Students enjoying the ‘Future on Mars’ virtual reality experience of the Red Planet’s surface. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah: Classics are still popular with children; teens prefer stories about teens; and young adults love fantasy novels, exhibitors at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) said on Wednesday.

For young children, classic stories are still the main driver of the reading habit, said Abdul Haq from UK publisher Wordsworth Classics.

He said fairy tales by The Brothers Grimm, as well as characters such as Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer and Oliver Twist continue to captivate very young readers, in the under-teenage category.

Abdul Haq said “classics will be classic”, pointing out that Wordsworth Classics titles are going for Dh15 to Dh20 at SCRF.

With regards to children in their early teens, book series portraying ordinary school life — where the characters and themes are slices from their own lives — are fast-moving books.

Popular series among them include the Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, stories by Roald Dahl and the Geronimo Stilton series, said Sarfaraz Nawaz, sales supervisor at the Jashanmal Bookstore stand. The prices range from Dh32 to Dh45 for such titles.

For young adults, the lure of fantasy worlds keeps the market alive for the likes of Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, said George, salesperson at Current Books/DC Books, India. He also said ‘The Assassin’s Creed’ series by Oliver Bowden is also popular.

“Fantasy, adventure and suspense seem to appeal to youth today. This was the trend last year too,” George said.