Roker Picks ‘War Horse’

Al Roker has chosen Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 novel War Horse as the latest selection for his Book Club for Kids on the Today Show. The pick is the second in a row from Scholastic, following Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck, and comes amid a good deal of recent attention for Murpurgo’s book. The Broadway play based on War Horse won five Tony Awards earlier this year (as well as a sixth “special” Tony for the show’s puppetry), and on Christmas Day, DreamWorks will release a film version of the novel, directed by Steven Spielberg.

John Green Has It Covered

Big news this week for author John Green. Yesterday, Green revealed the cover for his forthcoming novel, The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, Jan.), designed by Rodrigo Corral. When the book was first announced, fans began creating their own cover art for it, which has been collected on a Tumblr page. The outporing of creative interest has also inspired a new, official cover design contest. Through November 21, fans can create and submit cover designs for a new trade paperback edition of Green’s Printz Honor book An Abundance of Katherines, with the winning design to be announced in January. Just one day after the announcement of the contest, the site has already received more than 14,000 unique visitors and 30 cover entires.

A Not-So-Silent Tour

Writer Becca Fitzpatrick just wrapped up a 14-city tour for Silence (S&S, Oct.), the third book in her Hush, Hush series, visiting many bookstores in California, with additional stops in Utah, Illinois, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. Other YA authors published by S&S took part in many of the events. At Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop in La Verne, Calif., Fitzpatrick (r.) was joined by Moira Young (l.), author of Blood Red Road, and Elizabeth Miles (center), author of Fury. Next up for Fitzpatrick: touring the U.K. and Canada, and a fourth, as-yet-unnamed addition to the series is planned for fall 2012. There are currently 1.5 million copies of the Hush, Hush books in print.

Zusak Visits the Sunshine State

During a recent trip to the U.S., Australian author Marcus Zusak (The Book Thief) visited Tampa Preparatory School in Tampa, Fla., and spoke before a crowd of more than 200 at a public event at the school. Local bookstore Inkwood Books organized a signing at the school, during which Zusak spent hours taking photos and speaking with each person in line. Here (l. to r.), Zusak is seen with Inkwood’s Amanda Hurley and Tampa Preparatory English teacher Stephanie Cardillo.

Down on the Farm

This past weekend, interactive/pop-up book creator Matthew Van Fleet signed copies of his new pop-up book MOO (S&S/Wiseman, Aug.) at the Autumn Celebration at Muscott Farm in Katonah, N.Y. The book is a companion to Van Fleet’s CAT and DOG, and all three books feature animal photography by Brian Stanton; some of the animals featured in MOO were photographed at Muscott Farm.Van Fleet (l.) is joined by Sue Moga, the director of the farm, and farmer Rick Newman, who assisted in the photographing of the animals. Photo: Brian Stanton.

Books and Ballet

Debut author Sophie Flack celebrated the release of her first YA novel, Bunheads (Little, Brown/Poppy, Oct.) with a cocktail party last Thursday at the Standard Hotel in New York City. Flack is a former dancer with the New York City Ballet, and Bunheads is the story of a 19-year-old rising ballet star who weighs the demands of the program against the opportunity for romance and what she really wants out of her life. Here, Flack is flanked by her agent, Brettne Bloom (l.), and her editor, Elizabeth Bewley.