Reporting: Penguin Young Readers Group Fall 2009
All right, all right. I’m beginning to tire out. But we’re nearing the end of the Fall 2009 librarian preview season (phew!) just in time for the ALA Conference in July. And what better way to cap it all off than with a little September – December 2009 action courtesy of everyone’s most-difficult-to-find-on-a-Google-map publisher, Penguin. It’s the March of the Penguin Preview, and I am your humble host for the evening, one small Bird.
We begin . . . oh, let’s just cut to the chase. I was in a funky mood when this particular preview occurred and if I’m not careful that same mood will seep through my notes into this posting. And since we don’t want that (my weird moods are best described as moments when my inner-five-year-old makes a wild lunge at my cerebral cortex, and then digs in her nails) we might as well start at the very beginning. Word on the street has it that it’s a very good place to start.
I decided to actually keep track of who spoke when on this particular day for the first hour, and then quickly lost track. So first up was Team Dutton. As the librarians took their seats, Team Dutton spread itself out with at least one staff member per table. My Duttonite was Julie Strauss-Gabel. How do I know this? Penguin has the wherewithal to give its editors and marketing mentalists nametags. This pleases me inordinately.
First off, I should make a confession. In spite of its presence on my Top 100 Picture Book Poll, I am not the world’s biggest Skippyjon Jones fan. I won’t go into the particulars, but it simply isn’t my cup of tea. Maybe it’s the residual horror from the Siamese cat my grandmother used to own. Its name was Tybalt. It bit. The memories pain me. In any case, I may be immune to the charms of Skippyjon Jones: Lost in Spice (not a misspelling), but someone at some point held up a Skippy puppet that made a hairline crack in my cat-distrusting facade. It’s not out until next year, though, so don’t get your hopes up wanting it quite yet. Maybe they’ll have one at the Penguin booth at ALA to look at, though. Dare to dream.
Then right at the start they showed me a novel that had a fabulous cover. Here’s an indication of whether or not a book jacket is going to go over well with the kids. If a children’s librarian such as myself holds the book in her hand and stares at it continually for a good minute and a half, there’s something going on there. The book in question is An Off Year by Claire Zulkey. The premise is that a girl goes to college, get the key to the door of her dorm, gets it near the lock, then decides she’s not ready and takes a year off. It’s the kind of situation that makes parents instinctively clutch at their hearts, but apparently this is a well-recorded phenomenon amongst the over-scheduled kidset. Fascinating.
My Side of the Mountain is 50. 50-years-old. If it were a person it would start getting membership queries in the mail from the AARP. It would be watching its cholesterol and considering its retirement options. Now the book’s author, Jean Craighead George, is 90 in July and so she wrote The Pocket Guide to the Outdoors as a kind of companion piece to MSOTM. Apparently it has a nice large section on falconry (the part of the book she still gets the most questions). Modeling one’s own life after Jean Craighead George seems like a good way to go. New Plan: Write books until 90. Then write some more books. Check and check.
Hold Still by Nina LaCour looks at teen suicide. My thought on the matter is that the girl in the book who commits suicide is named Ingrid. Strangely, my only other association with that name is the book The Time Traveler’s Wife, in which an old girlfriend in the book is named Ingrid. She commits suicide too. Something about the name.
Dinosaurs + Trucks = Dinotrux. Dinosaurs + Trains = The upcoming Dinosaur Vs. Train by Chris Barton. And now Dinosaurs + Cowboys (+ American geography?) = The Dinosaur Tamer by Carol Greathouse. Makes sense.
Let me tell you a little something about Winnie-the-Pooh. Do you know how many people over the years have approached the estate of A.A. Milne, trying to get official permission to write further Pooh tales? More than a few, to say the least. And David Benedictus, the fellow who wrote Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (illustrated by Mark Burgess who, thanks to his Paddington work, is apparently attempting to corner the market on famous bears in children’s literature) did approach the Pooh estate. They took a look at his stuff. They approved. And so in October we will see the official Winnie sequel hit bookstore shelves everywhere. That’s all I can tell you since the talk about this book essentially boiled down to, "I can’t tell you anything about it. I can’t show you anything." In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out if Dutton is also advertising new covers for the old Pooh books. The catalog is unclear. They look nicer than the rather plain jackets I’ve seen before.
