Archive for June, 2013

Kids New Title Radar, Week of July 1

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Midsummer Nights Scream  Tallstar's Revenge

Among the titles that qualify as “blind orders” (those that need no reviews), arriving next week, are  R.L. Stine’s new gruesome stand-alone, A Midsummer Night’s Scream, (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends) with appropriately spooky cover (the plot features teenaged actors in Hollywood and a short guy named Puck), as well as another “standalone” (even though it’s part of a series), Erin Hunter’s Warriors Super Edition: Tallstar’s Revenge, which follow the previous five standalone “super-editions” (see a break down of the various series here).

For those buying movie tie-ins, there are plenty for Disney’s Planes, coming Aug 9.

Below are other highlights of the week; all these titles, and more, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Titler Radar, Week of July 1

Younger Readers

9780803734555  9780803738386

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail, Richard Peck, (Penguin/Dial)

Newbery Medalist Richard Peck (for A Year Down Yonder) celebrates an earlier queen’s Diamond Jubilee,  Victoria’s, in his return to the mouse society featured in Secrets at Sea (2011). Says Kirkus, “Peck binds this unlikely romp together with his characteristically witty and precise prose, flavored by an endearing blend of humility and superiority that only a British foundling mouse can muster.”  Booklist adds, “This may be a book about a tiny mouse, but it’ll be big on everyone’s radar.”

What We Found in the SofaWhat We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World, Henry Clark. (Hachette/Little Brown YR)

No need for a plot summary for this debut; the title does that. It  got mixed reviews from SLJ and PW for being a little over the top. I thoroughly enjoyed the voice and contemporary style, with big words and snarky humor. Kirkus concurs, saying it’s “refreshingly bonkers. It offers thinking kids humor that is neither afraid of the potty nor confined to it. Most of the characters (and some of the furniture) have their quirks, but there is a realism at the core that readers will respond to.” This one is sure to be a pick of the lists come year end. Here’s hoping there’s a movie in the works.

SYLO, D J MacHale, (Penguin/Razorbill)

The start of a new dystopian trilogy by the author of the Pendragon books, is starred by Kirkus, which says “MacHale knows boy readers and delivers, giving them an action-packed plot with a likable, Everykid protagonist and doling out answers with just the right amount of parsimony to keep the pages turning. This first installment in a proposed trilogy is absolutely un-put-down-able, more exciting than an X-Box and roller coaster combined.”

Sea of Monsters — Movie Tie-in and Graphic Novel

Sea of Monsters Tie-in  1423145291

The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel, Robert Venditti and Rick Riordan, illus by Tamas Gaspar and Attila Futaki, (Disney Book Group), pbk and hdbk.

The Sea of Monsters, Movie Tie-in, Rick Riordan, (Hachette/ Disney-Hyperion)

In addition to the tie-in to the movie opening theaters on Aug. 7, a graphic novel is being released.  As in the previous titlem The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel ,the publisher does a a spectacular job translating the story into  graphic format while losing none of the excitement of the originals and providing high-interest reads to kids daunted by the size of the novels.

New Adult

Because of LowBecause of Low, Abbi Glines, (S&S/Simon Pulse)

The rights to this formerly self-published ebook title were bought by the S&S Pulse imprint which in now releasing it in both hardcover and paperback. This second title in the Sea Breeze series, it actually arrives AFTER the third in the same series, While It Lasts, already spent 4 weeks on the NYT YA best seller list back in May, in its former incarnation as a self-published eBook-only title. The fourth title, Just for Now will be released in late August.

LibraryReads — Recommend Your Favorites

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Library-Reads-LogoA program that brings together and highlights the work of  library staff  to promote books, both in person and online, launches this fall.

Modeled on the ABA’s successful IndieNext program, LibraryReads is a monthly list of the top ten newly-released titles that libraries around the country love and plan to promote to their readers. Developed by a grassroots group of librarians, the program is being announced at the ALA Annual conference in Chicago this weekend.

