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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Percy Jackson, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 54
1. New Story from Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan photo

“The Staff of Serapis”

You might remember last year, Rick Riordan published “The Son of Sobek” as an extra crossover story in the The Serpent’s Shadow. The story featured both Percy Jackson and Carter Kane together in the same story. It’s crazy when characters jump out of their own series and into other characters’ series, right? Well, Riordan has done it again. He announced on his blog last week that the new U.S. paperback edition of The Mark of Athena in stores now features a story with Annabeth Chase and Sadie Kane! It has the awesome title “The Staff of Serapis.”

The Staff of Serapis book cover

If you don’t want to buy The Mark of Athena paperback, the story will be available in e-formats, with the cover above, on May 20. Or you could, you know, rush to the library and see if they have the new paperback edition with the story at the end. Tell the librarian it MUST be the 2014 paperback edition!

What do you think? Did you like “The Son of Sobek”

enough to want a second story? Do you think Riordan should write an entire series combining all his characters?? Leave a Comment.

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2. Mostly-closed Doors T. M. Alexander



My first post on this site, Sliding Doors, told the tale of how I started writing, thanks to a poster in a bookshop. So for my World Book Week post, I’m going to describe the journey from winning a short story competition to my name on the spine of a paperback. It’s in shorthand, because it took some years! Along the way I got into the habit of collecting ‘ticks’ , because the odds against me seemed so huge it was the only way I could stay motivated. ‘Crosses’, I tried to bury.

I started writing a ‘book’ almost as soon as I heard that I was a PWA. (Prize-Wining Author – my family’s idea of a joke.) The idea was easy to come by because like all experienced marketers I ran a brainstorming session, inviting my kids, then 10, 8 and 6. (Interestingly I didn’t make a conscious decision to write for children, that was taken for granted somehow.) Two sides of scribbled-on sheet of A4 later I began my summer 2005 project. And loved it. I wrote every morning from about 6 to maybe 11, and the kids watched non-stop telly. Brill. Then we ate our bodyweight in three-course breakfasts. As the word count grew so did my determination for it not to languish on slush piles. (I’d bought the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook by then so knew the jargon.) Keen to speed up the learning curve, I applied for a place on the University of Bristol Creative Writing Diploma.
Tick!
I shared my enthusiasm with a stranger at a party. The wrong person as it turned out. She said, ‘I’m a librarian and my husband works at Waterstones, but I can’t get a children’s novel published so you’ve got no chance.’
Cross.
I shared my enthusiasm with a published children’s author. She said, ‘everyone thinks they can write.’
Cross.
I submitted my first assignment at Uni.
‘Unvarying in prose style. No sense of time or place and some format problems.’
Cross.
Sometime around then the marvellous Show of Strength – a Bristol theatre company, announced a competition to write a monologue for a show of rolling performances. Wonderful idea. My monologue, It’s My Party’ was brought to life by Lynda Rooke (most recognised from Casualty).  I stood in the audience and as the piece drew to a close I noticed the grey-haired man next to me was crying.
Tick!
Excellent, because more crosses were on the way.
I sent the first three chapters of my finished children’s book to an agent.
‘I love it, rush me the rest,’ she said.
I could see my future – hardback, paperback, film, Oscar ceremony . . .
Tick!
            ‘It’s got everything – drama, pathos . . . Can you come and see me in London?’
Tick!
            She wanted a few changes. I obliged.
            Time passed.
I let it – not wanting to be annoying.
Eventually I chased her.
She appeared to have forgotten about me, sending an email the essence of which was - ‘I didn’t like it that much after all.’
CROSS!
(In retrospect, approaching several agents at once might have been sensible, but I was terribly optimistic, so only contacted one at a time.)
The next response was something like, ‘it’s a ludicrous idea . . .’
Cross!
The next.
‘Too like Percy Jackson.’ (It really wasn’t.)
Cross!
Surely time for some good news? Yes!
Bruce Hunter at David Higham invited me for a cup of tea and agreed to represent me.
Tick!
Now, it would all fall into place.
Not.
The book was rejected by everyone.
Umpteen crosses over ten months (he too sent things sequentially).
In summer 2007 I wrote another book, which my agent loved. Was this the one?
No.
The book was rejected by everyone.
Umpteen crosses over eight months.
Cue Piccadilly Press, inviting me for a meeting.
I didn’t know what to wear. What do authors look like? Stupid thought.
They loved my book.
                         Tick!
But didn’t want to publish it – too quiet.
Cross!
Did I have any other ideas?
That morning (just in case) I’d had another brainstorm with the getting-older kids (12, 10 and 8). I regurgitated the rough idea of a gang of children called Tribe – who they were, what they did.
I was dispatched to write a short synopsis.
‘A paragraph will do,’ the publisher said.
Three paragraphs later (I didn’t want to under deliver), I had a contract.
TICK!

