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1. A Whole Lot of Lucky: Behind the scenes look at title development

Titles--heartache city! The title must do everything a synopsis or query does: grab the reader, provide a summary, and hint at the action yet to come. A lot of time goes into working up a good title, and it's not just the author's work, either. The editor, the editor's coworkers, and sales and marketing all have their say; everyone's input must be considered.

Titles cooked up and rejected for A WHOLE LOT OF LUCKY:

  • Two Flavors of Lucky
  • The Year of My Magnificent Luckiness
  • Three Million Dollar Girl
  • The Duplicitous Luckiness of Hailee Richardson
  • Serendippitydoo
  • Lucky Me
  • Impossibly Possibly Lucky
  • Hailee Richardson, Girl Millionaire
My editor and I brainstormed pages of titles and promptly rejected most of them. The problem lies in the word "lucky:" phrases involving "getting lucky" are imbued with the wrong kind of nuance! Also, we wanted to avoid words like jackpot or other buzzwords that are too close too gambling. (This was hard, because even the buying of a lottery ticket is gambling.)

My sister suggested "A Whole Lotto Lucky," and the powers that be loved her suggestion! With a bit of morphing, my sister's words became A WHOLE LOT OF LUCKY.

Now you can try your luck without all the heartache my editor and I went through! For a free, signed hardcover of A WHOLE LOT OF LUCKY, just enter the Goodreads contest!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Whole Lot of Lucky by Danette Haworth

A Whole Lot of Lucky

by Danette Haworth

Giveaway ends March 31, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

0 Comments on A Whole Lot of Lucky: Behind the scenes look at title development as of 3/18/2014 1:41:00 PM
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2. Review of the Day: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

NightGardener 203x300 Review of the Day: The Night Gardener by Jonathan AuxierThe Night Gardener
By Jonathan Auxier
Illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith
Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams)
$16.95
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1144-2
Ages 10 and up
On shelves May 20th

For whatever reason, 2014 is a dark year in children’s middle grade fiction. I speak from experience. Fantasy in particular has been steeped in a kind of thoughtful darkness, from The Glass Sentence and The Thickety to The Riverman and Twelve Minutes to Midnight with varying levels of success. And though none would contest the fact that they are creepy, only Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener has had the chutzpah to actually write, “A Scary Story” on its title pages as a kind of thoughtful dare. A relatively new middle grade author, still young in the field, reading this book it’s hard to reconcile it with Auxier’s previous novel Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. It is almost as if Mr. Auxier took his whimsy, pulled out a long sharp stick, and stabbed it repeatedly in the heart and left it to die in the snow so as to give us a sublimely horrific little novel. Long story short this novel is Little Shop of Horrors meets The Secret Garden. I hope I’m not giving too much away by saying that. Even if I am, I regret nothing. Here we have a book that ostensibly gives us an old-fashioned tale worthy of Edgar Allan Poe, but that steeps it in a serious and thought provoking discussion of the roles of both lies and stories when you’re facing difficulties in your life. Madcap brilliant.

Molly and Kip are driving a fish cart, pulled by a horse named Galileo, to their deaths. That’s what everyone’s been telling them anyway. Living without parents, Molly sees herself as her brother’s guardian and is intent upon finding a safe place for the both of them. When she’s hired to work as a servant at the mysterious Windsor estate she thinks the job might be too good to be true. Indeed, the place (located deep in something called “the sour woods”) is a decrepit old mansion falling apart at the seams. The locals avoid it and advise the kids to do so too. Things are even stranger inside. The people who live in the hollow home appear to be both pale and drawn. And it isn’t long before both Molly and Kip discover the mysterious night gardener, who enters the house unbidden every evening, tending to a tree that seems to have a life of its own. A tree that can grant you your heart’s desire if you would like. And all it wants in return? Nothing you’d ever miss. Just a piece of your soul.

For a time, the book this most reminded me of was M.P. Kozlowsky’s little known Juniper Berry, a title that could rival this one in terms of creepiness. Both books involve trees and wishes and souls tied into unlawful bargains with dark sources. There the similarities end, though. Auxier has crafted with undeniable care a book that dares to ask whether or not the things we wish for are the things best for us in the end. His storytelling works in large part too because he gives us a unique situation. Here we have two characters that are desperately trying to stay in an awful, dangerous situation by any means necessary. You sympathize with Molly’s dilemma at the start, but even though you’re fairly certain there’s something awful lurking beneath the surface of the manor, you find yourself rooting for her, really hoping that she gets the job of working there. It’s a strange sensation, this dual hope to both save the heroine and plunge her into deeper danger.

What really made The Night Gardener stand out for me, however, was that the point of the book (insofar as I could tell) was to establish storytelling vs. lies. At one point Molly thinks seriously about what the difference between the two might be. “Both lies and stories involved saying things that weren’t true, but somehow the lies inside the stories felt true.” She eventually comes to the conclusion that lies hurt people and stories help them, a statement that is met with agreement on the part of an old storyteller named Hester who follows the words up with, “But helps them to do what?” These thoughts are continued later when Molly considers further and says, “A story helps folks face the world, even when it frightens ‘em. And a lie does the opposite. It helps you hide.” Nuff said.

As I mentioned before, Auxier’s previous novel Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes was his original chapter book debut. As a devotee of Peter Pan and books of that ilk, it felt like more of an homage at times that a book that stood on its own two feet. In the case of The Night Gardener no such confusion remains. Auxier’s writing has grown some chest hair and put on some muscles. Consider, for example, a moment when Molly has woken up out of a bad dream to find a dead leaf in her hair. “Molly held it up against the window, letting the moonlight shine through its brittle skin. Tiny twisted veins branched out from the center stem – a tree inside a tree.” I love the simplicity of that. Particularly when you take into account the fact that the tree that created the leaf may not have been your usual benign sapling.

In the back of the book in his Author’s Note Auxier acknowledges his many influences when writing this. Everything from Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes to The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon Gent. by Washington Irving to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s simple only on the surface The Secret Garden. All these made sense to me (though I’m not familiar with the Irving yet) but I wondered if there were other ties out there as well. For example, the character of Hester, an old storyteller and junk woman, reminded me of nothing so much as the junk woman character in the Jim Henson film Labyrinth. A character that in that film also straddles the line between lies and stories and how lying to yourself only does you harm. Coincidence or influence? Only Mr. Auxier knows for sure.

