Archive for the ‘Childrens and YA’ Category

Rhimes Goes Back In Time

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

9780385743501_fb17bThe next drama  by Shonda Rhimes gets a late spring premiere date on ABC. Something of a departure for the hitmaker behind Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, it is set in the world of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, after the two doomed lovers have died.

Still Star Crossed will air on May 29. It is based on the novel Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub (PRH/Delacorte, 2013 – currently listed as OP). Kirkus gave the YA novel a starred review, calling it “A perfect blend of the intimate and the epic, the story both honors its origin and works in its own right … [a] spectacular sequel.”

The date is delayed from its expected midseason launch reports Deadline Hollywood.

No tie-in has been announced.


Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

WonderstruckTodd Haynes’s adaptation of Brian Selznick’s middle grade novel Wonderstruck (Scholastic, 2011) has been selected to enter the competition at the Cannes Film Festival to be held May 17-28.

Haynes, whose films to date have been for adults, won the Queer Palm at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, for Carol based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt. This is Haynes’s first film based on a children’s book.

Starring Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Okes Fergley Wonderstruck is produced by Amazon studios. A section of the novel is set in 1927 and features a deaf child, Rose, to be played by newcomer Millicent Simmonds, a 13-year-old deaf actress. Haynes has chosen to film her section as a silent movie, using what Deadline calls “an unprecedented number of deaf actors in roles that would normally go to hearing actors.”

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

Wonderstruck spent 25 weeks on the NYT Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover best seller list, won the 2012 Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book.

No news yet on a release date or a tie-in.

Bill Nye Is That Guy

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Proving what is old can be new again, Bill Nye is in the middle of a double debut, decades after he first caught the public eye.

9781419723032_6d001His chapter book, Jack and the Geniuses: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone, illustrated by Nicholas Iluzada (Abrams; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), a mix of science, adventure, and mystery, debuts on the NYT Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover list at #6. It is doing very well considering every title ranking above Nye’s has been on the list for 10 weeks or more.

Next week brings the debut of his new Netflix’s show, Bill Nye Saves the World, on April 21. Wired says it will span “13 episodes that seek to debunk anti-scientific claims and myths in topics ranging from sex to alternative medicine to, yes, climate change.” The NYT says it is a “it’s a talk show, not a children’s program,” but Nye tells the paper to expect to be entertained. “The comedy bits,” he says “are brilliant!”

According to Netflix, “Each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting antiscientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry.”9781623367916_1bc4f

On the horizon, Nye has a book for adults coming out this summer, Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem (Macmillan/Rodale; Recorded Books), a mix of memoir, history, science, and problem solving using rational, methodical, fact-based approaches.

Hitting Screens, Week of April 10, 2017

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Boss Baby continued to rule the box office over the weekend, happily beating out another movie aimed at kids, the formulaic Smurfs: Lost Village. On TV, the adaptation of Jay Asher’s best-selling 2007 YA novel 13 Reasons Why is a hit for Netflix and is stirring up controversy about whether there should be a second season.

Two adaptations come to screens this week.

9780525434658_325e0Having received much advance attention for its star studded cast, The Lost City of Z finally hits theaters in a limited run at the end of this week, expanding to more theaters next week. Based on David Gann’s nonfiction account of Percy Fawcett’s search for a fabled lost city, it stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland.

Already released in the UK, The Telegraph says it is “Transporting and profound … an instant classic.Business Insider says it is “the best movie of 2017 so far” and director James Gray’s “magnum opus.” The Wrap says it “blends knock-out visual beauty, tender feminism, overall personal inter-connectedness, and something else, too, something yearning and just out of reach … [it] feels like a clear artistic advance for Gray, who proves himself here as one of our finest and most distinctive living filmmakers.”

Reviewing it after its NY Film Festival debut, Variety called it “Apocalypse Now meets Masterpiece Theater … a finely crafted, elegantly shot, sharply sincere movie that is more absorbing than powerful.”

The book received raves. The NYT critic Michiko Kakutani wrote it is at “once a biography, a detective story and a wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing that combines Bruce Chatwinesque powers of observation with a Waugh-like sense of the absurd … it reads with all the pace and excitement of a movie thriller and all the verisimilitude and detail of firsthand reportage.”

It topped most of the year’s best books lists the year it was published. Grann is now back in the news for a new book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Type; RH Audio/BOT).

Tie-in: The Lost City of Z (Movie Tie-In): A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, David Grann (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

9781501174926_7136bOn cable The White Princess begins on April 16, about the long-running War of the Roses.

It’s the sequel to The White Queen, which aired on Starz in 2013, based on the first four books in Philippa Gregory’s The Cousins’ War series and earned both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

The new series adapts Gregory’s fifth title in the historical saga and relates the story of Princess Elizabeth of York, forced to marry into the house of her enemy. Gregory outlines the chronology of the novels on her website.

