The BEA convention may have been shorter than in years past, but there was no shortage of major titles at the show last week. “It’s been a good show, bigger than I thought it would be,” said Mary Albi of Egmont USA, while Robert Kempe of Seven Footer Press called it “BEA on steroids,” due to the compressed two-day schedule.
Much of the buzz centered on works of fiction, including books like Ally Condie’s Matched and Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution ("It's been years since she's written a children's book. It was worth the wait, definitely worth the wait," said Hannah Schwartz of Children's Book World in Haverford, Penn., of the latter). But publishers are also banking on picture books and other titles for young readers, as well as anticipated new works by established authors like Kate DiCamillo, Lane Smith, and Tony DiTerlizzi. Here we break down the show’s biggest books by category.
New in Novels
As is the case every season, a number of series will gain new titles this fall, some are drawing to a close, and one thought to have been finished gets a new addition. Among the series ending: the much-awaited Mockingjay completes Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy, arriving from Scholastic on August 24 with a 750,000-copy first printing; Into the Gauntlet, the finale to the 39 Clues series, penned by Margaret Peterson Haddix, also due in August; Richelle Mead’s sixth and final Vampire Academy book, Last Sacrifice, which pubs in December; Monsters of Men, concluding Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy (Candlewick, Sept.); and Ellen Hopkins’s Fallout (S&S/McElderry, Sept.), wrapping up the trilogy that began with Crank and Glass. And in the rebirth category: Jonathan Stroud returns in November with The Ring of Solomon, a prequel to his Bartimaeus Trilogy, a trilogy no longer.
Sequels and additions to ongoing series include the seventh Artemis Fowl book from Disney-Hyperion, which will be promoted by a traveling road show featuring Eoin Colfer interviewing an actor portraying Artemis; Disney also has a new Blue Bloods title on deck from Melissa de la Cruz. Little, Brown has several sequels in the works: James Patterson’s The Gift (Dec.), which follows his bestselling Witch & Wizard, first in a series of the same name; Beautiful Darkness (Oct.), a sequel to Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures; Guardian at the Gate (Aug.), second in Michelle Zink’s Prophecy of the Sisters series; and Joanna Philbin’s The Sisters Break the Rules (Nov.). Random House’s big sequels include James Dashner’s Maze Runner follow-up, The Scorch Trials (Oct.) and Lauren Kate’s Torment (Sept.), which follows Fallen. And in October, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky will publish Bran Hambric: The Specter Key by Kaleb Nation, the second book in that series.
Others include Behemoth (Simon Pulse, Oct.), Scott Westerfeld’s companion to Leviathan; Crescendo, a sequel to Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (S&S, Oct.); Alyson Noel’s Radiance (Square Fish, Sept.), a middle-grade spinoff of her Immortals series; the second book in Kevin Sylvester’s Neil Flambé series (described by publisher Key Porter as “Ratatouille meets Encyclopedia Brown”); Gemini Night, the third book in Bonnie Hearn Hill’s Star Crossed series from Running Press; The Crepe Maker’s Bond by Julie Crabtree (Milkweed, Oct.), which follows Discovering Pig Magic; and Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom (Tundra, Aug.), a sequel to Susan Nielsen’s Word Nerd.
But for every series moving on or drawing to a close, plenty are just getting started. This fall Disney will launch Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, a spinoff to his bestselling Percy Jackson books, while at Little, Brown, Cornelia Funke is launching a new series with Reckless, which goes on sale September 14 (Little, Brown hosted a cocktail party for Funke at the show and gave away special hardcover galleys). Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series with Simon & Schuster starts up on August 31 with The Clockwork Angel. HarperCollins has two big new projects in the works, both with film deals in place: first in a middle-grade series, The Familiars (Sept.) by screenwriters Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson is to be produced by Sam Raimi and Sony Animation; and I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (pseudonymously co-written by James Frey), which Michael Bay is producing for DreamWorks, with D.J. Caruso directing. And Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee have teamed up for Bink and Gollie (Candlewick, Sept.), illustrated by Tony Fucile, first in a chapter book series about two unlikely friends.
Several debuts have been gaining early attention, three of them from Penguin. Matched by Ally Condie (Dutton), has a November 30 laydown and was a YA buzz panel title at the show; Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade (Philomel, Oct.), first in a planned series; and Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement (Razorbill, Sept.). Little, Brown was promoting The DUFF by 18-year-old Kody Keplinger, which was also highlighted on the YA buzz panels. Scholastic has a pair of big debuts: Erin Bow’s Plain Kate (Scholastic/Levine, Sept.), a buzz panel title, and Matthew Kirby’s The Clockwork Three (Oct.). Candlewick has big hopes for Wendy Delsol’s Stork (Oct.), which the house’s Kate Derosie called “Alice Hoffman for younger readers”; Zora and Me (Oct.), about the life of a young Zora Neale Hurston, by T.R. Simon and Victoria Bond; and Girl Parts by agent-turned-writer John Cusick (Aug.). Actress/musician Hilary Duff makes her YA debut in October with Elixir (S&S), first in a planned series. Walker has been getting buzz about the pseudonymously authored debut Hush by Eishes Chayil, set in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Holt is big on Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride (Oct.), and Frances Lincoln was promoting Keren David’s When I Was Joe (Sept.).
