Archive for the ‘Childrens and YA’ Category

His Tie-Ins

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

To occupy kids and their parents during the Thanksgiving holiday Pixar’s animated movie, The Good Dinosaur opens today. It’s not based on a book, but it comes with a range of tie-ins.

The title cuently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings is the Little Golden Book version, which most libraries do not buy, The Good Dinosaur by Bill Scollon and illustrated by Michaelangelo Rocco (PRH/Disney/Pixar). It is currently at #32, putting it close to best sellers The Martian and The Day the Crayons Came Home.

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Penguin Random House also offers a novelization, The Good Dinosaur Junior Novelization (OverDrive Sample), and two beginner readers, The Journey Home by Bill Scollon and Crash, Boom, Roar! by Susan Amerikaner.

9781465415684_db712DK gets in on the action with The Good Dinosaur: The Essential Guide, filled with images and movie “fun facts.”

For adults and kids there is The Art of the Good Dinosaur with text by John Lasseter and Peter Sohn (Chronicle Books).

For our full list of current and upcoming movie and TV tie-ins, link to our tie-ins collection.

Best Books 2015, Kids and YA

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

School Library Journal ‘s editors unveiled their best books picks on Monday, 63 titles in all.

We’ve collated all the selections to date into one downloadable spreadsheet (the four titles with the most selections, above(:

Best Books, Childrens and YA, 2015

Updates to come as new lists are released. Also available is our collation of the Best Adult Fiction. Coming soon, Best Adult Nonfiction.

Julianne Moore is WONDERSTRUCK

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

9780545027892Director Todd Haynes’s film Carol, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel, The Price of Salt, about a Lesbian love affair (more on the novel from the NYT), debuts in limited release this Friday and is expected to generate Oscar nominations for stars Cate Blanchett  and Rooney Mara.

The director turns to different material for his next adaptation, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck (Scholastic, 2011). Whe
n the project was announced in May, the Haynes already had several other projects in the works. Today is was announced that Julianne Moore will star, indicating Wonderstruck may be next on his list.

9780545448680_e1f05This will be Selznick’s second book adapted by a celebrated director, after Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, based on  The Invention Of Hugo Cabret.

Selznick’s The Marvels (Scholastic), published in September, has been on the NYT Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover  best seller list for 6 weeks.


Friday, November 13th, 2015

286951-691x1024CBS Films is adapting James Patterson’s bestselling children’s series Middle School.

Directed by Steve Carr (Paul Blart: Mall Cop), the cast will include Lauren Graham (Parenthood, Gilmore Girls) and Rob Riggle (22 Jump Street, Hotel Transylvania 2).

The series have won the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and several titles in the series have been selected for ALSC Summer Reading Lists.

The newest title in the set is Middle School: Just My Rotten Luck (Hachette/Little, Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Patterson will serve as an executive producer and is co-financing the film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, it is expected in theaters on October 7, 2016.

Sugar-Coating Called Worse Than
No Representation At All

Monday, November 9th, 2015

9780375868320_ac721Shortly after A Fine DessertFour Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat  (RH/Schwartz & Wade, Jan.) was selected as one of the ten Best Illustrated Book by the NYT Book Review, NPR’s Code Switch reported on the simmering controversy over the book’s portrayal of an enslaved mother and daughter in a story titled,”The Kids’ Book A Fine Dessert Has Award Buzz — And Charges Of Whitewashing Slavery.”

The story comes full circle with an article in the New York Times, online Friday (in print on Saturday), “A Fine Dessert: Judging a Book by the Smile of a Slave.”

The book portrays history through the making of a single dessert, blackberry fool, in four different centuries, 1710, 1810, 1910, and 2010. The section from 1810 portrays an enslaved woman and her daughter making the dessert for a white family, then licking the remains from the bowl while hidden in a closet. Many objected that the mother and daughter appear to be enjoying the process of creating the fool, feeding the myth of the “happy slave” and that the closet scene, while stark in contrast, needs more context (see the NYT story for images of the pages).

The reactions have caused a soul-searching on the part of the books’  creators as well as at least one reviewer.

As the NYT notes, author Emily Jenkin has posted an apology online, saying that she will donate her writing fee to the campaign We Need Diverse Books.

Illustrator Sophie Blacknall, however, defends the book, as she did on Tuesday, responding to direct criticisms from author Daniel José Older at the Fall Conference of the New York City School Library System (section begins at time stamp 21:15).

