Welcome to the YA Roundup, your one stop shop to everything YA: publishing news, movie updates, new releases and cover reveals. Psst... It’s OK to read YA.
This week’s roundup covers ALA’s awards announcements, new YA adaptations, J.K. Rowling’s latest post-publication revelation, the real life inspiration for The Fault In Our Stars, Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s passing, and Neil Gaiman’s reading of Green Eggs and Ham.
And the Award Goes to...
This past week the American Library Association announced this year's award winners, making us realize that we clearly need to read harder. Here are a few highlights:
Printz Award: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick; Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell; Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal; Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner; Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool.
Newbery Medal: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award: P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
Margaret A. Edwards Award: Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
William C. Morris Award: Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
Stonewall Book Award: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children written by Kirstin Cronn-Mills; Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo; Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle; Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington; Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.
Pura Belpré (Author) Award: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina; The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist by Margarita Engle; The Living by Matt de la Peña; Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh.
Also, check out the 2014 Rainbow List.
How many of these books have you read? I clock in at only two and I’ve got my shame face on.
This Star Won’t Go Out
“Nerdfighter” Esther Earl’s book This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl was published last week by Penguin Teen. If you’re unfamiliar with who she is, she inspired John Green’s bestselling novel, The Fault in Our Stars, and passed away in 2010 at age 16 from thyroid cancer.
The novel features a collection of her written works, letters and sketches, along with contributions from family and friends and an introduction written by John Green that tells the story of her life and battle with cancer.
“You know, I have a really great attitude about this cancer thing. I smile, laugh and joke about it. I only have meltdowns like once a month. And I normally only have them in my room—away from people.”
You can find out more about her story about the book at USA Today.
The Fault in Our Stars Trailer Premieres
The Fault in Our Stars’ movie trailer was leaked last week, prompting an early release. The movie, based on the popular young adult novel by John Green, stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, and is due for release June 6th of this year. Woodley and Elgort also star in another young adult book-to-movie adaptation this year, Divergent.
The novel is about a terminal cancer patient, Hazel, who reluctantly falls in love with Augustus, who is in remission. The book is reported to make at least 45% of its readers cry and reports are that the CIA is investigating it for uses in psychological warfare to make their enemies too depressed to retaliate.
The Fault in Our Stars regularly features on the NYT best sellers list and the movie is a highly anticipated release for 20th Century Fox. I look forward to reading the book and refusing to cry out of principle.
Between Shades of Gray Heading to Theaters
Ruta Sepetys' Between Shades of Gray is on its way to the big screen. The book is a young adult historical novel about a fifteen year old Lithuanian girl caught up in the Soviet annexing of her country in 1941. It is not, as I found out through a Google search, a Fifty Shades of Grey spinoff.
The screen adaptation has been penned by Ben York Jones and the project is a joint venture between Sorrento Productions and Taurus Films. Filming shall commence in 2014. This story is pitched as a feel-good tale of love and life. Ha! Just joking, it’s probably really depressing.
New YA Novel Optioned
Hollywood just can’t seen to get enough of YA, and who can blame them? We’re the same way. This time the yet to be published novel Only Everything by Kieran Scott has been acquired by a newly formed production company headed by Gary A. Randall and Madison Randall.
The novel follows Eros (or Cupid) as she tries to help three couples find love without using her powers in order to return to Olympus.
Well, at least there are no vampires, werewolves or demons.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman Passes Away
In a bit of sad news this week, Academy Award winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away in his Manhattan apartment of a drug overdose on Sunday. He is most recently known for his role as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire.
In the wake of this tragedy, questions began to surface about the impact this may have on the two-part Mockingjay. Lionsgate released a statement in response.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation. We’re very fortunate that he graced our Hunger Games family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.
For Part 2, he had about a week left of shooting, including one scene that will have to be written with a different character taking the spot of Plutarch Heavensbee.
Because most of Mr. Hoffman’s scenes were complete, director Francis Lawrence and his team are said to be confident they can complete filming without the character or the films being substantially changed.”
J.K. Rowling Regrets Ron and Hermione’s Relationship
This past weekend Rowling dropped the bomb in an interview with Emma Watson where she mentions that Hermione should have married Harry and singlehandedly caused a major twitter freakout, or as I like to call it, the #HPocalypse. Nothing makes Twitter go boom faster than Rowling changing book canon.
“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” she says. “That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”
Oh, Rowling. You sure know how to cast that cruciatus curse just right, don’t you? While Kat found this to be a perfectly acceptable ending to the internationally bestselling series, I felt like I had been trampled by a hippogriff. This shouldn’t have surprised me too much considering Rowling is no stranger to randomly dropping facts post-publication. In 2007, she announced Dumbledore was gay and in 2011 she mentions she thought about killing off Ron. Man, that guy can’t seem to catch a break! Just Leave Ron-Ron alone!
But back to Ron and Hermione. I personally loved seeing them together as a couple and never really felt any chemistry between Hermione and Harry. In fact, thinking of them together feels odd after literally growing up with the series. So, like the grown adult that I am, I’ll stick my head in the sand and pretend none of this ever happened. Ron + Hermione 4ever. MY SHIP SHALL SAIL.
Side note: I thought it was particularly hilarious that Hypable used this image:
Neil Gaiman Reads Green Eggs and Ham and it’s Glorious
Worldbuilders, a charity founded by the awesome Patrick Rothfuss (and my Goodreads arch nemesis *shakes fists*) hosts book donations that in turn supports Heifer International to help end poverty and hunger. This time both Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett donated signed goodies to the cause. And let me just say, the prizes are amazing. That limited edition copy of The Ocean of the End of the Lane would look so hot on my shelf.
Gaiman, being the classy, creative, sparkling, witty dude that he is, promised to film himself reading Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham if Worldbuilders reached their goal of a half a million dollars. The fundraiser goal was met and now we are privied to the magic of Gaiman’s voice once again.
Dear Mr. Gaiman,
I am presently available for adoption.
YA New York Times Bestsellers (February 9, 2014)
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
3. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
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. The Selection by Kiera Cass
10. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Untitled by Rainbow Rowell, Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second Books
Agents: Christopher Chelling (Selectic Artists) & Bernadette Baker-Baughman (Victoria Sanders)
The two graphic novels will be YA romance in the vein of her novels Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.
Read more about the deal at Entertainment Weekly.
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow, Illustrated by Jen Wang
Publisher: First Second Books
Agent: Russell Galen
In Real Life, tells of a girl encountering social inequality and injustice online and having to figure out what to do about it.
Drowning Is Inevitable by Shalanda Stanley
Publisher: Knopf (Random House)
Rights: North American
Agent: Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Agency)
Drowning Is Inevitable, about four teens who flee to New Orleans in the wake of an accidental homicide where they hope to find a solution to an unfixable problem. It’s scheduled to publish in fall 2015.
The Great Library trilogy by Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL (Penguin)
Rights: North American
Agent: Lucienne Diver (Knight Agency)
The Library of Alexandria still exists and has become all-powerful, and, while there is unfettered access to information digitally, it is a crime to keep print books in any personal collection. The series is described as The Book Thief with Fahrenheit 451 by way of Harry Potter. The first book is planned for summer 2015.
Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
Agent: Lana Popovic (Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency)
About the unique friendship—told through letters—between Ollie, a 14-year-old with an allergy to electricity, and Moritz, a blind German boy with unusual powers. It is scheduled to be co-published with Ellen Holgate of Bloomsbury U.K. in spring 2015.