This October my fifth book will hit the fresh air. It’s about how one small act changes everything that follows. We’re back to Sliding Doors.

T. M. Alexander

www.tmalexander.com


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3. This and that - 3 reviews

A little of this and a little of that, as I'm ahead in reading and behind in writing!

(short stories, novel, audiobook)

Kibuishi, Kazu. 2012.  Explorer: The Mystery Boxes. New York: Amulet.

This book is an unexpected little gem, something of a mystery itself. From the cover, I was expecting a graphic novel mystery, a la The Box Car Children infused with a bit of magic.  What I found instead, was a themed, graphic, short story collection.  Mystery Boxes contains seven stories by noted graphic artists including Raina Telgemeier (Smile).  What ties these disparate illustrators and authors together is that each story features a mysterious box, contents unknown.  The stories range from amusing ("Spring Cleaning by Dave Roman and Telgemeier) to profound (Jason Caffoe's, "The Keeper's Treasure") to social commentary on war (Stuart Livingston and Stephanie Ramirez', "The Soldier's Daughter").

Judging from the way  my Advance Reader Copy was scooped up by a child in my book club, I'd guess this will be popular if it can find the right audience.  I'm also assuming that we can look forward to more collections in the Explorer series. I, for one, would like to see more interest in short stories.  They don't seem to be required reading for middle schoolers - a pity.  (Another good short story series, though not in graphic novel format, is Jon Scieszka's Guys Read Library)

Doyle, Roddy. 2012. A Greyhound of a Girl. New York: Amulet.

Advance Reader Copy

I chose to read this one because it features a multi-generational Irish family.  It's hard not to like Ireland - a beautiful country full of "lovely" people.  In fact, you will hear people in Ireland describe nearly anything as "lovely" --friendly people they are in general, but I digress.

This is the first Roddy Doyle book that I've read and I wasn't sure what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed it once I stopped looking for some artificial contrivance or tricky plot twist and settled in to enjoy a simple yet touching story of 12-year-old Mary O'Hara, and three of her female relatives, one of whom happens to be dead.  A Greyhound of a Girl covers a short span of time in a short book (208 small pages)  about life and death and family. Being of Ireland, of course it is not without humor.

Riordan, Rick. 2011. The Son of Neptune, The Heroes of Olympus Series, Book 2. Read by Joshua Swanson. Listening Library.
12 hours, 27 minutes.

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4. The Mark of Athena - this and that

Riordan, Rick. 2012. The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena. New York: Disney Hyperion.

Usually, I listen to Rick Riordan's books, but I read this one instead.  I think I prefer this series in print.


US trailer

UK trailer

The Mark of Athena, in which:

Percy and Annabeth are finally reunited
We don't see nearly enough of Ella (I love that harpy!)
Seven demigods set forth on a quest
Leo is odd man out
The end is a real cliffhanger


Here's the plot, according to Ella,

Wisdom’s daughter walks alone
The Mark of Athena burns through Rome,
Twin snuff out the angel’s breath,
Who holds the key to endless death.
Giant’s bane stands cold and pale,
Won through pain from a woven jail.

Some odds and ends:

Next up: The House of Hades, due out in October 2013.

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5. Movies 2013

In addition to the May 17 release (finally!) of Star Trek into Darkness, 2013 looks to be a good year for movies based on children's and YA books.

