Blog Archives

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ Final Cover Released!

At Scholastic’s NYC headquarters yesterday, illustrator Kazy Kibuishi presented the last of the new Harry Potter book editions. You can check out the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows cover below. The event coincided with Harry Potter and author J.K. Rowling’s birthday! Happy belated birthday Harry and Jo!

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At the same time the spines of each book were released. Together they create a photo of Hogwarts! I might just have to buy the set again.

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The box set also includes a new photo of Hogsmeade:

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You can check out all of the covers right here!

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New Features Announced for Pottermore

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Pottermore has announced that new features will be coming to the site once the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is released in the coming weeks. Two of those new features include the ability to comment on Moments, chapters, and J.K. Rowling’s entries, and Book Pages.

“You will not only have the ability to comment on Moments, but each book, each chapter, and each exclusive content entry from J.K. Rowling, so you can discuss your feelings and ideas about the Harry Potter stories and interact with the Pottermore community,” writes Pottermore on their Insider blog.

In addition, Pottermore will launch “Book Pages” which each share very basic information about the seven Harry Potter books. You will be able to leave comments about each book as well.

Comments have always been integrated into Pottermore at the end of each Chapter but as users get house points for each comment it is difficult to see how implementing comments elsewhere through the site will encourage readers to have a discussion. I wish that Pottermore would focus on the millions of Harry Potter fans rather than just new readers of the books, but at least they’re trying to improve the website! Do you still use Pottermore?

‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ International Trailer

The International trailer for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters has just been released on the internet via MSN. This all new trailer is visually exciting, and takes you deeper into the plot of the movie with many new scenes that we have not seen before!

The film will hit theaters on August 7th, 2013, and stars Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, Brandon T. Jackson as Grover, Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth, and Leven Rambin as Clarisse. The film will follow the events of the second novel in the Percy Jackson series by the same name, which chronicles the adventures of thirteen-year-old demigod Percy Jackson as he and his friends rescue his satyr friend Grover from the Cyclops Polyphemus and save the camp from a Titan’s attack by bringing the Golden Fleece to cure Thalia’s poisoned pine tree.

First Trailer for Disney’s ‘Frozen’

The first trailer for Disney’s newest animated movie Frozen has been released!

Frozen’s trailer doesn’t show what the storyline will be about but it does play out a cute little short in which snowman Olaf and reindeer Sven competete to reach a carrot in the middle of the frozen lake, with slippery consequences.

Check it out below!

Although they don’t appear in this trailer, Frozen has an all-star cast including Kristen Bell voicing “fearless optimist” Anna, Jonathan Groff portraying “mountain man” Kristoff, and Idina Menzel who’s voicing Anna’s sister Elsa. Presumably the next trailer will include glimpses into the story. While we adults want to see a trailer with some kind of storyline, kids are sure to enjoy this trailer and be begging mom and dad to take them to see this movie – it is exceptionally cute and funny!

But for the adults here is a short synopsis: In Frozen, Anna and Kristoff head out to find Elsa because her “icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.”

Bell, Groff, and Menzel also posses great vocal powers, so expect a couple of songs within Frozen too.

Frozen opens in theaters November 27, 2013. You can see the teaser trailer above in theaters this Friday with Disney’s Monsters University.

In the meantime you can check out these 5 great pictures from Frozen that were released yesterday!

First Look at Disney’s ‘Frozen’

USA Today has debuted five images from Disney’s 53rd animated feature, Frozen. Loosely based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen follows the adventures of Anna, Kristoff, and his reindeer companion Sven as they travel to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and end the eternal winter trapping the kingdom of Arendelle. Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell (Anna), Jonathan Groff (Kristoff), and Idina Menzel (Elsa), Frozen will hit theaters on November 27th in 3D.

These are some gorgeous photos and by the looks of it, the film will be as visually appetizing as it is engaging. Check them out below and visit USA Today to read more about the film.

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Children’s Book Week

ChildrensBookWeek_LogoThis week is Children’s Book Week! From 13 May – 19 May, the Children’s Book Council is celebrating children’s books, and that includes Young Adult fiction. Throughout 50 cities across the United States, there will be many book event featuring multiple authors and illustrators that are all are open to the public. Check this page to see if there’s a book event being held near you.

