Category Archives: Tween books
It’s such fun to see our authors supporting other authors– what a generous and smart crew of talented folks writing books for children! An example: Ellen Oh, author of this winter’s fantasy YA-debut PROPHECY, interviews Soman Chainani, author of the just published middle grade debut, SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, on The Enchanted Inkpot today.
Both of these authors are the kind of accomplished, multi-talented people that make us feel a little inadequate (but in a good way, we swear!)– they’re total movers and shakers, and, you heard it here first, doing big things. Also, they both have terribly snazzy websites and gorgeous author photos!
A little bit more about each of their books…
PROPHECY, by Ellen Oh
She’s the demon slayer.
She’s the most feared girl in the whole Kingdom.
And now she’s on the run.
Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope…
Murdered kings, traitors, and a demon invasion sends Kira on the run with the young prince, who may be the true heir to the Dragon King’s throne, destined to reunite the seven kingdoms. But without the lost treasures, there will be nothing left to reunite. With only the guidance of a cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.
Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first in a three book series.
- Marie Lu, author of the LEGEND trilogy, raved of PROPHECY, “What an adventure! I fell in love with the lush, richly woven world of PROPHECY. Kira is truly a force to be reckoned with. When I finished my journey with her, all I wanted was more. Spectacular!”
- Watch the trailer for PROPHECY here.
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, by Soman Chainani
The School for Good and Evil series unleashes a dazzling new fantasy world, one in which ordinary boys and girls are trained to be perfect heroes or perfect villains. Book One subverts the assumed roles of our indelible heroines, when witch-girl Agatha is “mistakenly” sent to the School for Good, and wannabe-princess Sophie to the School for Evil. As rivalries bloom and jealousy sets in, Agatha and Sophie discover that these fates may not be a mistake, after all…
- Gregory Maguire, author of WICKED, had this to say about THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL: “Invention in overdrive, indulging in a gnarly smackdown of folklore conventions, THE SCHOOL OF GOOD AND EVIL is a comedic education by a writer primed to shoot to the head of the class.”
- And Entertainment Weekly said this: “If I could bewitch you all to read it, I would.”
- Download the discussion guide here.
- And watch the AMAZING trailer here!
Next week we’re exhibiting at one of our very favorite conferences of the year (shh, don’t tell anybody!)– the Texas Library Association Annual Conference. If you’ll be there too, we’d love to meet you! We’re HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #2232, and we have so many fun things to give you! Galleys, discussion guides, reading kits, smiles, stories– you name it, we’ve got it.
We also have some very very stellar authors at panels and signing in the Author Signing Aisles. Check it out!
THURSDAY, APRIL 25TH:
11—12 Peter Lerangis
11—12 Chris Rylander
11—12:30 Jon Klassen
12—1 Bob Shea
1—2 Patrick Carman
1—2 Kelley Armstrong
2—3 Kiersten White
2—3 Melissa Marr
3—4 Tera Lynn Childs
3:30—4:30 Amy Krouse Rosenthal
FRIDAY, APRIL 26TH:
10:30—11:30 Seymour Simon
2—3 Jarrett Krosocszka
3—4 Jennifer Archer
We can’t wait! And none of us have ever been to Fort Worth before, so if you have any recommendations, let us know! See y’all soon.
We’re always sad to see a beloved series come to an end. But the seventh book in Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series, FYRE, is a perfect sendoff for the characters we’ve come to know and love. Thank you to all of the librarians, teachers, and kids who have gotten lost in the Magyk of the series since it began in 2005!
Click on the jacket below to start reading FYRE, and say goodbye to Septimus, Marcia, Jenna, and the rest of the gang in whatever way you see fit.
Later this week we’re heading down to one of our very favorite states, Texas, with some star authors, to exhibit at the International Reading Association Annual Conference.
