David Fickling, a venerated editor and publisher of children’s literature, has opened a new chapter in his publishing life. In May, Fickling, who is based in Oxford, England, will release the first books under a new publishing partnership with Scholastic.
After leaving Random House and establishing David Fickling Books as an independent venture in July 2013, a propitious phone call from Ellie Berger, president of trade publishing at Scholastic, precipitated a shift in Fickling’s career direction once again. “It was like coming home,” said Fickling. “Ellie rang me up and invited me to partner with Scholastic, and I realized what an extraordinary thing that would be. America is such a big place, and when you’re small and independent, you want a partner. It’s wonderful to feel as though you’ve come through a cat door and arrived in the U.S. without coming through customs at all – and can set great stories loose!”
Fickling will initially set four stories loose in this country, all of which were recently published by David Fickling Books in the U.K. Due in May are Close to the Wind by Jon Walter, a middle-grade novel about a boy and his grandfather who hope to escape their occupied town with other refugees by gaining passage aboard a ship; and Tim Hall’s Shadow of the Wolf, launching a YA trilogy that offers a new take on the Robin Hood legend. Scheduled for June release is Jampires by Sarah McIntyre and David O’Connell, a picture book that solves the mystery of why the filling disappears from jelly doughnuts. And capping off the launch list in July is Dave Shelton’s Thirteen Chairs, a YA roundup of 13 ghost stories that shape one larger tale as well.
Winners of the [US] Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards were announced Wednesday night at the seventh Children’s Book Week Gala in New York. It’s part of the celebrations during the 95th Children’s Book Week, the nation’s longest-running literacy initiative.
These are the only awards chosen by children and teens in support of their favorite books, according to the Children’s Book Council. Each year, about 13,000 children across the United States read newly published children and young adult books within their classes through the International Reading Association, in partnership with the Children’s Book Council.
Book of the Year, kindergarten through second grade
Winner: “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
“Alphabet Trucks” by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
“Chamelia and the New Kid in Class” by Ethan Long
“Mustache Baby” by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Joy Ang
“Bear and Bee” by Sergio Ruzzier
Book of the Year, third through fourth grade
Winner: “Bugs in My Hair!” by David Shannon
“Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball” by Charise Mericle Harper
“Cougar: A Cat With Many Names” by Stephen Person
“The Matchbox Diary” by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
“Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale” by Duncan Tonatiuh
Book of the Year, fifth through sixth grade
Winner: “National Geographic Kids Myths Busted!” by Emily Krieger, illustrated by Tom Nick Cocotos
“Hokey Pokey” by Jerry Spinelli
“Prince Puggly of Spud” by Robert Paul Weston
“Lawless: Book 1” by Jeffrey Salane
“Battling Boy” by Paul Pope
Book of the Year, teens
Winner: “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth
“Clockwork Princess” by Cassandra Clare
“Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell
“Smoke” by Ellen Hopkins
“The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey
Illustrator of the Year
Winner: Grace Lee, “Sofia the First: The Floating Palace”
Victoria Kann, “Emeraldalicious”
Anna Dewdney, “Llama Llama and the Bully Goat”
James Dean, “Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus”
Oliver Jeffers, “The Day the Crayons Quit”
Author of the Year
Winner: Rush Limbaugh, “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans”
Veronica Roth, “Allegiant”
Rachel Renee Russell, “Dork Diaries 6: Tales From A Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker”
Rick Riordan, “The House of Hades”
Jeff Kinney, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck”
- Senior Designer Random House Children’s Group (New York, NY)
- Senior Publicist/Publicity Manager Basic Books (New York, NY)
- Senior Developmental Book Editor Greenleaf Book Group (Austin, TX)
- Marketing Manager Da Capo Press (Boston, MA)
- Book Publishing/Printing Specialist Hong Kong Based Book Manufacturer (New York, NY)
COAST TO COAST: BEST KIDS’ BOOKSTORES
WHERE TO REPLENISH YOUR SUPPLY OF BEDTIME STORIES, FROM DALLAS TO D.C.
3 examples from the 17 stores listed/recommended
Hooray for Books, 1555 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia
Little Shop of Stories, 133a East Court Square, Decatur, Georgia
Books and Cookies, 2230 Main Street, Santa Monica, California
The New York Times reports that Kate DiCamillo is to be the next ambassador for young people’s literature in the US. The formal announcement is expected tomorrow and the inauguration will take place on January 10th. DiCamillo will be the fourth author apppointed to the position (which is simlar to that of the UK’s Children’s Laureate) following Jon Scieszka (2008), Katherine Paterson (2010) and Walter Dean Myers (2012).
The national ambassador for young people’s literature, will be filled next by Kate DiCamillo, the author of “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “The Tale of Despereaux,” the librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, is expected to announce on Thursday. A new ambassador is named every two years and makes appearances throughout the country to promote reading.
Ms. DiCamillo is already a star of the children’s publishing world, a winner of the Newbery Medal and a reliable best seller. She writes fluidly across genres and age groups, from picture books to chapter books, experimenting with themes of loss, parental absence and spiritual redemption.
By her own account, she came to writing books in a meandering way. Born in Philadelphia but raised in Florida, she spent her 20s working jobs at Disney World, Circus World and a campground, harboring secret ambitions to be an author.
“I was in one of those terrible ruts,” Ms. DiCamillo, now 49, said in a telephone interview from her home in Minneapolis. “I wanted to write, and I wasn’t writing. And I finally decided that when I turned 30, I was going to write something.”
In a wide-ranging piece, Publishers Weekly reports (based on an informal post-Labor Day survey of summer sales) that independent bookstores in the US are doing well.
For a number of booksellers summer 2013 has been one of the best. “We’re having an awesome year. We’re projecting we will be up pretty significantly,” said John Cavalier, co-owner of Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, La.
Eleven-year-old 4 Kids Books & Toys in Zionsville, Ind., a suburb of Indianapolis, is cautiously optimistic that it will beat its figures from last year, especially given that it was up 17% this summer and so far has been having its best year yet, according to owner Cynthia Compton.
“It’s been a strong summer,” said Ellen Scott, children’s department manager at The Bookworm in Omaha, Neb. June through August sales were up 8%, according to co-owner Phillip Black, who added that 2013 is on track to exceed 2012 by a “comfortable margin.” The store partnered with a local theater company for dramatic readings of stories on Saturday mornings and invited kids to attend Friday evening story-times in their pajamas. It also separated out its YA section for younger readers, ages 12–14, which are shelved in the children’s section; its older YA titles are next to adult fiction.
For some booksellers, while children’s is definitely a bright spot, YA, because of its appeal to both adults and teens, shines even more brightly. “YA sales are great to excellent. We’ve done a lot of author panels and group readings that continue to complement and increases sales,” said Lauren Harr, sidelines buyer and bookseller at Malaprop’s Books in Asheville, N.C. Two of the books that stood out this summer are Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave (Putnam) and Sarah Dessen’s The Moon and More.
In May 2004, Mark Smith and Wayne Davies, former colleagues at the Orion Publishing Group, founded Quercus Publishing, which they initially operated out of Smith’s London flat. By 2006, the house had moved to considerably larger digs and had accumulated a staff of 20, plus several bestsellers and numerous awards. Quercus marked two key milestones in 2008, when it launched a children’s list and started an imprint, MacLehose Press, to publish the English translation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Quercus recently made another significant leap, opening a three-person (soon to be four) New York City office to publish children’s and adult books for the North American market.