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6-18-12: Heaven for Book Lovers
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Our regular book critic Paula Willey has been to the huge Book Expo in New York, where she learned about the best young adults and kids' books of the season. Hint: vampires are still hot. Also, zombies.
Tom shares all her picks with Tom, and you can read more about her choices on her blog, Pink Me. She's joined by Julia Noel, a sophomore from Millersville, who is one of four students who reviews books for the blog the Ink Bitten, and also attended BEA. Also, both of them have pink hair.
Here are some of their picks for the coming year.
Several of the hottest YA authors have books coming out this year. The lines to see authors such as Veronica Roth (Divergent) and Ally Condie (Matched) snaked around and across the floor of the convention center. Trends we observed: 1) ZOMBIES ZOMBIES ZOMBIES and 2) the 1920’s. Perhaps inspired by TV’s Boardwalk Empire, we saw several teen and adult books set during Prohibition.
Applegate, Katherine and Michael Grant. Eve and Adam. This husband and wife team have been responsible for several very popular middle grade and teen series, starting with the Animorphs. Look for Grant’s funny superhero adventure series The Magnificent 12, his teen postapocalypse series Gone.
Beaudoin, Sean. The Infects. Promises to be a sophisticated take on zombies / cannibals.
Bray, Libba. The Diviners. Set in 1920s New York, film rights already purchased by Paramount. Probably going to be funny, fast-paced, and truthful, if her previous books, Going Bovine and Beauty Queens, are any indication.
Green, John. The Fault in our Stars. One of Julia’s picks – John Green writes realistic teen fiction that appeals to both boys and girls. Green’s online community is the Nerdfighters.
Lo, Malinda. Adaptation. Science fiction from the author of Ash and Huntress. One of Paula’s picks.
Maberry, Jonathan. Rot & Ruin (series). This series of four books is very popular, especially with teen boys, although girls who like gore are reading them too. Jonathan told us that his next series will be realistic secret agent teen fiction – no title yet.
Shan, Darren. Zom-B (series). Fans of Shan’s previous series, Cirque du Freak and The Saga of Larten Crepsley, will no doubt stand in line for this projected 12-volume zombie series. For over-the-top chew-em-up fun, Darren Shan really can’t be beat. Paula recommends this.
Stiefvater, Maggie. The Raven Boys. Julia was very excited to get her hands on the new book by the author of the Shiver series and The Scorpio Races.
Middle grade (ages 10 to 13)
More and more attention is being paid to this market, and we’re seeing many authors who usually write for teens coming out with middle grade novels. Scholastic’s new multiauthor series The Infinity Ring will employ the talents of James Dashner (The Maze Runner trilogy), Matt De La Pena (Ball Don’t Lie), and Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), among others.
Bachmann, Stefan. The Peculiar. Debut author Bachmann is all of 18 years old. This story about a half-fairy boy should be interesting for that reason alone.
Barnhill, Kelly. Iron Hearted Violet. Steampunk style plus a strong-willed, unprincessy princess make this a tempting choice.
Dashner, James. A Mutiny in Time (The Infinity Ring). Kids who enjoyed The 39 Clues, a long series of short novels written by various authors, will no doubt gravitate toward this similar series. While 39 Clues had a geographic and biographical theme, The Infinity Ring will be all about time travel. This series will have a big online component.
Schlitz, Laura Amy. Splendors and Glooms. Park School librarian and Newbery Award-winning author Laura Amy Schlitz is back with a picturesque dramatic fantasy.
Weiner, Ellis. The Templeton Twins Have an Idea. Pikesville native Ellis Weiner, a writer of humor for adults (Yiddish With Dick and Jane, How to Raise a Jewish Dog), starts his first series for children with this very funny, fourth-wall-busting adventure that recalls Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events.