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In the News
SCBWI Summer Conference: A Gathering of "Kindred Spirits"
This year's sold-out summer conference of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators opened with an homage to the 2012 London Olympics: executive director Lin Oliver lit and held up a tiny match at the podium, to the refrain of "Bugler's Dream."

Held in Los Angeles from August 3 through 6, SCBWI's 41st summer conference drew more than 1200 attendees from 46 states and 15 countries, and included 411 published authors. "I call this 'the tribe,' " Oliver said in her introductory remarks. "We're all kindred spirits, and this is a place where you are welcomed, beloved, cherished, and safe." The Grand March of this year's 82 faculty members then proceeded across the stage, each participant stopping briefly at the podium to announce his or her name and share just one word with the attendees. These included hysteria, mortgage, hardcover, kiss, and – poignantly – Maurice. more
Children's Book Sales Are Strong – No Matter Who's Doing the Buying
The AAP’s monthly StatShot shows that children's books stayed solid in April 2012 compared to April 2011, with overall sales up 24.3 percent, according to the 20 publishers reporting. more
'Find Waldo Local' to Return in 2013
Candlewick's Find Waldo Local promotion, which the publisher produced last month in conjunction with the American Booksellers Association, was such a resounding success that Candlewick announced that it will sponsor it again next summer. "Over the past week, we've received dozens of emails from booksellers singing the praises of Find Waldo Local,” says Candlewick director of field sales Elise Supovitz. "Virtually every bookseller has asked the same question: "Can we do it again next year?' The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!' " more
Random House Teacher Awards Launches
Random House has announced the Random House Teacher Awards, which awards winning teachers with grants. Open to full and part-time teachers in public schools, the awards will be presented by Crown author Jonathan Kozol at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention to be held November 16 in Las Vegas. more
Book News
And Chewie Makes Three: Light Speed Ahead for Origami Yoda
The Force is strong with this one. On Tuesday, the third book in Tom Angleberger’s middle-grade Origami Yoda series, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (Abrams/Amulet), went on sale with a 500,000-copy first printing, and the author marked the occasion with a trio of events in the New York City area, before heading out on tour. “I couldn’t believe how many kids showed up at the first event,” says Angleberger, who saw more than 150 kids turn out for his appearances at Barnes & Noble bookstores in Princeton, N.J., and Carle Place, N.Y. “When I first started out, I had to explain who Origami Yoda was. Now kids know Origami Yoda and Darth Paper, and they’re primed to hear about Chewbacca – it’s just fantastic.” Another bonus about having the new book feature the (famously incomprehensible) wookiee from the Star Wars films: “I get to ask kids to do their Chewbacca impressions.” more
After Seven Decades, the 'Boxcar Children' Get a Prequel
Seventy years after its debut, the Boxcar Children series is finally getting a prequel – and by a Newbery Medalist to boot. In The Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm, Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah Plain and Tall, provides what she calls "the beginning before the beginning" of Gertrude Chandler Warner's popular series about four siblings who live alone in a railroad car in the woods. Due September 1 from Albert Whitman, the novel offers a backstory to the series, which debuted in 1942 and has grown to more than 150 titles across a variety of formats, with more than 50 million copies in print worldwide. more
Little, Brown to Publish YA Novel from Chris Colfer
Having found success earlier this year with his middle-grade novel The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, actor turned author Chris Colfer, best known for his role as Kurt Hummel on Glee, will publish his first book for teens later this year. Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal will be released by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on November 20, ahead of the film on which the book is based. Colfer both wrote the screenplay for and stars in the film, which also features Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks, and Dermot Mulroney, and debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. more
Smart Marketing
A Fantasy Author Debuts – But First, the Prequels
It's publication week for Sarah J. Maas's first novel, Throne of Glass, but Bloomsbury has been publishing the author's work all year, thanks to an innovative marketing scheme: beginning in January, four e-novella prequels were released every other month in the lead-up to the novel's August 7 publication date. The strategy was a happy marriage between authorial interest and marketing savvy. more
Q & A
Q & A with Laura Amy Schlitz
Splendors and Glooms, the latest novel from Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz, is a gothic thriller about three children at the mercy of an unscrupulous puppeteer, who is himself under the spell of a malicious witch. It's actually two separate stories that overlap at one key point, and its complexity gave the Baltimore school librarian fits as she wrestled it into shape. But it allowed her to marry two of her passions in a single work – Dickens and marionettes.

