Entertainment blog BuzzSugar posted the "15 Books to Read Before They're Adapted For the Screen," and I was surprised by an inclusion on the list: Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, first published in 1999. The slim novel about a boy's freshman year in high school has since become something of a classic for teens—and a regular on the American Library Association's list of the most-frequently challenged books. But this is the first I'd heard of a movie adaptation.
Chobosky is writing the screenplay and will direct the movie. Emma Watson (Hermione!) is rumored to play Sam, and Logan Lerman (the star of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) is interested in playing Charlie, the lead role.
In 2007, the New York Times reported that The Perks of Being a Wallflower had sold "upward of 700,000 copies and is passed from adolescent to adolescent like a hot potato." When I read the novel 10 years ago, that was certainly true. For my group of friends, Chbosky's novel was the best thing since The Catcher in the Rye.
According to IMDb, the adaptation will be released in 2011—will you see it?
I mentioned this briefly during Children's Reading Week, but I want you all to know that next Wednesday (May 26) we're launching a children's/teen e-newsletter called Reading Corner. I am really excited about this project because I love teen and middle grade novels (see here, here, here... here) and I think it will be a lot of fun to share our children's coverage with a group who especially appreciates books for young readers.
We're creating the newsletter for parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, young readers and adults who love kid lit. Each issue will be filled with interviews, news and reviews of the best new books—and much of the content will appear in the newsletter before it's published on BookPage.com.
In the first edition, we're doing a mega-giveaway. You could win these five new novels (a couple of which I'd bet will be serious Newbery contenders). So, if you want a chance to win the books, sign up for the newsletter here.
As we approach the launch date, I'd love to hear any thoughts on what type of kids books you like to read about: picture books? dystopian teen novels? Feel free to leave a message in the comments section, and I hope you enjoy Reading Corner!
Children's Book Week has been around since 1919, and this year the celebration runs from May 10-16. I love these posters for the week:
The Children's Book Week website is a great resource for parents and young readers themselves. You can. . .
If you've been looking for a fun and easy way to get comprehensive info about books for kids and teens, this is it. Our first issue will come out May 26, but you can sign up now.
As our launch date gets closer, I'll post more about the newsletter, including info on how to enter a stellar kids book giveaway.
What is your family, library, school or bookstore doing to celebrate Children's Book Week? Let us know in the comments section, and share some ideas for other readers. . .
The world's favorite smizing*, H2T** model is writing teen books!
Tyra Banks—host of America's Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show—has signed a three book deal with Delacorte. The series is called Modelland, and according to Publisher's Marketplace it's about "a teenage girl who finds herself competing for a way of life that's both hotly desired and woefully out of reach at an academy for Intoxibellas, the most exceptional models known to humankind."
Turns out this isn't a huge leap for Tyra, as she's an avid reader. On her blog, she posted: "Modelland has always been a part of my mind and my heart. As you might know, I step into a bookstore and I shake (really!) because I love books so much."
Wendy Loggia, who worked on Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Lauren Kate's Fallen, will edit.
Variety has more on Tyra's decision to write fiction (she's already the author of self-help book Tyra's Beauty Inside & Out):
"I have this notebook I write everything in and started working on titles and breaking down characters. And I kept going and going. I knew I didn't want it to be some autobiography; I wanted to create a fantastical place."
Banks said the books shouldn't be considered "chick lit" but will contain messages of empowerment within the fantasy storyline. "I wanted to make the project a little more what my brand is," she said. "And give (readers) an experience that they haven't seen when it comes to this modeling world."
Banks said she sees "Modelland" as eventually turning into a feature franchise and has already received interest from studios. "I'm not writing the books as scripts," she said. "I'm writing true literature, which can then be adapted into film by Bankable."
*"smize" = smiling with your eyes, in Tyraspeak
**"H2T" = head-to-toe modeling
It seems like this has been the year of the book anniversary: Spot. Shrek. To Kill a Mockingbird. And now Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew. The Secret of the Old Clock, book one in the iconic series, was published on April 28, 1930. . . meaning that, believe it or not, Nancy's officially 80.
After Justice Sonia Sotomayor mentioned Nancy during her Senate confirmation hearings, the New York Times ran an article titled "Nancy Drew’s Granddaughters." An excerpt from the piece:
[Sotomayor] has said that her Nancy Drew represented boldness and intelligence, the books a gift from a hardworking single parent. In recent years, Laura Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gayle King and Diane Sawyer have described themselves as fans.
How many of you are fans? Whether you grew up on the classic mysteries with the yellow spines or one of the many modern versions, I'd bet the phrase "blue roadster" means something to you. Or that at one point in you life you've asked friends if they identify more with Nancy, Bess (boy crazy/best-friend-on-a-diet) or George (tomboy). Or maybe you even tried to solve a mystery.