It stars Jodie Comer as Princess Elizabeth, Essie Davis as Elizabeth Woodville, Joanne Whalley as the Duchesss of Burgundy, Michelle Fairley as Margaret Beaufort, Jacob Collins-Levy as Henry VII, and Suki Waterhouse as Cecily of York.

One of the few reviews out thus far says “if it’s melodrama you want, The White Princess delivers – serving up a steamy soup of bitchy, backstabbing, corseted women plotting each other’s doom.”

Vanity Fair offers an interview with the stars.

Tie-in: The White Princess, Philippa Gregory (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).

ANNE Grabs The Spotlight

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

The first full-length trailer was released yesterday for the upcoming Netflix series, Anne, an adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.

Emmy-winning writer Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad) is the showrunner and newcomer Amybeth McNulty plays the title role. R.H. Thomson (Chloe) and Geraldine James (Sherlock Holmes) play Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The eight-episode version starts streaming on May 12.

Although it’s set at the turn of the century, Netflix says the series will speak to today’s kids, as it deals with “timeless and topical issues including themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice.”

This is expected to be the first of several seasons. Walley-Beckett tells CBC that “the series producers have a five-year plan that would take Anne right through her high school years.”

That red-haired girl has had a recent spurt of popularity. A series of film adaptations of her story have also been completed, starring Martin Sheen as Matthew, Sara Botsford as Marilla, and Ella Ballentine as Anne. The first of those films debuted on Thanksgiving on PBS. At that time, Sheen told Entertainment Weekly that he hoped PBS would pick up the two sequels. The second has been released in Canada an the third is scheduled, but no US release has yet been announced.

There are no direct tie-ins but the public domain title is available from several publishers.

Ferdinand Gets a Trailer

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

The first trailer for a new animated adaptation of Leaf Munro‘s 1936 classic The Story of Ferdinand made its “exclusive” debut on the Today Show this morning. It opens on December 15. CORRECTION: As Donna points out in the comments, we transposed the author’s first and last names.

9780670674244A tie-in has not been announced.

The original is still available in both hardcover and paperback (Penguin Young Readers/Puffin).

A Board Book edition is coming in August.



Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

9780545925815_6cb96Known for the her award winning and best selling adult novel, Room, Emma Donoghue, has just published a new novel and it’s for kids, The Lotterys Plus One (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books; Scholastic Audio; OverDrive Sample; illustrated by Caroline Hadilaksono). Written for middle graders, it’s rising on Amazon’s sales rankings thanks to an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Donoghue reads the opening:

“Once upon a time, a man from Delhi and man from Yukon fell in love, and so did a woman from Jamaica and a Mohawk woman. The two couples became best friends and had a baby together. When they won the lottery, they gave up their jobs and found a big old house where their family could learn and grow … and grow some more.”

Joining the overflowing household is one of the grandfathers, suffering from dementia. NPR notes that even though Donoghue’s adult books explore difficult subjects, this new novel is “all light.”

Donoghue, whose mother suffers from the disease, tells NPR “everything I read about dementia for children had a dreary tone to it, a sort of ‘let’s stop the action and all give you sad facts,’ you know? So I don’t believe there’s any subject that can’t be handled with a little bit of spark, so I try and make it very accurate, but also accept the humor that can be in misunderstandings … and above all, I avoided being too sad.”

Kirkus and PW give it stars, with PW calling it “a drily funny story about adjusting to new situations.”

Fan Favorites Set for DARKEST MINDS

Friday, March 24th, 2017

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Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, is set to star in the film adaptation of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion).
The first in the YA dystopian trilogy, it features a group of teens with special powers who are persecuted by the government and are on the run hoping to find a sanctuary.

The news, announced by the Hollywood Reporter, caused a flurry of excitement on fan sites.

The cast already includes another fan favorite, Amanda Sternberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games. She also stars as Maddy Whittier in the upcoming adaptation of Nicole Yoon’s Everything, Everything, set for release in May.

One of Time magazine’s Most Influential Teens 2016, Sternberg is described as:

“one of her generation’s leading social activists, especially regarding race, representation and gender identity. As a result, she’s earned some high-profile admirers. Among them: Gloria Steinem, who sat for a one-on-one interview with Stenberg for Teen Vogue, and Beyoncé …

Fans have more to look forward to. As theThe Hollywood Reporter notes, “a host of young up-and-comers [are] on the call sheet.”

Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda) directs, in her live-action debut.

The movie, still in pre-production, is expected to premiere in September 2018.


Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants, based on the best selling Dav Pilkey series (Scholastic), was released yesterday, arriving in time to be featured before the kids movies set to dominate theaters for the next two weekends, Power Rangers and The Boss Baby.

Dropping a hint that this may be the first of series, Dreamworks adds the words The First Epic Movie to the title. It opens in theaters on June 2.

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A tie-in is being released, Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard on April 25, 2017 (Scholastic), but libraries may prefer to spend their money on additional copies of the original twelve-volume series.


Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Read our chat with Betsy, below.

