Archive for the ‘Childrens and YA’ Category

A Touch of Green

Monday, June 29th, 2015

9780147515018_5d27c  9780142402511  9780525476887_ad17d

In a bit of an understatement, the Hollywood trade Deadline notes “[John] Green’s young-adult allure has made him as bankable an author as there is right now.”

Just last week it was announced that a film adaptation of a collection of three linked short stories, one of them by Green, Let It Snow (Penguin/Speak, pbk original, 2008), will be released on Dec. 9, 2016.

Another Green title has just taken a step closer to the screen. Director Rebecca Thomas is in talks for Looking For Alaska.

And, of course, Paper Towns, starring  Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne is set to open in less than a month, on July 24.

So, what about his other books?

On his web site, Green says that An Abundance of Katherines, has been optioned, but is “a long way off.”

9780525421580_80048That leaves just Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which he wrote with David Leviathan. It hasn’t been optioned, says Green, because,”To quote a real live movie producer who really said this about Will Grayson, Will Grayson, ‘The only thing Hollywood hates more than smart teenagers is smart, gay teenagers’ I hope Hollywood will prove this movie producer wrong someday.”

Green has helped Hollywood get over that first objection. He may conquer the second as well.

Sharing the Creative Process

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015


People often ask me how could I give up working Bank Street College of Education in NYC to live in Minnesota.

The answer is the Kerlan Collection at University of Minnesota Libraries​, one of the largest  repositories of children’s book manuscripts, art and first editions. We hold the papers of all of the Ambassadors for Young Peoples Literature (if you are counting in your head that is Scieszka, Patterson, Myers, and DiCamillo).

Since everyone can’t visit the University of Minnesota, it is my goal to bring the collection out of the cavern and share it with librarians and teachers.


One of those efforts is the just-launched digital exhibit, Balloons Over Broadway, Melissa Sweet, and the Engineering of a Picture, which examines the author/illustrator research and creative process using the materials in the Kerlan Collection.

If you are going to ALA, don’t miss the opportunity to hear Melissa Sweet​ at the ALSC President’s program.

Charlemae Rollins President’s Program
More to the Core: From the Craft of Nonfiction to the Expertise in the Stacks

MCC-2001 (W)
Monday, 6/29 1:00 to 2:30

Awarding-winning author and illustrator Melissa Sweet and literacy advocate Judy Cheatham, VP of Literacy Services at Reading Is Fundamental, share the stage to present an informational and inspirational look at the creation of excellent nonfiction and the matchmaking of great books and kids who need them. Libraries’ role in innovative implementation of programs and services to support the Common Core Standards is a central skill and an important contribution to the communities we serve.  Even if CCS isn’t a part of your educational landscape, great nonfiction books – how they are created and ways to connect them to children and families is central to our craft and critical to our ability to collaborate with our communities. Let’s be inspired together!


Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

9780147515018_5d27cIt doesn’t have a director or cast yet, but that hasn’t stopped Universal Pictures from announcing that it will release Let It Snow on Dec. 9, 2016.

The film is based on a collection of three linked short stories by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle (Penguin/Speak, pbk original, 2008), all of which take place on the same day during a snow storm.

New Peanuts Movie, New Trailer

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Coming November 6th is The Peanuts Movie (in 3-D, of course. There’s a certain irony in that, since the original comics were decidedly 2-D). The second trailer has just been released.

Several tie-ins, including a novelization are on their way (for a full list, check our Upcoming Tie-ins catalog on Edelweiss):

9781481441360_ca9fdPeanuts Movie Novelization
Charles M. Schulz, Tracey West (Adapted by)
September 22, 2015; Trade Paperback
Juvenile Fiction \ Media Tie-In
Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7


All Hail the Puppy

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 11.47.43 AMAuthor Gabriel Roth recently gave a “smartest guy in grad school” take-down of children’s read-aloud stories on Slate. First he condemned books such as Doc McStuffins as “garbage,” “worthless,” and “subliterary commodities.” Then he turned his critical eye on a different class of books, those that “exert an irresistible pull on adult consciousness but don’t reward it. They are malign presences on the bookshelf. They hurt.” What books are these, you ask? Janette Sebring Lowery’s The Poky Little Puppy (Little Golden Books; OverDrive Sample) is the central offender, causing Roth to wonder if Lowery “had no point in mind, was unconcerned with the ethics or pragmatics of pokiness, hoped only to borrow the fable form, with its weighty theme and didactic tone, and use it to disguise her lack of moral vision?”

Instead of ignoring Roth, Emily Temple, over at Flavorwire, decided to go one better and offer a list of “boring, or lame, or morally questionable kids’ books” and suggestions for replacements. Topping her list of books to ditch is, of course, The Poky Little Puppy. She suggests instead, Chris Van Allsburg’s The Sweetest Fig, (HMH, 1993)

Which book is moved up Amazon’s sales rankings, You guessed it, The Poky Little Puppy is currently #46 and rising.