Coming up this year are:

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Ender's Game
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Other movies this year based on books/plays/classic tales include:

Bless Me, Ultima
Jack Ryan
Jack the Giant Slayer
Jurassic Park 3D
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Great Gatsby
World War Z
Much Ado About Nothing
Carrie
The Seventh Son

And based on comic books:

Iron Man 3
Man of Steel
The Wolverine
Thor: The Dark Worlds






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6. Love That Book

Two things book related are happening this week.  Wednesday is the debut of PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS by Rick Riordan.  If you or your children haven’t read any of the Percy Jackson novels, I urge you to give them a try. Action/adventure and a memorable main character make for great summer reading.

Friday is National Book Lovers Day.  Go to the library or your favorite bookstore and read your favorite story.  Or, have your child read a story to some younger kids. Or, share books with those who have none.  Happy Reading!


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7. Author Stephen Chbosky to Direct Adaptation of His Own Novel

Author Stephen Chbosky will direct a film adaptation of his 1999 novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. According to New York Magazine, Chbosky will write the screenplay as well.

Although no one has been cast yet for the lead role of Charlie, two book-based-movie stars have signed up: Harry Potter actress Emma Watson and Percy Jackson actor Logan Lerman.

In 2009, Chbosky’s book hit the #3 spot on the American Library Association’s top ten most frequently challenged books of 2009. The association listed these reasons for the challenges: “anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group.” (Via the Huffington Post)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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8. Jennifer Lawrence To Play Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games Adaptation

Winter’s Bone actress Jennifer Lawrence will play Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games film adaptation. As of this writing, fans have left more than 380 comments on Facebook, many protesting the choice.

We’ve included some of the comments below. Some complain that Lawrence (pictured, via) is too “old” because she is 20-years-old. In the first book, Katniss is 16. Others find fault with her appearance; Lawrence has blond hair, milky-colored skin, and blue eyes. Author Suzanne Collins describes Katniss as being a brunette with an olive complexion and gray eyes.

Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga, has said in past interviews that his hiring was met with initial fan protest. These days, Pattinson enjoys great popularity and has even gotten mobbed during outdoor movie shoots. What do you think?

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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9. ‘The Three Musketeers’ Coming in 3D

A 3D film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers will hit theaters in October 14th. The official trailer is embedded above–what do you think?

The film stars Percy Jackson actor Logan Lerman as a young D’Artagnan. Other cast members include Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom, and Milla Jovovich.

Last year at Comic-Con 2010, MovieWeb caught up with director Paul W.S. Anderson who promised fans, “We’re being relatively faithful to the book…we’re telling it in a very modern way but it is the classic [Dumas] story.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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10. The Lost Hero - audiobook review

Riordan, Rick. The Heroes of Olympus: Book One: The Lost Hero. Read by Joshua Swanson.  Listening Library.

A co-worker mentioned that this audiobook has "a slightly campy feel."  That sums this one up perfectly.  Not that campy is a bad thing. (How else can you portray Aeolus, God of Wind, who is insane, living in palace offering a one-man, 24/7 Olympian version of the Weather Channel?!)

The point is, readers and listeners will likely have different experiences with The Lost Hero.  Text offers much more room for interpretation than does audio.  The sheer number of characters - gods, goddesses, demi-gods, oracles, satyrs, wind spirits, centaurs, cyclopes, kings, wolves and more (!) make it an extremely difficult book for one reader, especially with a length of sixteen and a half hours.  That being said, however, Joshua Swanson does an admirable job, though the voice of Leo Valdez (a new arrival to Camp Half-Blood and a main character) did remind me a bit of Cheech Marin.

I'll skip a summary of the book, but here's a quick run-down:  Percy Jackson is missing, Annabeth is searching for him, three new demi-god campers (Jason, Piper and Leo) arrive at Camp Half Blood under peculiar circumstances and are sent immediately on a vague and dangerous quest, there is definitely more to come in future books. Chapters alternate between the perspectives of the three demi-gods.

I was sufficiently intrigued.  I'll probably see this one through 'til the end.

Listen to an excerpt here.
Another review @ Dog Ear

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11. in New Orleans @ ALA

I have been so busy here at ALA's Annual Conference in New Orleans, that I haven't had much time to post.  However, you can check out the ALSC blog for what's new at the conference.  I've been blogging for them daily.

