Feb 18 2014 1:30pm

The YA Roundup: JK Rowling Sets the Record Straight

Welcome to the YA Roundup, where your dreams become reality! Or maybe we just talk about YA news. It’s a toss-up, really.

This week covers the ongoing debate about the relevancy of libraries, J.K. Rowling clarifies Harry’s love life, but not really, DreamWorks joins the book industry and holy covergasm, Batman! *splooge*


Robert Muchamore Fulfils Liberal Expectation of Right-Wing Conservatives

Robert Muchamore

Robert Muchamore, a children’s author, wants to go on a killing spree of fellow authors who want to preserve libraries.

I was so angry I wished I’d brought a big samurai sword so that I could have gone on a ‘slaughter a whining lefty’ spree.

The only way his rant could have been more stereotypical is if his weapon of choice had been a gun, but then, he’s English so maybe the sword DOES make more sense. Muchamore, author of The Cherub series as well as rants, claims that saving libraries is futile because:

“We live in an age when 50% of kids go to university, books cost less to buy than the return bus fare for two people to go to the library and whenever I leave the UK, everyone raves about our amazing history of kids’ books and kids’ writers.”

First thing that sparked my attention is that I have never heard of this, but that’s cool. I’m from the Colonies as some UK people refer to it. The only thing people rave about here is how easy it is to die.

Also, for kids whose parents are struggling to even put food on the table, which increasing amounts of them are, paying for books isn’t exactly plausible. But great for you that you earn enough to be able to easily buy books without using a library. I’d say you’re not the target audience for a library anyway, mister Richie McRich.

There was a flurry of backlash to this rant, with Alan Gibson saying:

“Defending the library service from the predations of ideologically-motivated public schoolboys who had immensely privileged childhoods isn’t ‘whining,’ it is the pursuit of passionately held beliefs.”


Calm Down, Potterites, Harry DID Love Ginny!

The general panic about some comments Rowling made three weeks ago has still not died down, and JK Rowling has had to clarify that:

“Harry did love Ginny.”

Harry Potter LOL gif

Thanks, Rowling. I don’t think this will be enough to cure some of the emotional scars left by your comments, at least for some people, but it’s kind of you to try to help. We all need you, JK. Except those who tweet things like, “Who needs Harry Potter when we have Justin Beiber?” Those people, there is no helping them.

Also, Harry Potter was originally named Harry Batt. No matter how much anyone moans about the name Harry Potter, it is infinitely better than Harry Batt. Infinitely.

Also, JK Rowling liked to write as a man because it was freeing:

When I write a man I take certain things out and give free rein to aspects of me that would not be acceptable.

I don’t doubt that one bit.


DreamWorks Getting into the Children’s Book Thing

DreamWorks logo

Tired of just making heart touching movies like How to Train Your Dragon and Turbo, DreamWorks, like Disney, is getting into the book business. Which makes me wonder if the publishing industry is that troubled when it seems big companies are jumping up and down to get into it. Or maybe it’s that they figure they’ll save themselves the trouble of having to purchase the film rights from publishing houses by publishing stuff they think will make good movies.

The imprint’s list will focus on titles based on the movie studio’s popular properties including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar. In the past, DreamWorks had licensed several of these properties to traditional book publishers. Prior to the launch, the organizers had to work on recovering the rights.

Oh. That’s quite different to what I had in mind. So it’s children books, children books. Time will tell whether this diversification into publishing will take off.


YA New York Times Bestsellers (February 23, 2014)

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
3. Looking for Alaska by John Green
4. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
6. Paper Towns by John Green
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
8. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
10. This Star Won’t Go Out by Easter Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl


Book Deals

Untitled by Sarah J. Mass
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rights: World
Agent: Tamar Rydzinski (Laura Dail Literacy Agency)

Catherine Onder at Bloomsbury has acquired the final three titles in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. Books one and two have already been released; book three, Heir of Fire, pubs in September 2014.

Ladybirds by Jenny McLauchlan
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Rights: North American
Agent: Miriam Altshuler (A.M. Heath)

Pitched as Geek Girl meets Dirty Dancing. In book one, Flirty Dancing, a girl signs up for classes so she can enter a national dance competition, and discovers her dance partner is the hottie who just happens to be the bullying queen bee’s boyfriend and the kindest boy in school.

