. My favourite book in the series is Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout because the character Ben shouts out 'surprise' every time he appears and that makes me happy. My favourite bit in You're A Bad Man, Mr Gum! is when the author tricks you into thinking it's the end of the story when it isn't; that makes me giggle!
Tansy Bradley Bevan 4
I love Charlie and Lola by Lauren Child. I love the pictures in the books. They are very funny. Charlie is like my big brother: he's very bossy! My brother says I am like Lola but I will never not ever eat a tomato!