In a nutshell, here are some highlights

  • New Orleans is a wonderful city! The people, the weather (yes, I like to be hot!), the food, the sights - fantastic!
  • Dan Savage was moving as he spoke to a huge crowd about It Gets Better.
  • Jeff Kinney is as funny in person as he is in The Wimpy Kid series.
  • Rick Riordan and his panel of colleagues were entertaining and informative. More Percy Jackson GNs are on the way.  The Kane Chronicles will be a trilogy.  The Son of Neptune will be out in October. There is a very cool new ALA READ poster by John Rocco on the way soon!
  • Did I mention the food is awesome?

Rick Riordan signing my copy of The Lost Hero

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12. A New Friend Tells Us About a Truly Terrific Book!

I'm always excited when a new reader guy sends us a review and today a new friend, mathfan, has written to us for the very first time. He's going to tell us about a book that I really enjoyed. Let's hear it, mathfan!


THE LOST HERO


Imagine flying horses, goat men, and horsemen hovering around your cabin as you came out for breakfast. This is what it would feel like to be in the Lost Hero. Through my many years of reading, I have enjoyed many books, but the Lost Hero by Rick Riordan stands out.

The nail-biting fast-paced action, in-depth details, and the hints of Greek Mythology in Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero impresses me immensely. The action is spread out all over the book; for example, Jason (the main character) and the sky-spirit Dylan battle it out in hand-to-hand combat. Another instance occurs when Jason impulsively jumps off of the edge of the skywalk to go save Piper, who falls off by mistake. When Jason jumps, he finds out his amazing power of being able to fly.


Given the fact that the book involves Greek gods, centaurs (horse people), and satyrs (goat people), I am instantaneously fascinated. Also, the really in-depth details bring these characters to life. For example, let’s describe the satyr. The satyr is half goat and half human. If you have friends who have really long hair (to cover their horns), always wear pants (to cover their goat legs), and eats cans and tin foil, you are likely to have a satyr on your hands. I like those characters because I am fascinated with Greek Mythology.


Another aspect of the book that I am fascinated about is the fiction and fantasy and that it is not like a boring history textbook. Rick Riordan is able to also push the limits by making fantasy sound like reality. For example, the setting of Camp Half-Blood may seem like a fantasy if someone else describes it, but the author makes the place seem like home. Camp Half-Blood is full of people in different cabins and is full of weird goat people. The Apollo Cabin practices archery and the Hephaestus cabin makes a celestial bronze sword. Jason thinks, “There is no way I can fit in here.” But he just has to wait and see. This is how the fiction and fantasy affects the book.

Having always enjoyed reading Rick Riordan’s books, I know that he is always going to be in the Hall Of Fame for writers. As you climb back into bed, overwhelmed with the sights, you now know all about the animals that live on the made-up land, of The Lost Hero.


Thanks, mathfan! I've always enjoyed Rick Riordan's books too and The Lost Hero is indeed full of "nail-biting fast-action." AND---did you know the next book in the series comes out soon? Like on October 4? Like in only fifteen days?? It's called

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13. The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel and other Olympian news

Just how big is Rick Riordan in the publishing world?  Well, he doesn't have a mere web page, he has a world, The Online World of Rick Riordan.  And he needs an online world to contain all of his projects!

I've been meaning to share a few things about Rick Riordan since attending the American Library Association conference this summer. I am so impressed with Rick Riordan's commitment to his craft, his boundless imagination, his friendly personality, his circle of talented colleagues,  and most of all, his ever-increasing appeal to readers.  Like Midas, whatever he touches turns to gold.


Did you know that The Lightning Thief and subsequent books in the series are being released in graphic novel format?  I might have passed on this news, had I not attended a session in New Orleans that featured Rick Riordan in a panel discussion with his colleagues.  One of the panel members was Robert Venditti, who wrote the adaptation for the graphic novel.

Robert Venditti signing books @ ALA in NO
 Venditti explained both the challenges, and his method of condensing a beloved book into GN format. It was not a task that he undertook lightly, and it was clear to everyone in attendance that he put a great deal of effort into maintaining the spirit and content of the original book.  My co-worker and I spoke with him later about the process of working with Attila Futaki (artist) and Jose Villarrubia (colorist) in creating the adaptation to ensure that readers of the original book would not be disappointed. There is much more to the process than you might think.