Hoodoo by Ronald Smith
Publisher: Clarion
Rights: World
Agent: Adriann Ranta (Wolf Literary Services)

A Southern Gothic middle-grade novel set in rural 1930s Alabama, in a two-book deal. In the story, a boy from a long line of folk magic conjurers must unravel a web of family secrets and overcome his inability to cast a simple spell in order to defeat a stranger who wants to use the darker powers of hoodoo for evil.

Inviolate and Invincible by Dawn Metcalf
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rights: World
Agent: Sarah Davies (Greenhouse Literary Agency)

The third and fourth titles in the Twixt series for teens. The books will continue the story of a girl who is accidentally marked by a mysterious boy to whom she becomes indelibly bound, finding herself caught between the world of the Folk and the world of humans. Publication is scheduled for summer 2015 and summer 2016.

SOURCE: Publishers’ Weekly


New Releases

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by A.C. Gaughen Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman Three (Article 5 #3) by Kristen Simmons Arcadia Falls (Arkadien #3) by Kai Meyer

All That Glows by Ryan Graudin White Space (Dark Passages #1) by Ilsa J. Bick Fates (Fates #1) by Lanie Bross

Feral Curse (Feral #2) by Cynthia Leitich Smith The Tinker King (The Unnaturalists #2) by Tiffany Trent The Worlds We Make (Fallen World #3) by Megan Crewe


Cover Reveals

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch Echoes of Us (The Hybrid Chronicles #3) by Kat Zhang

Rebellion (Tankborn #3) by Karen Sandler Drift by M.K. Hutchins

Deliverance (Defiance Trilogy #3) by C.J. Redwine The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Girl with the Windup Heart (Steampunk Chronicles #4) by Kady Cross Sacrifice (Elemental #5) by Brigid Kemmerer

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 1 by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 2 by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell

The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles #3) by Gena Showalter Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark #2) by C.C. Hunter

Unraveled (Crewel World #3) by Gennifer Albin Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper #1) by Ruth Silver

The Crystal Heart by Sophie Masson Anomaly (Schrodinger’s Consortium #1) by Tonya Kuper

Undead with Benefits Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

Battle Angel (Immortal City #3) by Scott Speer


Fractured Truth (Fractured Light #3) by Rachel McClellan


Kat Kennedy and Stephanie Sinclair are the bloggers behind Cuddlebuggery, the Young Adult book blog dedicated to corrupting the reading community with sinister shenanigans.

Jeff LaSala
1. JLaSala
Just like Frodo was once, in the early days of his existence in Tolkien's notes, named Bingo Baggins.
2. Kudzu
Nobody wants the last name Batt. David and his brother Steve of the band Japan changed their names from Batt to Sylvian and Jansen respectively.
3. Dr. Cox
Muchamore--typical Fascist. There are a lot where I live. Actually some people can't even afford the gasoline to go to the library, much less buy books, but everybody still needs the library! Right now I'm rereading
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix--which I checked out of the library.
Chris Lough
4. TorChris
@1. HAH! I just laughed for about 20 minutes straight at the thought of Sam calling him "Mr. Bingo."
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
5. Lisamarie
I can afford to buy books, used and otherwise, easily, but I love our library. We go for the community aspects too. What a tool.
6. ad
Also, for kids whose parents are struggling to even put food on the table, which increasing amounts of them are, paying for books isn’t exactly plausible.
You know, during the London riots a lot of people noticed that a lot of consumer electronics and designer clothing was stolen. But no books. Apparently, no one was interested in acquiring these books for free. And why would they, when you can get one second hand for a pound or two?

I'm not convinced that something you can pay for with ten minutes work on the minimum wage is such a tremendously unaffordable luxury as all that.
Lauren Hartman
7. naupathia
I admit I don't keep up with reading political blogs or posts, so this may be a dumb question, but since when has it been okay to respond to someone's inflammatory comments with even more inflammatory troll-baity comments?

Sure, you don't agree with what he said. But belittling him, making ad-hominem arguments, and generally just being a sarcastic, egotistical jerk on a pedestal doesn't really make me support your side either.

My only guess is you assume it must be obvious – every sane (read: liberal) person would obviously want to keep libraries open. So mocking the other side is just natural. Because, duh, they are morons. And it’s the internet, where it’s deemed okay to be rude and condescending.

But some people (as in, actual human beings who may or may not be liberals) might not actually want to pay taxes to fund libraries that only 3 people ever use. And 2 of those are homeless people who spend all day there because: free roof and AC.