If I am to have any kind of a problem with the book then perhaps it is with the Irish brogue. Not, I should say, that any American child is even going to notice it. Rather, it’ll be adults like myself that can’t help but see it and find it, ever so briefly, takes us out of the story. I don’t find it a huge impediment, but rather a pebble sized stumbling block, barely standing in the way of my full enjoyment of the piece.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling offers some very good advice on dealing with uncertain magical beings. “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” Would that our heroes in this book had been handed such advice early in life, but then I guess we wouldn’t have much of a story to go on, now would we? In the end, the book raises as many questions as it answers. Do we, as humans, have an innate fear of becoming beholden to the plants we tend? Was the villain of the piece’s greatest crime to wish away death? Maybe the Peter Pan influence still lingers in Mr. Auxier’s pen, but comes out in unexpected ways. This is the kind of book that would happen if Captain Hook, a man most afraid of the ticking of a clock, took up horticulture instead of piracy. But the questions about why we lie to ourselves and why we find comfort in stories are without a doubt the sections that push this book from mere Hammer horror to horror that makes you stop and think, even as you run like mad to escape the psychopaths on your heels. Smart and terrifying by turns, hand this book to the kid who supped of Coraline and came back to you demanding more. Sweet creepy stuff.

On shelves May 20th.

Source: Galley sent from publisher for review.

Like This? Then Try:

Professional Reviews: A star from Kirkus

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2 Comments on Review of the Day: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, last added: 3/13/2014
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3. On Press for DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: The Third Wheel cover

1 Comments on On Press for DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: The Third Wheel cover, last added: 9/8/2012
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4. A for ABRAMS

We over here at ABRAMS KIDS have started a campaign on Instagram and Twitter called A for ABRAMS ( #aforabrams ) We are collecting A's that are artful, well designed, or just plain cool from any where that you might find them. The idea is when ever you happen to see one of these artful A's out and about you can join us by hash tagging your A #aforabrams as well as including our Instagram or twitter handle @abramskids or @abramsbooks.  Have some fun and we hope you all get to see the world around you a little better.

Here area few examples of different A's I have found.

You can find artful A's in out books!





From PANTONE COLORS designer by Meagan Bennett



From  I HAD A FAVORITE DRESS by Julia Denos

Or on your favorite wimpy book!



Or you can be crafty and make one to hang on your window.



Or you can find one in your local Museum!


 Found at MOMA


Or at your local bookstore!


Found at R. J. Julia Independent Booksellers in Madison, Ct


Or at your favorite restaurant!


Found at Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn


Good luck hunting! A for ABRAMS #aforbrams @abramsbooks and @abramskids

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5. ABRAMS Giving Away One Good Deed eBook

Readers can download a free digital copy of Erin McHugh‘s One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better on October 12th. The free eBook will be available at Netgalley and eBook retailers.

Just like the book, the publisher hopes to encourage more positive actions through this one good deed. Readers can share their own good Samaritan stories on the “#onegooddeed” Twitter hashtag and post on McHugh’s website.

Here’s more from the release: “One Good Deed originated from a blog that McHugh started one day when she learned that a  distant relative was going to be canonized. Was this a sign to reevaluate her priorities? What followed next was McHugh’s sincere urge to recapture a sense of charity, leading her to do one good deed every day for an entire year. Maybe she wouldn’t be saving orphans from burning buildings or curing cancer, but she wanted to take one small daily detour and make someone else’s life just a little bit better.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6. Interview with Rachel Poloski: Production Associate at Abrams/Amulet Books (and my 24,000th Twitter follower!)

Thanks to Rachel Poloski for being the 24,000th person to follow my @inkyelbows Twitter account. When I went to check her profile, I was intrigued:

Rachel was kind enough to answer some questions for Inkygirl about her work.

Q. Your profile says that you work in production at Abrams on YA and children's books. Could you possibly tell us more?

Of course! I work specifically on Amulet Books, which is an imprint of Abrams focusing on fiction and non-fiction writing for middle grade and young adult readers. I also work on reprints across all the children's imprints; Abrams Books for Young Readers, Appleseed, and Amulet Books.

I like to think of Production as the behind-the-scenes of book making. You don’t always see our names in the book or know who we are, but we are involved from start to finish. As production manager of a title, you begin by providing estimates on a book that has not yet been acquired. This enables editors, publishers, and our CEO to discuss the possibilities for the title and if it will work for Abrams. Once a book is acquired, you start forming a schedule based on a publication date or when advances of books are needed.

I work closely with Managing Editorial, Editorial, and Design to keep the schedule on track as well as start working out the book’s specifications. By this I mean the cover stock, text stock, cover effects, inks, trim size, etcetera. We also work out effects on the jacket/cover, which include lamination, embossing, glitter uv (ultra-violet coating), glow in the dark uv, metallic inks, cloth cases, and much more!

For the books I work on, this is the exciting work! Production managers have to be creative and provide ideas to editorial and design in order to bring their ideas to fruition, while maintaining a budget and schedule. Sometime we need to think outside the box and research materials or effects that will accomplish the look and feel the editor and designer desire.

Q. What recent or upcoming Abrams books are you especially excited about?

I am really excited about working on all my upcoming titles, but specifically I am enthusiastic to work on a new Lauren Myracle title and the final book in the NERDS series written by Michael Buckley! I also just finished working on the paperback edition of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, which is most definitely my favorite book published at Abrams. It is funny, endearing, unique, and moving. I also had the pleasure of running into Jesse Andrews in the Abrams elevator and he is equally as charming as his writing. He is a both kind and humble. Another hardcover to paperback title I am thrilled to work on is Roddy Doyle’s A Greyhound of a Girl. Such a fantastic book! In Spring 2014 I am also working on new books from Lisa Greenwald and Sarah Skilton, which I am also eagerly anticipating.