To commemorate this anniversary, Grosset & Dunlap has released a new cover for The Secret of the Old Clock. What do you think? (I'll always prefer the yellow spines—in the summer, I used to read one of those babies a day at the pool.)
Related in BookPage: The biggest fans should check out Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak, a fascinating nonfiction book that provides a behind-the-scenes look at Nancy's origins.
I wouldn't shy away from it if I felt that I had a compelling story to tell in a location that really worked for me. . . Location is crucial to my books. I've been careful to go to places to make sure that I am going to feel that mystical or visceral connection that allows me to say yes, this is it, this is the place I'm going to write about.
George fans: Will you read The Edge of Nowhere? The book will be published by Viking Children's, and currently there is no set pub date.
Just two days after I blogged about Starcrossed, the high school Greek tragedy billed as “a Percy Jackson for teenage girls,” another huge YA deal goes through. Dutton Children’s Books (a Penguin imprint) has paid six figures to publish The Catastrophic History of You and Me, by debut novelist Jessica Rothenberg. Rothenberg is an editor at Razorbill, another Penguin imprint. Here’s more on the plot:
In the book, a 15-year-old girl who literally dies of a broken heart must pass through five stages of grief before she can move on to the afterlife...and restore her faith in love.
When I was a pre-teen, I had a fascination with tragic stories—for a while there, anything by Lurlene McDaniel was a must-buy from the book fair. Sounds like heartbreak and mortality still haven't gone out of style.
Will you (or your teen) pick up The Catastrophic History of You and Me (out fall 2011)?
A month ago we reported on Libba Bray’s $2 million deal to write a jazz-age trilogy for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Now, it looks like the huge YA contract of the month is going to a newcomer: HarperTeen has paid seven figures to Josephine Angelini for a trilogy billed as "a Percy Jackson for teenage girls.”
From Publisher’s Weekly:
In Starcrossed, which brings Greek tragedy to high school, a shy Nantucket teenager named Helen Hamilton attempts to kill the most attractive boy on the island, Lucas Delos, in front of her entire class. The incident proves more than a bit inconvenient for Helen, who's already concerned that she's going insane—whenever she's sees Lucas (or any of his family members) the image of three crying women appear to her.
I’ve made my love for the late Madeleine L’Engle known around the office, so I wasn’t surprised when Lynn showed me a notice from the spring 2010 Farrar, Straus & Giroux catalog: On April 27, L’Engle’s 1949 novel And Both Were Young will be reissued in hardcover with a new jacket (see left). L’Engle’s graddaughter, Léna Roy, will write an introduction.
My battered copy of And Both Were Young features the jacket to the right. Which do you like better?
The novel tells the story of Flip, an American girl away at boarding school in Switzerland, and her unexpected love for Paul, a French boy. Whether you prefer the retro jacket or the new one, the novel’s themes of love, alienation and growing up will no doubt still resonate with contemporary readers.
After learning of the book reissue, I was curious about L'Engle's graddaughter. Turns out that on Dec. 7, 2010, FSG will publish Roy’s debut YA novel, Edges.
It is a story of love and grief, addiction and redemption, set in both NYC’s Upper West Side and in the red rock desert of Moab, Utah. Seventeen-year-old Luke lives and works at the Moonflower Motel in Moab, having fled New York City where his father Frank drowns his sorrows after the death of Luke’s mother. Back in New York, 18-year-old Ava meets Frank at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. When these lost souls converge in Moab, what happens transforms them all.
Will you pick up Edges?
Her YA art caper novel, Heist Society, hits stores today, and you can read all about it in an interview on BookPage.com. I talked to Carter (also the author of the bestselling Gallagher Girls series) about the book in December and am excited that teens can finally read the book for themselves. (Imagine if Julia Roberts' and George Clooney's characters in Ocean's 11 had a daughter. Who staged a huge heist as a teenager. That would be Kat, the star of Heist Society.)
Carter was a lot of fun to talk to (In response to “How to you feel about Valentine’s Day?” she answered: “Valentine’s Day is the day before all the chocolates go on sale”), so yesterday I was happy to see that Publisher’s Lunch reported a major film rights deal concerning Heist Society. The film rights were optioned to Warner Brothers for seven figures. Denise Di Novi (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) is slated to produce.
On her blog, Carter wrote: “The whole time I was writing Heist I always thought of it as a movie. More than once I've said that it's far more cinematic than anything I've ever done. But what do I know, right? I also think cake is a well-balanced breakfast, so I'm wrong. A lot. . . At the end of the day we ended up signing with Warner Brothers and the talented Denise DiNovi as the producer. The screenplay will be written by the fabulous Shauna Cross (who wrote Whip It and the screenplay for If I Stay).” She also reminded readers that a film option is not a guarantee that a movie will get made—but it’s a step in the right direction.
So commenters: Who would you pick to play Kat, the daughter of notorious art thieves, or her love interest Hale? What’s your favorite heist book?