Will you be in San Antonio too? If so, come visit us at HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #3451! We’re going to be giving out oodles of galleys, teaching guides, bookmarks, and other materials– with lots aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
Here’s where you can find our authors:
SATURDAY, April 20th
2:00–3:00PM, JANE O’CONNOR, Anderson’s Booth #1003
SUNDAY, April 21st
1:00–2:00PM, WALTER DEAN MYERS, HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #3451
1:00–2:00PM, JON SCIESZKA, Anderson’s Booth #1003
2:00–3:00PM, SEYMOUR SIMON, HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #3451
MONDAY, April 22nd
MO WILLEMS IRA Closing Keynote:
“A Hippopotamus Wouldn’t Fit on the Page and Other Reasons that Mo Willems Writes About Pigeons”
Convention Center Exhibit Hall D
Book signing immediately following
12:00–1:00PM, MICHAEL HALL, HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #3451
Come by our booth and say hello!
No matter what you have planned for Friday, April 12, get ready to DROP EVERYTHING AND READ! April 12 is Beverly Cleary’s birthday and National D.E.A.R Day, and we’ve got just the thing to help you celebrate: classroom activities for the RAMONA books. They’re aligned to the Common Core State Standards, AND they contain fun suggestions and writing prompts to get your students’ creativity flowing.
Look out for the new Ramona Quimby Journal, jam-packed with writing and drawing prompts, quizzes, puzzles, and stickers galore!
Also, keep an eye out for the newly-updated Ramona books with fantastic new cover art and black-and-white interior illustrations!
Visit www.dropeverythingandread.com for more activities, videos, ideas for your D.E.A.R. Day celebration, and much more.
Happy D.E.A.R. Day to you!
Today I have the privilege of introducing you to Jeff Baron, author of I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN, the charming and hilarious middle grade novel about an ambitious kid with an admirably clever but potentially disastrous plan to make it in Hollywood. Jeff has had screenplays optioned by Disney and other major producers, his television writing has appeared on all four major networks, and his work for the theater has been published and performed all over the world, but Sean Rosen’s story is his very first novel. Want to know more about Jeff? So did we! Read on…
Which was your favorite book from childhood, and what are you reading right now?
I loved the Hardy Boys books. I read them all and then I read my cousins’ Nancy Drew books. I liked starting a book already knowing the characters and then getting to know them better and better. With every book I love, I don’t want it to end. With a series, it doesn’t end for a long time.
I know I’m late to the party, but I’m finally reading the Harry Potter books. My friend Melinda, who’s 12, told me I should read them in order, and then when I finish each book, I should watch the movie, so that’s what I’m doing. The only problem is Melinda always asks me what part I’m up to, then she wants to tell me what happens two books from now. She should wear a sign around her neck that says SPOILER ALERT.
What is your secret talent?
I love to write music, even though I don’t know how to play any musical instruments. I’ve always written words to songs, even songs that got published and recorded, but I always worked with composers. My secret desire was always to write the music myself. Sean Rosen has the same desire, but he’s braver than I am. He also never studied music, but he puts the songs he writes on his website (www.SeanRosen.com) for the whole world to hear.
Fill in the blank: _______ always makes me laugh.
Dogs always make me laugh. They’re always their goofy selves, and never try to act any cooler or smarter than they are. I wish humans were more like that.
My current obsessions are…
Figuring out how things work, especially computer programs, electricity and plumbing. I rely on those things all the time, and I love being able to fix things myself.
Any gem of advice for aspiring writers?
Read everything you write out loud, whether it’s a short story, a history paper or an e-mail. It’s the closest you can get to being inside your reader’s head when they read what you’ve written. I always do it, and I always catch something that didn’t quite make sense, and I always make changes that make it sound better.
Finish this sentence: I hope a person who reads my book…
I hope a person who reads my book will see from Sean Rosen’s experience that it’s good to dream big and go after what you want. There are always bumps along the way, sometimes big painful bumps, but getting past them makes you stronger and more likely to succeed.
Tell us more about how I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN was born.
I was sitting on the beach, and I had an idea. What if a kid with a big entertainment idea and no connections whatsoever, tried to sell his idea to Hollywood. How would he break through? Having done that myself (though not as a kid), I know what a closed world Hollywood can be. I thought this story might make an interesting movie.