The resulting book is a new way to experience the Percy Jackson saga (the rest of the series will follow!) and adheres to the story much better than the movie. And yes, Annabeth is blond, as she should be.  My only complaint with The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel (2010 Disney Hyperion) is  the font color for otherworldly messages.  I found it difficult to read, but perhaps I'm just getting old!

The Lost Hero, the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series, flew off the shelf all summer! Can't wait for the second installment, Son of Neptune?  Well, here's a teaser for you -

Read the first chapter here or
you can download an mp3 file of the first audiobook chapter here!

(It will be interesting to see how the issue of narration is reconciled.  So many listeners loved Jesse Bernstein, the narrator of the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  Joshua Swanson narrated The Lost Hero, which is told in first person narration from varying points of view. Swanson portrayed all of the chara

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14. What Do You Want to Ask Rick Riordan?

This is a big Rick Riordan week for us as not only does the final Kane Chronicles book, The Serpent's Shadow, release today, but the author himself is coming to town--and we want to ask him your questions.

What would you like to know?  Questions about Carter or Sadie Kane?  Percy Jackson?  What Rick Riordan does on his day off?   Send in your questions for Rick via the Comments section and we will compile a list to ask him on video this Friday.  We’ll let you know when it’s ready to watch, don’t worry, it won’t be long!  This Thursday, May 3rd is our cut-off for questions--I can’t wait to see what our readers come up with!

Speaking of waiting, it's been a year since we last saw Carter and Sadie Kane in The Throne of Fire and in that time we wondered, what do Carter and Sadie read when they aren’t tangling with angry gods or trying to save the world?  If you've been asking yourself this same question, you're in luck because we have the answer in this exclusive straight from the Kane's themselves:

Sadie Kane: "Reading? You should talk to my brother the genius… Sometimes I read books about London and occasionally I try to learn new hieroglyphics, but mostly I’m too busy with trainees and trying to defeat Apophis.”

My Reading List:

The Symbolic World of Egyptian Amulets by Philippe Germond

Treasures of the British Museum by Marjorie Caygill

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

City Secrets London: The Essential Insider’s Guide by Robert Kahn and Tim Adams

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian by R.O. Faulkner

Egyptian Love Spells and Rituals by Claudia Dillaire

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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15. It's Here!!!

IT'S HERE!!!! THE LAST OLYMPIAN!!! Here I am with the copy I just checked out:

I've heard nothing but good reports on this one. Master Jedi Zack calls it "awesome." One boy told me this afternoon that he'd finished and agreed with Master Zack's assessment. I'll keep you all informed!!

Speaking of Percy and TLO, let me let all you North Carolina people know that Rick Riordan will in Raleigh, NC this Saturday!! Yes, he will speak at Quail Ridge Books on Saturday, May 16 at 7 pm. Click on the bookstore to go to their site and get all the details.

Woo-hoo!

Carl

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16. The Last Olympian--Two Thumbs Up As High As They Will Go!!

Hey, everyone, this is the Great and Clumsy CARLMAN, reporting back to duty after falling off our loading dock last weekend. Yep, fell off a loading dock! Can you believe it? I was helping someone unload a few things out of a car when I suddenly stepped off the dock by accident. Fortunately, it wasn't very high and I didn't just fall right over. But I did twist my leg and had to take a few days off.

The only good thing was, once the constant pain eased, I finished The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. MAN. OH. MAN. What a story!! This is it--the final confrontation between the forces of Kronos and the Olympians. The trouble is that Poseidon is under the sea, battling the armies of the titan Oceanus, and the other Olympians are trying to stop Typhon, the most enormous giant possible, before he reaches New York. The only ones to stand between Mount Olympus and Kronos's massive army of monsters are Percy and his friends. Can these kids possibly stand against the Lord of Time? And to make things worse, there's a spy in the Half-Blood camp! How could it get any worse?

You will LOVE this book. There is so much action, monster fighting, and desperate battles that you won't be able to stop reading. And there's also the great Rick Riordan humor. Just wait until you meet the Party Ponies. Or see the giant in the playground who keeps saying, "Uh oh." Or witness the scenes between Demeter and Persephone. And, as always, Mr. Riordan pulls some major surprises. As when you find out what Nico's plan really is. Or when the spy is revealed. You'll never guess. Nope. You won't. I guarantee!
This is a great conclusion to a fantastic series. There are very few series that are so good that they become part of your life. The Lords of the Rings is one. Some say Harry Potter is another. (I haven't finished them) With The Last Olympian, the Percy Jackson series takes its place right with them. that's why this book deserves...
TWO THUMBS UP AS HIGH AS THEY WILL GO!!!

