Welcome to the YA Roundup, giving you the inside scoop on bookish news, book deals, new releases and cover reveals for the YA genre!
The week features a PSA straight from the Capitol, movie adaptation news for John Green and The Jungle Book, Stephen Colbert on YA, Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize long list announced, death by cover reveals and more!
A Capitol PSA for You
“If you fight against it. It is you who’ll bleed.”
Just your friendly neighbourhood reminder that President Snow is creepy as all hell and that Mockingjay Part 1 is something to get excited for. The following teaser has been viewed almost 9 million times since its release last week. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 isn’t expected for release until November 21st, and yet excitement is building. The PSA-style teaser is a great reminder of what Katniss and friends face in the upcoming rebellion. And there may or may not be a silent cameo from someone who’s name rhymes with Rita.
Looking for Alaska to Be Made into Movie
Steph and I didn’t quite mean it when we joked that Hollywood was going to adapt all of John Green’s books, but it may turn out we were right regardless. Sarah Polley is adapting the screenplay for Looking for Alaska as we speak in the hopes of rekindling the Hollywood magic that was The Fault in Our Stars.
Looking for Alaska (2006) is about a boy who meets a girl named Alaska just as he’s starting out at boarding school. And then there’s a tragedy. Because this is a John Green novel.
“It shares similar ground with The Fault in Our Stars: the confusingly intense threshold of adulthood, full of lust, romance, gauche statements and mad idealism,” says Ben Beaumont-Thomas from The Guardian.
It also shares a strong likelihood of bringing in the cash, which seems to be ringing Hollywood’s dinner bell like nobody’s business. This book will be the third book of Green’s adapted for the screen, with Paper Towns currently being cast. No news yet on Green’s other novels Will Grayson, Will Grayson and An Abundance of Katherines, but we advise you to watch this space.
The Jungle Book Being Adapted Again
For the latest Jungle Book adaptation, some pretty big names are being listed. Ben Kingsley, naturally, has been brought on to play Bagheera, since it seems this was a role specifically written for him.
Joining him in the cast is Idris Elba playing the book’s antagonist, Shere Khan. The fabulous Elba, recently wrapping up his appearance in both Fox’s biblical retelling of Exodus and my steamy imaginations, is likely to play the role of the vicious predator well.
One casting that seems out of place is Scarlett Johansson’s role as Kaa, the mischievous python who continually tries to consume Mowgli.
Stephen Colbert Defines YA
John Green appeared on the Colbert Report this week to talk to Stephen about the incredible success of his YA book-to-movie adaptation, The Fault in Our Stars. During the interview, Colbert asked Green how he felt about being categorised as YA, stating that a young adult novel was like “A regular novel that people actually read.”
The consensus seems to be that Colbert’s definition is accurate and applicable:
— Sara T. (@saratribble) June 27, 2014
Others simply find a toxic-free discussion about YA, with no ridicule, to be welcoming.
Guardian Children’s Fiction Longlist Announced
This year’s Guardian’s Children’s Fiction Longlist has been announced and amongst the picture books and middle grade fiction are two highly praised YA Books, She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgewick and the highly acclaimed We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
This year’s judges are Carnegie winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce, Katherine Rundell—who has herself been nominated for a Guardian Fictions prize and won a Waterstones prize in 2014—and Gillian Cross, author of After Tomorrow.
The winner will be announced on 13th November. The entire list of nominees can be found here.
American Teens Not Doing So Great at that Reading Thing
American kids, possibly in relation to last week’s news that 83% of parents do not think reading is a priority for their this summer, are reading an abysmal 4.2 minutes a day on weekends and holidays.
Some of this may be because the only reading counted is noncompulsory (i.e., fun reading). Still, stats for other age groups are much higher with the retirees, 55-64 reporting 26.4 minutes of reading a day, and the oldest group over 64 responding that they read for more than an hour a day. Well sure, what else are they supposed to do? Play checkers with death?!
New York Times Best Sellers (July 6, 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
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Where She Went by Gayle Forman
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
- 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
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
- Magic Tree House by Mary Pope
One Hundred Dresses by Susan Maupin Schmid
Publisher: Random House
Publication: Spring 2016
Agent: Sara Crowe (Harvey Klinger)
A fantasy about 100 magical dresses in a castle built by dragons, aimed at fans of Gail Carson Levine and Jessica Day George.
A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes (Michelle Rowen)
Publication: May 2015
Agent: Jim McCarthy (Dystel & Goderich Literary Management)
This series is a spinoff of the author’s Falling Kingdoms books; in the launch title, two sisters discover that a mysterious, unreadable book delivered to their father’s antique bookshop provides a portal to a faraway world, and a secret society will stop at nothing to retrieve it.
Source: Publishers Weekly