Mockingjay Part 2, First Teaser

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

The first teaser debuted today for the final movie in the series based on the YA titles by Suzanne Collins. The movie arrives November 20.

Also just released, a trailer for another post-apocalyptic science-fiction movie based on a YA novel often suggested as a readalike for Hunger Games, Z for Zachariah, the 1974 book by Robert C. O’Brien. The movie, a hit at the Sundance film Festival, arrives August 21.

Our Books to Movies & TV listing has updated information on over 400 adaptations in the works (for tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection).

Jimmy Fallon Exerts Mind Control

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

The Today Show no longer features the Newbery Caldecott Medalists, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cover children’s books (especially if they are by celebrity authors). Matt Lauer interviewed Jimmy Fallon this morning about his new picture book, Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA, illus. by Miguel Ordóñez (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends; also available as a board book). Lauer observes that the book smacks of mind control, “a blatant attempt to make sure that the six-month-old’s first word is Dada and not Mama.”

Warning: Video contains cute overload and references to children’s terms for bodily functions. Viewer discretion is advised.

BEEKLE Gets Director

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

9780316199988_c228fJoining the short list of Caldecott Medalists that have become full-length movies, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat (Hachette/Little, Brown Young Readers) is set to be adapted as an animated feature film.

DreamWorks has just announced Jason Reitman as the director. Although Reitman has never directed an animated feature, he has had experience with adaptations. His Up In The Air, based on the Walter Kirn novel, was nominated for an Oscar. He also adapted Joyce Maynard’s Labor Day and Christopher Buckley’s Thank You For Not Smoking.

At just 40 pages, however, Beekle is much shorter than the books Reitman has previously adapted and will present a challenge, requiring more story lines to fill ninety minutes.

If Beekle makes it to the screen, it’s likely to be a different Beekle.

Nancy Pearl Suggests Crossover YA

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

In support of kid’s summer reading, librarian Nancy Pearl has been discussing books for young readers on her weekly radio show for Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.19.41 AMThis week, however, she highlights a YA crossover she thinks adults will enjoy as well, Michelle Cooper’s A Brief History of Montmaray (RH/Knopf Books for Young Readers; 2011; OverDrive Sample).

Set in 1936 on a fictional island nation between France and Spain, it features the journals of Sophie FitzOsborne, a sixteen year-old member of an impoverished royal family. Europe is about to fall to war, a fact made clear when German officers arrive at the shores of Montmaray.

Nancy compares it in tone to I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.24.11 AMScreen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.37.24 AMUnlike Smith’s standalone, A Brief History of Montmaray begins a trilogy. The other two books are The FitzOsbornes in Exile (RH/Knopf Books for Young Readers; 2012; OverDrive Sample) and The FitzOsbornes at War (RH/Knopf Books for Young Readers; 2012; OverDrive Sample).

Joining the chorus of voices championing YA books as crossovers, Nancy advises adults to browse the teen section when they are hunting for titles they would otherwise miss due to marketing and library classifications.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.31.55 AMScreen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.31.40 AMIn that spirit, last week she talked about Edward Carey’s Heap House (Overlook Press; OverDrive Sample). Intended for 11-12 year-olds, it also appeals to adult fans who like weird, luxuriantly imagined fantasy. It too is the first in a trilogy. Foulsham (Overlook Press; OverDrive Sample), book two in the series, comes out in early July.

Order Alert: Chelsea Clinton
Writes for Kids

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.18.16 AMChelsea Clinton will publish a book this September: It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! (Penguin Young Readers/Philomel; Sept. 15; ISBN 978-0399176128).

Her debut effort is aimed at younger readers in the tween and teen set. “That’s the age when I started tuning in more to issues I cared about and trying to make a difference,” Clinton tells People magazine, “I loved the book 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth and remember wishing there were books like that on other issues I cared about. This book is my attempt to do that for kids today.”

Penguin Young Readers has created a dedicated web page for the book, including a “Letter from Chelsea” that further describes the idea behind the book:

In It’s Your World, I try to explain what I think are some of the biggest challenges facing our world today, particularly for young people … I also explore some of the solutions to those challenges and share stories of inspiring kids and teenagers doing amazing work to help people and our planet have brighter and healthier futures. My hope is that the book will inspire readers to realize that they can start making a difference now, in their own way, for their family, their community, and our world.


Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

9780545027892Director Todd Haynes is currently the toast of Cannes, where the director’s movie Carol, based on the book by Patricia Highscmith, is expected to win the Palme d”Or.

So attention is turning to his next projects. Screen Daily reports that, for one of them, he will again turn to books, a childrens book this time, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck (Scholastic, 2011).

9780545448680_e1f05If it comes to pass, this will be Selznick’s second book to be adapted by a celebrated director, after Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, based on The Invention Of Hugo Cabret.

Don’t hold your breath though, Haynes has some other projects on his plate, including a biopic about Peggy Lee starring Reese Witherspoon as well as a new TV series (he directed the 2011 HBO series Mildred Pierce).