The book received four starred reviews (the only holdout and the only prepub reviewer to raise a flag about the issue was Publishers Weekly). The Book Review Editor for School Library Journal, Kiera Parrott, wrote that publication’s starred review. She has posted comments on Twitter, and published them on Storify as “Reflecting on A Fine Dessert,” saying that at first she first felt the book’s depiction offered “a great opportunity to talk to [children] about America’s dark and painful history.” After reading what others have had to say, she says that she now realizes she was wrong and that, “It may feel odd for those of us who want to see more diversity to realize that sometimes NO representation is better than bad representation.”

For those who want to dive deeper into the issue,  SLJ, has published a bibliography of discussion.

Back to Wonderland

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Alice_Through_the_Looking_Glass_(film)_posterDisney has just premiered the first full trailer for their next Alice movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass scheduled for release in late May 2016.

All the main actors reprise their roles from the first movie, including Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen.

Like the first movie, the sequel departs from Lewis Carroll’s original. According to the plot summary on YouTube:

“Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland  … The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends – and enemies – at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out.”

Tim Burton produces the film but does not direct this time, leaving that to James Bobin, known for his work on the recent Muppets movies.

Tie-in editions:

1484729595_47bd5Alice Through the Looking Glass
April 12, 2016
Hardcover ISBN: 9781484729595
$16.99 USD, $17.99 CAD
Described as a “deluxe novelization.”


1484729609_35303Alice Through the Looking Glass: A Matter of Time
April 12, 2016
Hardcover ISBN: 9781484729601
$12.99 USD, $13.99 CAD

Described as a “unique illustrated novel” based on the movie.


Thursday, November 5th, 2015

9780375823459_eacc09780679879244A TV adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series is in the works by the BBC with New Line cinema producing. Pre-production and casting will not begin until next year and  no date has been set for the series debut.

The first book in the series, The Golden Compass, was made into a movie in 2007, starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman, with plans for it to become a franchise.

According to Deadline, “Critical reception was tepid, and it failed to match the box office expectations domestically of New Line and Warner execs hoping for another Lord of the Rings.

The Guardian, sees it differently, ” It was a success, taking £230m around the world, but some fans were upset about departures from the original storyline and planned sequels never materialised.” They also dismiss claims from cast member Sam Elliot that New Line was scared off by opposition from the Catholic church to themes of atheism.

In a separate article, the Guardian writes “Why TV could be perfect for Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials”

This is not the first time a movie franchise has switched to TV. The 2013 movie City Of Bones based on Cassandra Clare’s popular YA series made a similar move and will debut on Jan. 12 as a TV series titled Shadowhunters.




Live Chat today with Maile Meloy,
author of THE AFTER-ROOM,
5 to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

The live chat has now ended, Read the transcript below.

Live Blog Live Chat with Maile Meloy – THE AFTER-ROOM

JK Rowling Drops Hints

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

In news that might overshadow her PR push for the newest Cormoran Strike novel, JK Rowing said during an interview on BBC Radio 2 Book Club that she is going to write another children’s book:

“I’m not going to give you an absolute date because things are busy and I’ve been writing a screenplay as well. But I will definitely write more novels under JK Rowling. I’ve written part of a children’s book, which I really love. I will definitely finish that. I have ideas for other adult books.”

Let the watch begin.

UPDATE: The U.K. trade publication, The Bookseller, followed up with Rowling’s agent. You can almost hear the sigh in his voice as he replies, “J K Rowling has talked previously about writing a children’s book and, as she said to Simon Mayo in the interview, it is on-going, with no plans to publish as yet.”

9780316349932_bd4feShe is also gamely promoting her latest adult title, Career of Evil (Hachette/Mulholland), the third in the Cormoran Strike mystery series.

She has much to say on that same BBC interview but she also talked with David Greene for NPR’s Morning Edition, discussing how her research into the feelings and motivations of killers gave her nightmares and why she chose to disguise herself as a male author.

“… there was a phenomenal amount of pressure that went with being the writer of Harry Potter, and that aspect of publishing those books I do not particularly miss. So you can probably understand the appeal of going away and creating something very different, and just letting it stand or fall on its own merits.”

13 REASONS WHY Makes Detour to Small Screen

Friday, October 30th, 2015

9781595141880Netflix is adapting Jay Asher’s multi-award winning 2007 YA novel about teen suicide into a 13-episode series. The news caused the book to jump up Amazon’s sales rankings (#355 from #719).

According to Variety, Selena Gomez will serve as an executive producer and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Brian Yorkey will write the pilot. Back in 2011, Universal acquired rights for a big-screen adaptation, but it seems those plans have changed.