To make this work, we need you to join the effort. Please go to to learn how you can become involved.

Let’s prove how effective libraries are in helping readers discover books.

Amazon’s “Best So Far”

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Amazon’s Editors have selected their choices of the Best Books of The Year So Far.

The #1 Pick is Kate Atkinson’s acclaimed and NYT best selling novel, Life After Life, (Hachette/Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), which is still showing heavy holds in many libraries and is also selected as a best audio title.

Eleanor & parkAmong the top 20 is a YA title, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin), which has been a continuing word-of-mouth success. The author’s next book, Fangirl, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin, 9/10/13) is a favorite on both adult and YA GalleyChat and Fangirlhas 24 “featured peer reviews” on Edelweiss. Macmillan’s Ali Fisher notes that they will have copies at ALA Annual, booth #2103. For those who aren’t able to nab a copy, it is available as a digital ARC on Edelweiss (if you aren’t already, request to be white-listed to get access).

Most of the other top 20 titles have already hit best seller lists. Two relative sleepers are:

The Golem and the JinniHelene Wecker’s first novel, The Golem and the Jinnireceived a 3.5 star review in USA Today that invited readers to “dive in and happily immerse yourself, forgetting the troubles of daily life for a while.” The Huffington Post called it “The Book We’re Talking About,” saying it shows similarities to The Night Circus, “a stirring, magical debut. Its intertwining of mythology and historical fiction is very engagingly written.”

The New York Times put the icing on the cake:

… this impressive first novel manages to combine the narrative magic of The Arabian Nights with the kind of emotional depth, philosophical seriousness and good, old-fashioned storytelling found in the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer.

It spent one week on the NYT Hardcover Fiction extended list at #30.

Schroder Schroder, Amity Gaige, (Hachette/Twelve)

A People Pick, this novel about a man who kidnaps his daughter, was also reviewed  by the perceptive Ron Charles in theWashington Post, who said, “The entire book is a testimony, written in prison, by a divorced dad to his ex-wife. Equal parts plea, apology and defense, this enthralling letter rises up from a fog of narcissism that will cloud your vision and put you under his spell.”

Cormac McCarthy’s Next

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Cormac McCarthy’s next book is a screenplay. After several of his novels were adapted into successful movies (No Country for Old Men, The Road, All the Pretty Horses), the 79 year-old wrote his first spec script, The Counselor, which was snapped up in January, 2012 by the producers of The Road. The story is about a lawyer who thinks he can dabble in the drug business but ends up having to try to extricate himself from a desperate situation.

Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Cruz, the movie is scheduled for release on October 25.

The screen play will be published  as a book The Counselor (Movie Tie-in Edition)A Screenplay, (RH/Vintage, 10/8/13). It was excerpted in The New Yorker‘s “Summer Fiction” issue earlier this month. Remarkably, the excerpt is all description, without a single line of dialog, as if if were a script for a silent movie.

The teaser trailer was released this week (note that McCarthy gets second billing after the director).

ESIO TROT To The Movies

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Esio TrotThe beloved 1990 children’s book Esio Trot by Roald Dahl (Penguin) is about a shy old man who hatches a complicated plot to win over the heart of the woman he loves by helping her tiny pet tortoise grow into a larger, more dignified animal. His scheme  involves  an incantation that begins with the backwards spelling of tortoise, Esio Trot.

Production is set to begin for an adaptation of the book, reports the movie news site, Showbiz411, starring Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench, lead by Irish director Dearbhla Walsh.

