Jun 23 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: JK Rowling Trolls Draco Supporters

YA Roundup Draco Malfoy

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

Strange Chemistry Angry Robot imprint YA

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:

Others leant their support as well:


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

parent child readingWrong. 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

Zoe Sugg

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:


JK Presents Harry Potter series according to Draco Malfoy

Tom Felton 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 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:


New York Times Best Sellers (June 22, 2014)

Young Adult

  1. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  3. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  4. Paper Towns by John Green
  5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  6. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
  8. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  9. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Children’s Series

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  4. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  5. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell
  6. Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
  7. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  9. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
  10. Magic Tree House by Mary Pope


Book Deals

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
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication: Fall 2015
Rights: U.S.
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


New Releases


Cover Reveals


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

Samuel Vimes
1. Samuel Vimes
I preferred Harry Potter according to Snape
Steph Sinclair
2. stephsinclair
@Samuel Vimes, Bahahaha! I love the HP fandom so, so much.
Samuel Vimes
3. Evanesca Feuerblut
@Samuel Vimes, the last one almost made me cry... :'( Seriously.
Samuel Vimes
4. zaldar
yes yes yes draco is the worst kind of human being because he is an elitist and probably a capitalist...sigh....the end of HP was so ridiculous and made so little sense (just because it is happing in your mind doesn't mean it isn't real...really? I'm sorry that is incredibly meaningless) lost lot of respect for her.
Samuel Vimes
5. Deep Blue
If anyone truly believes that Draco was a good boy or even tried to be good, they are simply wrong. He was a horrible person but I think that was mainly his parent's fault. I am glad he did become a better person after the final book. But before that? No reason to fawn over him.
Samuel Vimes
6. ricecooker1122
Just saying, but how is Divergent, Maze Runner, Mortal Intruments and The Selection children books? They have sexual references and mature content.
Steph Sinclair
7. stephsinclair
@ricecooker1122, The Children's series list combines children's, middle grade and young adult into one list. It's highly misleading and why many of us believe NYT needs to split that list.
Samuel Vimes
8. Ilex
So if only 17% of parents think reading is an important summer activity, does that mean only that many parents care about reading for themselves, too? Because that's also really scary.

Plus, imagining reading only 6 hours a week is giving me the shakes. Must go grab a book NOW!
Steph Sinclair
9. stephsinclair
@Ilex, Ohh, I would hope not, though, it also wouldn't surprise me if that were the case. My daughter just completed Kindergarten and received a summer reading list. I'm planning on reading them all with her.
Samuel Vimes
10. Jesss
I'm confused as to how Rowling thinks that romanticisng Draco is unhealthy, when Snape is her perfect anti-hero. Draco is an awful racist, yes, but he's a product of his parents, and is shaped and encouraged to be so by... Snape!
Yet you don't really see her saying that people getting "Always" tattooed on them is "unhealthy".
Samuel Vimes
11. J Town
I would question the percentage on reading as a summer priority. For instance, I read constantly and so do my children. Monday evening is a beloved time when we all invade the library and put many books on the ol' library card. Reading, after my family, is my favorite thing on earth. My entire family shares this love to some degree.

However, I do NOT believe that children should be forced to summer reading programs set by their schools and then further endure having to compile a "book diary" of their reactions chapter by chapter (designed no doubt to stick it to those crazy children who can read a book in two days and then ace a book report or paper easily. No, you MUST use your whole summer to read books we think you should know!)

So depending on how the question was phrased, I would absolutely agree that "summer reading" is not a priority in my family. My family reads all the time, on their own, because we love reading. I do not force them to make it a higher priority in the summer time, especially for school mandated reading programs. Summer is the kids' time, not the schools.
Samuel Vimes
12. Michelle R. Wood
@11 for the win: agreed! Here here! And yet, my mother actually made us do math problems over the summer to keep up (did I mention she was a teacher?)

As per the Draco question, while I don't want to read anything from his perspective, that's more due to the weakness of Rowling's writing than anything else. She's very creative, but her plotting/character building were often lacking, and Draco is a perfect example: he never grows beyond being a one dimensional antagonist the fab three (and thus the reader) get to hate. Even his big moment in HBP doesn't provide him any further depth of character.

Also, going further from Draco, I've always found it troubling that there are never any postivie examples of Slytherians in any of the books. Are all the children sorted into that house really so terrible? It's another sign of the series' need to have easy villains: of course, all the kids at that other house are bad, and all the ones in our house are good (even the ones who do the same things as the kids in the other house?) I have wished for a story about a good Slytherian, one who could go an entire day WITHOUT thinking about Harry Potter, Gryphindor, or how to be an all around prat. Also, would it be too much to ask for Slytherians to actually be smart?

Finally, @10: EXACTLY. I have never understood the Snape love.

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