Q. What do you write? (aside: I notice that you're a columnist for the Abrams site, for example)

Phillip, by Rachel PoloskiAh, yes. I do write for the Abrams blog, mostly about cooking and then there is the one of me shooting a rifle in the Adirondacks. Don’t worry; this is not a regular sport for me. I do love to cook and bake, therefore writing about it is also pleasurable. Luckily, Abram’s imprint Stewart, Tabori & Chang publishes beautiful and yummy cookbooks for me to test out in the kitchen!

I also do some writing personally, either about silly characters I draw or about my coveted stuffed cat, Celeste. I like to make up names and personas for the little felted creatures I hand make, but nothing that I have published or shared with the world. Maybe there will be some short stories to come soon. I recently illustrated a nervous soul named Phillip. I think I might write a little piece on him.

Q. Where can people find you online?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachel_poloski
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rachelapoloski
Instagram: http://instagram.com/rachel_anne_poloski
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/people/rpoloski

I will hopefully have some felted creatures as well as some little felted naked people up on Etsy soon and I really would love to start my own blog. What’s stopping me you might ask? Me. Fortunately, I have slowly been putting myself out there on both Instagram and Twitter and its not so scary after all. I am proud of me and would love to share my zany thoughts.

-------

Also see other Inkygirl Interviews.

0 Comments on Interview with Rachel Poloski: Production Associate at Abrams/Amulet Books (and my 24,000th Twitter follower!) as of 2/27/2013 10:59:00 AM
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7. Coming Attractions: March 2012, Part Two

.

Here are a selection of books due out this month. All of the information presented below [aside from my aside/snide comments] are from publisher or distributor websites.

ALL information is subject to change, and something which might ship this month to a comics shop might show up months later in regular bookstores.  So, if you see something here which has been out for a while, that’s why.  Just consider it a reminder, in case you didn’t notice it the first time.

Unless it’s something amazing (like omnibus volumes), I tend to ignore ongoing books series.  You either know about the series, or unlikely to pick it up if there are numerous volumes on the shelves. Yes, I know it’s almost April.  But many publishers announce their new titles via “Out This Week” posts, so that’s why I wait.  (And some don’t even do that!)

I do work for a bookseller, so everything posted here has nothing to do with my day job.

________________________________________________________

9781606994788 Coming Attractions: March 2012, Part TwoAthos in America

Jason
$24.99
200 pages
Hardback
9781606994788, 1606994786
Author Bio: Jason hails from Oslo, Norway, but currently resides in the south of France. The Harvey and Eisner Award-winner continues to create new books at a breakneck pace-his books include Werewolves of Montpellier; Low MoonPocket Full of Rain and Other StoriesHey, Wait…Sshhhh!The Iron Wagon; What I Did(collecting the previous three volumes); I Killed Adolf HitlerThe Last Musketeer;The Left Bank GangWhy Are You Doing This?The Living and the DeadMeow, Baby!You Can’t Get There from HereTell Me Something; and Almost Silent(collecting the previous four volumes) and (with Fabien Vehlmann) Isle of 100,000 Graves.

Summary: Another all-original collection of full-color graphic novellas in the format of Low Moon, Athos in America takes its title from the lead story, a prequel of sorts to the graphic novel The Last Musketeer, in which the seemingly ageless swashbuckler turns up in a bar in 1920 New York and relates the tale of how he went to Hollywood to play himself in a film version of The Three Musketeers. Another tie-in with a previous Jason story occurs in “The Smiling Horse,” in which the characters from the story “&” in Low Moon attempt to kidnap a woman.

Also in this volume: “The Brain That Wouldn’t Virginia Woolf,” a mash-up of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, told in reverse chronological order; the Bukowski pastiche “A Cat From Heaven” in which Jason works on his comic, has a reading in a comic book store, gets drunk and makes a fool of himself; the dialogue-free (all the text occurs in thought balloons) “Tom Waits on the Moon,” in which we follow four people (one of them a scientist working on a teleportation machine) until something goes wrong; and “So Long Mary Ann,” a prison-escape love-triangle story.

____________________________________

3 Comments on Coming Attractions: March 2012, Part Two, last added: 3/30/2012
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8. Review of the Day – Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close

Chuck Close: Face Book
By Chuck Close & Glue and Paper Workshop
Abrams Books for Young Readers
$18.95
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0163-4
Ages 9-12
On shelves now

The autobiography assignment. Oh, it exists. It exists and children’s librarians know to fear it. At a certain time of year a child will approach the reference desk and utter the dreaded words, “I have to read an autobiography of somebody famous”. Never mind that while biographies are plentiful, good autobiographies come out once in a blue moon and, when they are written for kids, tend to be about children’s authors anyway (See: Jack Gantos, Beverly Cleary, Jerry Spinelli, Walter Dean Myers, Jean Fritz, etc.). If a kid wants somebody famous in a field other than writing, the pickings are slim. You might find a good Ruby Bridges book or To Dance by Siena Siegel or that children’s autobiography Rosa Parks wrote. Beyond that, you’re on your own. It is therefore with great relief that we come across Chuck Close: Face Book. Sure, I’m relieved that at long last there’s an autobiography for kids by someone outside the children’s literary sphere, but what really thrills me is the sheer splendor of the thing. Chock full of gorgeous full-color reproductions of Close’s work and biographical info, the real treat is at the center of the book. It’s a game, it’s informative, it’s what we all needed but didn’t know it yet.

Culled from interview questions lobbed at the artist Chuck Close by P.S. 8’s 5th grade students, the book is is part Q&A, part explanation of artistic techniques, and part flip book. From his earliest days Chuck had the makings of an artist. Which is to say, he was a bedridden kid whose poor health enabled him to draw. His parents encouraged Chuck’s desire and though he was not a particularly good student in other areas, in art he thrived. Eventually he was able to cultivate a style entirely of his own, until “The Event” when he was paralyzed. Yet even after that trauma he was able to continue his art. The children’s questions go through Close’s life and even allow him to explain his artistic techniques. Backmatter includes a Timeline, Resources, a Glossary, a List of Illustrations and an Index. Curiously the only other children’s book about Chuck Close (Chuck Close, Up Close by Jan Greenberg) is not one of the eight books listed in the Resources section at the back of the book.

We talk all the time about role models and how to find them. Chuck Close is probably as close as you can get to a perfect role model in terms of difficulties he has faced. First and foremost there was the nephritis that rendered him bedridden at the age of 11 and gave him plenty of drawing time (he and Andy Warhol have this much in common). Then there was his prosopagnosia or “face blindness” which kept h

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9. Working for the Man: MoCCA 2012

BY JEN VAUGHNFantagraphics Books isn’t necessarily THE MAN of the comics world but since I’ve only ever self-published my own comics, MoCCA 2012 was my first two days on the job as a staff member of the independent comics publisher. There are more than a few differences between the two experiences. Read on!

DSCN0028 1024x768 Working for the Man: MoCCA 2012

Fantagraphics’ Kristy Valenti speaks with Kim Deitch before his signing

1- The Work, as in amount of time spent working the table is constant. Seeing as there is a bit more marketing, publicity and established artists’ work on the table we rarely had to describe the content of the books. Jacq Cohen, Kristy Valenti and me (along with former intern Sophie Yanow) manned the four tables full of books and artists signings. Kristy and Jacq barely left the tables to eat and I’m pretty sure that bottle of lemonade under the table was not . . . lemonade.

lola Working for the Man: MoCCA 2012

2- The Digs where we stayed were MoCCA-recommended because they were smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan, right next to the Armory making for an easier walk each morning and night. The hotel room was tiny but the expansive lobby (pictured above) was an homage to both Breakfast at Tiffany’s and those plastic hamster balls. Originally built in 1903 and called the Martha Washington, this former women’s residence-turned-hotel was the perfect place for the woman of Fantagraphics to rest their heads. No long train rides in from Brooklyn this time!

6986076406 8a3fd35d6e Working for the Man: MoCCA 2012

Daniel Johnston and Fantagraphics’ Jacq Cohen

3- Cross-promotion of artists turned out to be one of the joys. Some Fantagraphics artists spoke on panels (like the ever-charming Shannon Wheeler) so an attendee would grab his Oil & Water book but then toddle off in search of a signature at the Boom! Studios table where Wheeler was selling his Too Much Coffee Man. Likewise, folk artist/musician Daniel Johnston was too busy pouring over our new Nancy book to be bothered to remember what time his book signing was until Boom! editor Adam Staffaroni herded him in the right direction.

6986167944 7f8fda4453 z Working for the Man: MoCCA 2012

Nicolas Mahler signs not only his Fantagraphics book called Angelman but also previous publications bought from the Top Shelf table.

4- Table set-up and take down turned out to be an all-day

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10. New Releases

I've been reading a tad slower these days, having this child in the house, so I haven't been able to tell you about all of the great books I've been getting. These are both available now and I can't wait to read them myself.

Spiral by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

This series is fantastic for kids that love long, exciting reads. Definitely page turners! I'm not sure if this is the last installment of the series or not, but either way, I'm really looking forward to opening it.


Buy from IndieBound


The Sisters Grimm: The Council of Mirrors by Michael Buckley

I LOVE the Sisters Grimm series and have sold them to many kids over the past couple of years. The latest (and last in the series, I believe) was published last Tuesday.


Buy from IndieBound












I am an affiliate of both IndieBound and Powells and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price.

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11. New Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Coming in November

The Third Wheel, the seventh book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, will be released on November 13th. ABRAMS’ Amulet imprint at has ordered a first printing of 6.5 million copies.

In The Third Wheel, star character Greg Heffley will explore the wonders and complications of middle school romance. With this new installment, author Jeff Kinney promised that “the Wimpy universe will be changed in a way that will surprise fans of the series.”

Last month, Kinney was crowned “Author of the Year” at the Children’s Choice Book Awards gala in New York City. The series earned him $17 million in 2011 and a spot on Forbes’ list of the highest paid writers.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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12. Book Expo America 2012: MY Three-Day Vacation in Bookland

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bea logo Book Expo America 2012: MY Three Day Vacation in BooklandBook Expo America 2012 just concluded here in New York, and once again it’s been an interesting trade show.  Some stuff was normal, some was new, and overall, I felt it was a good show.  My thoughts and discoveries follow.

One interesting, if under-reported, improvement was the “Power Reader” program.  On Thursday, the last day of the show, when most attendees are winding down, BEA invited “power readers” to attend.  Twelve local independent bookstores and the New York Public Library invited their best customers to pay $45 to attend the show on Thursday.  What did they get?  I quote:

  • Discover new and upcoming books before they hit the stands
  • See and meet your favorite authors
  • Talk to publisher about favorite books and authors
  • Mix and Mingle with other book lovers and share your passion for reading
  • Get autographs and advanced reads of unique books (quantities limited)
  • Get tons of giveaways from exhibitors.  [62 different promos]
  • BEA BAG2 Book Expo America 2012: MY Three Day Vacation in Bookland Get a FREE POWER READER SWAG BAG at registration, filled with goodies like:
    • An advance copy (before books even hit shelves!) of an upcoming title from one of today’s hottest authors, including Debbie Macomber’s Inn at Rose Harbor, Dean Koontz’s Odd Apocalypse, and Karin Slaughter’s Criminal
    • A special edition copy of Justin Cronin’s bestselling sensation The Passage
    • A sampling of recipes from beloved QVC host David Venable’s first cookbook, In the Kitchen with David®
    • A Janet Evanovich magnet
    • A Debbie Macomber keychain
    • A sneak peek guide with the early scoop on forthcoming releases from bestselling authors

When BEA moved to the middle of the week (Monday-Thursday, instead of Wednesday-Sunday), I thought that BEA would be planning a weekend “Book-Con” for the general public.  After all, Reed runs BEA, and they’ve got experience running New York Comic Con at the same location. They could arrange booths so that a wall could be set up to reduce the size of the show (or they could fill booths vacated by trade exhibitors with retail exhibitors the next day).  The possibility of a huge weekend crowd (if 100,000 attend NYCC, how many romance, mystery, and science fiction fans would attend a book show, especially to discover new titles and meet authors (just like Comic-Con!)?) might reinvigorate the show, encouraging lapsed publishers to return to the show (or risk ending up on a waiting list, like at San Diego).

Would it be hard for publishers to shift from trade to retail?  Not really.  Most of the mainstream publishers sell books at the American Library Association shows.  Ever

4 Comments on Book Expo America 2012: MY Three-Day Vacation in Bookland, last added: 6/11/2012
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13. Review: Black Elk’s Vision: A Lakota Story by S D Nelson

  

   Title: Black Elk’s Vision: A Lakota Story

   Author: S D Nelson

   Publisher: Abrams

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Told from the Native American point of view, Black Elk’s Vision provides a unique perspective on American history.

From recounting the visions Black Elk had as a young boy, to his involvement in the battles of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee, as well as his journeys to New York City and Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, this biographical account of Black Elk—an Oglala-Lakota medicine man (1863–1950)—follows him from childhood through adulthood.

S. D. Nelson tells the story of Black Elk through the medicine man’s voice, bringing to life what it was like to be Native American in the mid-to-late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The Native people found their land overrun by the Wha-shi-choos, or White Man, the buffalo slaughtered for sport and to purposely eliminate their main food source, and their people gathered onto reservations. Through it all, Black Elk clung to his childhood visions that planted the seeds to help his people—and all people—understand their place in the circle of life.

The book includes archival images, a timeline, a bibliography, an index, and Nelson’s signature art.

Review:

I read two books recently about young children victimized by war, and they both broke my heart.  In Black Elk’s Vision, a picture book based on Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt, warfare destroys not only Black Elk’s home, but also his people’s entire way of life.  From the cover to the last page, this colorful book is striking and thought provoking.  It doesn’t pull any punches, either.  From Little Big Horn to the massacre at Wounded Knee, Black Elk’s story is compelling and unforgettable.  From the vast plains, hunting buffalo, to the hardship of a walled reservation, his words remain steady and engrossing.  I am not sure that I would be as forgiving as Black Elk, Great Vision or not.  Manifest Destiny is such an ugly chapter in the history of this country, and I find it painful to read many accounts of settlers as they steamrolled over everything in their path to conquering the West. 

There are several parts of this book that I found disturbing, and I am sure that I will find them hard to forget.  Before the white settlers flooded like a tsunami over the Great Plains, there were an estimated 30 million bison.  Thirty million.  By 1889, there were about a thousand.  The numbers are mind-numbing.  Worse, diseases brought by Europeans wiped out hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. And that was before the settlers began to intentionally drive them off of their ancestral homelands.   Thinking about the massive loss of life is nauseating.   Thinking about a twelve year old boy forced to defend his life, as well as the lives of his family, is also upsetting.  Thinking about having everything you owned, every belief and physical possession, even your way of life, torn away  also merits deep contemplation.  I would not have survived nearly as well, or lived nearly as gracefully, as Black Elk. 

I found Black Elk’s Vision a compelling read.  Interspersing colorful acrylics with vintage photos of the events described in Black Elk’s narrative, I found t

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14. SDCC12: Watchtower Thursday: The Rest of the Story

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Food!  Parties!  Fun!  The North County Times (North San Diego County) lists possibilities.

Meanwhile, U-T San Diego (hook ‘em horns!) showcases their coverage here.

They also tell the story of “Atomicman” and how he helped the San Diego Comic-Con move and adapt to the convention center!

The Mayor officially opens  Comic-Con International!

ThinkGeek announces a Doctor Who sonic screwdriver remote control.  You can order it here.

romney the robot 199x300 SDCC12: Watchtower Thursday: The Rest of the StoryHeroes in Action announces their satirical Mitt “Romney the Robot” figure.  Yes, other politicians have also been depicted…

Heroes In Action also produces toys modeled after other presidents, including Barack Obama (“Baracula”), Bill Clinton (“Wolf Bill”), George W. Bush (“Zom-Bush”), as well as other political figures such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (“Hilluria, the Secretary of Stake”) and Al Gore (“Algor, An Inconvenient Assistant”).

Four people spend Comic-Con living in a car.  (Big deal, I’ve seen hotel rooms sleep ten.)

Today is Super Hero Day at the LEGO booth!  Here are the exclusives!  Not to be offered in sets!  Shazam! and Venom (or Spidey, since there’s no tongue or muscles).  Bizarro and Phoenix!  There are two sweepstakes URLs on the Bizarro and Phoenix pictures, but they aren’t working right now!  How soon before someone constructs Bizarroworld?  And then has Phoenix eat it?

Publishers Weekly announces that Abrams ComicsArts will be offering digital e-books in partnership with Comixology!  The first five titles:

  • My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
  • Empire State: A Love Story (or Not) by Jason Shiga
  • Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies
  • Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls by Lela Lee
  • Cats, Dogs, Men, Women, Ninnies & Clowns: The Lost Art of William Steig by Jeanne Steig with Illustrations by William Steig

And here’s a cool discovery… just up the road in Riverside!  The University of California at Riverside has the Eaton Collection

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15. Coming Attractions: April 2011

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The following is a selection of new comics titles due to be published in April 2011.   This list is not comprehensive, just what I’ve discovered browsing the Internet.  Below, you’ll find selected titles which caught my interest.  If you would like to browse forthcoming graphic novels and related books at your leisure, click here. These are not necessarily titles I will purchase, but which I will definitely look at once they arrive at my local comics shop or bookstore.

If you click that link above, you’ll see all the graphic novels at BN.com, sorted by date.  Lots of  graphic novels (and related books) scheduled from May to December.  Of course, there will be even more titles added and announced in time for the Holidays!  (You might want to use your tax return to buy some bookshelves.)

Please be advised that publication dates are not set in stone, titles may change, and covers may be altered. Also, your local comics shop might receive copies before your local neighborhood website or library.  I consider my tastes to be rather eclectic. If you feel I’ve neglected or slighted a title, publisher, or creator, please feel free to mention it in the comments below. Yes, you may promote your own work, but please include the ISBN for easy searching (and shopping!)

