Archive for February, 2013

New Eric Carle Picture Book on Fall List

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

caterpillar-loveEric Carle posted this Valentine’s Day greeting on his blog, and there’s more in store for his fans. Penguin Young Readers announces that a new picture book will arrive this fall, entitled Friends, (no ISBN or cover are available at this time).

Carle’s most recent book, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse,(Penguin/Philomel) was released in 2011.

Closer to the Screen: SHADOW AND BONE

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Speaking of Harry Potter, David Heyman, who produced the movie adaptations, was signed by DreamWorks last fall to do the same for the debut YA novel, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Macmillan/Holt BYR; 2012).

A script writer is now in place (chillingly, his name is Christopher Kyle, who shares a name with the recently killed author of  American Sniper), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Shadow and Bone was praised by the NYT Book Review and appeared on the NYT Chapter Book Best Seller list for one week, at #8. The second book in the planned trilogy, Siege and Storm (Macmillan/Holt BYR), is scheduled for release this June.

Harry P. Gets A Makeover

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

kkhp1-sm  Harry Potter Sorcer's Stone Original

After 150 million copies in print in the US (450 million worldwide), how can you get customers to buy even more Harry Potter books?

Perhaps new covers will do the trick. For HP‘s fifteenth anniversary, Scholastic announced today that they will release all seven titles in trade paperback, with new covers by cartoonist Kazu Kibuishi (author/illustrator of the Amulet Series for Scholastic’s GRAPHIX imprint) in September, unveiling the first in the series. The American hardcovers will retain the original coves by Mary GrandPré.

Hearing Loss and Dementia

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Shouting Won't HelpStudies indicate that hearing loss is likely to be a pecursor of dementia, reports the NYT‘s Katherine Bouton in the newspaper’s popular “Well” column.

The news is particularly alarming to Bouton, who has a strong connection to the issue. Her book, arriving next week, Shouting Won’t Help: Why I-And 50 Million Other Americans-Can’t Hear You (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton) is about her own hearing loss. In an audio interview on the “Well” site, she explains that she wrote the book to help others understand what serious hearing loss is like (it’s very different from just wearing earmuffs).  Kirkus calls it a “poignant, enlightening memoir.”

Another Twi FanFic Title to Movies

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Beautiful Bastard  9781476731537

Echoing the history of another well-known book that originated as Twilight fanfiction, Beautiful Bastard, an erotic novel by Christina Lauren (aka, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings), originally published online as The Office, was picked up for publication by a large New York publishing house (in this case, Simon and Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint) and comes out this week. Rights were just acquired for a movie (the news on that deal sent the book up Amazon’s sales rankings).

WorldCat indicates that several public libraries have ordered Beautiful Bastard, without benefit of professional reviews (there are nearly 400 reviews on GoodReads; warning, some of the images contained in those reviews may not be NSFW). At this point, holds are minimal.

The second book in the (inevitable) series, Beautiful Stranger,(S&S/Gallery) is scheduled for publication on May 28 of this year.

Whats’ happened to the movie of that other book? No director or cast have been announced yet, although rumors are rampant (we’re not buying the one about Kristen Stewart).

Get Ready For PARADE’S END

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Parade's EndCalled “Downton Abbey for Grownups” (Laura Miller, Salon) and “The Better Downton Abbey” (The New Yorker), the BBC/HBO mini-series adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s series of four novels, Parade’s End, begins on HBO on February 26. A hit when it aired in the UK last summer, it’s recently been nominated for a number of awards.

In her audio column, “The Listener,” on Salon, Laura Miller notes that “Downton comparisons will abound, though some viewers will be disappointed to find Parade’s End lacks a mansion and wisecracking old ladies — not to mention the complete absence of attention paid to the servant class,” adding, “Although [Benedict] Cumberbatch, cast against type  [in the lead role], delivers an impressive performance … You can only really appreciate what the actor does with this deliberately inexpressive man if you’ve read the books.”

Miller recommends the audio version, to be released next week as a tie-in by S&S Audio (also from Recorded Books as both CD and downloadable) for “Steven Crossley’s sensitive naration.” Miller applauds Crossley for making the many characters distinct and for handling women particularly well; “Not for Crossley the risible practice of adopting an artificially high-pitched, drag-queen voice whenever a woman is speaking.”

Official Series Web Site:

Will THE DINNER Serve Up Sales?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The Dinner The Elegance of the Hedgehog Gone Girl

Will the “notoriously insular” American audience embrace the European best seller, The Dinner, by Dutch author Herman Koch, (RH/Hogarth; AudioGo; Thorndike Large Print)?

The Daily Beast explores that question on the eve of the book’s publication today, looking at other translations that have made it here (Stieg Larsson, big time) and others that haven’t. The Wall Street Journal has compared its prospects to Gone Girl, but The Daily Beast lands on a surprising precedent, saying The Dinner may have more in common with The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery (Europa Editions in 2008). “Like The Dinner, it’s a highly readable story set in a European capital, using personal struggles to illuminate greater societal and philosophical concerns.”

