Archive for the ‘Childrens and YA’ Category

Back Stage at ALA’s 2017 YMAs

Monday, February 27th, 2017


We’re pleased to welcome back Lisa Von Drasek as EarlyWord‘s Kids Correspondent, now that she has completed her responsibilities on the Caldecott committee. Below, she gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what announcement day at Midwinter is like.


Nora, EarlyWord: Welcome back, Lisa! We’d love to know everything you can tell us about the Caldecott committee discussions.

Lisa: Nice try, Nora, but the work of the committee is confidential. I can’t tell you the titles we discussed, how we came to our short list, or anything about the specific votes.

Nora, EarlyWord: Got it. Let’s try something else. You were in the room when the winners were announced. What was it like as people began to realize John Lewis was about to make history by winning an unprecedented four awards for March, Book 3 (IDW/Top Shelf)?



Sunday, February 26th, 2017

9780765376459_e8e91A sudden bidding war has netted Sony the film rights to Victoria Schwab’s YA fantasy novel A Darker Shade of Magic (Macmillan/Tor; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The novel, the first in the Shades of Magic trilogy, came out in 2015, but as Deadline Hollywood reports, interest in adapting it developed in just the last two weeks, leading Sony to beat out several other notable studios, including Lionsgate.

The books are set in four alternative versions of London, three of which are magical. The main character, Kell, a smuggler and official royal messenger, can travel between worlds and becomes caught in a fast paced adventure when he brings a dangerous relic from Black London into Red.

The two final books in the trilogy have been released, which may be the reason that studios, who love series, suddenly saw its potential. A Conjuring of Light just hit shelves last week, following last year’s A Gathering of Shadows .

Librarians were behind the richly detailed trilogy early on. A Darker Shade of Magic was a LibraryReads pick:

“Fantasy fans should enjoy this atmospheric novel, where London is the link between parallel universes, and magician Kell is one of two Travelers who can move between them. Now something sinister is disturbing their equilibrium, and Kell must try to unravel the plot with only feisty street thief Delilah Bard as an ally.” –Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

It was also a GalleyChat title. Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro, OR, Public Library) said it “moves with a wonderful fast and yet immersive pace; the fascinating story, with its twists and turns, is not to be missed.”

Gerard Butler (300) will produce the film. Deadline Hollywood says “The trilogy could be ideal for a film franchise … Filmmakers are said to be already lining up for a chance to put their stamp on this fantasy.”

Live Chat with Ruth Behar, Author of

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Read our chat with Ruth, below.

Join us for the next live chat with Betsy Bird about her forthcoming book, Funny Girl : Funniest. Stories. Ever. on Wednesday, March 22, 5 to 6 pm, Eastern.

Get your copy of the galley by signing up here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Ruth Behar, LUCKY BROKEN GIRL

YA/MG GalleyChat, February

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Below is the Storied version of yesterday’s chat.

Join us for the next one on Tues. March 21, 4 to 5 pm, Eastern (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.


Friday, February 17th, 2017

9780062383105_7c9a7The words are like an incantation, a spell.”

That is how the NYT describes “In the great green room,” the beloved opening of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon.

The classic bedtime story is in the news again because a new Brown book is forthcoming, Good Day, Good Night (HarperCollins; Oct. 3, 2017). The fresh tale follows the little bunny of the great green room as he wakes up in the morning, explores outside, and then says goodnight to all he has found.

The paper says it “can be read as part variation on, part expansion of Goodnight Moon … the theme and cadences will be instantly familiar.”

In keeping with recent efforts to find and assemble new works from unearthed private papers and collections, this new book has been created by an editor who combined two fragments Brown wrote in 1950.

9780062383105_4_cf18cLoren Long provides the illustrations. In 2005, he worked on another iconic children’s book, creating new art for The Little Engine That Could. He is also the creator of the Otis the tractor books and illustrated president Obama’s Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.

Lyra Returns!

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

the-book-of-dust-volume-1-finalPhilip Pullman is writing a new trilogy featuring his beloved character Lyra Bevacqua, to be titled The Book of Dust. The first in the series, as yet untitled, is scheduled for release on October 19, 2017 from PRH/Knopf Books for Young Readers (ISBN 9780375815300).

Breaking normal practice to cover the story, NPR’s Morning Edition noted, “we don’t typically cover book announcements at NPR,”  but did so because readers have been waiting seventeen years for Lyra to return.

9780375842382The first book of the new series will take place a decade before the fist book in The Golden Compass series, His Dark Materials, when Lyra is a baby. The second and third volumes will be set ten years after the last book of the earlier series (The Amber Spyglass), when Lyra is an adult.

Pullman tells NPR that readers should think of the new trilogy as a new story: “you don’t have to read it before you read [the original trilogy] … this is another story that comes after it, so it’s not a sequel, and it’s not a prequel, it’s an equal … It’s a sort of companion book, if you like. It doesn’t stand before [His Dark Materials], it doesn’t stand after it, it stands beside it.”