Along with these celebratory events, the Children’s Book Council holds the Children’s Choice Book Awards and the Teen Choice Book Awards in which winners are chosen by voters. The winners will be announced tomorrow but here are some of the finalists: Insurgent by Veronica Roth, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 7: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, Book 3) by Rick Riordan. Tough choices! Come back to YABR tomorrow to see who the winner is!

In the meantime here are some thing you can do to get into Children’s Book Week 2013.

CBW-Poster-400Order this gorgeous Children’s Book Week poster for free! Simply send a SSAE. Further instructions can be found here.

Download the official Children’s Book Week bookmark here.

Put a Children’s Book Week badge on your site!

If you’re doing something for Children’s Book Week, let us know and maybe we’ll feature it on Young Adult Book Reviewer!

Recap of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ Webcast

SO much J.K. Rowling news lately I feel like Young Adult Book Reviewer has become Harry Potter Rowling News! But I just couldn’t let this news story pass because it is filled with goodies that all Potter fans will love. If you happened to catch Jo’s webcast with Scholastic yesterday you will have heard what characters she enjoyed writing the most, the moment she realised she was famous, the Pottermore house she is in and so much more. Here’s a recap of what she said:

-Jo says some things in the books wouldn’t have happened without living in Edinburgh. Names and street names came out of the books. The town also has great coffee shops and is respectful of her privacy.

– Jo says she’s come to understand the appeal of Harry Potter over the years. People fell in love with the characters, and the idea of the hidden world was so appealing. Fundamentally it was the characters that made people fall in love.

– Jo always wanted to be a writer in her heart of hearts. She’d always been writing up stories.

– Jo had great teacher role models who inspired her.

– The first sentence Jo wrote in Potter (in Philosopher’s Stone), you saw what happened in Godric’s Hollow. In the final version, you don’t know what happens until much later in the story.

– One of Jo’s favorite moments from the books was Luna’s appearance, the Graveyard scene in Goblet of Fire, and some small moments: “stupid jingles that Peeves says” were fun to do.

– The second American tour Jo did was “unbelievable” – she can remember traveling in a car towards her first signing and there were blocks of people queuing. She thought a sale was going on, but they were actually in line for Jo.

– Jo reads an excerpt from Sorcerer’s Stone: Harry meeting Ollivander.

– She does a great Hagrid voice!

– On the trio’s changing relationship: “Some writers say character is plot, to a large extent I think they’re right. I gave Harry two very different friends. In some ways Ron is more human than Harry. Ron is there as a maybe slightly more real boy with his faults and flaws. But he’s always there by Harry’s side. Ron’s one problem is insecurity. He feels he’s not as good as his brothers, he comes from a poor family, and then makes friends with the most famous boy in the Wizarding World. I did know those things about Ron from the start.”

“Then with Hermione. Harry is a boy who needs fun and gets that from Ron. Hermione is all about knowing stuff. I give him these two friends who brings him things he needs. Hermione is very clever, she knows a lot of stuff and where to find a lot of stuff. Hermione learns to loosen up quite a lot. Hermione learns that there is more to life than book learning. So, I did know these things even from the first book. I needed to because I would’ve run out of steam quite early.”

– The journey is about more than magic. “What they really need to learn about themselves, and of course each other, but self knowledge is key. When we get to Deathly Hallows, what the Hallows are and what they represent tells you something about the kind of person you are. By the time we get to that point of the story, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are equipped to handle them.”

– On how much of the characters are within Jo: “There’s an argument that an author is the characters they write. Harry, Ron, and Hermione absolutely – I am in all three of them. Hermione is an exaggeration of myself at that age. I was the bookish girl, and finding books would’ve been how I answered a challenge when I was in school.”

– One of my favorite ever comments from a very early reader, in 1999, about 10 years old, he said to me: “Harry doesn’t often ever know what’s going on, and nor do I.” That reader was semi-joking, but he meant it at the same time. We all had the feeling of, ‘I’m not sure what’s going on.’ We all felt that at school.”