Q: You have a background in children’s theater, but did it include working with puppets?

A: Well, yes and no. This is actually the third book I've written about puppets. One I abandoned, and the second I never finished. But in writing those, I knew I needed to know more about puppets so I made some marionettes. I became fascinated by marionettes, which I first saw in Venice. They were so haunted and so alive. I knew I wanted to write about them long before I found the right story. more
What We're Circing
What's Circulating at Takoma Park Maryland Library
Karen MacPherson, children and youth services librarian at the Takoma Park Maryland Library, shares some titles that are currently popular with patrons.


Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein is checked out constantly. We have a display up featuring some nonfiction Olympics books and sports titles as well. Smile by Raina Telgemeier is almost never in and we have multiple copies. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is a new book for us and it has circed three times already. more
Rodale is seeking an Associate Editor-Books. Maybe it's you! For more about this and other jobs, visit PW JobZone.

Rights Report
Elizabeth Bewley at Little, Brown/Poppy has signed Megan McCafferty to a two-book deal that will launch a middle-grade series, The It List, featuring the author’s Jessica Darling character. Previously, McCafferty published five novels in her Jessica Darling series with Three Rivers Press. McCafferty’s first foray into middle-grade fiction begins with Jessica Darling’s It List #1: The (Notso) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection, which follows a 12-year-old version of the title character as she begins middle school. Heather Schroder at ICM brokered the deal.
Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton has bought two YA novels by Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss. The first, slated for publication in 2014, is a horror novel in the vein of the Scream movies; a group of high school students are being stalked by a mysterious killer with no obvious motive. Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary did the deal for world English rights.
Catherine Onder at Disney has acquired debut author R.C. Lewis's Stitching Snow, a sci-fi YA thriller due out in summer 2014. In the book, a royal teen runaway is scraping together a living in a mining settlement on the far side of the universe, until she is discovered and "rescued" against her will. Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the two-book, six-figure pre-empt.
Laura Godwin at Henry Holt has bought world English rights to three picture books by debut author-artist Mike Curato, featuring his character Elly the Polka-Dotted Elephant; the books are scheduled to come out annually beginning in fall 2014. Curato, a graphic designer living in Seattle, won the Portfolio Award at the SCBWI winter conference earlier this year. Brenda Bowen of Greenburger Associates brokered the deal, which Godwin won at auction.
IN THE MEDIA
From NPR:
A readers' poll picks the 100 best-ever novels for teens: the Harry Potter series tops the list. Click here
From the Atlantic:
The best YA "b-sides": lesser-known books by blockbuster authors like Suzanne Collins, Markus Zusak, and more. Click here
More from the Atlantic:
In a new documentary, Maurice Sendak, Jules Feiffer, and others pay tribute to author-illustrator Tomi Ungerer. Click here
From the Hollywood Reporter:
Jennifer Lawrence is negotiating a $10 million salary for Catching Fire; production starts in September. Click here
From Entertainment Weekly:
What's R.L. Stine reading and recommending this summer? Click here
From CNN:
Amazon brings classic children's books to life in its first social game. Click here
Also from the Atlantic:
What adults can learn from children's books, including The Little Prince, Alice in Wonderland, and Winnie-the-Pooh. Click here
From Patch.com:
Meet the owners of Inkwood Books, Tampa's only independent bookstore. Click here
From the Daily Hampshire Gazette:
Illustrator Jane Dyer is recovering from an assault she suffered in her Massachusetts home. Click here
Also from EW:
Groups lobby HarperCollins to remove Berenstain Bears books from Chik-Fil-A. Click here
SHELFTALKER

Hand Kids Some Great Nonfiction!
Elizabeth Bluemle
As a bookseller, I notice that it can be all too easy to recommend only fiction to young readers, to forget how interested in the world kids are, and how much they yearn to learn and know things. MORE

Little Shoppers
Josie Leavitt
I love it when little kids come to the store and shop for the first time. Our goal here is to make shopping for books for fun. MORE

When Pigs Fly
Elizabeth Bluemle
Occasionally we get dispatches from the only member of the Flying Pig family who gets to go on vacation: our tote bag. MORE

