Welcome to the YA Roundup, giving you the inside scoop on bookish news, book deals, new releases and cover reveals for the YA genre!
This week covers the end of Strange Chemistry, a particularly epic Harry Potter rap, JK trolling her Malfoy-loving fanbase, and more.
[Note: Game of Thrones / Song of Ice and Fire spoilers ahead!]
Angry Robot Breaks YA Fans’ Hearts
Angry Robot announced this week that they would be discontinuing their YA imprint, Strange Chemistry and their Crime/Mystery imprint, Exhibit A. With the announcement came the decision that Angry Robot would, however, increase their overall output to three books a month, up from two.
The YA Line only began in 2012 with popular titles like Laura Lam’s Pantomime, Blackwood by Gwenda Bond, and The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke. The decision to shut the imprint, discontinuing the publishing of any further YA novels immediately leaves a lot of authors high and dry and has shaken up the community. On her blog, Gwenda Bond wrote:
I will be forever grateful to Strange Chemistry and Angry Robot for giving my career its start, and for the wonderful friends I met because I published there. I hope everyone lands on their feet—staff at the publisher, but most especially the amazing writers who were notified yesterday that their books are canceled, debut authors and people writing sequels or who had already written them, and those who were mid-series. Please support them, now and in the future. We can’t afford to lose their voices.
On Twitter, Gwenda continued:
I see people are worried, but I’m fine. The book I’m proudest of comes out in a few months, and soon a new project will be announced.
— Gwenda Bond (@Gwenda) June 20, 2014
Others leant their support as well:
And if you were thinking about purchasing a @strangechem book, now’s the time to do it. Not sure how long they’ll be available. *sadz*
— MG Buehrlen (@mgbuehrlen) June 20, 2014
Best to those authors who just had their books yanked out from under them. And to those who are losing jobs, too!
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) June 20, 2014
To the Authors Formerly Known as Strange Chemists: Keep on keeping on. Devoted readers will follow your characters anywhere. @strangechem
— Lauren Thoman (@LaurenTHCW) June 20, 2014
The Roots Perform Epic Harry Potter Rap
This video is so full of win it’s hard to pinpoint which part I liked most. Last week, the Roots performed the song on The Tonight Show, with lyrics like:
Hit the Three Broomsticks, get me a butterbeer / And Imma tell you ’bout a half-blood wizard boy / This kid, Harry Potter, from the house of Gryffindor / Magical young man from the badlands /On the run from the Prisoner of Azkaban.
83% of Parents Have Their Summer Priorities Wrong
Wrong. They’re Wrong! WRONG I SAY! Because, apparently, only 17% of parents say reading is a top summer priority, meaning that this is the saddest news I’ve written since ever. The survey of more than 1,000 parents of children age 5-11 revealed some truly depressing facts.
In fact, kids spend an average 17.4 hours a week watching TV or playing video games and only 5.9 hours a week on average reading. The study did reveal that parents who emphasize reading are twice as likely to have a child that reads every day.
Reading is a vital part of kids’ educational success. It seems we need to not only educate kids to read, but encourage parents to support them if we’re going to improve the quality of education for everyone.
Popular YouTuber Zoe Sugg to Write Two YA Novels
With 12 million views a month and almost 5 million subscribers, there’s little wonder that Penguin signed Zoe Sugg up faster than you can say, “she has won a legion of teenage fans across the globe” with her “girl-next-door personality”—which, by the way, is exactly what Penguin said.
Girl Online, Sugg’s first book, is about an average teenage girl blogger who dates a gorgeous guitarist, Noah. The book is due to be published in November.
Sugg claims that publishing a book has been a longtime dream of hers, saying that she had her “nose in a book” ever since she learned to read, and that by age 14 she “had my mind set on the fact that I would one day write my own book, something that other people would love to read.”
GOTChildrenBooks Hashtag is Perfect
I don’t know what happened for the Game of Thrones season finale last week, and I don’t want to know (until I catch up with the reading and watching of it), but I do know that the results were hilarious when people took to social media and began creating Children’s Book versions of the show:
— Josh Finkelstein (@jfinklink) June 13, 2014
— Mashable (@mashable) June 13, 2014
— Annie Colbert (@anniecolbert) June 13, 2014
JK Presents Harry Potter series according to Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoy has long been a contentious character for JK Rowling, who has expressed frustration at his fandom popularity, categorizing it as “worrying.”
She’s also gone on to state:
“I’m trying to clearly distinguish between Tom Felton, who is a good looking young boy, and Draco, who, whatever he looks like, is not a nice man. It’s a romantic, but unhealthy, and unfortunately all too common delusion of girls…it actually worried me a little bit, to see young girls swearing undying devotion to this really imperfect character… I mean, I understand the psychology of it, but it is pretty unhealthy.”
So when asked about a book series from the perspective of Draco Malfoy, she certainly seemed to enjoy teasing Draco’s fanbase:
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 9, 2014
New York Times Best Sellers (June 22, 2014)
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
- If I Stay by Gayle Forman
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Paper Towns by John Green
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
- Where She Went by Gayle Forman
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
- The Selection by Kiera Cass
- Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell
- Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
- Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
- Magic Tree House by Mary Pope
Untitled by Shelley Moore Thomas
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication: Spring 2015
Rights: World English
Agent: Joanna Volpe (New Leaf Literary & Media)
When Cordie’s little sister claims their missing mother has turned into a selkie, Cordie has only herself to blame, since she’s the one who made up that lie in the first place. But in order to discover the truth of what happened to their mother, Cordie must take a treacherous journey to the hidden Selkie Isle.
The Extremely Epic Viking Legend of Yondersaay by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie
Publication: Fall 2015
Agent: Ali McDonald
The story follows brother and sister Ruairi and Dani, who while spending the holidays with their grandmother on the legendary island of Yondersaay, get into trouble after Ruairi is mistaken for the lost Boy King of Denmark, kidnapped by Vikings, and intended to be sacrificed at sundown.
Source: Publishers Weekly