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17. Ms. Leah and the Percy Jackson Movie Trailer!

My excellent coworker, Ms. Leah, has written and told us some cool news:

Ok Boys! This is Ms. Leah contributor to the Girls Read, Girls Rule(The World) blog. Just wanted to give you some breaking Percy Jackson news!The first movie is coming out on Presidents Day, February 2010.Take a look at the recently released trailer!
http://www.moviefone.com/movie/percy-jackson-and-the-olympians-the/32797/video/percy-jackson-the-lightning-thief/29410789001/percy-jackson-the-lightning-thief/29410789001

Thanks, Ms. Leah! I've taken a look and it's pretty impressive. Check it out, guys!

Carl

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18. Myth Mania


Myth:

1. a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, esp. one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature

New buzz on the Percy Jackson Lightning Thief movie, anyone?

Check out School Library Journal’s inside scoop on the movie companion guide.

2. an imaginary or fictitious thing or person.

Is Scarlet Whisper: Librarian/Rockstar/International Jewel Thief a mythological creature?

Discuss.

3. an unproved or false collective belief.

Check out super ninja agents Brandi Bowles, Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Colleen Lindsay and Jason Allen Ashlock bust myths about queries, agents, and publishing in general. This eight minute clip features their panel discussion from the 2009 Backspace convention. The video is truly worth a look.

Hungry for more?

Try my Italian Cream Cake. Although it’s delish, I don’t recommend trying to sneak it into the Percy Jackson movie.

Italian Cream Cake

1/2 shortening (butter flavor Crisco is best)

1 stick butter

5 eggs

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 cups coconut

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans are great)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup butter milk

Cream shortening, butter, and sugar. Add eggs. Beat well. Add buttermilk, soda, flour, coconut, nuts and vanilla. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Makes three 9 inch layers. Cool completely. Frost.

Frosting:

1 stick butter, softened

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 box powdered sugar (3 3/4 cups)

1 cup chopped nuts (optional, I don’t add them)

1 tsp. vanilla.

Combine until smooth. Frost your cake, then frost your beak.

BINGE!

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing Tagged: agents, Italian Cream Cake, Myths, Percy Jackson, publishing, Scarlet Whisper

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19. Ypulse Essentials: 'Cherub' Comes To The Big Screen, Loopt Gives To Haiti, School Gyrls

British YA spy series 'Cherub' (comes to the big screen. Also in anticipation of the release next week — an update on all things "Percy Jackson." And in case you missed it: another whitewashing episode sparked by the illustrated "Mysterious... Read the rest of this post

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20. Ypulse Essentials: Percy Jackson, Sprite Rebrands As Spark, Youth Bipolar Disorder Revisited

Percy vs. Potter (the myth-based series debuts this weekend and unsurprisingly can't escape comparisons to director Chris Columbus's previous supernatural success. The verdict: the magic is gone. Plus USA Today reviews the The Percy Jackson and The... Read the rest of this post

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21. Time In! SLAM! DUNK!

Man! You guys have been ACTIVE!! I'm gone one day and, when I come back, my email box is FULL of book reviews! You all are GREAT!!

Since I've received so many reviews, I'm not going to comment after each set, but hold any comments until the end. In fact, I'll list the reader guy's name, put his reviews after that, thank everybody at once, and give the standings.

But before I do that, let me direct your attention to a comment from Jana, a librarian, a mom of boys, and one of the faithful followers of our blog:

I am running a Favorite Authors March Madness at my library. I invite you and your readers to come over to my website and vote! The polls are on the sidebar. The address is:http://webmail.plcmc.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://russell-library.blogspot.com/

OK, guys, go over there and vote! I've already done it. Jana runs a good blog and recommends some good stuff. Take a look.