One indicator: holds in libraries are growing, but not astronomical (up to 200 in some large systems). Library ordering is modest, however, so holds ratios are as high as 15:1. It hasn’t yet cracked the Amazon Top 100 (it’s currently at #244). The week before its publication Gone Girl was showing a similar level of holds, but it was already at #15 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Our take? You won’t lose by buying enough copies to match holds; even if word of mouth doesn’t take hold, readers will recognize it and snatch it from the new book shelves, but don’t expect another Gone Girl or Hedgehog.


Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

DetroitJournalist Charlie LeDuff’s appearance on Fresh Air yesterday propelled his book, Detroit: An American Autopsy (Penguin Press) up Amazon’s sales rankings (currently at #22, above Phil McGraw’s new book, Life Code) and it’s no wonder; he’s as fascinating, and as heartbreaking, as the city he writes about.

After years working for the New York Times (where he won a Pulitzer), LeDuff returned to his home town of Detroit where he is now known for his unconventional style on the local Fox TV station.

When you finish listening to the interview (which we urge you to do), you’ll want to get a taste of his muckraking TV journalism. Here’s a sample (via Fresh Air interviewer Dave Davies’ blog):

MAZE RUNNER Adaptation Gets Release Date

Monday, February 11th, 2013

The Maze RunnerPerhaps the film adaptation of James Dashner’s dystopian The Maze Runner (RH/Delacorte, 2009) will play up the relationship between Thomas and Teresa? 20th Century Fox just announced that it’s scheduled for release on Valentine’s Day next year.

The Eye of MindsWes Ball has replaced Catherine Hardwicke in the director ‘s chair, but no cast has yet been announced.

Dashner releases The Eye of Minds,(RH/Delacorte; Listening Library), the first in a new series, The Mortality Doctrine, in October.


Kids New Title Radar — Week of Feb. 11

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Picture books are in the spotlight this week, with new titles from several old favorites. In Young Adult, a dystopian novel, Maggot Moon, breaks new ground and causes controversy. These titles, plus several more, are on our downloadable spreedsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 11.

Picture Books

  Maisy Learns to Swim 978-0-7636-6242-4

Maisy Learns to Swim: A Maisy First Experiences Book, Lucy Cousins, (Candlewick)

Maisy Grows a Garden: A Maisy First Science Book, Lucy Cousins, (Candlewick)

It’s time to refresh the preschool collection with these two new titles from early childhood rockstar, Cousins. In the first title, part of the Maisy First Experiences series, she goes to her first swim class. In the second, a Maisy First Science  book, kids can use pull-tabs to learn what will grow from the seeds Maisy plants.

Stink and the Freaky Frog FreakoutStink and the Freaky Frog Freakout (Book #8), Megan McDonald, illus by Peter H. Reynolds, (Candlewick Brilliance Audio)

If someone made me pick my favorite series for newly fluent readers, my first choice among second and third grade early chapter books would be Judy Moody and her little brother Stink. I was positively gleeful when I heard that the next one was imminent.

One GorillaOne Gorilla: A Counting Book, Anthony Browne, (Candlewick)

As demonstrated by the cover, every one of the primates in this series of portraits display a distinct personality. The book ends with U.K. Children’s Laureate Browne’s own self-portrait and a group of other humans, to show that, despite their variations, they are,  “All primates. All one family. All my family, and yours!”

Doug UnpluggedDoug Unplugged, Dan Yaccarino (RH/Alfred A. Knopf)

Picture books about the  difficulty of making friends are featured in this week’s NYT Book Review‘s “Children’s Books” column. Yaccarino’s book, in which a young robot discovers the joys of the analog life, is called the “pick of the litter.”


Young Adult

Maggot MoomMaggot Moon, Sally Gardner, Julian Crouch, (Candlewick; Briliance Audio)

On PW’s list of Most Anticipated for Spring (Children’s): “Gardner’s story of a boy taking a stand against a totalitarian government was one of the much-discussed titles at last year’s Bologna Book Fair. While dystopian YA novels are a dime a dozen these days, Gardner’s (alternate) historical setting and dyslexic narrator set this book apart.”  It’s continuing to provoke discussion; reviews are polar opposites. Kirkus calls it “a book with a message but no resonance,” while VOYA see is as a “dark, haunting tale of secrets, lies, and those who fight for the truth.” The Wall Street Journal is a fan, calling it “a brilliant, shattering” novel that “suddenly [makes] dystopia feels new again; it reclaims its power to shock.”

