Welcome to the YA Roundup, keeping you in the know with the latest YA news, book deals, releases and cover reveals!
This week covers authors who dress up as their favorite children’s book characters (spoiler: it’s awesome), an 8th grader’s poem that blows everyone’s mind, Archie Comics meets Girls, and more Harry Potter stuff in case you’re still into that sorta thing.
Authors Will do Anything for Children’s Good
The Oxford Storytelling Museum has convinced authors to dress up as 26 children’s book characters as part of an exhibition that runs from Saturday 5th April–Sunday 2 November. And of course it’s happening in Britain because those lucky buggers get all the good stuff. Harry Potter. Doctor Who. Sherlock. And now this.
Authors participating in the exhibition include Malorie Blackman (pictured above as the Wicked Witch of the West), Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Anthony Horowitz, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Jamila Gavin, Charlie Higson, Shirley Hughes, Terry Jones, Geraldine McCaughrean, Michael Morpurgo, Francesca Simon and Benjamin Zephaniah. The interactive exhibit, with photos taken by Cambridge Jones, will further explore the literature by including story extracts and explanations of the authors’ choices. There are even audio recordings done by Olivia Colman and Christopher Eccleston! Even better, you can dress up as your favourite character and join the portrait gallery.
8th Grader Can Write Better Poems Than You
Derek Nichols tweeted a poem his 14 year-old brother, Jordan Nichols wrote. A poem that has been retweeted more than 148 thousand times. Somebody give this kid a publishing contract or something. Seriously. Check it out:
Our generation will be known for nothing.
Never will anybody say,
We were the peak of mankind.
That is wrong, the truth is
Our generation was a failure.
We actually succeeded
Is a waste. And we know
Living only for money and power
Is the way to go.
Being loving, respectful, and kind
Is a dumb thing to do.
Forgetting about that time,
Will not be easy, but we will try.
Changing our world for the better
Is something we never did.
Was how we handled our problems.
Was a joke.
We knew that
People thought we couldn’t come back
That might be true,
Unless we turn things around.
(Read from bottom to top now)
I have to admit, when I read it the first time around, I was like, “Boring. Your generation is awesome. Stop the whinging!” Then I got to the end, saw the last line and MIND. BLOWN.
Seriously, good job, Jordan! Keep up it and you could become that mythical creature: a famous, still-living poet!
Archie Comics to Get the Girls Treatment
Lena Dunham, the actress and creator who loves to make sexist TV critics uncomfortable, will be tackling a four-part mini Archie Comics series.
I will be seriously interested to see how Dunham handles the comic considering the dissonance between her feminism and the overall misogynistic tones of the Archie series. Though, admittedly, Archie Comics has come a long way since its inception.
Lena says about the project:
“I was an avid Archie collector as a child—conventions, first editions that I kept in plastic sleeves, the whole shebang. It has so much cultural significance but also so much personal significance, and to get to play with these beloved characters is a wild creative opportunity.”
ME TOO! We should be best friends, Lena.
Jon Goldwater, Archie Co-CEO says about the decision to have Lena Dunham on board:
“She’s the voice of her generation,” Archie co-CEO Jon Goldwater told CBR News. “To have someone like that say, ’Not only am I a fan, I’d love to write something,’ it just epitomizes all the hard work we’ve put in for the last five years.”
Dunham’s mini series is looking to make its debut in 2015.
The Harry Potter Non Scandal that Just Won’t Die
Emma Watson came out this week to defend JK Rowling after her controversial claim that Hermione and Ron would have needed marriage counselling and that they weren’t really perfect for each other.
“It was a real shame, because the quote that she gave was completely taken out of context. If you read the whole interview it’s completely not how it was framed. It was actually kind of a joke.”
Out of context or not, since I thought Emma felt the same, it was kind of a silly thing to get riled up about. But then again, I was never a Ron/Hermione shipper.
YA New York Times Best Sellers (9th March 2014)
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
- Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
- Paper Towns by John Green
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout
Kalahari by Jessica Khoury
Agent: Lucy Carson (Friedrich Agency)
Kalahari tells the story of a zoologist’s daughter who uncovers a contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the Kalahari Desert, and the high-stakes conspiracy to cover it up. Publication is scheduled for winter 2015.
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Agent: Stephanie Cabot (Gernert Company)
Stars a razor-tongued teenage girl caught in a collision of worlds—her familiar home on the Earth’s surface and the desperate, hidden civilizations sailing the “sea” of the earth’s atmosphere. Summer 2015 is the projected pub date.
Passenger and Wayfarer by Alexadra Bracken
Rights: North American, audio and e-book
Agent: Merrilee Heifetz (Writers House)
A modern teen’s accidental discovery of her ability to time-travel, and how her attempts to return home draw her deeper into a dangerous treasure hunt that spans centuries and continents. Publication is set for fall 2015 and fall 2016.
Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Rights: North American
Agent: Michael Bourret (Dystel & Goderich Literary Management)
A psychological thriller about a teenage sociopath returning to her hometown, and the brothers whose lives are forever changed by her reappearance.
Source: Publishers’ Weekly