This week, Mariko Tamaki and Gene Yang have a super conversation; Neil Patrick Harris makes a magical appearance at the Library of Congress; Mo Willems wows on stage; Max Brallier celebrates the latest Last Kids on Earth novel; Nandini Bajpai hosts an unmatchable book launch; and Pam Berkman and Dorothy Hearst take a ride to Novato, Calif.
A San Francisco Treat
Last Wednesday, Mariko Tamaki and Gene Yang swung by The Bindery, the event space of San Francisco bookstore The Booksmith, to introduce their new projects for DC. Yang led a q&a on Tamaki’s YA graphic novel, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, and also touched upon his middle grade periodical, which will be released as a graphic novel collection, Superman Smashes the Klan, next spring. Tamaki’s Harley Quinn is a teenager deciding between her friend Ivy’s activism and the mysterious Joker’s anarchy in the fight against Gotham’s gentrification. Yang focuses on Kal-El’s immigrant identity, as his Superman battles Nazis with the help of a Chinese-American family. Guests also enjoyed a book signing and free Superman bookmarks.
A Kind of Magic
On September 11, actor and author Neil Patrick Harris spoke to a crowd of more than 600 people in Washington, D.C. Moderated by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden (shown here with Harris in her office), the event was the first in the Library of Congress’s “National Book Festival Presents” lineup. Harris unveiled the third installment of his middle grade series, The Magic Misfits: The Minor Third (Little, Brown), which highlights Theo Stein-Meyer’s perspective and reveals a new villain in the form of an ominous ventriloquist. Harris showed attendees a magic trick, and a signing followed, with books available for purchase by Politics and Prose.
Mo’ Excitement for Pigeon Fans
Mo Willems rocked out in Washington, D.C., at “Mo-a-Palooza Live!: A Musical Celebration of Your Favorite Mo Willems Characters” this past Sunday for the John F. Kennedy Center’s REACH Opening Festival. During the sold-out concert, Willems sang songs from his past plays and musicals, and gave the audience a sneak peek of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical), which will have its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in November. An inflatable 20-foot-tall Pigeon from Willems’s bestselling series sat nearby for photos.
Max Brallier chatted with his editor, Dana Leydig (r.), on Saturday afternoon about his latest book, The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade (Viking). The fifth book in The Last Kids on Earth series features more of Jack and his friends’ monster-fighting hijinks, plus an unforeseen foe. New York City’s Books of Wonder hosted the party at its Upper West Side location, which included a photo booth, tattoo station, games, and cupcakes.
A Debut to Dye For
This past Saturday, Nandini Bajpai launched her U.S. debut, A Match Made in Mehendi (Little, Brown), at Wellesley Books in Wellesley, Mass. The YA romance stars an Indian-American teen whose parents believe she has inherited the gift of matchmaking. Bajpai read from her novel, and a henna tattooist and photobooth provided further entertainment for attendees.
Ticket to Ride
Co-authors Pam Berkman (l.) and Dorothy Hearst visited Lorna Verde Elementary in Novato, Calif., to present their chapter book series debut, Filigree’s Midnight Ride (S&S/McElderry), which stars Paul Revere’s eponymous family Pomeranian. The series, At the Heels of History, will focus on historical events through a canine lens. Students participated in a read aloud, q&a, and book signing. The visit also heralded the launch of the Bookstormer Foundation, a nonprofit working with Copperfield’s Books to provide Title I schools with author visits and complimentary copies for students. Hearst and Berkman will continue touring schools throughout Northern California.