Join us for our next live chat on April 26, 5 to 6 p.m., ET with Pablo Cartaya, to discuss his upcoming book, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora.

To join the program, sign up here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Betsy Bird, FUNNY GIRL : FUNNIEST. STORIES. EVER.

YA/MG GalleyChat, Tues., March 21

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

This edition of YA GalleyChat has ended. Read the transcript, below.

Join us for the next chat, Tues. April 19, 4 to 5 pm.(3:30 for virtual cocktails) to discuss Young Adult and Middle Grade galleys.

DUMPLIN’ To Movies

Monday, March 20th, 2017

9780062327192_15371Nearly two years after Disney acquired film rights to Julie Murphy’s YA novel Dumplin’ (HC/Balzer + Bray; HaperAudio; OverDrive Sample), the first star had been announced. Jennifer Aniston, is set to play Rosie, a former beauty queen who now runs a pageant and gave her overweight teenaged daughter the not-so-endearing nickname of the title.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, Hot Pursuit) will direct, “working from a script by Aniston’s longtime friend and collaborator Kristin Hahn [The Departed, The Time Traveler’s Wife].”

It is early days yet and no other casting choices have been made. Refinery29 writes, “Aniston’s casting gives the film some A-list weight, but we’re more excited to see who lands the role of Will. Please don’t screw this up, Hollywood.”

Production will begin this summer.

Kirkus approvingly wrote the novel’s “plot arc, amazingly, avoids the all-too-common pitfall of having its fat protagonist lose weight.” It was named to the Amelia Bloomer List of recommended feminist literature and appeared on a number of end of year best lists.

Kids Movies Move Books

Monday, March 20th, 2017

The latest Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which opened this weekend, was the blockbuster the studio longed for. Weeks before it opened, it helped promote books, putting one of the tie-ins, Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (Hachette/Disney Press) on the NYT Middle Grade Best Sellers List.

Disney is at work on many more live-action adaptations of previous animated hits, including a new version of Dumbo, with Tim Burton directing and Danny DeVito voicing the star.

Taking advantage of the Disney hit, DreamWorks Animation released a trailer for their adaptation of Marla Frazee’s The Boss Baby using the phrase, “A Tale NOT As Old As Time” and a couple of images to emphasize the reference.

Also just released is a trailer for another sure-fire book-promoting hit, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul!, based on Jeff Kinney’s book series.

Darrin Alert: the movie, and the trailer, feature a new cast.

It premieres May 19.

For a full listing of movie tie-ins, check our list of tie-ins to upcoming films, recently updated with tie-ins to 2017’s most anticipated kid’s movies.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal Dies

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

9780811868655Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal has died at 51 from cancer.

She is known for her children’s books such as Duck! Rabbit! (Chronicle Books), Spoon (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion), and Little Oink (Chronicle Books). She also wrote books for adults, including two memoirs. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal (PRH/Dutton) and Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (PRH/Broadway).

In the news this month for her deeply emotional “Modern Love” column in the NYT, Rosenthal wrote about dying and the love she has for her husband, Jason, before offering him up to a future wife. She writes that she hopes “the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins.” Thus far the column has generated 1,544 comments.

As well as her books, she leaves behind a TED Talk and several video pieces. Most of all she leaves a legacy of joyful work. Writing in the NYT Book Review in 2009, Bruce Handy says in a glowing review, “Her books radiate fun the way tulips radiate spring: they are elegant and spirit-lifting.”

Here are some examples on film of that spirit:

A Wrinkle In Time Wraps

Monday, March 13th, 2017

MV5BMTBmMjdiMDgtOGMzMC00YTNmLTliYjYtZjYwY2RhNTgyZjNlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzMyMDAxNjg@._V1_The director and stars of the Disney adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s book,  A Wrinkle In Time. exuberantly high-fivied each other on social media over the weekend to celebrate the end of filming. Entertainment Weekly lists the well-wishes and selfies.

Oscar-nominated Ava DuVernay (Selma) directs the project. She is the first black woman to do so for a $100 million dollar studio feature, reports the magazine, and only “the fourth female director to have helmed a live-action movie with a budget of over $100 million, joining the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow (2002’s K-19: The Widowmaker), Lana Wachowski (2012’s Cloud Atlas, 2015’s Jupiter Ascending), and Patty Jenkins (this year’s Wonder Woman).”

The film stars Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Storm Reid (12 Years a Slave), described by Entertainment Weekly as an “up-and-coming actress,” stars as Meg Murry. Levi Miller, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Bellamy Young, Will McCormack, and Zach Galifianakis each have supporting roles. The screenplay is by Academy Award-winning Jennifer Lee (Frozen).

The film is currently scheduled to premiere April 6, 2018. Tie-in editions, in hardcover and trade paperback, arrive this November.

The 1963 Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time  (Macmillan/FSG BYR) was previously adapted by Disney as a TV movie.

Disney has had success revising earlier adaptations for a new era, remaking The Jungle Book and Cinderella to critical praise.