Asher’s novel, with the stylized title TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, (Penguin/RazorBill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), is about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, each addressed to one of her classmates, explaining how they contributed to her decision.

Deadline reports that Gomez will not star in the show herself and the leads not been cast. An air date has yet to be set.

A YALSA Best Books of 2008, it was a NYT best seller  in hardcover for over two years and continued as a paperback best seller until two weeks ago.

The NYT BR Best Illustrated Books, 2015

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

A harbinger of the holidays, the New York Times Sunday Book Review‘s selection of the ten Best Illustrated Books of 2015 is available online today. It will appear in print in the upcoming issue.

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9780670016525_38a6f   madameeiffel_en

The titles range  from several that have already received wide acclaim, such as Leo: A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson (Chronicle), and Sidewalk Flowers, JonArno Lawson illus. by Sydney Smith (Groundwood), to a couple of under-the-radar picks. Both of those are coincidentally, about the same famous Parisian edifice), Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower, Greg Pizzoli (Penguin/Viking Young Readers) and the only translated title on the list,  Madame Eiffel: The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower, Alice Brière-Haquet, illus. by Csil  (Little Gestalten; 978-3899557558; Nov).

For a list of the titles, with ordering information, download our spreadsheet, NYT BR Best Illus. Books, 2015

Harry Potter, Dad

Monday, October 26th, 2015


Readers longing for more from the world of Harry Potter can rejoice – sort of.

J.K. Rowling announced that the eighth Potter story will take place on the stage in London’s West End in the form of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The Pottermore website offers this teaser of a summary:

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children … While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, the play is based on “an original story by Potter scribe Rowling, English TV writer Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany who won a Tony Award for Broadway’s Once.”

USA Today reports the play follows events set directly after the epilogue in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, 19 years after Harry defeated Voldemort. It is scheduled to begin its run the summer of 2016 at London’s Palace Theater. Similar to the final HP movie, the play will be in two parts.

Another extension of the HP universe, this one a prequel, will be coming to movie theaters next year, in the form of an adaptation of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. It is planned as the first of three movies.

Tickets go on sale for the show on Oct 28. No word yet on a tie-in book edition.

Riordan’s Next Best Seller

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

1423160916_25a72Ten years ago Rick Riordan got kids interested in reading about Greek mythology with the publication of The Lightning Thief. Since then he has also written series based on Roman and Egyptian mythology.

Now he is turning his attention to Norse myths with his newest book Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book One, The Sword of Summer (Disney; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

It debuts this week in the #1 spot on USA Today’s Best-Selling Books list, a list that includes all ages and formats as well as in the top spot of The New York Times’ Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover list.

In and interview with Entertainment Weekly Riordan says that Norse myths present a special challenge because are gruesome and he had to figure out how to “present this accurately but also in a way that’s not completely terrifying”

Below is the book trailer.

Rick Yancey’s THE LAST STAR

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Last StarThe final book in Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave series, The Last Star, is set for publication on May 25, 2016 (Penguin/Putnam YR). The cover was revealed by USA Today.

The film adaptation of the first book in the trilogy, The 5th Wave was featured at New York Comic Con this weekend (tie-ins, in hardcover and trade pbk, Nov. 3).

The movie, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, arrives in theaters on January 15.

Promises of Sleep

Monday, October 12th, 2015

9780399554131_76412Desperate parents are flocking to The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, illustrated by Irina Maununen (RH/Crown;Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

PW reported last week that it sold 10,000 copies in two days. Ehrlin, a Swedish psychologist, originally self-published the bedtime story, which Random House acquired after its huge popularity over the summer and has just re-released.

It debuts at #3 on the NYT‘s Picture Book Best Seller list this week, sandwiched between Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’s crayon books and a seasonal choice, Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean.

It is also on the USA Today list, which includes titles in all formats and for all ages, now at #35  down from an earlier high of #6.

In August, NPR’s All Things Considered put it to the test on sleep adverse kids with less than convincing results.

In The Washington Post conducted their own test, with similar results.

Both testers qualified their findings by acknowledging the presence of cameras or microphones could not have helped create the necessary atmosphere.

For those still game to try it out, NPR reports sleep experts suggest that parents make it a constant routine at bedtime and practice delivering the story until they get the lulling rhythm down pat.

If all else fails, parents can at least get some comfort in knowing they are not alone in their bleary-eyed frustration and entertain themselves with the another best selling title about sleep and kids, Adam Mansbach’s Go the F**k to Sleep.