Closer on the horizon is Selznick’s next book, The Marvels (Scholastic), set for publication on 9/15/15. There are no reviews yet. The following is from the publishers’ description:

Two seemingly unrelated stories — one in words, the other in pictures — come together … The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.

First Trailer, SCORCH TRIALS

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

The first trailer for the second in the Maze Runner series, based James Dasher’s The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, (RH/Delaccorte) has just been released.

MTV is excited. So is New York magazine. As is Entertainment Weekly.

The movie is set for release on Sept., 18, the tie-in for August in  hardcover and in trade pbk.

Gets a Sequel

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.04.36 AMAlmost instantly joining a group of writers that includes Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins, YA author Sabaa Tahir is having a great few months.

Her debut An Ember in the Ashes (Penguin/Razorbill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) came out on April 28th and hit the NYT Best Seller list the week of May 17th at the no. 2 spot sandwiched between two John Green novels. Tough as it is to break through the John Green logjam, which has dominated the top three spots for month, it is even more so for a debut. This week established YA best sellers Sarah Maas and Sarah Dessen managed to hit #2 and #3, moving Tahir’s novel to #6.

Now comes news, reported bythe NYT that Penguin has acquired a sequel from Tahir, due out sometime in 2016.

Tahir’s fantasy got rave reviews, most often stressing its strong storytelling and worldbuilding.

Bradley Campbell of Public Radio International (PRI) compares the book to both Hunger Games and JK Rowling in a radio interview, saying:

Her new book kept me up at night. I couldn’t put the book down. I’m not the only one. It seems as though anyone who touches the book cannot stop reading until the story ends. It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones.

Laura M. Bell of The Huffington Post offers:

One thing I can say for sure: this is a page-turner. There comes a moment when it’s impossible to put it down. Sabaa Tahir is a strong writer, but most of all, she’s a great storyteller…Even when the story is squarely anchored in traditional YA dystopian tropes, many of the twists and turns are difficult to predict. The story is complex, encompassing political scheming, betrayal, and supernatural forces, and the different threads entwine effectively.

Author Marie Rutkoski, writing for the NYT Book Review, says:

The novel thrusts its readers into a world marred by violence and oppression, yet does so with simple prose that can offer moments of loveliness in its clarity. This complexity makes “Ember” a worthy novel — and one as brave as its characters.

Holds are currently steady on moderate ordering but this one is worth keeping your eye on.

Amazon Studios Booked for Kids

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Daytime Emmys for children’s programming are usually the provence of PBS. This year, however, some new players got nods, including Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Studios which won five awards for their original stop-motion adventure series for preschoolers, Tumble Leaf, tying with the perennial winner, Sesame Street.

Amazon Studios is now turning to adaptations. Of the six pilots offered in January, four got series orders, including the two that are based on childrens books.

9780060298487  Just_Add_Magic_cover1

The Stinky & Dirty Show
Based on the award winning series that began with I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullan (HarperCollins Childrens), Amazon’s adaptation is expected to debut in 2016. EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek is a looking forward to it, saying, “The pilot episode is brilliant, high production values and a great story.”

Just Add Magic
Based on the book by Cindy Callaghan (S&S/Aladdin, 2010).

Amazon also announced that they have ordered six more pilots for kids, three of them based on books. Following their now-established process, Amazon will debut the pilots this summer for  customers to review and vote on their favorites.

9781442485716_c90e9  9781609050160_15ddc  9780062116680_0_Cover

The Kicks
Based on the middle-grade book series about four soccer players by US Olympic Gold Medalist Alex Morgan The Kicks, which began with Saving the Team (S&S Books for Young Readers).  The fifth in the series, Hat Trick, is set for publication next month. The adaptation will be directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum (Ramona & Beezus).

Bear in Underwear
Based on the books by Todd Goldman, (Blue Apple Books)

Lily the Unicorn
Based on the book by Dallas Clayton (HarperCollins, 2014) and produced by the Jim Henson Company.

Will Come

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Ever since the French trailer for animated movie The Little Prince was released in December, fans have been salivating for more. In anticipation of the Cannes Film Festival, where it will premiere, an English language trailer was just released, but there’s still no news on when the film will open in the U.S..

Featuring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Mackenzie Foy, Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Benicio del Toro, Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd, Budd Cort, Ricky Gervais, and Albert Brooks, it is directed by Mark Osborn (Kung Fu Panda).

Although it is based on the beloved book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, it also introduces the story-within-a story of a modern day young girl learning about the book through a neighbor, the now aged Aviator (Jeff Bridges).

Tie-ins have not been announced, but HMH is releasing a new translation in hardcover in October as well as several Little Prince board books,

Published last year, The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antione de Saint-Exupery, written and illustrated by Peter Sis (Macmillan/FSG/Frances Foster) was on several best children’s books lists, including the New York Times 10 Best Illustrated books and EarlyWord Kids Contributor Lisa Von Drasek’s list of best informational books.

Author/illustrator Sis talks about his inspiration in the following video: