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1. New York Poetry Festival Featured On Kickstarter

The Poetry Society of New York, the producers behind the 5th annual New York City Poetry Festival, have raised more than $12,000 on Kickstarter.

The funds will be used to cover the costs of hosting this year’s event. We’ve embedded a video about the project above.

Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: “This year we will welcome back more than 75 New York City poetry groups, including venerable institutions, upstarts, small presses, local reading series, literary journals, high school poetry teams, and more to The Festival’s three stages. If year’s past are any indication, over 250 poets will present, and we’ve already booked some incredible headliners: Nick Flynn, Patricia Spears Jones, David Matlin, and Fran Quinn!”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

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2. Everybody wants to be Press Here

When Hervé Tullet‘s Press Here came out in 2011, reviewer Lolly Robinson wrote that its ingenious interactivity “gives the iPad a licking.” Following a similar no-screen-needed interactive model is this lovely pair of books:

matheson_tap the magic tree    matheson_touch the brightest star
Susan Dove Lempke wrote of Tap the Magic Tree in the January/February 2014 Horn Book Magazine, “Perhaps inspired by the very popular Press Here, this is winsome in its own right and stylishly designed.” Its more bedtime-oriented companion book, Touch the Brightest Star, is reviewed in our May/June issue.

Here are a few brand-new arrivals with Press Here–like directions to tap, shake, rub, and blow on the pages:

yoon_tap to play

glass_do you want to build a snowman

bird_there's a mouse hiding in this book
What’s that saying about “the sincerest form of flattery?” 😉

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3. Amazon Editors Launch a Young Adult Book Club

I'll Give You the Sun (GalleyCat)The Amazon editorial team has launched a young adult book club. To kick things off, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson was chosen as the May/June 2015 read.

Participants can submit questions for Nelson from now until May 30th; her responses will be posted on June 15th. Discussions are being held at the club’s Goodreads group page.

The editors have also compiled a list of “100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime.” Some of the titles that made the cut include American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

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4. How Does History Influence George R.R. Martin?

For A Song of Ice & Fire series author George R.R. Martin, history is a constant muse. The TED-Ed team has created a six-minute lesson that focuses on “the wars that inspire Game of Thrones.”

The video embedded above explores the similarities shared between the events and players of the Wars of the Roses and Martin’s beloved epic fantasy story. Over at the TED-Ed website, viewers can access a quiz, a discussion board, and more resources.

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5. Blogger Inks Deal For Bob’s Burger-Themed Cookbook

Bob's BurgerCole Bowden, the blogger behind Bob’s Burger Experiment, crafts recipes inspired by the “Burger of the Day” chalkboard featured on the Bob’s Burger’s animated series. According to BuzzFeed, he plans to create a cookbook.

Rizzoli has acquired the manuscript; no publication date has been announced. Bowden revealed in a post that he is teaming up with Bento Box Entertainment, Fox, and the show creator Loren Bouchard for this project.

Bouchard will create the illustrations. At this point in time, Bowden hasn’t shared any of those exclusive recipes yet, but he promises that “they’ve been delicious.” (via Eater.com)

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6. Chipotle Launches Cultivating Creativity Student Essay Contest

Chipotle Essay Contest Logo (GalleyCat)Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched the Cultivating Creativity Student Essay Contest.

According to the press release, the winning entries will be published on the restaurant’s cups and bags some time in 2016. Each of the winners will receive $20,000 in prize money which will be “deposited into a 529 savings account, to support their continuing education.”

Jonathan Safran Foer, an author and the curator of this series, and Laura Esquive, a novelist and screenwriter, will serve as the judges. The submission deadline has been set for May 31st. Follow this link to submit a story.

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7. Not-so-new New Yorkers

I know this is not news, but, boy, there are a lot of New Yorker covers lately that were done by people (men) who are also illustrators. (Because my husband never throws them away, we’ve got a lot lying around.) Here’s an array.

(Top) Kadir Nelson and Harry Bliss; (Bottom) Christoph Niemann and Liniers.

(Top) Kadir Nelson and Harry Bliss; (Bottom) Christoph Niemann and Liniers.

Three covers by Barry Blitt.

Three covers by Barry Blitt.

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8. Warner Bros. Picks Up the Film Rights to The Selection

9780062059932Warner Bros. has picked up the film rights to Kiera Cass’ young adult book, The Selection.

Katie Lovejoy has been hired to serve as the screenwriter. Denise DiNovi, Alison Greenspan, and Pouya Shahbazian have signed on to serve as producers.

Here’s more from Deadline: “Described as The Hunger Games without the bloodshed, it follows 35 underprivileged girls who are chosen to compete to live in a life of luxury. The protagonist, America Singer, is sweet on a young man from her district, but when she’s exposed to the opulence of a royal life, she’s conflicted, even though a rebel uprising threatens the pampered.”

In the past, the CW had held the TV rights to The Selection and even shot two pilots for it. Ultimately, the studio decided not to move forward with a full season.

Originally, Cass had intended her Selection novels to be a trilogy. Last year, she announced her plans to expand it into a five-part series with two additional installments and a collection of novellas.

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9. A Game of Thrones Art Book is Featured on Kickstarter

Art director Grace Fong and her team hope to raise $18,500 for an art book called Draw ‘Em With the Pointy End. More than 100 artists contributed pieces inspired by George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire books and the Game of Thrones HBO series. We’ve embedded a video about the project above.

Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: “This is a non-profit project. The campaign pays for printing 500 books and compensates the artists at a flat rate – but every dollar past our goal will be used to print even more! These additional copies will go towards non-profit organizations that benefit wolves and wildlife.”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

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10. Little City Books Launches Indiegogo Campaign

The owners of Little City Books have launched an indiegogo campaign. They hope to raise $22,000 through this crowdfunding venture to build a literary and cultural community space in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The video embedded above features the story of how a banker, a singer, and a literary agent came together as collaborators for this independent bookstore. Once this establishment has opened, the trio plans to host readings, parties, musical event, book club meetings, workshops, and author appearances.

Here’s more from the indiegogo page: “Indie bookstores are making a comeback. Print sales are up and stores are opening around the country. They operate on tiny margins, but after two years of research, we’re confident that we can run a great indie bookshop in Hoboken — with an enthusiastic landlord, frugal planning, and community support.”

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11. Harry Potter-Themed Parody of ‘Uptown Funk’ Song Goes Viral

Could you ever imagine Lord Voldemort as a pop star? A YouTuber who calls himself KFaceTV created a Harry Potter-themed parody of the song “Uptown Funk.”

The video embedded above features “Dark Lord Funk” performed by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his band of Death Eaters; it has drawn more than 316,000 views. Click here to watch the original music video with the Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ track.

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12. Video Features Economic Analysis of Game of Thrones

Is going after the Iron Throne actually worth it? The team at Business Insider has deemed the Seven Kingdoms to be “a terrible investment.”

The video embedded above features an economic analysis of Westeros and an explanation about the great debts this realm has accumulated. Perhaps if this report were relayed to Queen Regnant Cersei Lannister, she might lighten up a little bit—what do you think?

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13. Indiegogo Campaign Launched For a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Documentary

Producer Cody Meirick has launched a crowdfunding venture on Indiegogo. He hopes to raise $28,000.00 to shoot a documentary about Alvin Schartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

The film will explore several topics including gothic folklore, censorship, and Schartz’s process for creating this classic children’s book. We’ve embedded a video above that features more details about this movie.

Here’s more about the project: “This upcoming documentary will explore the history and background of one of the most controversial works of modern children’s literature: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. In many American libraries of the ’80s and ’90s these books developed a growing interest from boys and girls who were taken in by the gothic tales, the whimsical tone, and the ghostly illustrations. Now the Scary Stories book series stands as the most challenged children’s book of the last 30 years and a testament to the power of something that is often taken for granted: a good scary story.” (via Nerdist.com)

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14. What if Dr. Seuss Wrote a Story Set in a Chipotle?

buzzfeedCould you ever picture The Cat in The Hat eating tacos? How about The Lorax chowing down on a burrito?

Two members of the BuzzFeed staff, writer Jean-Luc Bouchard and artist Andrea Hickey, collaborated on a story called “Dr. Seuss Goes To Chipotle.” This Theodor Seuss Geisel-inspired piece was created “with heaps of love and respect for Dr. Seuss, as well as full-bellied appreciation for Chipotle.”

Here’s an excerpt: “I asked for one meat. And then?  Why, for two! Ignoring the digestive impact I would rue. And that’s how I made-up a bowl of half-sneetch and a just-as-big ladle serving of beast.”

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15. YouTube Sensation Jenn McAllister Inks Deal With Scholastic

JennxpennYouTube sensation Jenn McAllister (also known as JennXPenn) has landed a deal with Scholastic for a book called Really Professional Internet Person.

According to the press release, the 18-year-old internet star’s title will be “a personal and funny guide to creating successful online content and handling the pressures of internet fame.” It will contain pictures, screenshots, social media posts, and biographical stories.

Vice president and publisher Debra Dorfman negotiated the terms of the agreement. A release date has been set for September 2015. Click here to watch McAllister’s video announcement about this project.

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16. BookRiot & The Harry Potter Alliance Team Up to Host a BYOB Book Drive

World Book Night UK 2015Earlier this year, the organizers behind the United States version of World Book Night announced its shut down. To retain some presence of this beloved event in this country, BookRiot and Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) will host a BYOB Book Drive.

In this case, BYOB stands for “bring your own, outrageous, outstanding, overflowing books.” Four meet-ups will take place on April 23rd (the same night as this year’s United Kingdom edition of World Book Night) in Chicago, Richmond, Washington, and New York City.

Here’s more from the announcement: “While we can’t provide multiple copies of favorite books to givers, we figure that if you’re anything like us you’ve got mountains of beloved books at home that you’re more than willing to share with others. So set aside some to donate, swap favorites and stories with fellow participants, and help the HPA’s Accio Books campaign reach this year’s goal of 60,000 books collected. With our powers combined!”

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17. Knuffle Bunny Statue May Be Installed in Brooklyn

Knuffle BunnyThe Friends of Park Slope Library group hope to secure $250,000 to build an outdoor storytelling garden. If they are successful, they plan to install a statue of Knuffle Bunny.

This character appears in Mo Willems’ Caldecott Honor-winning picture book Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and the sequel Knuffle Bunny Too. In the past, Willems used to be a resident of this Brooklyn neighborhood.

Here’s more from DNAinfo.com: “The garden is one of several neighborhood upgrades that could receive funding through City Councilman Brad Lander’s participatory budgeting program, which kicks off April 14. Voters in Lander’s 39th District will choose their favorites from a list of 13 possible projects, and the top five vote-getters will split $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars from Lander’s discretionary budget. Now in its fourth year, the citizen-led budgeting initiative has paid for several local improvements that were dreamed up by residents, from new computers at libraries to bathroom renovations at elementary schools.” (via The Mo Willems Blog)

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18. Minions to Star in Comics & Graphic Novels

MinionsTitan Comics will publish several comic books and graphic novels starring the Minions.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, fans will get to read about the Minions’ crazy antics in “four comic book issues, two digest collections, two hardcover editions, and a paperback collection.” A summer launch is being planned for these books to coincide with the release of the highly anticipated Minions movie.

Animators Didier Ah-koon and Renaud Collin will collaborate on these projects together. The first Minions comic title and the first digest collection will come out on June 17th. The Minions film hits theaters on July 10th. (via ComicBookResources.com)

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19. The Book Thief Voted Most Popular Book in Australia

Book Thief CoverWhat’s the most popular book in Australia?

According to the results of Dymocks Bookstore’s booklover’s 101 survey, that honor belongs to Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. More than 15,000 bibliophiles participated in this survey.

Here’s more from The New Daily: “This year 17 Australian books made the list, including AB Facey’s A Fortunate Life and Anh Do’s The Happiest Refugee…Ms Higgins said 35 books on the list have been made into successful films – including the recent Hollywood hit Fifty Shades of Grey.” We’ve linked to free samples of the top ten books below.

Free Samples of Australia’s Top 10 Favorite Books

01. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

02. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

03. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

04. Magician by Raymond Feist

05. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

06. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

07. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

08. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

09. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

10. The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling

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20. Everywhere dragons

…at least, everywhere in the March/April Magazine! These four new dragon-themed books are all reviewed in that issue, offering something for dragon fans of several different age groups. Consider them additions to our dragon-centric fantasy booklist.

florian_how to draw a dragonFor preschool- and primary-aged kids, there’s author/illustrator Douglas Florian’s How to Draw a Dragon (Simon/Beach Lane, April 2015). Less a how-to guide than a celebration of creativity — and dragons, of course — it gives both practical drawing advice (“Draw your dragon’s pointed spines / using lots of jagged lines”) and Florian’s patented poetic silliness (“Dragon fire has reds and yellows, / and it’s good to toast marshmallows”). Mixed-media collage art with a childlike sensibility rounds out this appealing book.

yep_dragon's guide to care and feeding of humansAuthor Laurence Yep knows his dragons. He hilariously revisits the topic in his latest book for intermediate readers, A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans (Crown, March 2015), cowritten with Joanne Ryder and illustrated by Mary GrandPré. Refined Miss Drake and her scrappy new pet Winnie are having a power struggle over Winnie’s training: Winnie (a human) seems to think she is the owner and Miss Drake (a dragon) is the pet. They continue to butt heads, but there are more important things at stake — a magical creature called a pemburu could destroy San Francisco unless the pair can stop it.

Two dragon-themed YA sequels appear in this issue:

Shadowhartman_shadow scale Scale (Random House, March 2015) is the sequel to Rachel Hartman’s 2013 BGHB Fiction Honor Book Seraphina. Seraphina and a fellow half-dragon (or ityasaari) named Abdo search for others like them. They hope that, together, the psychically talented ityasaari will be able to establish a dragon-proof psychic defense. In their travels, Seraphina and Abdo learn to their horror that malevolent half-dragon Jannoula is manipulating the minds of many ityasaari. Plenty of suspense and a thoughtfully developed dragon-centered world make this a captivating read.

johnston_prairie fireE. K. Johnston’s gripping Prairie Fire (Carolrhoda Lab, March 2015) picks up where The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim left off: Owen and his friend Siobhan have graduated from high school and enlisted in the Oil Watch, helping to defend carbon resources from dragons. However, life in the Oil Watch is not exactly what they anticipated: they are stationed at a remote and dangerous location, and burns Siobhan sustained in the first book compromise her abilities.

For even more dragon-themed YA, see this list.

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21. Etsy Shop Owner Creates a Kanye West-Themed Bible

Book of YeezusPeople throughout human history have invented a great number of deities from Zeus to Odin to Allah. One creative has decided to put a new spin on the book of Genesis by replacing every reference to the name God with that of controversial hip hop star Kanye West.

The Etsy shop owner behind “the Book of Yeezus” calls his “novelty coffee-table book” a “Bible for the New Age.” Each unit sells for $20.00.

Here’s more about the item: “In a sense, Kanye’s awesome and orchestrated spectacle is truly a religious experience. In a foreword, we explore our consumerist, quick-fix, and information-culture, and celebrate Kanye and the outsized significance he plays in our lives. All of this, bound in a black, hard-cover gold-leaf imprinted book.” (via The Hollywood Reporter)

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22. Retro-Themed Parody of Batman v Superman Trailer Goes Viral

What would have happened in a battle between Adam West and Christopher Reeve? A YouTuber who calls himself Bobby Burns created a retro-themed parody the recently released Batman v Superman teaser.

The video embedded above features clips from the 1966 Batman TV series and the old-school Superman movies; it has drawn more than 142,000 views. Click here to watch the original Dawn of Justice trailer. (via TheWrap.com)

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23. Hank Green Performs His Own Original Poem

In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve dug up a video of YouTube star Hank Green reciting his original poem, “Grab It By The Testicle.” The video embedded above has drawn over 400,000 views.

Green wrote this piece “for the college and high school graduates of the year 2011 (and future years as well…I believe it all applies).” Recently, Green received a request for a new poem during a Reddit A.M.A. session—what do you think?

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24. T for two

Reading through the fiction reviews section of the May/June Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Transformations, I’m struck by the sudden urge for tea. One lump or two, protagonists?

teacup_dots

Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff: “I didn’t do it on purpose, obviously,” says twelve-year-old Trent Zimmerman. “Kill Jared Richards, I mean.”

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge: “Eleven-year-old Triss Crescent wakes up confused after a terrifying accident.”

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman: “Twig Fowler and her mother keep to themselves so that their neighbors in Sidwell, Massachusetts, won’t discover their secret.”

Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt: “On the first day of school, September 1, 1948, eleven-year-old Tate P. Ellerbee learns that her class will be writing to pen pals.”

Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr: “Young narrator Trille’s best friend is his next-door neighbor, Lena, almost nine, perhaps best described as a more-realistic Pippi Longstocking.”

The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente: “He lives an unhappy, bewildered life as ‘Thomas’ until Tamburlaine, a fellow Changeling, reveals her magical abilities and encourages him to find his own.”

t logo

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25. YouTubers Create the ‘Princess of Thrones’ Mash-Up Video

What happens when you cross the Game of Thrones HBO series with The Princess Bride film adaptation? Collaborators Shawn Kohne and Todd Spence have created a funny mash-up called “Princess of Thrones.”

The video embedded above has drawn more than 14,000 views on YouTube—what do you think? Click on these links to watch a Game of Thrones/House of Cards parody and a Game of Thrones meets Disney piece. (via BuzzFeed)

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