‘Crush’-ing It on ‘Today’

Author Niall Leonard – husband of Fifty Shades of Grey phenom E.L. James – visited the Today show on Tuesday morning, where he discussed his new YA novel, Crusher (Delacorte, Sept.), with co-anchor Savannah Guthrie. Crusher is the story of a London teenager, Finn Maguire, who races to uncover who killed his father (and is himself a prime suspect). Leonard is a screenwriter by trade, and Crusher is his first novel. Click here for video of Leonard’s appearance on Today.

Celebrating Children’s Books in Princeton

The seventh annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival took place this past Saturday, organized by the Princeton Public Library. Seventy children’s book authors and illustrators participated, including Peter Brown, Michael Buckley, Brian Lies, Fran Manushkin, Wendy Mass, Bob Shea, Nancy Tafuri, and many more. Seen here, a pair of Abrams authors swap books: Amy Ignatow shows off a copy of Matt Luckhurst’s forthcoming Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventure (Oct.), while Luckhurst holds up the third book in Ignatow’s middle-grade Popularity Papers series.

On the Road with Kenneth Oppel

Kenneth Oppel kicked off a fall book tour with an event last Thursday at Blue Willow Books in Houston, Tex., as well as school visits in San Antonio. The tour, which continues in October with events in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and Oppel’s native Canada, is promoting Such Wicked Intent (S&S, Aug.), the second book in his Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series; the first book, This Dark Endeavor, was released in paperback earlier this year, as was the author’s Half Brother (Scholastic). The Victor Frankenstein books, both of which have received starred reviews, follow the eponymous scientist’s descent into darkness as a teenager.

On the Run with Erin Fry

Top Speed Running in LaVerne, Calif., was a fitting location for the launch of author (and PW contributor) Erin Fry’s first middle-grade novel, Losing It (Amazon Children’s Publishing, Sept.), about a 13-year-old boy who confronts his own obesity – and joins the school cross-country team – after his similarly overweight father has a stroke. More than 150 readers/runners turned out for the event this past Saturday; Fry (center, in yellow) is seen here with some of the young fans in attendance. Later this month, Fry will participate in the Los Angeles Public Library’s Teen Reading Night and the Orange County Children’s Book Festival.

Holub Hits Bookmarks Festival

This past weekend, writer Joan Holub visited the Bookmarks Festival of Books in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she discussed her two middle-grade series – Heroes in Training and Goddess Girls, both co-written with Suzanne Williams and published by Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin imprint. The first Heroes in Training book, Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom, follows a 10-year-old Zeus, who longs for adventure and finds it when giant Titans kidnap him. The ninth Goddess Girls title, The Girl Games, was published in July, and Pandora the Curious arrives in December.