While a bit cagey about the plot, he says it is “More about the nature of Dust, and consciousness, and what it means to be a human being.” It features other characters readers know from the first trilogy and will include a great flood.

Pullman has already extended the His Dark Materials universe with two novellas and an audiobook-only spin-off, The Collectors. He tells NPR he is returning once more because “I sensed a big story. I sensed the presence, in the way that you do, of another story that hadn’t been told, and I went closer and … thought about it and lived with it for a while and discovered that yes, it was a big story, and it did deserve to be told, it deserves its own books.”

Final cover art (the image above is from the UK press release) and title will be revealed in the coming months.

The attention has already sent Pullman’s titles racing up Amazon’s sales rankings. The Book of Dust is currently ranked #285 and an omnibus edition of the full trilogy is now #302, up from yesterday’s ranking of #17,891.

NPR featured two stories on the news.


Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

9780553496642_e29a7The film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s debut just got a trailer, sending the paperback soaring on Amazon, jumping from #2,242 to #13.

Everything, Everything (PRH/Delacorte; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) is about a teen girl who is allergic to the world and must stay inside at all times. Then a guy moves in next door and complicates her life.

The book debuted at No. 1 on the NYT  YA best-seller list in 2015 and earned a glowing NYT review (“gorgeous and lyrical”) and an A- review from Entertainment Weekly (a “complex,” “fresh, moving debut”).

The film stars Amandla Stenberg (who played Rue in The Hunger Games) and Nick Robinson (Zach in Jurassic World). Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses) directs.

Both actors have roles in other YA adaptations. Stenberg in Alexandra Bracken’s forthcoming The Darkest Minds and Robinson in Rick Yancey’s already released The 5th Wave.

Film rights to the author’s second book, The Sun Is Also a Star (PRH/Delacorte Press; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award, were aacquired last fall.

Everything, Everything opens in theaters on May 19. Two tie-in editions are forthcoming, cover art not yet finalized:

Hardcover: Everything, Everything Movie Tie-in Edition, Nicola Yoon (PRH/Delacorte Press; April 18, 2017; ISBN 9781524769802; 18.99).

Paperback: Everything, Everything Movie Tie-in Edition, Nicola Yoon (PRH/Ember; April 4, 2017; ISBN 9781524769604; $10.99).

WONDER Gets “Family-Friendly” Release Date

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

9780375869020_9ed89The film adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder (RH/ Knopf Young Readers, 2012; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample)  has been moved from this coming April to the week before Thanksgiving, setting it up for family holiday viewing, reports Entertainment Weekly, as a result of “the film’s positive testing with families.”

The film stars Jacob Tremblay (Room), Julia Roberts, Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), Mandy Patinkin, Owen Wilson, and Sonia Braga (Luke Cage). Tremblay plays a young boy with a facial deformity who enters a new school. Roberts plays his mother and Diggs fills the role of a teacher who, says Deadline Hollywood, uses literature “to teach what it means to be human.” Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) directs.

The shift in date puts the movie into direct competition with Justice League, indicating the studio believes it can hold its own against one of the most highly anticipated superhero films of the year.

The novel has enjoyed 78 weeks on the NYT Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover list, and is currently sitting at #2, moving up from when the film was first announced.

A tie-in comes out November 7, 2017, Wonder Movie Tie-In Edition, R. J. Palacio (PRH/Knopf Books for Young Readers). The cover is not yet finalized. 

Second Season

Friday, February 10th, 2017

9781368012188_c69c4Netflix has renewed its hit animated show Trollhunters for a second 13-episode season.

Entertainment Weekly says it is “a bingeable creation” that is “shaping up to be its most-watched children’s series ever.”

The show is based on the novel of the same name, written by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus, illustrated by Sean Murray (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

The series is described by EW as following the adventures of “a teenager-turned-warrior called upon by an underground civilization of trolls to defend their way of life from both humans and evil trolls alike.”

It stars the late Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the new Star Trek movies, before his death. Del Toro, who is serving as the show runner, filled in some of Yeltsin’s parts with previously recorded tracks and has more audio in the wings. The cast also includes Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, Transformers: Age of Extinction), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), and Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead).

Season one premiered in December and earned a 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. To accompany it, the paperback edition of the book was released, with a sticker identifying it as, “the book that inspired Dreamworks TrollHunters.”

The book itself also got strong reviews. School Library Journal says “Featuring plenty of edge-of-your-seat action, this offering … won’t disappoint … More gruesome than scary, this title will be a hit with teens and adults who love action-packed, dark fantasy adventures.”

Seeing Red

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

The first promo for the Netflix adaptation of the childrens classic Anne of Green Gables, was released at a press event yesterday reports Entertainment Weekly. It begins with images of other redheaded stars from the streaming service, including Stranger Things‘ Barb and Orange Is the New Black‘s Red.