Disclaimer: I am employed by Barnes & Noble. This and any other posts by me at this site have no official connection to B&N.   As always, feel free to send us your PR. Even better, send us some free books!

Salt Water Taffy: Caldera’s Revenge! Part 1
by Matthew Loux

  • $ 5.99
  • Pub. Date: April 2011
  • Publisher: Oni Press
  • Format: Paperback, 72pp
  • ISBN-13: 9781934964620
  • ISBN: 193496462X

Patrick in A Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Other Stories
by Geoffrey Hayes

  • $ 12.95
  • Pub. Date: April 2011
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Format: Hardcover, 32pp
  • Lexile: 0050L
  • ISBN-13: 9781935179092
  • ISBN: 1935179098

Pepper Penwell and the Land Creature of Monster Lake
by Steph Cherrywell

  • $ 14.95
  • Pub. Date: April 2011
  • Publisher: SLG Publishing
  • Format: Paperback, 200pp
  • ISBN-13: 9781593622053
  • ISBN: 1593622058

Scratch 9, Volume1: Pet Project
by Rob M Worley,Jason T Kruse

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16. Evolution of LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE cover





I had a bad August.
A very bad August.
As bad as pickle juice on a cookie.
As bad as a spider web on your leg.

As bad as the black parts on a banana.
I hope your August was better.

I really do.

When Eleanor's beloved babysitter, Bibi, has to move away to take care of her ailing father, Eleanor must try to bear the summer without Bibi and prepare for the upcoming school year. Her new, less-than-perfect babysitter just isn't up to snuff, and she doesn't take care of things like Bibi used to. But as the school year looms, it's time for new beginnings. Eleanor soon realizes that she will always have Bibi, no matter how far away she is.

Written in a lyrical style with thoughtful and charming illustrations throughout by Matthew Cordell.


Here are a few of Matthew Cordell's first round sketches.






As you might have guessed the title wasn't working for us.
It worked for the story but was just to "quiet."


A list of new possible title was drawn up.


A Letter from Bibi

Waiting for

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17. Review of the Day: Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss

Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero
By Marissa Moss
Illustrated by John Hendrix
Abrams Books for Young Readers
$18.95
ISBN: 978-0-8109-9735-6
Ages 6-12
On shelves now.

If I want to depress myself on a given day I’ll compare the list of biographical subjects that kids in school are handed to pick and choose from with the biographical subjects that I had to pick and choose from when I was a kid some twenty odd years ago. It’s disheartening. Essentially, it’s the same list. Teachers always include Edison, Einstein, Washington, Tubman, Keller, etc. Once in a while someone will fall out of favor (Benjamin Banneker) to be replaced with someone new (Matthew Henson) but that’s just the way of things. How I long for the day when the core biographical subjects are thrown out the window and kids can take full advantage of the range of amazing stories in their libraries’ biography sections. That’ll be the day when a kid has an assignment to find a historical female hero who fought in a war and I can hand them Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero. Until then, I’ll just have to hawk the book on its own merits. Fortunately, this is not too terribly difficult to do.

I’m sure you’ve all heard stories of those women who cut their hair, donned men’s clothes, and joined the armed forces during the Civil War. Many a woman did this, but few were as brave and inventive as Sarah Edmonds. Having run away from home at the age of sixteen to escape an arranged marriage, Sarah had been living as a man for three years when she returned to Michigan to join the Union cause. On the field she proved a brave nurse, soldier, and eventual spy. When told to spy on the enemy, Sarah became a believable black male slave and managed to extract some much needed information across enemy lines. An Author’s Note at the end explains how the rest of Sarah’s life went and how she became “the only woman invited to join the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the association for Civil War veterans of the Union Army.”

Marissa Moss is best known for her Amelia’s Notebook series, an early chapter book grouping of titles that served as the precursor to the current Diary of a Wimpy Kid journal boom we’re now in. I was under the distinct impression that fiction was Ms. Moss’s one and only bag, and this feeling was helped in no small part by the biographical sketch of her that appears on this title’s bookflap. Dig a little deeper, however, and you see that Ms. Moss has a longstanding appreciation of history that has manifested itself in a variety of different ways over the years. Penning everything from historical novels like Galen: My Life in Imper

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18. BREAKING NEWS! DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: CABIN FEVER


Hold on Tight, this Winter has Bite



USA TODAY, the #1 paper in the country with a 1.8 million circulation,

broke the news this morning that

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: CABIN FEVER

the sixth book in the game-changing series by Jeff Kinney,

will go on sale November 15, 2011, with a 6-million copy first printing—the largest to date!

They are also the first to run the cover, which will be “ice blue.”

Please see the full press release attached and below. We expect all major daily trades to follow today and tomorrow.

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19. Review of the Day: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
By Jonathan Auxier
Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams)
$16.95
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0025-5
Ages 9-12
On shelves August 1st.

What is the most telling difference between those works of children’s literature written long ago and those written today? Pose this question to a room full of children’s librarians and I suspect that the answers would be myriad. Books today are less racist. They’re willing to push more boundaries. They’re smarter, hipper, less didactic, and so on and such. Pose the question to a room full of kids now. What do they answer? Would they even know where to begin? I wonder since the memorable children’s books of the past, the ones that we hold in our hearts and pass along from generation to generation have a quality that most children’s books today don’t bother to cultivate: timelessness. Of course there are as many bad books for kids that try to reach that golden goal as there are good ones. It is incredibly difficult to write a book for the youth of today that is interesting to them and yet manages to feel “timeless” without covering itself in must and dust. That Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes succeeds in this endeavor is a testament not only to its author but to a publishing world that’s willing to put out something that doesn’t slot into the usual five categories of books for youth.

Babies found floating in baskets usually turn out quite well. They get adopted by pharaohs’ daughters and the like, right? Well, that may be the case for some babies, but Peter Nimble isn’t exactly the lucky sort. Found floating in the sea, his eyes pecked out (presumably by the raven perched there), Peter is abandoned to the wilds of the world. On his own he manages to use his talents to become the world’s greatest thief. This talent is swiftly exploited by the nasty Mr. Seamus who makes Peter steal for him. All seems bleak until the day Peter stops to listen to a crazy haberdasher who has come to town. Next thing he knows, Peter has pilfered a box containing three pairs of magical eyes and in accepting them he allows himself to take part in a marvelous, epic adventure.

