Book Expo America is over until next year, but what it has wrought is only just beginning, as many of the books being passed around and discussed are released to the reading public over the summer and throughout the fall. We got a sneak peek at the most-talked about new Y.A. and children's titles, and we referred to some publishing industry insiders for their takes on the reads you don't want to miss. (You don't even have to wait for some of them!) And there's something for everyone. As author Beth Kephart wrote in a piece for Publishing Perspectives on Y.A. at Books Expo, the "trend," if there is one, among Y.A. at the moment is more about defining rather than chasing book trends. So it's not all dsytopia or fantasy, for example. As for what Y.A.-reading grownups should try to get their hands on first...
Sarah Gerard, who runs the children's section at New York City bookstore McNally Jackson, told The Atlantic Wire, "One big buzz book right now is Code Name Verity, from Hyperion, which has really shown in sales, and which I often get requests for. Also, Never Fall Down, by Patricia McCormick, is getting a lot of well-deserved attention. It tells the fictionalized story of a real Khmer Rouge survivor and is just...a very intense read, to put it lightly." Gerard added that Paolo Bacigalupi's sequel to Ship Breaker, The Drowned Cities, which came out just a few weeks ago, has a lot of in-store fans, including adults. Veronica Roth's Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent, is also drawing crowds. "People come in asking for her daily," says Gerard. As for middle grade, she cites Natalie Standiford's The Secret Tree, which is the only title in the children's window. "I recommend her for anyone who loves Rebecca Stead, and who doesn't?" says Gerard. Also in middle grade, one of McNally Jackson's teen reviewers was impressed by the new book by Chris Colfer (of Glee), The Land of Stories; she told Gerard "it made her think about fairy tales in a whole new way."
Author R.L. Stine, who on Wednesday signed 200 copies of Wanted: The Haunted Mask, the first book in the 20-year-old Goosebumps series to be published in hardcover, told The Atlantic Wire that he's excited about Macmillan's Monument 14, a Y.A. book by Emmy Laybourne, and a middle grade book called Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, about a child with a facial deformity (we've heard good things about it, too). He also recommended The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsen, calling it "a really interesting Y.A. book and very well-written."
Nielsen's was one of our picks in the race to the next Hunger Games, as was a book mentioned by Macmillan's Joy Peskin, Crewel, by Gennifer Albin, "a big get for Mac Kids and their lead for fall." Peskin was also excited about Gabrielle Zevin's second book in the Birthright series, Because It Is My Blood, which she calls "beautifully written." As for non-Macmillan books, she mentioned Donna Cooner's Skinny (a title we heard from several people); Peskin said she was so eager to read it she started it on her way home.
Sandie Angulo Chen, a media professional who "blogs about Y.A. lit on the side" at Teen Lit Rocks, told us, "So many books in the Y.A, space look like they're going to be big hits, like Libba Bray's roaring twenties occult mystery Diviners to Donna Cooner's heartbreaking tale of an obese teen's struggle through gastric bypass, Skinny." Chen mentioned Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys [yet another of our nominees for the next Hunger Games] and Colin Fischer, about a teen with Aspergers who solves a school mystery. "The authors happen to be A-list Hollywood screenwriters, so I definitely have high expectations," she says (moviegoers take note!). As for the crowd at BEA, Chen added that tons of authors promoting their second and third books in a series—this is a big thing we noticed as well, lots and lots of books in a series—were there, like Marie Lu and Ally Condie, and that she "loved meeting the group of debut authors who dub themselves the Apocalypsies, like Gennifer Albin, Hilary Weisman Graham, Gina Damico, Jess Rothenberg and Zoraida Cordova."
Whew. You can pick up with these when you finish that summer reading list we gave you last week.
Image via @wordforteens.