Now for the Slam Dunks. First up is magnificent Michael:

The Elijah Project, book 1
On the Run
by Bill Myers
People have started noticing 7-year-old Elijah's supernatural God-given powers... even the people who want them for their own purposes. When the villains make an advance, Elijah and his siblings: 13-year-old Piper and 15-year-old Zach, find that their parents have dissapeared, and now they must run away on their own. With the help of their friends Cory and William, the group must believe in God to help them defeat their enemy the Shadow Man, and the ultimate villain the Supreme Master, who in reality is Satan. Bill Myers makes another home run with this amazing book!

Jellaby, book 1
by Kean Soo
Meet Portia. She has no friends, her parents are divorced, and now she's got a monster for a friend! But that won't stop her and her friend, Jason, from finding Jellaby's home. Fast-paced, funny, and creative, this comic book is perfect for everyone!

Then we have the dynamic Dakota T:

The next book that I read was High Rulian By Brain Jaques. this book was about a young ottermaid who's skills in the sling exceed any others. When a Giant bird and a barnicle goose , both injured by a Tyrant who rules over Green Isle, come to Redwall to find refuge. They both tell them of where they come from and how the otter tribes are getting tormented by a raging cat who will stop at nothing to remain Tytrant of the Isle. It's up to the ottermaid to rescue the tribes enslaved. This book has more than it's fair share of action, adventure, and care for others. This was one of my favorite book in the entire Redwall series. The flaw in this series is that most of the books get off on a slow start.

I read a book entitled Holes by Luis Sachar and it's about a poor boy who is taken to Camp Green Lake where you get to dig a hole five feet wide and five feet deep. If you find anything you are to report it to the warden who turns out to be a girl. But why? This book is creative, yet realistic, and is one of my all time favorites. While telling the story of Stanely, It also tells a story about a teacher and an onion farmer. It was amazing how everything just fit together and made sense. Hope you read this and enjoy it!
1 Comments on Time In! SLAM! DUNK!, last added: 3/15/2010
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22. Book sales numbers

Query letter update: With my revision done (yay!), I’m back to working on my query letter story pitch. So far, I’ve got 17 versions, some similar with minor tweaks, some with more major differences. This is a process I started a couple weeks ago, and I did maybe four or five versions yesterday. Good news is, I think I’m finally in the right direction. A few more tweaks and I think I’ll be there. Fingers crossed.

Publishers Weekly put up a great article this week giving sales numbers of the biggest titles from 2009. (Thanks to Gregory for the link.) PW says series are still the biggest sellers, and all the usual suspects are there topping the list, Twilight, Percy Jackson, Wimpy Kid.

What’s wonderful is to see Aprilynne Pike’s Wings in the 100,000 copies on hardcover sold. Wings is her debut novel, and it’s great to see a debut novel do so well. Encouraging too. It’s also the first in a series, so expect to keep seeing them on this list.

The other intersting thing is in the hardcover backlist titles, which are mostly the older classics, like the Dr. Seuss titles and Golden Books’ everlasting The Poky Little Puppy. It’s wonderful that these books are still being celebrated in new generations. It’s something we should strive for with our own titles.

If you’re looking for books to read, this is a great way to find them.

Write On!


3 Comments on Book sales numbers, last added: 3/30/2010
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23. How to Train Your Dragon and book-based movies

Manuscript update: 291 words so far on my new book, and I hope to do more this afternoon, between loads of laundry. I wrote my second book in three months, so I’m setting a tentative goal of two months for this one. So, I hope to be done by June 1. I’ll keep you up to date.

How to Train Your Dragon movie sceneMy husband and I went and saw How to Train Your Dragon this weekend, and it’s a great movie. Fun, exciting, sweet, touching, funny, lots of action and piles of goey emotion — it has it all.

I wasn’t surprised to see that it was based on a book — most of the best movies are based on books — and that book is now on my to-read list.

I’m a big believer that when movie studios buy rights to a book, they should follow the story of the book. However, film and print are two different mediums, and some things that work in one won’t work as well in another. But, when a studio changes a book, I think it has a responsibility to be true to the book as much as possible and at the very least, be true to the spirit and action of the book. Some succeed, some don’t.

How to Train Your Dragon bookI haven’t read the book series on which How to Train Your Dragon is based, but judging by the Wikipedia description, the movie is different. BUT, the movie stays true to the spirit of the books, a reluctant hero finding his heroism in a way that’s unconventional from his norm. The difference is, the movie upped the anti, so to speak, made the stakes higher by changing the norm of a society that lives with dragons and trains them (the book) to a society that is threatened by dragons and so must fight them (the movie). The added danger provides more drama, which is more necessary in a movie when, as a viewer, you’re more detached than reading a book.