On the Peg Kehret cover front, the woman has finally been given a good cover (see: Trapped for a sense of what I mean). Runaway Twin‘s a bit dramatic, but I’m fond of the color scheme.
Next up it’s Philomel with Tamra Tuller stepping up to the plate. And the opening pitch? Loren Long.
Long’s got himself a brand new picture book that he has both written and illustrated called Otis. Not content with inanimate objects like Drummer Boy, Toy Boat, The Little Engine That Could, or Madonna’s apples (you know what I mean), Long has gone for the twofer reference lunge. Look at Otis and what do you see? The world’s first lovechild of Munroe Leaf and Virginia Lee Burton. I mean, is that Ferdinandian or is that Ferdinandian?:
The story is about a little tractor that befriends a calf. Then comes the inevitable part where new technology replaces the old and the tractor gets depressed. There’s a nice little controlled color scheme to this endeavor. You can practically hear Sterling Holloway read it off the page. Worth considering a glance at, anyway.
I wrote a poem in honor of the next book. Ahem.
David Lucas has a new book.
It’s called Something to Do.
I like David Lucas.
You should like David Lucas too.
Yeats I am not.
Then we come to the gamble. Patricia Polacco has made a new book. No suprises there. That is her job, after all. Only this book, January’s Sparrow, warranted a two-page inclusion in the Penguin catalog. Now consider the following statistics:
The book is 96 pages long.
The book is 10" X 11" – which is to say, picture book sized.
The book is recommended for grades 3 and up.
What does this mean? It means that she’s written a story along the same lines as Pink and Say. Almost a companion piece to it really. Loosely based on a true story out of Marshall, Michigan, it’s a tale of slaves escaping from cruelty to the north. The Penguin catalog has selected an image for the page that shows two hands bound and bloodied, held by an equally reddened rope. There was no cutting Polacco down on this one, they say. And no glossing over of the horrors of slavery either. Patti Lee Gauch was the editor of this one, so we shall see how it plays in Peoria. Take a look at an online gallery of the art here.
I’m a huge Bloom County fan. That fact comes up on this blog fairly often. I grew up with it, loved it, and even had my own stuffed Opus. A doll that my little brother threw up on and then was never quite fit for play again. The fact that Berkeley Breathed continues to A) exist and B) stay strangely young pleases me. I’ve also noticed that while his children’s book career had a somewhat shaky start, he gets better with every book he does. So that Christmas Opus book – meh. That Mars Needs Moms book – hm. That Pete & Pickles book – Oh ah? And now we have Flawed Dogs. This is not to be confused with Breathed’s 2003 title of the same name, mind. More a middle grade novel than anything else (think 240 pages with full-color illustrations) it’s taking on the Westminster Dog Show. And involves a dachshund with a soupspoon for a leg.
Question: Is upcoming The Duchess of Whimsy by Randall de Seve the anti-Fancy Nancy? Discuss.
Remember when I said the other day that if Tim Green wanted he could be the football verison of Mike Lupica? Well, Lupica’s now coming out with Million-Dollar Throw, which is a football story. Whoopsie doodle.
#3 is up! Dial Books for Young Readers and Laurie Hornik at the helm. How does Dial like to begin? Howzabout with a little Al Capone action? Remember Al Capone Does My Shirts? Got itself a l’il ole Newbery Honor back in the day. Well Gennifer Choldenko’s back with Al Capone Shines My Shoes. The cover made me smile. Remember that on the original jacket there’s a picture of Alcatraz and an arrow pointing to it saying, "I Live Here". Now there is a different picture of The Rock and this time the arrow says, "I Still Live Here". And while this may be subject to change, we heard the title of the third Al Capone book. You ready? It’s Al Capone is My Librarian. Could be they were just buttering us up with the magic "L" word, but I like to think it’s true anyway. Hey, check out the British cover they’ll be putting out in the UK:
Not sure what they’re trying to say with the whole unshinable shoe bit. For that matter, isn’t this a historical novel? Odd. Maybe this was just a working cover.
FYI, Penguin has been sending out these cute little galleys for the book, and look how they wrapped ’em up.
Aww. Like little Hamburglers.
