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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: I Mean, Who WOULDN’T Want to Read a Book Starring a Kid Named Jupiter Jones?

Prepare for thine jaw to plummet in a downward type fashion.  We’ve heard that the occasional children’s author has gone the route of writing a novelization in their time.  I just never knew how many of them had.  Peter has the scoop.  Fun facts may include knowing that Todd Strasser is "The King of Novelizations" (go, fellow Foundry author, go!) while "Norma Fox Mazer — had already been a National Book Award finalist when she wrote a novelization of the (flop) movie SUPERGIRL in 1984."  Gets you to thinking.  If you could novelize something, what would it be?  I’d chose something really bad, with the potential for extrapolation.  Maybe the novelization of Superman IV or Gymkata.  Oo!  No, even better.  I’d do the novelization of movie version of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  Oh the fun I could have

  • What is this Bookscan of which you people speak?  And why is it determining numbers incorrectly?  Sirrah, prepare my horse!  I shall not stand idly by whilst such peculiarities persist.  Thanks to Shaken & Stirred for the link.

  • When I heard about this New York Times article I was trying to think up a good name for my piece about it.  Then I saw that reporter Mary Jo Murphy beat me to the punch with her Nancy Drew and the Secret of the 3 Black Robes. Touche.  Essentially what the piece comes down to is that after discovering that Supreme Court hopeful Sonia Sotomayor read Nancy Drew as a child, Ms. Murphy scouted around a bit and discovered that Judges Ginsberg and O’Connor shared this predilection as kids.  So Colleen over at Chasing Ray has interviewed a swath of authors, finding out their own thoughts on kicking girl protagonists.  Personally, I was a huge Three Investigators fan as a kid.  And it wasn’t just because of their junkyard headquarters.  When are those books coming back in print, by the way?  I know they’re handicapped by the strange and ancient technique of having the boys report back to (I am not making this up) Alfred Hitchcock, but who cares?  They still beat the boring Hardy Boys any day of the week.  Oh yeah!  I said it!  You wanna piece of this?

  • There is a site out there going by the name of Entertainment Legends Revealed.  According to my husband its original purpose was to record urban legends as they related to comic books (insofar as that goes).  Eventually that expanded.  Now the site has started its own little Picture Book Legends Revealed series.  Technically, Collecting Children’s Books already has that area of expertise covered, but it’s always fun to see people talking up picture book topics anyway.  Funny that he mentions the Madeleine orphanage misunderstanding and not the other Madeleine mystery, though.

  • What makes a person becomes an editor of children’s books?  Where’d they get the drive?  T.S. Ferguson, a junior editor at Little, Brown & Co. has started a new series on his blog called the Junior Editor Spotlight.  First up: Molly O’Neill.  Those of you who know Molly, love her.  Those of you who don’t, she has a blog called 10 Block Walk that I enjoy reading.

  • A very big and much humbled thank you to Ms. Houghton’s Class for awarding me a One Lovely Blog Award.  I apologize to her for wanting to write "Mifflin Harcourt" after her name.  Now I know that school librarians read me sometimes, but I’ve not heard from many teachers before.  Thank you kindly, m’dear.  Plus the list of other blogs nominated makes for a fabulous mix.  Good reading, particularly if any of them are unfamiliar to you.  Cheers!

  • A fun little article from SLJ asking various children’s authors what they’re reading this summer.  Such an interesting notion, planning out what you’re going to read.  I’m sort of a haphazard beast, myself.  Perhaps organization is the way to go.

  • Oy!  I just learned from PW Children’s Bookshelf that " Patricia Lee Gauch, v-p and editor at large at Philomel Books, will be leaving the company on September 30, to return to writing and lecturing fulltime."  Durn!  I swear, soon as I learn someone’s name they’re gone again.  And Patti’s such a superior kind of editor, I will be sad to see her go.

  • Man.  That ShelfTalker blog just keeps coming up with consistently good posts.  For the librarians out there, merely take Elizabeth Bluemle’s newest piece Promotional Emails: Do’s and Don’t’s and substitute every time she writes "bookseller" for "librarian".  The message is the same.

  • Daily Image:

All I have for you today is an illustration by Mirko Hanák for Bambi – A life in the woods, a book by Felix Salten released in Czechoslovakia in 1967.

Somehow, it’s enough.  Thanks to Drawn for the link.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Alfred Hitchcock’s career as a Charlie-from-Charlie’s Angels-style crimefighting backer has been woefully underreported. Conspiracy?

    >Dan ponders this, while biting his lip like Jupe<

  2. One wonders if Alfred himself was aware of it. Or if it was just some paper his agent had him sign over breakfast which he completely forgot about.

    Looking forward to the Gymkata novel. Be sure to get lots of personal growth in there. Maybe he has trouble telling his girlfriend that he loves her….

  3. thedotdotdot says:

    I have been the sole voice crying in the wilderness of my bookstore, beseeching the used bookbuyers to buy, buy, buy the Three Investigators whenever a seller brings them in. I loved the junkyard hideaway with the three hidden entrances so much….

    Fun fact: After Mr.Hitchcock passed away, I believe, the series altered the Hitchcockian silhouette to a simple keyhole, and had the boys report back to a mystery writer named Hector Sebastian, instead. Oh, and the Germans still love them. There’s a movie and everything.

  4. Fuse #8 says:

    Okay. This explains a lot. I believe we have a German edition of one of the stories (the parrot one) in my children’s foreign language collection. However, I now want to see a German 3 Investigators movie as well. So very good to know.

  5. Maybe I missed it, but WSJ printed corrections to the original Dark & Stormy essay. Alas, they still incorrectly state the book where Mary Ingalls went blind.

  6. Kate Coombs says:

    I liked Jupiter Jones and Co. far more than I liked Nancy Drew as a kid–probably because of the humor. Nancy was just kind of bland by comparison. The Three Investigators also reminds me of The Mad Scientists Club, another underappreciated classic. Anyway, I thought I was the only one, so thanks for the JJ shout-out!

  7. Sondy Eklund says:

    Oh, I’m with you. The Three Investigators were by far my favorite kid-mystery books. I did find the first six in paperback when my now-21-year-old son was younger. They’re still in my pile of books to read — to see if they still had the magic.

  8. Elizabeth Bluemle says:

    I LOVED The Three Investigators series! Especially the Fiery Eye. I read all of them multiple times, loved the junkyard “office” and probably had a nerd-crush on Jupiter Jones.

    It’s always so satisfying to find someone else who loves your long-lost favorite books, too. (Did you read Mr. Pudgins? The Case of the Marble Monster? The Ruth Chew books? Okay, I’ll stop now.)

  9. todd strasser says:

    Thanks for the mention, but, for what it’s worth, I’ve been writing books for young people for 35 years and only wrote novelizations for about three of them in the early 1990s after purchasing a house and discovering it needed a new roof, boiler, water heater, etc., etc. It’s true that in that brief time I did write about 35 novelizations (it was a BIG roof!), but I do wish that I could be known for something slightly more significant.


    Todd Strasser (King for a Day)

  10. Fuse #8 says:

    Don’t let it weigh upon your mind, Todd. When I hear your name my mind instantly thinks of your real books. But as kingships go, I don’t think it’s a particularly bad moniker. I, personally, wouldn’t mind trying my hand at it for fun.