As our feature by Leonard S. Marcus about children's book pioneers indicates, children's books have come a long way since their early days. Two fall novels--Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer and Brisingr by Christopher Paolini--have the two largest print runs of the year, for children's or adult (3.2 million for Meyer; 2.5 million for Paolini). And while three mega-selling series (by Meyer, Cornelia Funke and Jeanne DuPrau) are drawing to a close this season, there are plenty of titles in every genre ready to take up the slack.
The launch of a new series (The 39 Clues) and the first volume in a dystopian trilogy (The Hunger Games) have each been getting plenty of pre-pub buzz. As has The Graveyard Book, an October novel from Neil Gaiman. Look for big fall sequels from Eoin Colfer, Cornelia Funke, Judy Blume and Sharon Creech. In picture books, there's a new Scrambled States title from Laurie Keller; two new Ologies (Monsterology and Spyology); a picture book by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Harry Bliss; along with new works from Kevin Henkes, Jan Brett, Graeme Base, and the team of Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell, among many others. And in nonfiction, David Macaulay's The Way We Work arrives in October.
Have a look through our comprehensive fall listings, as well as our sneak preview of spring 2009, and be sure to note the books with major first printings in our fall on-sale calendar. We've got a profile of author Francesca Lia Block, and a retailing success story which, in these times, is perhaps the strongest testimony to the strength of children's books: 24 children's-only stores that have survived for 20 years or more.