Speaking of historical fiction, Grandma Dowdel is back. If that name means nothing to you it’s probably because you haven’t read the Newbery Award winning A Year Down Yonder (or its Newbery Honor winning predecessor A Long Way From Chicago). Grandma Dowdel is a force of nature. An old-time lady equally comfortable with a gun as she is with a pie. Now a new story is out. It’s A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck and in it Grandma helps out the kids next door. 1958 and everything. It’s on my To Be Read Shelf, I assure you.
Here, help me out. Who does this little guy look like to you?
I cannot figure it out. He’s cute, right? And he’s by Kevin Sherry so he sort of belongs to the Meghan McCarthy/Jan Thomas school of big white-eyed expression. That said, there’s something specific this evokes in my brain, but I can’t come up with it. If you’ve a clue, let me know.
Fire by Kristin Cashore. What more to say? Sequel (prequel, really) to Graceling, yes yes. Pretty shiny red cover, oh yes. Due out in October, yup. One thing I didn’t know was that at BEA they handed out galleys of the book along with packages of red hots. Yum! It ain’t chocolate, but I wouldn’t say no if you handed me some. Clever pairing.
Laura Lutz, children’s specialist, blogger, and foodie (she’s started culinary school, you know) was at my table with me. So you can imagine how excited she became when they introduced a young readers’ edition of Michael Pollan’s bestselling The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Now the young readers’ edition will follow the same format as the adult version, and will also come out in paperback and hardcover simultaneously. Looks good to me.
The other day I did my halfway mark Newbery and Caldecott Predictions for 2010, and I asked my readers to give me the names of some fabulous non-fiction to consider. One reader mentioned that Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World by Marilyn Nelson (illustrated by Jerry Pinkney) was worth my time and effort. The story is of all-female band (like in Some Like it Hot?) in the 1940s (maybe not so much) made up of black women and white women disguising themselves to look black. In it, Pinkney has merged his illustrations with collage, a style he does not usually work with. The text is written in poems, but in spite of the 80 pages and copious illustrations they’re selling this one for grades 5 and up. We shall see.
#4 time. Puffin time it is. And what better feller to start off with than with Jen Bonnell introducing us to a couple Jeff Corwin series. You know Corwin right? An Animal Planet star, I believe. Looking through his books, I couldn’t help but wonder if Steve Irwin ever considered making a children’s book series at some point. Hm.
Note: Roald Dahl Day this year is on September 13. Mark your calendars accordingly.
Then we took a gander at a couple more Jean Fritz rereleases. As you may know, David Small has been redoing the covers on such Fritz classics as Why Don’t You Get a Horse, Sam Adams? and Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? All well and good but I noted with shock the changes made to Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? With the original interior art by Trina Schart Hyman, the John Hancock book was always memorable to me because Hancock (at least in Hyman’s eyes) is a hottie. Pure and simple. So do a bit of compare contrast with me.
Va va voom.
No ladies for you, Mr. H!
And yes. This is actually what I consider to be important when sitting in on a preview.
If you want some commentary that actually sports a bit of meaning, there’s a companion title to the remarkable (and much used) Amazing You: Getting Smart About Your Private Parts. Amazing You was for the younger set. For the 6-8 year-olds we now have Changing You! by Dr. Gail Saltz which covers the puberty realm. To my mind, you can never have too many puberty books in a library. That’s some much needed stuff.
A new Minerva Louise is on the horizon. Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve. A shout-out to Ms. Janet Morgan Stoeke then. She was one of my earliest authorial readers.
And then it was time to reveal the new Puffic Classic covers. The two newbies this season are The Red Badge of Courage with a cover and introduction by Wendell Minor. Those of you with Penguin catalogs may be briefly puzzled by the Grades 3-7 suggestion with this book. I think everyone at my table agreed that that was probably a bit out of the ballpark. The other collection? The Happy Prince and Other Stories with an intro by Markus Zusak and cover art by Ian Bilby. A pity but the cover for this appears to be brown, and no child ever picks up a brown cover. This may be a case of a book getting a little too authentically old-fashioned, at least from a design standpoint.
On the Speak imprint side of things, Impossible by Nancy Werlin has a new cover. Apparently the book is now being pushed for the adult market, and the new paperback reflects that feeling. Clever. I think they’re right about getting it a new following. This book exerts a great deal of power over its ecstatic readership.
