When customers ask for book recommendations, I pump them for information. Do they know what the child has read before? Do they know any of his or her interests? Does this child have older siblings, and thus likely already own Goodnight Moon?
But when the answer to some or all of the above is, "I don't really know; it's my boss's nephew/daughter's friend who just moved to town/cousin I haven't seen in two years," suggestions must still be made. And I've realized that for most ages, I have defaults. (Obviously, these aren't the only suggestions I make, but they're my very frequent jumping-off points.)
Baby? Moo Baa Laa Laa Laa. Toddler? Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Preschooler? Pete the Cat. Brand-new reader? Frog and Toad. Ready for chapter books? Clementine. Teen? My Most Excellent Year.
Notice a gap? Yeah, me too. Somehow, I don't have default suggestions from my favorite section: Intermediate Fiction. Oh, there are many books I love to hand-sell out of that section, but there's no automatic "Oh, (s)he's 8/9/10/11/12? I know just the book!"
I have a few thoughts on why this might be. But I'm very glad in this case that blogging doesn't require conclusions.