Big City, Bright Lights
The Associates of the Boston Public Library honored (back row, l. to r.) Christopher Paolini, Kevin Hawkes, Gary Schmidt, and Mitali Perkins at its Literary Lights for Children tea party on September 30. The authors discussed their careers and shared their love of books with an audience of more than 400 children and adults, including (front row, l. to r.) Angel Gracia, Wendy Laracuente, Naomi Kalombo, and Kingsley Umemba, the local schoolchildren who were selected to introduce the writers and presented them with their awards. The event seeks to raise awareness of children’s literature, promote literacy, and raise money for the Boston Public Library’s children’s services and collections. Photo: Roger Farrington.
The Children’s Book Council’s three-part Forum series finished off with an event called The Road Ahead: Expanding Horizons, in which the 40 publishing industry staffers, after being briefed on insights from this year’s first two forums, competed in a game show: “So You Think You Can Publish a Children’s Book.” Participants were sorted into imaginary publishing houses and each given a title, author, book description, and 45 minutes to develop a sales and marketing plan for the book. Each team was also assigned a panelist from one of the previous forums as an advisor. The winners, Last Word Books – charged with promoting a debut YA dystopian novel by a German adult author – were (above, from l.) Faye Bi, Little, Brown; Anna Roberto, Macmillan; Stephanie Stein, HarperCollins; Jake Katz, YPulse (team advisor); Chris Hernandez, HarperCollins; Rebekah Wallin, Scholastic; and Maggie Lehrman, Abrams.
A ‘Kiss’ Before Signing
Among the titles on Amazon Children’s Publishing’s inaugural list is Katie D. Anderson’s first YA novel, Kiss & Make Up. To celebrate its release, Southside Gallery in Oxford, Miss., hosted a party for the hometown author, who had previously written picture books and graphic novels. Her new novel centers on a lip-gloss obsessed teen who discovers that she can read the mind of anyone she kisses, and in keeping with the book’s puckered-up theme, launch-party guests snacked on cake pops adorned with (edible) lips. Warner Bros. has bought film rights to Kiss, and a webisode series based on the book is set for 2013.
Valley Girls (and Boys)
The most recent installment of the Hudson Valley YA Society series, hosted on October 7 by Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, N.Y., drew some 50 literature fans who gathered for a panel discussion with (from l.) Adele Griffin (All You Never Wanted, Knopf); Theo Lawrence (Mystic City, Delacorte); David Levithan (Every Day, Knopf); Eliot Schrefer (whose Endangered, published by Scholastic, was nominated for a National Book Award three days later); and Alyssa Sheinmel (The Stone Girl, Knopf). Griffin and Lawrence’s books, both with October 9 pub dates, were available for early sale in time for the event. Founded in 2010 by Jennifer Laughran and Suzanna Hermans, the Society, a monthly author event series, cultivates a literary-salon atmosphere, with refreshments, conversation, and giveaways for attendees.
An Atypical Congregation
More than 150 fans put on their Sunday best – on a Wednesday evening – to help author Tonya Hurley (ghostgirl) launch her new YA trilogy. The series begins with The Blessed (Simon & Schuster), which introduces readers to three Brooklyn teenagers – Lucy, Cecelia, and Agnes – whose lives parallel those of their namesake martyred saints. St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights – which is referenced in the book and was also where the book trailer was shot – hosted the party, which featured musical performances by folk-rock duo Gus + Scout, Stephen Merritt (Magnetic Fields), and Vince Clarke (Yaz). Actress Kara Hayward (Moonrise Kingdom), who narrates The Blessed audiobook, read a passage from the book, and Manhattan’s Dreamcakes bakery created a cake (at r.) modeled on its cover. Photo: Bernadette Cruz.
A Big Gathering in Big Sky Country
Author Colin Meloy and illustrator Carson Ellis just wrapped up an eight-city national tour for Under Wildwood (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray), the second book in the Wildwood Chronicles, with an appearance at the Humanities Montana Festival of the Book in Missoula on October 4. After visiting bookstores in Portland, Ore.; Seattle, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boulder, and Nashville, the event was something of a homecoming for Meloy, who grew up in Helena, Mont. (Meloy and Ellis, who are married, now live in Portland). This year’s Montana festival, the 13th, drew more than 70 authors for two days and three nights of readings, panels, exhibits, demonstrations, signings, workshops, and other free events. Photo: Ken Stolz.