Cory Doctorow Loves THE BOY WHO LOVED MATH

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

The Boy Who Loved MathA picture book that celebrates the joys of math, released  today, is rising on Amazon after Cory Doctorow gave it a rave on Boing Boing. Praising The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman, with illustrations by LeUyen Pham (Roaring Brook) about the eccentric Hungarian math genius, Doctorow says it uses “numbers and mathematics through the text, with lively, fun illustrations of a young Erdős learning about negative numbers, becoming obsessed with prime numbers and leading his high-school chums on a mathematical tour of Budapest.” The ultimate accolade? His five-year-old daughter, “demanded that I read it to her three times in a row,” (spreads are available on the Boing Boing site)


Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

MalavitaWho would guess that a movie called The Family starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer about a Brooklyn Mob family in the witness protection program, is based on a French novel, a black comedy called Malavita (or “underworld,” the name of the family dog)?

The trailer for this cultural mashup was recently released. The movie is scheduled for September 20.

The book by Tonino Benacquista, a 2004 French best seller, makes its first appearance in the U.S. today as an original trade paperback (Penguin).


Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Difficult MenIn a piece of scary timing, Brett Martin’s Difficult Men (Penguin Press), which features the now-famous story of James Gandolfini disappearing from the set of The Sopranos (excerpted in GQ magazine this month, where the author is a correspondent, under the headline, “The Night Tony Soprano Disappeared,” it is the source of many  news stories) is scheduled for release next week.

The book, which was covered back in April in the New York Times Media section by  David Carr, is reviewed by Michiko Kakutani in today’s issue. It covers what  Martin claims is “the signature American art form of the first decade of the 21st century,” cable TV series such as Mad Men, Deadwood, and Breaking Bad, all of which characters who are all “difficult men.”

More is coming, including a segment on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition and a review in the 7/14 issue of the New York Times Sunday Book Review.

Release Date Set for MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Miss PeregrineIt appears that the rumors of Tim Burton directing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children were true; Fox recently announced a release date, with Burton’s name attached to direct.

It will be a while, however, it’s scheduled for July 31, 2015.

The sequel to the novel will arrive sooner. Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Children (Quirk Books; AudioGo) is scheduled for release in January next year.

Burton is now at work on a biopic about painter Margaret Keane, whose kitschy portraits of kids with enormous eyes were popular in the ’60’s. It’s being called, of course, Big Eyes.

JOBS Opens August 16

Monday, June 24th, 2013

The first trailer for the biopic JOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher was just released. Originally scheduled for April, it is now opening on Aug. 16. In addition to Kutcher as Steve Jobs, it stars Dermot Mulroney (as Mike Markkula, who supplied key funding for Apple’s startup), Josh Gad (Steve Wozniak), and Matthew Modine (John Scully).

Steve Jobs  Featured6

Even though it’s likely to bring renewed attention to Walter Isaacson’s best selling bio, Steve Jobs (S&S), it is not based on it or any other book. At one time there were two Jobs biopics in development. Sony was working on an adaptation of the book, with Aaron Sorkin writing the script. No news has emerged about that project since Sorkin mentioned it briefly in January. Last week, he told Vanity Fair that he is at work on a Broadway play but made no mention of the film.

Isaacson’s book will be released in paperback on Sept. 9, nearly two years after the hardcover. It featured an image of the older Jobs, the paperback uses a photo of him as a young man, looking so much like Kutcher that some might confuse it for a tie-in.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of 6/24

Friday, June 21st, 2013

My New Teacher And Me    9780062198716

As the school year winds to a close, it may seem odd that  several “back to school” titles arrive next week, but come July and August, we’ll be scrambling to find them for all those parents who want to help their kids navigate this important transition. Also coming, a new book that advocates adding math to bedtime routines, James Patterson’s latest in his Middle School series explains How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill and a YA title about an African albino boy who suffers far worse, Golden Boy arrives with librarian buzz. For those who buy movie tie-ins, get ready for The Smurfs 2, coming  July 31. Paris will never be the same.

The books highlighted here and many more are listed with ordering information on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids-New-Title-Radar-Week of 6.24

Bedtime Math

Bedtime Math, Laura Overdeck, Jim Paillot, (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends)

Overbeck and her husband have received media attention including a story on NPR about how they incorporate math into their kids’ bedtime routine. They’ve written about this on their popular blog and the send a “Daily Math Problem” email to subscribers. Here they present both their approach and bedtime story problems to use with “wee ones” up to “big kids” in book form.