The next day I was back at the beach, and now I thought, “Could this be a book?” I had never written a novel, and it was a little bit scary to even think about. But as a writer (I was already a screenwriter and a playwright), you learn that the things that scare you usually make the best stories. So I spent a little time thinking about who this kid was, and then I just started writing.
Sean Rosen begins the book by saying, “I have an incredible idea.” At that point, I didn’t know what Sean’s idea was, but just writing those words on paper (I write by hand) got me started, and Sean just took over. I heard his voice in my head, and fortunately, he never stopped talking. I just wrote it down.
I loved spending time with Sean and his family and friends, and when I finished and showed it to my cousins who are Sean’s age, they felt that way, too. Then I read chapters of the book to seventh grade classes, and when they liked it, that gave me the courage to try to get it published.
Thanks Jeff! And if you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to check out Jeff’s editor’s take on the delightful, wholly original I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN.
Sean Rosen has a really good idea. So good, in fact, that he’s not going to tell you exactly what it is. What he is going to do is pitch it to a major entertainment company. But first he’s going to take his grandmother’s advice and go on a “trial run.” That trial run has some surprising results in this hilarious story about a middle school kid who, with the help of his manager Dan Welch (not his real name), sells a movie idea to a major Hollywood studio.
This a totally funny, fast-paced, and original novel that we think will appeal to fans of Jack Gantos and Carl Hiaasen. But enough from me– I’ll let Jeff’s editor Virginia Duncan, VP and Publisher of Greenwillow Books, tell you a little more…
“Sean Rosen is my hero!”—Lincoln Peirce
“I Represent Sean Rosen is the best book I’ve read in a while. Equal parts Hollywood satire, Louis Sachar‒style deadpan fable, and old-fashioned tale of American gumption, it introduces us to a character who is surprising . . . and quietly heroic. . . . I happily represent Sean Rosen.”—Ned Vizzini
The manuscript began: “I have an incredible idea. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what it is.” Well, that was enough for me. I was hooked. And when Sean Rosen named his fictitious manager Dan Welch after rummaging around his kitchen for a snack (yogurt? grape juice?), I was sold. Sean Rosen’s “fries-texting” (spelling out a dinner table message using french fries) his mom? Icing on the cake.
I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN is a bit different, and it is perhaps not your usual middle-grade fare. But it is an adventure nevertheless. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through. What was this kid going to do next? What was going to happen next? How was Sean going to convince a major Hollywood studio to buy his movie? Does Sean even have a movie to sell? Would Sean take the deal? How was Sean going to survive middle school? How would Sean dodge Collectibles Dan Welch (a real guy who, unfortunately, shares Sean’s imaginary manager’s exact name). And what was up with his friend Brianna?
Jeff Baron is a great new voice, and he’s thought a lot about voice. It is the voice of this novel that made it irresistible to me. I love the piece Jeff posted on the Greenwillow blog recently about voice. You can read it here.
One of Sean Rosen’s claims to fame in the book is that he produces podcasts—it’s his hobby. What fun that you can actually hear Sean’s voice and listen to his podcasts at www.seanrosen.com. You will want a donut! (And I hope you’ll want to read I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN.)
Thanks Virginia! And stay tuned for tomorrow, when we’ll hear from Jeff himself.
The Day of Love is almost upon us! There are so many wonderful classics for this holiday (a personal favorite has always been, and always will be I LIKE YOU, by Sandol Stoddard Warburg) and I think the best way to celebrate is with books and chocolate*! These are a few brand new picks for your Valentine’s Day reading:
AN AWESOME BOOK OF LOVE!, by Dallas Clayton
There are so many different kinds of love – the way you love your husband or wife, the way you love your child, the way you love your parents – and Dallas Clayton knows just how to describe them all.
FANCY NANCY, NANCY CLANCY: SECRET ADMIRER, by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
The second in the Fancy Nancy chapter book series. Love is in the air, and Nancy Clancy is sure to make the most of it!
NOBODY BUT US, by Kristin Halbrook
BONNIE & CLYDE meets BLUE VALENTINE in this addictive, heart-wrenching story about two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.
THE TROUBLE WITH FLIRTING, by Clare LaZebnik
A hilarious and romantic twist on the Jane Austen classic, Mansfield Park.