Also, the books are chapter books, so aimed at a younger audience. The filmmakers raised the age of the main character from 11 in the books to teen in the movie, but that works because of the added danger.

In contrast, the filmmakers  behind the Percy Jackson movie changed the age of the titular character and made other changes that took away from the books, diluted the drama and alienated the fans of the books.

After I watched the Percy Jackson movie, as a big fan of the books, I wondered what author Rick Riordan thought of this very different adaptation. I read in a Publishers We

3 Comments on How to Train Your Dragon and book-based movies, last added: 4/6/2010
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24. Young Adult Books on the Big Screen

Note this blog entry contains spoilers about the final two Harry Potter books

It’s a truism that cinematic adaptations often pale besides their literary counterparts. An obvious counterexample is Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner but, off the top of my head, I can’t think of more. For those who’ve only seen the film, it’s well worth reading the Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? to see just how different it is, but to explain some elements of the screen version you’d have to gloss over otherwise.

Read the book to discover why the Blade Runner owl is artificial

A wonderful thing about a book is that everyone’s idea of it is unique. The reader converts the printed word from the page into a world of their own imagination. How I see the Imperial Palace on Melania in my head, is different from any readers of the Johnny Mackintosh books. Perhaps that’s why film adaptations so often disappoint, as the Director is competing with thousands of movies that have already run within a reader’s head.

There’s no film I can remember that’s disappointed me more that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, directed by David Yates with a screenplay by Steve Kloves. As someone who loves the stories so deeply, it horrifies me that this pairing were also asked to make the double film of the final book. While I think the quality of film-making in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince isn’t terrible (though it is weak), what I can’t fathom were the drastic, totally unnecessary changes to the plot that were introduced, diverting from Rowling’s marvellous story architecture and characterization.

[spoiler alert]

Yates and Kloves think they know better than JK Rowling

With a long book, why introduce a mad scene where Bellatrix Lestrange destroys The Burrow? Where will they hold the wedding in the next film, or has that been scrapped too?

A more important example was the death of Dumbledore. In the book, Harry is powerless to act, hidden under the invisibility cloak with Dumbledore’s body-bind curse on him. He would do anything to fight to save his pseudo-grandfather figure, and knows all too well the Hogwarts Headmaster is dead when the curse lifts. If the film, Harry is hiding in the background, and chooses simply to watch and not act, perhaps due to some bizarre element of cowardice that Yates and Kloves wanted to introduce into Harry’s character. There are numerous other examples and a lot concerning Dumbledore’s relationship with Harry: in the books, our hero is kept in the dark and has o puzzle things out for himself; according to this film, Harry is Dumbledore’s confidant.

When I write the Johnny Mackintosh books, I confess I sometimes have a secret nod to possible future film adaptations. I know a fair amount about film theory and structure, and sometimes I’ll be particularly proud of a passage because I know how well it would translate onto the big screen. I see the same in Jo Rowling’s writing at times, where she’s gone a little out of her way to write a beautiful, cinematic scene for her directors, knowing how much it would enhance the film. Yates completely ignored this. There ar

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25. John Rocco Art Exhibition- Sparkhouse Studio, Nov 14th


On Sunday November 14th there will be an art exhibition and reception at Sparkhouse Studio in South Orange, NJ from 7-9pm

Limited edition prints from all the Percy Jackson books, as well as The Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus will be available.

Here is all the information from the fine folks at Sparkhouse:
Please join us as we welcome John Rocco to Sparkhouse Studio.

Mr. Rocco is the illustrator of the Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles & The Heroes of Olympus series as well as the illustrator & author of several other books for children. He lives in Brooklyn & his will be the inaugural show at Sparkhouse Studio.

Please note that this is an adult event and wine will be served. There are two child friendly events earlier in the day with Mr. Rocco

You can RSVP to the event here: http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/cc4z7zhqvm86mj8rj

0 Comments on John Rocco Art Exhibition- Sparkhouse Studio, Nov 14th as of 11/3/2010 2:30:00 PM
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