Other notable fiction included Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins (Charlesbridge, July), set in present-day Burma (and featured at the BEA children’s breakfast); Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution (Delacorte, Oct.), about a troubled Brooklyn teenager whose life becomes entwined with that of a girl who lived during the French Revolution; Mike Lupica’s Hero (Philomel, Nov.), which Penguin’s Shanta Newlin described as “Spider-Man meets 24; Rosemary Wells’s On the Blue Comet, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline(Candlewick, Sept.); Blue Balliett’s The Danger Box (Scholastic, Sept.); Linda Sue Park’s drawn-from-life novel A Long Walk to Water about the “lost boys” of Sudan (Clarion, Nov.); two September novels from Egmont USA: James Lecesne’s Virgin Territory and Beth Kephart’s Dangerous Neighbors; a pair of books from Feiwel and Friends: Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo (Sept.) and Andrew Smith’s The Marbury Lens (Nov.); the start to Kathy Reichs’s first YA series, Virals (Razorbill, Nov.); The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff, one of four titles launching the Carolrhoda Lab line, and which has been attracting “lots of Twitter buzz” according to the publisher; Sharon Dogar’s Annexed (Houghton, Oct.), the fictionalized story of Peter van Pels, who hid with Anne Frank (the house won it at auction); Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner (Holiday House, Nov.); and Lisa Rowe Fraustino’s middle-grade adventure The Hole in the Wall (Milkweed, Nov.).
And for those who like their favorite authors all in one place, two new fantasy/paranormal compilations feature some very well-known names: Zombies vs. Unicorns by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black (S&S/McElderry, Sept.) tackles the debate over which creature is superior with help from Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, Maureen Johnson, and others; and in August, Running Press is publishing Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love, edited by Tricia Telep, with contributions by Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah Rees Brennan, and more.
Picture Books Picks
On the picture book end of the market, plenty of favorite authors are returning with equally familiar characters. The Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems draws to a close with a third book, Knuffle Bunny Free, which unlike its Caldecott Honor-winning predecessors, will be published by HarperCollins’s Balzer + Bray imprint; a “big tour” is planned, according to Harper’s Elyse Marshall. And while Ian Falconer won’t be touring for his new Olivia book—Olivia Goes to Venice (Atheneum, Sept.)—it’s an event in itself: outside of tie-in books to the Olivia cartoon series, it’s the first Olivia book since 2007’s Olivia Helps with Christmas. Also back is Daniel Kirk’s Library Mouse in Library Mouse: A World to Explore (Abrams, Sept.); Dinosaur vs. the Potty (Disney-Hyperion, Sept.) by Bob Shea; Madlenka Soccer Star by Peter Sis (FSG, Oct.); Bats at the Ballgame, a third “Bats” book from Brian Lies (Houghton, Oct.); and Diary of a Baby Wombat by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley (Clarion, Sept.).
In the first of two notable collaborations, Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer are back with The Odious Ogre, which will be published in September by Scholastic’s Michael di Capua imprint; it’s the duo’s first time working together since The Phantom Tollbooth (1961). And speaking of firsts, this fall will see the first collaboration between the husband-and-wife team of John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury, on Candlewick’s There’s Going to Be a Baby (Oct.).
Among the new picture books from established names is Lemony Snicket’s 13 Words (HarperCollins, Oct.), with each of the words (which range from “dog” to “panache”) illustrated by Maira Kalman. Also from Harper, Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell are back with My Mommy Hung the Moon (Sept.) and a Halloween-themed Splat the Cat book from Rob Scotton. Lane Smith’s picture book polemic It’s a Book (Roaring Brook, Aug.) has been getting plenty of buzz; Macmillan’s It’s a Book totes were among the hot giveaways at the show—the publisher parted with 450 bags in 30 minutes. And two-time Caldecott Medalist David Wiesner is back with Art and Max, about two lizards and their experiences painting, out in October from Clarion; Wiesner gave booksellers a sneak preview of the book at the ABC silent auction.
Other big names with new books include Graeme Base with The Legend of the Golden Snail (Abrams, Oct.); Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson’s new Helping Hands series with Sterling; Peter Brown’s Children Make Terrible Pets (Little, Brown, Sept.); Marie-Louise Gay (of Stella fame) with Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth! (Groundwood, Aug.); Holly Hobbie’s Everything But the Horse (Little, Brown, Aug.); Sandra Boynton’s new board books Perfect Piggies and Amazing Cows (Workman); Elise Primavera’s Thumb Love (Random/Corey, Oct.); M. Christina Butler and Tina Macnaughton’s The Smiley Snowman (Good Books; Oct.); Kevin Sylvester’s hockey-themed Splinters, which publisher Tundra describes as “Cinderella on ice;” and David Ezra Stein with—“bawk bawk ba-kawk”—Interrupting Chicken (Candlewick, Aug.).