– How did she come up with Pottermore: “The initial idea was, it’s time. People were asking for eBooks. It felt like it was the right time to do it. Then I wanted it to be more than that, because as you say, the internet offers amazing possibilities. I saw it as a way to create an environment where you could see extra tidbits, we can go inside illustrations. It’s making a book – it’s putting a book in that world. It’s still a reading experience – you still need to be able to read the books. But I was excited that we could put a really good reading experience online. I think it’s important to say that this is completely free. But the REALLY exciting thing for me – again, for free – is I had a way to put extra material online. It was a way of making sure any fan could access it. If I loved a series of books, to be able to learn more about a character – it’d be a great experience.”

– Pulling things out of boxes or inventing more for Pottermore is just fun. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected to the world. Has a character come back and surprised me? No, but I recently completed a biography for Remus Lupin. In writing his biography, even though it was in my head and I had never written it down, I found myself getting very upset – that’s all I can say because I don’t want to give anything away. I can’t say anymore than that. I felt very connected to the character.

A look at the Knight Bus in Pottermore (presumably in Prisoner of Azkaban) was exclusively revealed. (See above)

– Jo revealed which house she was sorted in in Pottermore – Gryffindor! But she also boldly stood up for Hufflepuff students, saying that “Hufflepuff is my favorite house in some ways. There comes a point in the book where each house has a chance to rise up to a certain challenge [she didn’t want to spoil it]. The Slytherins decided they’d rather not play, the Ravenclaws – some play, some won’t, but the Hufflepuffs stay to fight. The Gryffindors – compromised of lots of full hearty and show off people. The Hufflepuffs stayed for a different reason. They didn’t want to show off, they weren’t being reckless, that’s the essence of Hufflepuff.”

– Jo says her next book is likely to be a book for children. She’s hesitant to commit herself fully because she still wants the freedom to decide.

Quote of the Week

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Sneak Peek Of Lemony Snicket’s Latest Book, ‘Who Could that be at This Hour?’

EW has posted a the first chapter from Lemony Snicket’s latest novel Who Could that be at This Hour?

The novel releases on October 23, but you can get your first look at the book below. The story follows a young Lemony Snicket who is in a fading town, far from anyone he knows or trusts, he begins his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He starts by asking questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn’t be read. This is the first volume.

There was a town, there was a girl, and there was a theft. I was living in town, and I was hired to investigate the theft, and I thought the girl had nothing to do with it. I was almost thirteen and I was wrong. I was wrong about all of it. I should have asked the question, “Why would someone say something was stolen when it was never theirs to begin with?” Instead I asked the wrong question — four wrong questions, more or less. This is the account of the first. (Read the rest here)

[Opinion] Are Mermaids Or Dragons The Next Big Thing In YA?

Harry Potter gave kids a reason to read again. Magic became the big thing in publishing for awhile. Then Twilight came out and copycat paranormal vampire love stories were being pumped out of every teenage/adult publisher all around the world. Hunger Games finally broke the trend and made the dystopian genre big. 2011 and 2012 have been the years of Dystopian stories. So what’s next?!

Well according to USA Today Mermaids may be swimming up to take charge. Publishers are releasing a school of mermaid novels. And MerCon 2011, the first mermaid convention, will be held at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Aug. 12-13.

Stephenie Meyer announced a long while ago that she was interested in writing a series about mermaids.

“Publishers and readers are looking for the next big thing in the paranormal genre,” says Mandy Hubbard, whose young-adult novel Ripple, about a seemingly normal teen who must hide that she’s a mermaid (Razorbill, $16.99), is out July 21. “We’ve already done vampires and werewolves and angels. Mermaids feel a little more fresh and interesting.” (USA Today)

While Mermaids are definitely interesting – half woman, half fish, wet and beautiful – I just can’t see them being the big thing. Girls have  become the target demographic in YA publishing but I think since the Dystopian genre has become big, boys are becoming a bigger target audience. Quite simply Mermaids wouldn’t interest boys and I’m not sure how many girls it would interest. If Meyer does publish a Mermaids series she could make the genre big. But I think from what I’ve been reading that there is another fantasy creature that it making itself big in fiction. Dragons!

Twice in the past month I have read about dragons in fantasy/dystopian books and I feel like the way these books are being written they will capture the interest of both boys and girls. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey (read YABR’s review here) featured dragons, fairies and humans. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (review forthcoming, to be published 10 July) is a fantastically written book about the co-existence of dragons and humans.

What do you think? Mermaids or Dragons? Or something else?