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Publishers Weekly Children's Features

Children's Bookbag
-- 9/14/98
Scholastic Brings Together Books, Web Sites and Cd-ROMs
Scholastic has partnered with interactive entertainment company Purple Moon and dELiA*s gURL.com website to create books based on new properties targeting teen and preteen girls. In the first deal, Scholastic will publish DEAL WITH IT: A guide to your body, brain and life as a teenage gURL next fall, with editorial content drawn from the gURL.com website. Scholastic was the winner in a five-way auction for the book. According to Stephen Kahn, president and CEO of dELiA*s, his company's teen web sites, including www.delias.com, www.gurl.com, www.gurlpages.com, www.gurlmail.com, and www.tsisoccer.com are currently averaging in excess of 19 million page views per month.
Scholastic will also publish a new line of books based on Purple Moon's Rockett series of CD-ROM and Internet adventures for girls. The first two books will be released to bookstores, book clubs and book fairs next fall. Thereafter, one additional title will be published at least every third month.

Home Run Anniversary
August 16 marked the 50th anniversary of legendary home-run hitter Babe Ruth's death, and last month Harcourt Brace's Silver Whistle imprint commemorated the event with publication of Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. Upon publication, the book had already advanced half of its first printing of 30,000 copies. A publication party was held at Levite Apache Books in Norman, Okla., Wimmer's hometown, on August 16, and more than 500 copies were sold. Meanwhile, Burleigh was interviewed about the book by numerous radio stations across the country.

Clive Cussler Series Targets Teenage Boys
Next month Pocket/Archway will launch a new series of stories adapted by Clive Cussler from his bestselling Dirk Pitt novels, aimed at teenage boys. According to Archway/Minstrel marketing manager Jane Ginsberg, the idea for the series came from an adult fan of Cussler's books (which are published by Pocket in paperback). The fan gave one of her sons a Dirk Pitt book when he became bored with other books published for his age group. This reader also wanted to give her younger son the same type of adventure stories, but felt that some of the content of the adult titles was too sophisticated. Thus, the first two titles in the series, Shock Wave and Inca Gold, have been abridged and edited for a younger audience. Pocket has printed up posters, and has timed the publication date to the release of Cussler's Flood Tide in paperback by the adult division.

Landoll to Publish 'Arthur' Workbooks
Landoll has announced a three-year agreement with Marc Brown, creator of Arthur, who is featured in a series of bestselling books and an Emmy Award-winning TV series, to produce educational workbooks and flashcards, as well as coloring and activity books. The new line, marketed under Landoll's American Education Publishing imprint, will launch in February.

Aladdin Explores the Hollywood Scene
This month, Simon &Schuster's Aladdin imprint is launching a new series in magazine format called Scene. It will feature the latest news about teen stars, as well as photographs, biographies and inside tips on living the cool life. For example, the first issue, spotlighting teen hearthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, includes a "Threads" section that suggests young readers (or their boyfriends) ask for Leo's signature "Shattered Look" hairdo at their local salon. There will also be a "Connect the Stars" game in every issue, for those who want to test their media IQ. Scene will be available in bookstores and will sell for $6.99. Future titles include Jennifer Love Hewitt (Oct.), Matt Damon (Nov.), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Dec.) and, kicking off the new year, Will Smith (Jan. 1999).

African American History Month is Coming Soon
For a feature in the December 14 issue, we need information, jacket art, marketing and promotional plans on African American oriented children's titles that will be published from September 1998 to March 1999 (for either holiday sales or African American History Month in February.

Also, please supply any information on black publishing trends and new authors. Send materials to Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly, 245 W. 17th St., New York, NY 10011. Please mark packages "AA Children's." The deadline is October 26.
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