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The search for the next J.K. Rowling

In The Independent, Nicholas Tucker writes that the search is on for a J.K Rowling for the new generation.

He says currently published children’s writers won’t hit the mark (not even Stephenie Meyer and her Twilight series, which he says “is too deliberately skewed towards female readers to count as truly universal bestsellers in the way the Harry Potter stories were”), since they have already established themselves in a niche within the kids’ books genre, and says that someone new will have to fulfill the changing demands of kid lit in a way that is almost universally appealing to readers.

In her time Enid Blyton managed this by inventing heroic child characters who always get everything right just when in real life the balance at home and school was moving from adult domination towards children gaining more power. Roald Dahl, another huge commercial success, pushed this tendency further forward into overt fantasy, adding an extra measure of mischievous subversion. Rowling herself continued in this vein “ has there ever been a parental couple more worthy of disrespect than Harry’s foster parents Mr and Mrs Dursley? She also located her endlessly resourceful child hero in fantasy land. The chances are that the next best-selling children’s author will do the same thing.