A difficulty with writing a story from the perspective of a blind protagonist is that you’re limited to that person’s senses. Or rather, you would be if the book was first person. Auxier sets his tale in the third, leaving the reader to decide whether or not the book should be this deftly described. We’re still with Peter every step of the way, after all. So is it fair that the text should show such a visual world when that is not Peter’s experience? I don’t find it much of a problem myself, though I can see how some folks would deem it strange. Yet the third person narration is the key here. It’s not even particularly intrusive.

The book is also dotted with small pen-and-ink illustrations throughout the text (created by the author himself, no less) that serve to show a bit of what is described to Peter. It is interesting to see what Auxier chooses to show and not to show. For example, the kitten/horse/knight that is his companion Sir Tode is never fully seen in any of the pictures in this book except for the odd rear view. So it is that Auxier uses his art to give readers just a hint of the story. He leaves most of the characters and situations up to child imaginations, though.

He also has his influences. Jonathan Auxier doesn’t love 0 Comments on Review of the Day: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier as of 1/1/1900

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20. Video Sunday: “It was just full of mouthwash”

21balloons Video Sunday: It was just full of mouthwash

The 90-Second Newbery submissions keep coming in!!  Remember, there’s still lots of time to have your talented kids/students/neighborhood gamins submit their own shortened versions of Newbery classics.  James Kennedy and I will be presenting them at New York Public Library in the fall, but we’d love more titles like today’s musical take on that William Pene du Bois title 21 Balloons.  That book goes out like crazy from my library at this time of year due to its appearance on summer reading lists.  And while I’m not allowed to have 90-Second Newbery favorites, this one is right up there.  More info over at James’s blog.

Well, it was a good week for links I think.  Some weeks you can’t find a decent video to save your soul. Other weeks you’ve a virtual embarrassment of riches.  For example, you might be sent a trailer for a documentary (due out in 2012) about the profane and wonderful Tomi Ungerer. Warning: May not be work appropriate at times (much like Mr. Ungerer himself).

Big time thanks to Jules Danielson for the link.

There was also this accurate encapsulation of the flaw in the Hogwarts house system:

Thanks to Jonathan Auxier for the link.

Another great It Gets Better video was released recently.  This time it’s coming from the employees of Abrams.

And to round out this day of delights with a video of the off-topic variety, The Onion A.V. Club has been inviting bands in to record and reinterpret a variety of different songs.  Aside from They Might Be Giants (who do a strangely accurate cover of Tubthumping) I really didn’t know any of the bands invited.  That didn’t stop me from watching a whole slew of the videos, though.  My favorite thus far:

HumanLeague Video Sunday: It was just full of mouthwash

Thanks to Phil Nel for the link.

5 Comments on Video Sunday: “It was just full of mouthwash”, last added: 7/10/2011
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21. Review of the Day: The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont by Victoria Griffith

The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont
By Victoria Griffith
Illustrated by Eva Montanari
Abrams Books for Young Readers
$16.95
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0011-8
Ages 6-10
On shelves now

The American publishing industry is good at a lot of things. They produce some pretty delightful fare for children on a variety of different topics. If you want vampires or stories of cute puppies or twists on fairy tales then you are in luck. If, however, you’re looking for something about people who are famous in countries other than America, I have bad news. We’re not that great at highlighting other nations’ heroes. Oh, you’ll see such a biography once in a rare while but unless they’re a world figure (Gandhi, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.) we’re not usually going to hear much about them. Maybe that’s part of the reason I get so excited when I see books that buck the trend. Books like Victoria Griffith’s The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont. The other reason is that in a greedy way I get to learn about new historical figures along with the child readers. Alberto Santos-Dumont, for all his charms, is not exactly a household name here in the States. Credit where credit is due, then since author Victoria Griffith is doing what she can to remedy that problem.

If you were a resident of Paris, France in the early 20th century you might have glanced up into the sky to see one Alberto Santos-Dumont in his handy dandy dirigible. A transplanted Brazilian and fan of the power of flight, Alberto was friends with Louis Cartier who bestowed upon him a wrist-based alternative to the pocket watch. Now he could time himself in the sky! Determined to create an official flying machine, Alberto announces the date and location that he intends to use one to take to the sky. But when sneaky Louis Bleriot arrives with the intention of stealing Alberto’s thunder, the question of who will go down in the history books is (ha ha) up in the air.

I’m having a bit of difficulty believing that this is Victoria Griffith’s first book for children. To my mind, writing nonfiction picture books for young readers is enormously difficult. You sit in front of a plate of facts with the goal of working them into something simultaneously honest and compelling for kids. Taken one way, the book’s a dud. Taken another, it does its subject justice. Griffith, for her part, takes to the form like a duck to water. The first sentence is “Alberto Santos-Dumont loved floating over Paris in his own personal flying machine.” After the first few pages don’t be too surprised if the kids you’re reading this book with start wondering why exactly it is that we don’t have our own personal dirigibles (this question is promptly answered when we learn that Alberto’s preferred mode of transportation had a tendency to .. um… catch on fire). Deftly weaving together the invention of the Cartier watch with Alberto’s moment in history, Griffith manages to create compelling characters and a situation that lets kids understand what was at stake in this story.

She also places Alberto squarely within his context in history. In the book we learn that while the Wright Brothers did fly at Kitty Hawn before Santos-Dumont, because their flight needed assistance then it wasn’t really flying. Griffith prefers to explain this not in the text but in the Author’s Note, but I think that’s fair. As long as you make clear to kids that there can be two different opinions on a

4 Comments on Review of the Day: The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont by Victoria Griffith, last added: 9/24/2011
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22. Coming Attractions, Fall 2011: Abrams

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abrams comics art Coming Attractions, Fall 2011: AbramsAbrams publishes some of the most beautiful (and bestselling!) books about comics.  Here are some of their forthcoming titles!  (Anyone want to wager how many Eisner nominations these titles will garner?)

