Thursday afternoon, all three of us were lucky enough to attend the Little, Brown preview.
While all previews are fabulous, the LB preview is perhaps a bit MORE fabulous. This is entirely due to the shoes. For those who don’t know about the link between Little, Brown and shoes—sparkly shoes, high heeled shoes, shiny shoes, and this time around, tweedy with a cork-heel shoes—do yourself a favor and next time you are at a librarian conference, find the inimitable Victoria Stapleton (Associate Director, School and Library Marketing) and ask her about the shoes.
What was not entirely fabulous was our realization, when we went to write the books up, that many of the exciting books we heard about are in fact early 2013 pubs. ARG! But when 2013 comes, we think you should be very excited for Gail Carriger’s first actual YA (she’s the author of Soulless, which won an Alex, and this is even better); a Charles De Lint book with illustrations by Charles Vess; and a new title from Karen Healey, this one a dystopic thriller. There were also some fab picture books to be seen, and Karyn would like to give a special shoutout to The Monster’s Monster, by the always amazing Patrick McDonnell—any book that makes the bedtime reading list for the 5-year-old four nights running and delights the mom with the art each time is worth checking out.
But enough distant future forecasting. Let’s look at the exciting AND 2012 AND YA books.
Well, some are not exactly YA, but we can’t resist mentioning these two charmers (both for ages 8-12): Iron Hearted Violet (by Kelly Barnhill) and Starry River of the Sky (by Grace Lin). They both look beautiful and sound great, and we hope to hear about them on some other blog come September.
Moving up on the age front just a little, Who Could That Be at This Hour? is the first in Lemony Snicket’s new (autobiographical!) series, All the Wrong Questions. The art, by Seth, blew us away—two tone, graphic, vaguely reminiscent of WPA-era posters. From what we could see, anyway (we got sneak peeks! Of like three pages! Which are still being revised!). The folks at LB are saying age 9 and up, but it’s hard to predict where this one will land; Snicket balances a knife edge between children’s and adult and that sometimes spells YA.
One other unlikely to make our contenda list, but worth noting title: Darren Shan has a new series!! (Those exclamation points are all for Sarah. Her love for the Shan Man will NEVER DIE. Which is fitting, because the new series is called Zom-B. The first book is out in October. !!!!)
(We are never letting Sarah type anything ever again.)
And, for those of you still with us after the exclamation point bomb went off, we have finally come to the part of the post about the ones we’re officially here to blog about.
You may remember Malinda Lo; her first book, Ash was a Morris finalist, and nominated for too many other awards to list. Adaptation is apparently completely different from Ash or it’s companion, Huntress: It’s a sci-fi thriller in the X-Files vein. Word is that there is some mature content, including a sexy lesbian relationship, and lots of mysterious dead birds. The description was memorable, we know the author has chops, and it pubs in September. We can’t wait!
A.S. King, on the other hand, is sticking with what she does best: thought-provoking, emotional magical realism. Ask the Passengers, out in October, is about a girl dreaming of a bigger world as she grapples with her small town, collapsing family, and intersections between sexuality and identity. You know, the small stuff. The magical realism comes in with the planes she sees flying overhead. We’re eager to see how it all comes together.
And finally: Libba Bray’s much anticipated The Diviners. Libba Bray is a previous winner, although this is first in a series, which is sometimes a black mark when it comes to Printzliness. But we’ll be reading it anyway. Because The Diviners boasts speakeasies! Ziegfield girls! A Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult! Possibly occult murders! Secret powers! Mystery solving! Life endangerment!
Also, and this is not actually germane to our purposes but so worth relating: Libba (we’re on a first name basis now, and here’s why) was the special guest star. And oh, how special she was! First, we were treated to a summary of the opening chapters of The Diviners acted out with Fisher Price Little People. And then, as if that weren’t enough, we saw the debut (and possibly sole) performance of a cover of “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd”, with lines like: “The game’s afoot, the storms begun, for that honeybun, the fearless flapper of book one!”—accompanied by a rather large collection of action figures and some comic interludes. Now, we know you want to hear this. And in fact, Karyn recorded the entire, priceless two minutes. She’s willing to consider sharing. Maybe. But she promised not to actually POST the song. So… you know, make an offer and perhaps—perhaps!—you will find an audiofile in your inbox.