#5 and still alive. It’s G.P. Putnam’s Sons time with everyone’s favorite be-bow-tied book editor, Tim Travaglini. And what true life animal story turned into a picture book are we examining this week? We know about Nubs. We know about the Baghdad Zoo. Now meet Tarra and Bella. At an elephant sanctuary an elephant became best friends with the resident dog. The press release reads, "They ate together, slept together, and even understood each other’s language. And when Bella suffered a severe spinal injury, Tarra stayed by her side and was there for her until Bella regained her health." Just a note on any future printings of this press release. Uh, you might want to mention how Bella got that severe spinal injury. Because when reading it the way it is now, your eye immediately goes from "they ate together, slept together" to "severe spinal injury." I’m just saying. Not an association you want to make. In any case, the publisher went through some 500 photographs to get the best ones for the story.
Speaking of cute, you know who’s adorable? David Ezra Stein. Oh… I mean his books are adorable. Suuure I do. Actually Pouch! by David Ezra Stein is downright sweet as pie. I guess we’ve plenty of kangaroo books out there, but this one might have a stab at being the first one librarians think of when a patron asks kangaroo-related fare. If you liked his Leaves or Cowboy Ned and Andy, I think you’ll enjoy this one as well. I’ve read it through several times and have been thoroughly charmed in the process.
When you come to the page for Dreamdark: Silksinger by Laini Taylor in the Penguin catalog, you may notice a flaw in the author photograph. Mainly, the fact that Laini’s hair is a rather staid and sober brown and not the riot of hot pink best associated with her. Apparently it’s an older shot, but it’s definitely not going to help all the librarians out there who have to deal with kids asking them, "I want the book by the pink-haired lady" (which apparently is a legitimate reference question). I learned that my blurb for the previous book has appeared in the galley of Silksinger, so that’s groovy. You can bet I’ll be reading it soon. Laini Taylor is one of my favorite authors writing today. No bluff no guff.
Keiko Kasza’s My Lucky Day is one of my storytime staples. I kill with My Lucky Day. It brings down the house. And now she has a new book out called Ready for Anything! If it contains even half the charm of MLD I will be content.
Strega Nona fans will be pleased to hear that Tomie dePaola has a new book out starring everyone’s favorite witch. Strega Nona’s Harvest is due out in October (appropriately enough) and will star you know who. Big Anthony will also play a large role, which is good news for the Big Anthony groupies out there. Which is to say, just me. I can’t think of anyone else who has a yen for the big lug.
The Mitten by Jan Brett is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, so it now has a new cover.
And I’m convinced that David Horowitz is slowly making in-roads into the American psyche. He has a way with wall-climbing eggs, less than gorgeous squash, and gefites, that one. Now his book Duck, Duck, Moose is coming out, and it’s great. A good car trip / road trip book for any kid reluctant to leave home and, eventually, reluctant to leave wherever it is they have been.
Fans of Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson’s short story collection Water will be delighted to hear that the English couple’s newest compilation will be Fire. Apparently it took a while to come out because McKinley kept getting distracted. And by "distracted" I mean that she started writing one story and it turned into Dragonhaven. And she tried writing another story and it turned into Chalice. Ah, but what lucrative distractions they were.
#6: Grosset & Dunlap. A quick note on Snakes by Jeff Corwin. Apparently Plan A had been to put an image on the cover of an anaconda eating a deer. They didn’t go with it. I know why, but the 12-year-old in me says, "grrr!"
In other series news, somebody somewhere had a notion that I would like to tip my hat to. They must have heard that libraries like my own may buy the new Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, but when it comes down to it, kids really want the originals. With that in mind Grosset & Dunlap is coming out with a Hardy Boys Starter Set and a Nancy Drew Starter Set. Each box contains mysteries 1-6, and the boxes even match the color of the books: Blue for HB, Yellow for Nancy.
At this point my notes become a little fuzzy because I can’t tear my eyes away from the Magic Puppy and Magic Kitten pages in the catalog. So sparkly. So fuzzy.
You will obey the kitten. You will do whatever the kitten wants. The kitten is your master now. Bow to the little kitten.