Click on the title to discover more information!

97814197002791 Coming Attractions, Fall 2011: Abrams

9780810997493 Coming Attractions, Fall 2011: Abrams

Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and the New Land
Edited by Harvey Pekar and Paul Buhle, with an introduction by Neal Gabler

9781419700781 Coming Attractions, Fall 2011: Abrams

9780810996182 Coming Attractions, Fall 2011: Abrams

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23. Review of the Day: What Animals Really Like by Fiona Robinson

What Animals Really Like
By Fiona Robinson
Abrams Books for Young Readers
$15.95
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8976-4
Ages 4-8
On shelves now.

I’m sitting in a room with other children’s librarians. Together, we are attempting to determine what the best children’s books of a given year are. It’s late in the publishing season and we haven’t a lot of time left when one of us walks in with Fiona Robinson’s What Animals Really Like. None of us are familiar with Ms. Robinson’s work (though we’ve heard nice things about The 3-2-3 Detective Agency) so our expectations are pretty low. The librarian who has the book, though, informs us in no uncertain terms that this is one of the best of the year. She then proceeds to read it aloud. Ladies and gentlemen, there are few finer pleasures that being read a picture book that works. I don’t care if you’re 5 or 55 or 555. Everyone likes storytime and many people like learning about great new picture books through readalouds. By the time the librarian was done it was unanimous. We were in love with What Animals Really Like and ready to join Fiona Robinson’s fan club, should someone ever feel the urge to start one. And trust me, after this book gains a bit of a following, folks are going to be lining up around the block to start organizations in honor of its author/illustrator. You want a surefire storytime gem? Baby, I got your back.

Maestro Herbert Timberteeth has written a brand new song going by the name of “What Animals Really Like”. For this one time performance he has assembled a chorus of some twelve different groups of animals. At the start, all goes according to plan. The lions reluctantly sing, “We are lions, and we like to prowl.” Next a tepid, “We are wolves, and we like to howl.” “We are pigeons, and we like to coo.” Finally, “We are cows, and we like to . . . dig.” There stand the cows holding various digging accoutrements and looking very pleased. Herbert, suffice to say, is not amused. He’s even less amused when the warthogs suddenly declare mid-song that they like to blow enormous bubbles. As the book continues, more and more animals start to sing what they really like to do, rather than what society expects them to. And though it causes him some serious stress, Herbert eventually lets everyone sing what it is that they really like, even though it doesn’t rhyme or, sometimes, make a lot of sense.

I’m a sucker for any book that upsets expectations. Kids are so used to picture books that allow them to guess the rhyme that when they encounter a book that turns that idea on its head they’re initially flummoxed, and then soon delighted. Not many picture books have the guts to do this. The best known, to my mind, is Mac Barnett’s Guess Again!, which takes the idea to its logical extreme. What’s nice about Robinson’s book is that while it’s not as downright goofy as Barnett’s, the upset expectations serve the story. In a way, all readers are automatically placed in the shoes of Herbert Timberteeth. We may not iden

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24. Review of the Day: Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Fake Mustache: how Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (And Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election From a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind)
By Tom Angleberger
Illustrated by Jen Wang
Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams)
$13.95
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0194-8
Ages 9-12
On shelves April 1, 2012

I said it about Laini Taylor. I said it about Jeff Kinney. Heck, I even said it about J.K. Rowling and now, my friends, I’m saying it about Tom Angleberger: I was into him before it was cool. Seriously, a show of hands, how many of you out there can say that you read his first middle grade novel The Qwikpick Adventure Society written under the pen name of Sam Riddleberger? See, that’s what I though. I did and it was hilarious, thank you very much. The kind of thing you read and love and wish more people knew (plus it involved a poop fountain. I kid you not). Years passed and at long last Tom got his due thanks to a little unassuming title by the name of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. By the time Darth Paper Strikes Back came out, Mr. Angleberger was a certifiable hit with the 9-12 year old set. Fortunately for all of us he hasn’t rested on his laurels quite yet. He’s still willing to stretch a little and get seriously wacky when he wants to. Case in point, Fake Mustache. Just your average everyday twelve-year-old-takes-over-the-world title, Tom’s desire for total and complete goofiness finds a home here. I was into Tom before everyone else was, but considering how much fun Fake Mustache is I guess I’m willing to share him a little.

If he hadn’t lent Casper the measly ten bucks then it’s pretty certain that Lenny Flem Jr. wouldn’t have found himself pairing up with famous television star and singer Jodie O’Rodeo to defeat the evil genius Fako Mustacho. You see, Casper wanted to buy a mustache. And not just any mustache, mind you, but the extremely rare (and luxurious) Heidelberg Handlebar #7. A mustache so powerful, in fact, that when Casper puts it on he’s capable of convincing anyone of anything. Now Casper, posing as Fako Mustacho, has set his sights on the U.S. presidency and only Lenny and Jodie are willing and able to defeat him.

To read this book, kid or adult, you need to have somewhere to safely place your disbelief. I recommend storing it in the rafters of your home. Failing that, launch it into the stratosphere because logic is not going to be your friend when you read this. Literal-minded children would do well to perhaps avoid this book. The ideal reader would be one who reads for pleasure and who enjoys a tale that knows how to have a bit of fun with its internal logic. Once that’s taken care of you’ll be able to really get into Angleberger’s wordplay. He throws in just a ton of fun details that are worth repeating. Things like the fact that the state legislature tends to meet in the local Chinese buffet restaurant because

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25. Revolving Door News at Milkweed, Kensington & Abrams

The following three publishers have made some recent changes to their personnel staff: Milkweed Editions, Kensington Publishing Corp. and Abrams Books.

Milkweed Editions has hired Meredith Kessler as their new publicist. At Kensington, two editors have received promotions; Gary Goldstein has been named Executive Editor and Martin Biro has been named Assistant Editor.

At Abrams, the team has shifted to allow for one promotion and one new additional member. Eric Klopfer has been named editor. Michelle Montague makes the jump from Simon & Schuster; she will now serve as executive director of adult marketing and publicity.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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