Out of the EasyOut of The Easy, Ruta Sepetys, (Penguin/Philomel)

Septys’ first novel, Between Shades of Gray, may have gained some readers who expected a quite a different book, but with a similar title. This new title is set in the New Orleans’ French Quarter. Librarians on YA GalleyChat were “head over heels in love” with it, calling it “very smart, very realistic, and very much an award-winner with juge crossover appeal.” Reviewers concur. Says Kirkus,”With a rich and realistic setting, a compelling and entertaining first-person narration, a colorful cast of memorable characters and an intriguing storyline, this is a surefire winner. Immensely satisfying.” It is also reviewed in Sunday’s NYT Book Review


Indigo SpellThe Indigo Spell, Richelle Mead, (Penguin/Razorbill)

The third book in The Bloodlines series got advance attention from Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog; “After her (hot!) dalliance with the irresistible Moroi Adrian in The Golden Lily, Sydney is struggling more and more to stick to her Alchemist teachings…[and] dares to hope that she might break free of the life she’s known… and embrace a love she thought to be forbidden…Edward Cullen, eat your heart out.” The adaptation of Blood Sisters, the first in Mead’s Vampire Academy series is moving forward. It is set to be directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Spiderwick Chronicles) with Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) and Australian actress Lucy Fry set to star. Production is expected to begin this summer.

SeverSever, Lauren DeStefano, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The Kirkus reviewer was not a fan of this third book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, ” in this rushed effort to tie up loose ends, holes are left in its wake. Fans will delight in the symbolism and clues from the cover, but they will ultimately find the trilogy’s conclusion unsatisfactory.”  DeStefano has just signed a deal for a new series, The Internment Chronicles, set to be begin next April with Perfect Ruin.


Chris Kyle Projects Moving Forward

Monday, February 11th, 2013

American Sniper 9780062242716

Bradley Cooper told Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air on Thursday that he is moving ahead with plans to portray Chris Kyle, who was killed on a shooting range last week, in a film adaptation of the former SEAL’s best selling memoir, American Sniper. He bought the rights last May and says he learned about Kyle’s killing while meeting with veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder  at Walter Reed Hospital.

Kyle had another book in the works, American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe). Publishers Weekly reports it will be released, as planned, on May 14, with the “”the full support of the Kyle family and friends.”


Monday, February 11th, 2013

The House GirlSometimes the first line of a book “just grabs you,” says Rachel Martin on NPR’s Weekend Edition yesterday. That is true for The House Girl, (HarperCollins/Morrow; Thorndike Large Print), she says introducing her interview with the author, Tara Conklin.

The line is, “Mister hit Josephine with the palm of his hand across her left cheek and it was then she knew she would run.”

The book tells the alternating stories of a modern-day lawyer, working on a slavery reparations class-action suit, and that of a slave who may be the real artist behind the paintings attributed her white owner. It is the #1 IndieNext pick for February and was reviewed in the Seattle Times.

Libraries show growing holds lists.

The Digital Divide

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Captive Audiences“We’re leaving behind a third of Americans,” who cannot afford Internet access, creating a “digital divide.” As a result, some kids have to go to McDonald’s to do their homework, says Susan Crawford author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age (Yale U. Press) on Friday’s Bill Moyers & Company.

This is an issue librarians have discussed for years. Although Crawford doesn’t mention it on the show, she wrote in earlier about the role libraries play in a piece for the NYT’s “Room for Debate; Do We Still Need Libraries?”

The few public libraries that own the book are showing heavy holds. An excerpt below. The full video is on the Moyers’ site.

The War in Vietnam On MOYERS & COMPANY

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Killy Anything That MovesThe “almost unfathomable suffering” caused by American troops during the war in Vietnam was described by journalist Nick Turse on Bill Moyers’ show on Friday. His book,  Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam  (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan Books), is based on documents that were “buried deep in the recesses of the National Archives.”

Moyers calls the book a “Beautifully written account of real horrors in Vietnam, ” adding, “Nick Turse has given us a fresh holistic work that stands alone for its blending of history and journalism, for the integrity of research brought to life through the diligence of first-person interviews. Those interviews skillfully unlock the memories of American warriors and expose the wounds that to this day still scar the hearts and minds of villagers who survived the scorched earth of Vietnam. Here is a powerful message for us today, a reminder of what war really costs.”

Libraries are showing holds, as high as 8:1 on modest orders.

GHOSTMAN: Michiko Likes It!

Monday, February 11th, 2013

978-0-307-95996-6The NYT‘s hard-to-please critic, Michiko Kakutani, goes uncharacteristically ga-ga over a thriller, saying that Roger Hobbs, whose debut novel, Ghostman, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT; Thorndike Large Print) arrives tomorrow, “seizes our attention and holds it tight, not so much through his plotting or his characters but through his sheer, masterly use of details, and the authoritative, hard-boiled voice he has fashioned for [main character] Jack.”

She does find a flaw, however. Jack seems “cobbled together from random traits pasted onto a deliberately enigmatic core that lacks the existential power of Stark’s Parker or Lee Child’s Reacher. Ghostman would have been way more powerful with a more potent and coherent hero, but weirdly this lapse does not prevent the novel from holding the reader’s attention.”

Check your holds.