Which transitions us nicely to a tale of the devil’s daughter. Right. Which is to say, the new Bedeviled series by Shani Petroff. Daddy’s Little Angel is book number one, and the concept is pretty straightforward. Your dad is the devil and he’s offering you anything you want. Randomly I believe I met Ms. Petroff in a Micol Ostow writing class about a year ago. So I heard about this book way way back. They keep saying that angels are going to be the new vampires. But no one has yet taken the Dad as the Devil metaphor to its logical extreme, that I know of. The funny thing is that this appears to be a light comedic YA title and not some big heavy diatribe. Hm. Kudos for the vans on the cover, by the way.
Note on Strawberry Shortcake : Where’s her big red afro gone? Used to be Strawberry S and Ronald McDonald would battle it out for the world’s biggest cherry colored ‘fro. Now they’re both so sleek and shiny. Boo.
She’s not even red anymore. She’s pink. Whazzup with that?
Now since #7 was Razorbill, I didn’t expect I’d write much about them. After all, aren’t they strictly a teen imprint? Apparently not so much anymore. Times are changing and imprints are diversifying. So while the talk began with mentions of the new Audrey, Wait cover, the fact that Vampire Academy is akin to Tolstoy, Pretty Little Devils by Nancy Holder is like Babysitter’s Club with a nightmare twist (my take, not theirs), and Possessions by Nancy Holder is yet another boarding school supernatural tale (think Down a Dark Hall), there were other bits of younger fare.
Not my favorite book mentioned, though. Now I’m sure my pointing a finger at I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President is a bit suspect considering its pedigree. One Josh Lieb is the author, after all. Mr. Lieb is also the co-executive producer of The Daily Show (and if he’s reading this then he should really make that lovely Mr. Elliot Kalan act in more bits) which I watch faithfully. But the strength of this novel may rely on its narrator, use of photography for interior gags, and the title alone (which is why I took note of it in the first place). It seems strange to me that this book wasn’t released closer to the 2008 election, but maybe it wasn’t finished in time. Dunno. In any case, the film rights have already gone to Warner Brothers.
It makes my teeth itch to say this, but maybe The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion is on to something. I’ve had kids asking for books on how to become fashion designers and the like and I pretty much have nothing for them (which is particularly ironic since my library basically sits on the edge of the Fashion District and fashion week takes place in my library’s backyard with freaking frequency). And then I start looking at this book a little longer and I think to myself, "Man. Is Seventeen Magazine missing the boat on this one or what?" Where’s their book? This title has the same trim size as the magazine itself, which will set it apart. It won’t age well, but for the next 5-10 years it’ll get use, and that’s something to keep in mind.
A quick note to Lucy Silag, author of Beautiful Americans – At the Abrams librarian preview your dad kept talking up your book. So next time you see him, give ‘im a big old hug. That man is your own personal publicist, no question.
Anywho, about that whole not-everything-in-Razorbill-is-for-teens, there a book coming out by David Walliams that I am very excited to read. The Boy in the Dress is illustrated by Quentin Blake and looking at it you would be convinced that it’s a Roald Dahl title. It’s something about the size of the cover, the font, the position of the boy on the jacket… I dunno. The author is probably best known for Little Britain, which makes me wonder when David Mitchell and Robert Webb are going to write their middle grade novels. Hm.
#8 – Viking. It’s weird to end on Viking, right? Felt weird to me, anyway. In any case, it was about the time we were hearing about The Doll Shop Downstairs by Yona Zeldis McDonough that I realized that the book’s illustrator Heather Maione is having a banner year. Her books are everywhere! But back to the book, it’s a story inspired by the creation of the Madame Alexander dolls. Viking kept comparing it to All-of-a-Kind Family, which didn’t make much sense to me until they made it clear that the heroine is Jewish. Then they reminded us that there’s a new American Girl doll out there named Rebecca who is also Jewish. But the American Girl doll is a pricey $90 while this book? A cool $14.99. Slick salesmanship. Didn’t see that one coming.
If The Strange Case of the Missing Sheep by Mircea Catusanu conjures up memories of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, that may not be entirely coincidental. Apparently Mr. Scieszka a.k.a. Ambassador Man was a consultant on the text of this tale. Mircea Catusanu, originally Hungarian, was the only author I saw in the catalog with his own pronounciation guide (Meer-cha Catoo-sha-noo). I like his sheep.
Best quote regarding Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy: "Don’t forget about Corduroy. He’s Jewish. Sort of." A Yarmulke for Corduroy.