For aspiring foodies, Running Press is releasing the first picture book by chef/entrepreneur Lidia Bastianich; Nonna, Tell Me a Story will incorporate recipes from Bastianich’s family. (Older gourmets can look to Teen Cuisine, Marshall Cavendish’s new cookbook with Matthew Locricchio, author of The International Cookbook for Kids.)
The holidays are, of course, always in mind when it comes to publishers’ fall lists, and this season will include a version of The Night Before Christmas from Peter, Paul, and Mary, with art by Eric Puybaret (Imagine/Peter Yarrow Books); Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Holiday Drama (Viking, Oct.); David Shannon’s It’s Christmas, David (Scholastic/Blue Sky, Sept.); Dewey's Christmas at the Library by Vicki Myron, Bret Witter, and Steve James (Little, Brown, Oct.); an oversize board book edition of Tomie DePaola’s The Night Before Christmas (Holiday House, Aug.); Silent Night by Juliet Groom, illustrated by Tim Warnes (Good Books, Oct.)
Other noteworthy fall picture books include The Lonely Phonebooth by Peter Ackerman, illustrated by Max Dalton (Godine), based on a phone booth that still stands on Manhattan’s Upper West Side; My Name Is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Sept.); Waking Up Is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, illustrated by Danial Miyares (Imagine!, Sept.); Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin A. Ramsey and Floyd Cooper (Carolrhoda, Nov.); Spork by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault (Kids Can, Sept.); a Spanish-language edition of Carmen Agra Deedy’s bestselling 14 Cows for America (Peachtree); Chick ‘n’ Pug by Jennifer Sattler (Bloomsbury, Sept.); Stop Bugging Me by Daniel Cleary (Blue Apple, Sept.); and Presenting… Tallulah, a picture book debut for actress Tori Spelling (Aladdin, Sept.).
When one thinks about interactive children’s books, two Matthews spring to mind: Matthew Reinhart and Matthew Van Fleet, who both have new books. Reinhart’s DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book will be released from Little, Brown’s LB Kids imprint in October, giving readers a pop-up look at superheroes such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Van Fleet’s Heads (in the vein of 2006’s Tails and 2008’s Alphabet) will be published by S&S’s Paula Wiseman Books in late August.
Two nifty animal-themed alphabet books are on the way: Kingfisher will release Dan Green’s Wild Alphabet in September, a small-format pop-up book starring less-common animals for each letter. And in August, Seven Footer Kids is publishing Alphapets, which features punch-out letters that can be folded into animals corresponding to each letter (it’s part of the new Construct and Create line, along with a stencil book, 100 Shapes).
Another pair of books give kids hands-on approaches to creating comics: Monster Comics by Mike Herrod (Blue Apple), which includes a “magic pen” that illuminates invisible ink on the pages, as well as Lila and Ecco’s Do-It-Yourself Comics Club by Willow Dawson (Kids Can, Sept.).
American Girl is launching a new interactive line in September called Innerstar University, which is a choose-your-own-adventure-style series that kicks off with four titles; the publisher will also be announcing a new “girl of the year” in January, following 2010’s Lanie. And Abbeville will publish Sara Ball’s Flip-o-Saurus in August, which lets readers mix and match dinosaur heads, torsos, and tails to create new species.
Also on deck: a streamlined, pop-up version of Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet’s 365 Penguins entitled 10 Little Penguins, which Abrams will publish in November; a pair of interactive titles from Kingfisher (The Book of Bad Things and Legendary Journeys: Trains); iDrakula by Bekka Black (Sourcebooks Fire, Oct.), which offers text messages and IMs in the book (and the opportunity for readers to receive related texts as they read); the second book in Jordan Weisman and Mel Odom’s book-plus-board game Lost Souls trilogy, Dead Lands (Running Press, Nov.); new additions to Barron’s “If You Love” series and an interactive book called Emily the Ice Dancer (readers can make her pirouette); The Robot Book by Heather Brown from Andrews McMeel’s Accord imprint, featuring turning cogs and gears; Alphabeasties Amazing Activities (Blue Apple), a companion to the typography-focused Alphabeasties.
Nonfiction and Nonfictionish
In the nonfiction category, Holiday House’s big title is the picture book Lafayette and the American Revolution by Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman (Oct.). DK has a pair of Star Wars-related titles—Star Wars The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia (July) and Lego Star Wars: Brickmaster (Oct.)—as well as Danger! (Oct.), a guide to all things dangerous and gross. Also on the lighthearted side is Egmont USA’s Vordak the Incomprehensible, a humorous guide about how to rule the world, “written” by a titular supervillain. Abrams is publishing Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel in October (this year marks the 40th anniversary of her death). Kids Can has a new addition to the CitizenKid line, The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough by Katie Milway Smith, illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault, about sustainable farming. Kingfisher’s series of Basher books is adding its first two non-science titles: on punctuation and math. And National Geographic has updated its popular National Geographic Kids’ Almanac for 2011 (May).