Perhaps that’s an effort to signal that this Anne, despite her 1908 setting, is relevant to today. Netflix says the production, created with the CBC, will explore topics beyond Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel, “Anne and the rest of the characters will experience adventures reflecting timeless issues including themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.”

Showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad) tells CBC News, “I feel that this Anne is entirely different … We’re off-book. We’re the essence of the book … and we’re telling a new story … This is a very grounded, real version of the story. Life in Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s was a hard, gritty, scrappy life. It was messy, it was covered in red mud … It’s not doilies and teacups, it’s life.”

Praising the relatively unknown 14-year-old star, Irish-Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty, Walley-Beckett says she is “riveting on screen, She’s translucent. You can see every thought and every emotion.” 

The eight-episode first season debuts on May 12. No tie-in has been announced, but the book is in print in multiple editions from various publishers.

MORTAL ENGINES: Closer To Screen

Monday, February 6th, 2017

9780545222112Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has announced the first cast members for his next adaptation, based on Philip Reeve’s dystopian book series that begins with Mortal Engines (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample). Robert Sheehan (Fortitude) is set to star writes Variety  with Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Terror) in a supporting role. It is scheduled to open on Dec. 14, 2018.

Mortal Engines was published in 2003 and became an ALA Notable Children’s Book, an SLJ‘s best book as well as a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults.

The series features cities on caterpillar tracks that move about in search of other cities to attack in a quest for a dwindling amount of resources caused by a devastating global war. Two orphans finds themselves lost in this wasteland and are hunted by a cyborg.

In their starred review, PW wrote “Like the moving cities it depicts, Reeve’s debut novel is a staggering feat of engineering, a brilliant construction that offers new wonders at every turn.”

Award Winning Kids Books Get Adaptation Deals

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

9780316380836_af055 9780763671648_787f9

Book enthusiast Reese Witherspoon, behind several successful adult book adaptations, including Gone Girl, Wild, and the upcoming HBO series Big Little Lies, has turned her sights to a middle-grade novel. Her production team has acquired the rights to the National Book Award finalist The Thing About Jellyfish, (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

Another actress/producer Gina Rodriguez is developing the Pura Belpré Award winner, Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass  by Meg Medina, (Candlewick, 2016) as a TV series. Deadline reports that the project has just been acquired by the streaming service Hulu.

James Patterson’s Dystopia

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

jp-crazyhouseEver alert to trends, the publishing powerhouse of James Patterson has announced the release of a YA dystopian novel on May 22, Crazy House (Hachette/Jimmy Patterson; Hachette Audio).

Announcing the book, Patterson tells Entertainment Weekly, “I promise you that [it] is even more exciting, scarier, and of course, crazier—in the best way—than anything I’ve written.”

EW has an excerpt and offers this lead-in:

“Brainy Cass and wild Becca are twin sisters living in a world controlled by The United, an all-powerful government that commands a ‘separate but equal’ society. Suddenly, Becca is thrown into prison, forced to fight her fellow inmates for survival. Cass is determined to save her sister, but she is in danger herself: the captors took the wrong twin, and when they find out they’ll be coming for her.”

The novel was written with Gabrielle Charbonnet, who has co-written other novels with Patterson,  Sundays at Tiffany’s and Witch & Wizard.

Originally the novel was titled Dragonflies, which still shows on the cover art in Edelweiss.


Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

9780689206511A new hybrid live-action/animated film based on the Newbery Medal-winning Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien, illustrated by Zena Bernstein (S&S/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1971) is in development by MGM.

Variety reports it will be titled The Rats Of Nimh, led by first time director James Madigan who has won Emmys for special effects and worked on such films as Iron Man 2 and The Da Vinci Code.

The “hope is to create a franchise” using O’Brien’s two sequels, O’Brien wrote two sequels. reports Deadline.

MGM produced a previous adaptation, the 1982 animated film The Secret of NIMHCinemaBlend says this new project is part of MGM’s “recent business strategy of rebooting their most classic franchises.” 

No word yet on stars or a premiere date.

13 REASONS WHY Gets Air Date and First Look

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why will premiere on March 31. Singer/actress Selena Gomez, an executive producer for the show, posted a clip on Instagram Thursday, which quickly took off. It is now the #1 trending video on YouTube:

Paste says the clip “gives off Gone Girl vibes.”

The series is based on Jay Asher’s 2007 YA novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, (Penguin/RazorBill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, telling classmates how each contributed to her decision. The novel is a YALSA Best Books of 2008, and was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years.

It stars a relatively unknown cast, including Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro. and Michael Sadler. Oscar Winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) directs. Tony and Pulitzer Prize Winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) wrote the script.

A tie-in comes out in March:

9780451478290_16e4613 Reasons Why, Jay Asher
Razorbill (Penguin Publishing Group)
On Sale Date: March 7, 2017
ISBN 9780451478290, 0451478290
Trade Paperback | 336 pages 
$10.99 USD, $14.99 CAD