FEATURED REVIEWS

Bear Despair
Gaëtan Dorémus. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-125-4

The Stories Without Words series concludes with this piquant entry by French illustrator Dorémus, whose nervously cross-hatched line drawings are beautifully suited to his exploration of primal emotions. A blue bear lies asleep under a tree, clutching a treasured teddy bear. A long-snouted wolf sneaks up, snatches the teddy bear, and runs off with it, laughing maniacally. The wolf taunts the bear when it catches up with him and tosses the teddy bear farther still. The bear— entirely understandably—eats the wolf. more

Amber Brown Is Tickled Pink
Bruce Coville and Elizabeth Levy, illus. by Tony Ross. Putnam, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-399-25656-1

The star of Paula Danziger’s series that began in 1994 with Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon makes an exuberant reappearance in this installment, written by two close friends of the late author. Coville (the My Teacher Is an Alien books) and Levy (the Something Queer Mysteries) don’t miss a beat as they channel the voice of Danziger’s funny, acerbic, and pun-loving heroine. Throughout the story, happiness and sadness are closely entwined for nine-year-old Amber: she’s thrilled that her divorced mother is marrying big-hearted Max, but uneasy that “for the first time in my life something huge is happening and Dad isn’t even a tiny part of it.” more

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee
Tom Angleberger. Abrams/Amulet, $12.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0392-8

The seventh graders of McQuarrie Middle School are back—except for Dwight, creator of the original Origami Yoda, who is stuck at nearby Tippett Academy after getting suspended in Darth Paper Strikes Back. But the kids still need wise, Star Wars–themed advice, and thus the Fortune Wookiee is born. (In one of the funniest gags, the paper Chewbacca's fortunes consist of variations on "MMGGGGHHHRRRRR," requiring translation from a second puppet, Han Foldo.) more

In a Glass Grimmly
Adam Gidwitz. Dutton, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-42581-6

The grossness quotient has gone up in Gidwitz’s companion to A Tale Dark and Grimm, his grisly reimagining of classic fairy tales. Translation: this second foray is even more enjoyable than the author’s acclaimed debut. The protagonists in this installment are Jack, Jill, and a talking frog, whose adventures begin separately in reworkings of “The Frog Prince” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” before the three join forces in “Jack and the Bean-stalk.” Parental cruelties are more ordinary this time—mockery, neglect, and recrimination—but what the children find in their quest for the Seeing Glass is horrifying enough to compensate for any perceived softness at the outset. more

TALES FROM THE SLUSH PILE

MORE

August 9, 2012

People
John Vitale, longtime director of production at HarperCollins, will be leaving the company on August 24. He joined Harper & Row in 1977 when T.Y. Crowell was acquired, and was named production director for the children’s division in 1978. He was promoted to v-p in 1998 and began overseeing the adult trade group as well as the children’s group at that time. Among many authors, he worked very closely with Maurice Sendak and Shel Silverstein during his tenure with the company.
Knopf Books for Young Readers has two new hires. Melanie Cecka is joining on August 20 as associate publishing director, reporting to Nancy Hinkel. She began her career at Random House as an editorial assistant at Villard Books, before moving to Knopf Books for Young Readers, Viking Children’s Books, and most recently Bloomsbury Children’s Books, where she was publishing director. Stephen Brown has been hired as editorial assistant; he was an intern at Random House this past spring.
Naomi Kirsten has been promoted to editor at Chronicle Children's Books. She was previously associate editor.
Holiday House has two promotions. Sylvie Frank has been promoted to editor, from associate editor. Sally Morgridge has been promoted to editorial assistant, from administrative assistant.
App Watch
This Week in Children's Apps
This week in children's apps features The House That Went on Strike, a story of self-respect. Also this week is the first in a series of stories about characters whose real life stories start where they end. Finally, Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book brings the classic story of a yawn spread round the world to the App Store. more
This Week's Bestsellers
Children's Frontlist Fiction
#1 Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess by Rachel Renée Russell. See Full List
Children's Picture Books
#1 Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illus. by Clement Hurd. See Full List
Spotlight
Finding Her Faction

Veronica Roth's debut, Divergent, is at #4, and its sequel, Insurgent, at #7. Get the Scoop
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