Talking Trade

The 10th annual Young Adult Literature Conference, where authors and teachers come together to discuss trends and topics in YA literature, took place at the Hotel Arista in Naperville, Ill. The first day of the conference, hosted by Anderson’s Bookfair Company, was designed for educators and featured keynote speakers Gayle Forman and Michael Grant, among others. The second day was open to consumers and included book presentations, panel discussions, trivia activities, and more. (From l.): David Lubar, Andrew Smith, C. Alexander London, Bennett Madison, and Terra McVoy share a casual discussion about writing, reading, and sharing their books with readers.

An ‘Illuminating’ Occasion

Kate DiCamillo launched her tour for her new middle-grade novel, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick) with a Q&A session, followed by a reading and signing, at the historic Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn. The event, which drew a packed house of adults and children, was recorded for later broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio. Here, Cathy Wurzer (l.) of Minnesota Public Radio discusses the novel with DiCamillo (r.).

Make Way for Dragons

At a media event in New York City, Harlequin revealed the title, description, and release date of a new YA novel from author Julie Kagawa. Talon, the first in a planned series, takes place in a world where dragons are able to disguise themselves as humans and a war ensues between the dragons and warriors who are determined to destroy them. The book releases on October 28, 2014, and has already been auctioned for film by Universal Pictures. Here, Kagawa is all smiles as she cradles two dragons that the author crafted herself.

Ferocious Fan

Mari Mancusi just wrapped up her Texas book tour for Scorched (Sourcebooks), a fantasy novel about a 16-year-old girl who is in possession of a dragon’s egg that holds a pivotal role in shaping the future. The author kicked off the tour with a release party at BookPeople in Austin, where she was joined by P.J. Hoover, whose debut novel, Solstice Tor), melds dystopia and mythology. The two authors spoke about their books, and a dragon and mythology trivia contest followed. Guests of all ages sampled “Solstice Punch” or “Flying Dragon” cocktails. Except for maybe Mancusi’s littlest fan – one-year-old Alex, the son of fellow fantasy author Cory Putnam Oakes – who came dressed for the occasion.


Bookcourt in Brooklyn hosted a launch party on September 28 for Ten Orange Pumpkins (Dial) by Stephen Savage. The Halloween-themed book counts down from 10, using pumpkins that one-by-one meet a ghoulish end. Savage invited audience members to participate in an interactive read-aloud by pretending to be mummies, ghosts, and witches. The event also included a round of pumpkin trivia (sample question: “are pumpkins fruits or vegetables?”) and kids in attendance also received mini pumpkins decorated with jack-o’-lantern faces drawn by Savage. Here, the author (center) is joined by publicity assistant Marisa Baglaneas (l.) and editor Steve Meltzer (r.).

Pieced Together

During the Chicago Children’s Book Fair, Chris “Elio” Eliopoulos signed 60 copies of Mr. Puzzle Super Collection (Capstone) for readers in under an hour. During the signing, one fan pondered if Mr. Puzzle, whose powers lie in his ability to problem-solve by bending and changing shape, would make it to Hollywood. Others pitched book ideas to Eliopoulos, and one reader informed him that he was going to stay up past bedtime to read Mr. Puzzle’s latest adventure.