Archive for the ‘Childrens and YA’ Category


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.

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.

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 the YMA announcement day at Midwinter.


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 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


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.