Golden BoyGolden Boy, Tara Sullivan, (Penguin/Putnam)

Librarians at BEA said they were riveted by this YA novle. It brings to light the treatment of albinos in Tanzania, where they are often killed for their body parts which are sold to people who believe they are lucky. Kirkus calls it “A riveting fictional snapshot of one Tanzanian boy who makes himself matter.”

WORLD WAR Z, The Movie or The Audio?

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Which is better, the book or the movie? That question takes on new intensity with the opening today of World War Z, starring Brad Pitt and based on the long-running best seller by Max Brooks. The author himself has said that the only thing the movie shares with book is the title, since it completely abandons the beloved faux-oral history style of the novel.

World War ZDisappointed fans can console themselves with a new audio version, released as a movie tie-in, but much more true to the book. Five hours longer than the original 2006 edition, it is titled World War Z: The Complete Edition and features dozens of new narrators, including director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, and  Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, with Brooks serving as The Interviewer as he did in the first audio edition (more details are on the author’s web site).


Friday, June 21st, 2013

This just in from Wendy Bartlett, Collection Development Manager, Cuyahoga P.L. from her weekly “Hot Title” alert:

The Yonahlossee Riding CampThe Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Anton DiSclafani. (Penguin/Riverhead)

Not only is this the most fun title to say this summer, it’s also the most fun author’s name. DiSclafani? Sounds like the newest “Defense Against the Dark Arts  teacher, doesn’t it? And her first name  is actually pronounced “Antin” (yes, she is a she). [Ed. Note: for more background on the author and her name, see our Penguin First Flights online chat].

The book is  getting a lot of buzz as a good summer read [Ed Note: see the great review from one of our favorite sources, Ron Charles in the Washington Post, this week, Even the NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani is a fan] and deservedly so; you can hand sell this one to customers with confidence as the perfect vacation read. It’s doing so well for us in Cuyahoga — we bought a several for each branch and they’re flying — that we’re ordering more to make it available for browsing and hand selling.

The story is set in the Depression. Thea, who is fifteen, is banished from her wealthy parents home to an exclusive riding school in the mountains of North Carolina. You can’t stop reading until you figure out why she was sent away. The dissonance of the idea of spending the Depression among wealthy young ladies gives this novel a fresh angle. I’m loving it  and I think you and your customers will too.

Let us know what is hot in your library in the comments section below.


Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Astronaut Wives ClubA photo-story about the wives of the first U.S. astronauts is the perfect nostalgia piece for People magazine and it’s featured in this week issue (adding even more nostalgia, the piece is written by the magazine’s legendary founding editor, Dick Stolley, who was at Life magazine when the wives were featured on the cover. That image is used on the book jacket).

The story is based on The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio and Large Print), which author Curtis Sittenfeld, writing in the Washington Post, calls a “breezy and entertaining book, which — like the women themselves — takes pleasure in both playing up and defying the stereotypes of the time. ” Librarians on EarlyWord‘s GalleyChat called it a great selection for book clubs.

Most libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering.

The wives, and the book,  were also featured on CBS Sunday Morning last week:

Vince Flynn Dies

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

The last manAuthor of the Mitch Rapp counterterrorism thrillers, Vince Flynn, died yesterday of prostate cancer. He was 47.

Flynn’s best selling books were particularly popular with conservatives (George Bush was a fan and Rush Limbaugh a close friend). In an interview with USA Today in 2012, Flynn said that was probably because of the ” the pro-military, CIA and law enforcement theme of the books … And the idea that the United States is not the problem.””

Flynn’s next novel, The Survivor was originally scheduled to be released in October. USA Today reports that the  publisher, S&S/Atria, does not yet have information on how much of the book was completed.

His most recent book, The Last Man, was published last November.