Taylor Hits the Road

Laini Taylor’s new YA novel Daughter of Smoke and Bone, about a girl raised by demons who falls in love with an angel,went on sale this past Tuesday. Little, Brown staffers got in the spirit of things, celebrating the book’s release and the start of Taylor’s nine-city tour, which kicked off with school events and a visit to a Barnes & Noble near Chicago. Taylor is in Michigan today, and she has future stops in Connecticut, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California. PW’s starred review of the book called it “a masterful mix of reality and fantasy with cross-genre appeal.”

Park Visits Nashville

Linda Sue Park recently visited Wright Middle School in Nashville, Tenn., where, through the support of First Book and SCBWI-Midsouth, more than 200 students received a free copy of Park’s A Long Walk to Water, based on the real-life experiences of Salva Dut, one of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. The novel comes out in paperback in October from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Sandpiper imprint. Here, Park and Wright students show off their new books. Park has a recap of the event on her Livejournal page.

Veteran Player, Rookie Author

With the NFL season just getting underway, New York Giants star Justin Tuck took some time out for a media and bookstore tour for his first children’s book, Home-Field Advantage (S&S, Aug.), illustrated by Leonardo Rodriguez. Loosely based on Tuck’s childhood, the picture book stars a young Justin who is regularly bossed around by his five sisters. Seen here, Tuck met with young reporters from Newsday’s “Kidsday” section, and he also visited Bookends bookstore in Ridgewood, N.J.

Pseudonymous Bosch, Out of Hiding

You didn’t see it here, but author Pseudonymous Bosch made a supersecret visit to the West Hillsborough School in Hillsborough, Calif., this past Tuesday, as part of his tour for the fifth and final book in his Secret series, You Have to Stop This (Little, Brown, Sept.). The first book, The Name of This Book Is Secret, was recently selected by Al Roker for his Book Club for Kids on the Today Show; video of Bosch’s incognito appearance on the show last month is available here.

‘Water Balloon’ Flight

Picture book author Audrey Vernick celebrated the release of her first middle-grade novel, Water Balloon (Clarion, Sept.) at an event earlier this month at BookTowne bookstore in Manasquan, N. J. Water balloon fights play a central role in the coming-of-age story, in which protagonist Marley copes with her parents’ separation and her increasingly distant friends. There were water balloons at the event, too, and although they were supposed to just be for show, as Vernick writes in her “How to Host a Perfect Book Launch” recap, “Be advised that because high school boys are involved, this will turn into a real water balloon fight at some point.” Photo: Michael Vernick.