*True chocolate-lover tip: all that Valentine’s Day chocolate goes on deep discount starting February 15th–enjoy!
The news is now far and wide, but we want to officially say– yahoo! This past weekend in Seattle at the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association, six of our titles were honored by awards committees and we are beyond bowled over with excitement and pride. Congratulations to all– to the authors, editors, fans, and champions of these books. Every Midwinter we are so grateful to be reminded that the community we book-people live and work within is vibrant, supportive, and very, very much alive and kicking. We are all in it together.
- Newbery Medal Winner: THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, by Katherine Applegate. (see our previous post about IVAN here, and our discussion guide here)
- Caldecott Honor: EXTRA YARN, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.
- Printz Honor: DODGER, by Terry Pratchett (see a special note from Terry about Dodger here)
- Schneider Family Book Award: A DOG CALLED HOMELESS, by Sarah Lean
- Geisel Honor: PETE THE CAT AND HIS FOUR GROOVY BUTTONS, created and illustrated by James Dean, story by Eric Litwin
- Morris Award Finalist: THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, by emily m. danforth
All of our award-winning books living together in harmony.
Newbery Committee member Susannah Richards placing IVAN’s shiny sticker!
EXTRA YARN co-editor (VP and co-publisher of Balzer + Bray) Alessandra Balzer doing the honors!
Printz Committee friends giving DODGER their love.
Congratulations to all authors and illustrators honored with 2013 awards, and the biggest and humblest of thank you’s to the awards committees for their hard work, dedication, and the countless hours they spent this past year reading and discussing books. Now we wish we could fast-forward to June and our official ALA celebrations!
We couldn’t be more excited to be heading to beautiful Seattle for the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association next week– where we’ll mingle with our dearest librarian and educator pals, make new friends, sing the praises of our upcoming books, become well acquainted with our umbrellas, and lure you into our booth with amazing galleys, posters, kits, and conversation!
Will you be in Seattle? If so, visit us in booth #2630!
Here’s a glimpse at a few of the galleys we’ll be shoving into your hands whether you like it or not:
THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA, by Mo Willems: Think The Artist meets I WANT MY HAT BACK meets The Pigeon! One day, a very hungry fox meets a very plump goose. A dinner invitation is offered. Will dinner go as planned? Or do the dinner plans involve a secret ingredient . . . ? A chorus of suspicious goslings beg for raucous audience participation, making this a joy to read aloud. Mo Willems has cornered the market on totally fresh and subversive picture books.
THE GIRL FROM FELONY BAY, by J.E. Thompson: A middle grade novel set in hot and steamy South Carolina that deftly weaves an exploration of race relations into a mystery revolving around the concept of heir’s property. And it stars Abbey Force—a spunky young heroine we can’t wait for you to meet. We would(humbly) compare it to MOON OVER MANIFEST by Clare Vanderpool.
ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS, by Jenny Lee: Another terrific middle grade novel, this one tells the hilarious and poignant story of a sickly boy whose life is turned upside down when he gets a therapy dog . . . who can talk (bonus: the dog– a Newfoundland– sounds like Frasier Crane)!
SEVERED HEADS, BROKEN HEARTS, by Robyn Schneider: A worthy successor to THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and John Green. This is about high school tennis jock Ezra Faulkner, whose life is irrevocably changed by a car accident. Ezra must re-examine everyone and everything in his life, and what he takes away from his misadventures is profound and memorable.
YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE, by Jennifer Castle: We are always absolutely delighted to read excellent realistic teen fiction—and this is it. Jennifer Castle is back with a powerful novel about five teenagers who struggle with friendship and self-identity while being filmed for a widely-acclaimed documentary film series that revisits their lives every five years. And by 16, living their lives on camera has made them question if who they are is who they really want to be.
Want to hear the inside scoop on even more HarperCollins Winter and Summer 2013 titles? Then visit our Book Buzz Event on Sunday morning– all are welcome, and we hope to see you there!
HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS 2013 TITLE PREVIEW
Washington State Convention Center, Room 608-609