So maybe you could figure that they might have a legit argument – one you may disagree with, but what’s so wrong with showing a little respect and actually refuting their argument instead of “Hah, look at what jerks these guys are, therefore their opinions must be invalid”?

Note: I’m not declaring a side here, just pointing out that the lack of respect from BOTH “sides” is really grating. Hence why I don’t read political blogs.

Or was the first part not meant to be taken seriously? I have a hard time telling nowadays.
Thomas Thatcher
8. StrongDreams
The thing with libraries is, public funding is a zero sum game (sort of). I don't know how libraries are funded in the UK, so I am handicapped in this debate, but let's assume they are funded nationally. In that case, increasing library funding requires decreasing funding for something else, or else raising taxes. So make a list of all your important public spending goals--subsidies for green energy, nationalized health care, welfare, unemployment insurance, free education, public safety (police and courts), public works (roads, electric grid), universal pre-K, free wifi for the poor, public housing (free or subsidized low cost), etc. etc. etc. Then decide where libraries fit in that scheme, and what will you decrease to increase library funding?

(I certainly appreciate libraries, but the choice is not between library or no library, the choice might be between library or hip replacement surgery, or between libraries or wind farms.)
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
9. Lisamarie
If you are referring to me, I think his toolishness mostly stems from his comments regarding killing sprees (and yes, I'm aware he's being sarcastic) and whining lefties, not his position specifically (although I do think the reason he gives for his position is also a bit elitist).

I'm not even really 'left' by American standards so there's that - in fact, I'm probably more conservative than most of the posters here (although I'm not really comfortable labeling myself 'right wing' either). I do think that there are good things to consider about libraries and public funding and it's not as easy as 'fund all libraries all the time'. But I do think there is more to consider than whether or not you can afford books (and at least here, books are generally more expensive than the bus fare. To say nothing of people who walk, bike, etc to the library), since libraries do offer a lot more than that.
11. Dianthus
Here in the States, libraries offer more than just books. They also offer DVDs, books and music on CD, magazines and newspapers, internet access, meeting spaces for the public (if they're big enough), and helpful librarians who are happy to assist you in finding the information you seek. Libraries rule!
12. BarbAgingFanGirl
Dianthus, I totally agree. Librarians are defenders of privacy and open access to information. A few have even faced arrest for refusing to give up patrons' check-out histories to security agencies without due cause.
Kevin Baijens
13. ImRhoven
@6 ad.

1. Yes, because the dynamics behind the lootings were all about poor people wanting to get fancy stuff ...
2. It's quite obvious that you don't know anyone who actually has kids to feed on a minimum wage budget.

Educate yourself please.

@7 naupathia.

The difference here that you and a lot people seem to miss is the one of scale. Some people have a lot more to lose in these arguments than others.

It's easy to talk about mutual respect if the only difference caused by the closing of libraries for you (general you, not you specific) is that some relative minor part of your tax money will be spent on other things you place more value in than the libraries you never use.

The other side, people who can't afford new books, stand to lose their access to books ie. entertainment, for some a center of community, a place of escape and quiet from the daily stresses, easy access to the internet, a place for poor students to do research, ... The scales on the gain-loss balance aren't even in this, so it seems more than natural to me when people get a little testy when other, more privilidged people, want to take away these things from them or from people they care about, and then even others who have no stake in this come in with concerns about "mutual respect". The anti-library argument is fundamentally about a lack of respect and empathy.

This same thing goes for a lot of the social "issues" like gay rights. It's easy to talk about respect for others opinions when it aren't your or your loved ones basic human rights that are being thread upon by bigots and zealots.
14. Kim Hutson
Libraries aren't just about books - they are a huge benefit to local communities, they provide free Internet and computing access, community activities, storytimes for kids, homework clubs, back to work clubs, many even provide free IT training and CV and interview skills training. Just because you're lucky and can afford things like this, doesn't mean you can slate them. It's like the people who stag off food banks... Keep your nose out unless you're going to help. Unless you want to admit you'd like to deny 'the impoverished access to literature', as Terry Deary actually said, honestly, actually, in real life he said that.
Just an aside - the quote is by the wonderful Alan Gibbons, not Gibson, as stated.
Tom Smith
15. phuzz
My folks could afford to buy me book, and did. The trouble was I could* get through 4-5 books a week, so the
local library was the only way to keep up with my insatiable appetite for new books to read.

UK libraries are funded at the county level, so local government as opposed to national, but yes, there's not enough money to fund everything so libraries are up against schools etc.

* I still do when I'm not working

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