As a fan of Kathleen Krull’s Giants of Science series (if you haven’t read her Isaac Newton you are seriously missing out, and I am not even kidding you), I was delighted to see that Albert Einstein will be her next subject, followed closely by Darwin. I hope she does a really weird scientist next like Alfred Ely Beach. We need some new scientists in our children’s rooms. I’m getting tired of the usual suspects.
Take a look at the cover of Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge.
Geez. That’s a good cover. It’s the March on Selma from the point of view of children from that time. At a slim 80 pages it won’t scare away those folks unwilling to tackle long non-fiction subjects, and there are photos inside that have never been published before. While this book was discussed I found it unnerving how often the name "Betsy" was said over and over again. Gave me repeated shocks of recognition. Oh. And in the course of discussing this book it was casually mentioned that Betsy Partridge’s grandmother was none other than the great photographer Imogene Cunningham! I had a minor fit at the table when I heard this. One of my two majors in college was in Fine Arts with a concentration in photography. Imogene Cunningham was one of the greats.
Note to authors established and new: When writing your quickie bio I advise you to take a cue from Alane Ferguson, author of the upcoming The Dying Breath: A Forensic Mystery. And I quote, "Ms. Ferguson attends autopsies near her home in Elizabeth, Colorado." Beat that!
Which brings us to our super secret guest of the day. But first, LUNCH! While loading my plate down with sandwiches (good sandwiches too) I speculated over who the guest would have to be. Asking Scottie just got me, "Oh, I bet you can figure it out." So I tried. And after a great deal of concentration I decided that the obvious choice would be Betsy Partridge. Everybody likes a Betsy, after all. I felt very clever. I wrote her name down in my notes in preparation. I’m sure that would have served me very well indeed too, had Richard Peck not walked in the door.
A word on Mr. Peck. There is no mistaking him. You will never go to a party, see him, and say to the person on your side, "I’m terribly sorry but is that Neal Schusterman over there?" No one resembles him in the slightest. He is his own man, born and bred.
It is customary at these previews for me to comment on the outfit of the person speaking. The first time this happened it involved a furry green vest. The second time, sailor pants. And Mr. Peck was looking particularly natty, so it will do no harm to say that he was sporting a dark suit jacket while rocking a yellow silk pocket square. Matching said square was a silk yellow tie, consisting of an undulating jungle of pattern. All this was set off by his deep blue shirt and a face that does not appear to age, change, lengthen, or fall over the years. It just gets a little sharper.
I had not heard Mr. Peck speak before. Please know that I have been to approximately five events where we were in the same room. And each time I have failed to figure out what to say to the man. I don’t have that go-to line that is so often useful in these cases like, "I read you as a child." Not out of avoidance, I just never ran across his books. Nor can I use that other line, "You’re my Facebook friend." Tis to laugh. So I content myself with saying nothing.
This meant that hearing the man’s voice was entirely educational. To my amazement, Peck is the kind of speaker that can read his own work and talk to a room without changing or modulating his voice even a smidgen. Somehow, it’s all part of the way he is. Noteworthy sentences included, but were not restricted to:
Regarding his best known character Grandma Dowdel – "She loomed up suddenly in my life blotting out the day. In a Lane Bryant dress."
Regarding the names of his aunts growing up – "Not a Britney among them."
"Sentimentality is the enemy of what we do."
"Beatrix Potter knew that childhood is a jungle, not a garden."
Regarding kids today – "… a generation who brings laptops to the dinner table… on Christmas Day."
Oh, it’s good stuff. You don’t just get that kind of talkin’ any old where. And I suppose that if you wanted to see him speak you could get yourself that Master Class DVD he did with SCBWI. I’ve been bugging my library system to buy a couple.
In the end I could have spoken to him. Could have gotten him to sign a book or two. But he sat down for his lunch and I had to get back to work. So no Peck discussion for me. Maybe next time.
Best Cover: Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum. The cover is clearly a David Frankland number, and will be intriguing whole hosts of kids. Love those colors too. Wow.
Best Meets: "Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth" – The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
Runner-Up: "Alex Rider meets Jurassic Park meets virtual reality" – The Hunting: Book One – Z. Rex by Steve Cole
Filed under: Uncategorized
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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