Say it ain’t so! Arthur Levine, of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials fame, is leaving Scholastic? Arthur A. Levine, the man who brought Harry Potter to the US of A, an early champion of Phillip Pullman’s fantastic first His Dark Material novel The Golden Compass, the dude who Benzinga claims has an imprint backlist “which has produced more than three hundred works of hardcover literary fiction, picture books, and nonfiction for children and teenagers”, my main man, is now leaving Scholastic.
“I’ve had a wonderful run at Scholastic and will greatly miss working here. There are such strengths and so many gifted individuals. But I’m excited to found a company led by a mission to make books reflecting the greatest diversity and the highest standards of artistic excellence.”
I already hear you asking – what’s the name of this new company? We don’t know – it’s unannounced.
As for your second question – the goal of this new company? – the answer is…
They plan to give a voice to a wide range of new authors, putting focus on having “a mix of 75% minority creators, including people of color, indigenous people, and LGBTQ individuals”.
So there is hope. A lot of it actually!
So while J. K. Rowling goes off and makes three more Fantastic Beasts movies, Arthur Levine, the man who brought Harry Potter to the US of A, my main dude, is now dedicating his time in helping minority authors get their voice heard by the public.
New York Comic Con has come and gone, but not without showcasing a few upcoming works by one of our favorite authors. Raina Telgemeier, the author of Smile and Sisters, revealed her two new upcoming projects that will be released in 2019. Share Your Smile, is a how-to-make-comics journal and guidebook, providing potential comic book artists with tips and tricks on how to get into the comic book drawing business and come out like a pro.
Image Via Go Raina
Her other upcoming novel, Guts, is a graphic novel and a memoir based on the author’s middle school experience. Taking place before Smile, it focuses on the author’s experience in dealing with her anxieity disorder during fourth and fifth grade. The book goes into detail about the author’s difficulties in dealing with her anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias. Raina Telgemeier balances the serious topic of mental health in a charming yet comical way for middle schoolers to understand and relate to.
In 2016, John’s Hopkins University Press received a $938,000 grant courtesy of The Andrew Mellon Foundation, which allowed them the funds to continue building an Open Access (OA) platform for monographs in humanities and social sciences.
This was all part of MUSE Open, a non-profit organization aimed at making scholarly texts, journals, articles, and more readily accessible. The organization was founded in 1995 and, in the past twenty-three years, has teamed up with nearly 300 publishers to make works from all categories available online.
via Project MUSE
This is vital because people who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to read and learn from these texts have been given a platform to do exactly that.
In April, Johns Hopkinsreceived another grant for $200,000 from both The Andrew Mellon Foundation and The National Endowment for the Humanities which will allow them to take over 200 out-of-print works and release them back into the world via MUSE.
Expanding their database to include texts that were previously out-of-print will give these books new life and allow them to be seen again for the first time in years.
Johns Hopkins has taken the lead on this, but maybe in the future we’ll see more out-of-print works raised from the dead, along with other Open Access platforms making texts accessible for all!
Conservative advocacy group One Million Moms is back at being a total buzzkill, this time rallying its supporters against Scholastic because of a children’s book promoting tolerance and acceptance.
George, a chapter book written by queer activist and author Alex Gino, which is intended for children in grades three to seven, has come under fire from the “pro-family” group. The story follows a transgender fourth-grader who wants to play Charlotte in her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web. The 10-year-old protagonist hopes not only to get the part, but that her family and teachers will look past the male gender she was assigned at birth and can accept her as she sees herself—as a girl.
The book, which was published in 2015, has been praised by critics as a “profound, moving” book. Additionally, the book was awarded the Stonewall Book Award that year, an award sponsored by the American Library Associations, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender roundtable.
One Million Moms does not feel the book is family-friendly. “Scholastic does not have our children’s best interests at heart. Tell Scholastic to stop harming children,” said a statement on One Million Moms’ website.
That’s not all though. The group is peeved with Scholastic for offering reading lists for LGBT families, calling the lists “morally toxic,” and promising to boycott the education-based company if it did not stop “publishing and promoting pro-homosexual and pro-transgender books for children.”
One Million Moms is also currently fighting with Ben & Jerry’s for their SNL tribute flavor “Schweddy Balls,” which is hilarious.
The world of children’s books suffered a major loss last month when the Roald Dahl Prize for comedic kids books was brought to an end. Luckily, Scholastic has picked up the torch with annual awards of their own: The Laugh Out Loud awards, or the LOLlies. The award is debuting in the UK, but there is a high possibility it will be brought to the US as well. We’ve decided to give them a hand and pick out some of the funniest children’s books this year to consider.
Award-winning cartoonist Rosalind ‘Roz’ Chast once again brings her bizarre humor from the pages of The New Yorker to the bookshelves with Around the Clock. The new story takes kids through every hour of the day, shedding light on the weirdness of some of the mundane things we do on a daily basis.
For a more fantastical take on the daily routine, this dynamic duo of children’s literature tell the story of how an elementary school student’s everyday commute goes completely bonkers… or so he says. Mole people, ninjas, a giant ape, and more grace the pages of this imaginative, laugh-out-loud book.
What self-respecting kid doesn’t get a good laugh out of underpants? Artists Tatsuya Kameyama and Atsuko Nakagawa, who make up the Tokyo-based group Tupera Tupera, take full advantage of this with their newest creative story. The younger crowd will surely be eager to join the hapless polar bear as he goes on a journey to find his missing underwear.
Modern artist Tim Lahan makes his first foray into children’s books with this quirky story about nosy neighbors. When a young couple moves into a new apartment building, they find themselves visited by a far bigger welcoming committee than they bargained for.
For the growing book lover, this new title by author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi tackles the greatest tragedy of all: misplacing your books! One morning, young bookworm Spencer finds his favorite book has gone missing, and been replaced with an acorn. More and more of his books disappear, and so he decides to investigate in a humorous chain of events.
New York Times bestselling artist James Dean (no, not the actor) continues his popular Pete the Cat series with a new picture book that’s sure to put a Cheshire grin on kids’ faces. This time around, Pete finds himself with nothing to do when his friends won’t play his favorite game. So, he comes up with the perfect solution: build a robot! What hijinks will Pete and his new robot pal get into? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Moving on to reading material for a slightly older crowd, the latest in the bestselling Big Nate novel series released earlier this year. Author Lincoln Peirce brings us this laugh-a-minute story about what happens when mischievous student Big Nate has to show fancy-pants new kid Breckenridge Puffington III around school.
8. Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot by Dav Pilkey
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1Ovq6Ga
Remember Captain Underpants? Dav Pilkey‘s irreverent action-comedy series has been going strong for more than a decade after its initial audience grew up. This summer, Pilkey released the twelfth and final book in the saga, where heroes George and Harold must stop their gym teacher from mind-controlling kids into being perfect students. Perfect for passing on to kids you know or revisiting the Captain’s world yourself, if you’re feeling nostalgic.
From another popular series, comes a new story from author Pamela Butchart. In this third installment of the Wigglesbottom Primary series, protagonist Izzy notices that her new headmaster draws the blinds in his office during the day, is slightly scary-looking, and has banned garlic bread at lunch. As any student would, she comes to the natural conclusion that he is secretly a vampire rat. This goofy story gives book-hungry girls a character to relate to.
This new book from British page and screenwriter Georgia Pritchett has gotten rave reviews from kids and critics alike. The titular Wilf is a kid who, like many of us, worries unreasonably about the little things in life. But his problems grow bigger than messy peanut butter sandwiches and creepy crawlies when an evil genius moves in next door. This offbeat romp teaches lessons about dealing with your worries—something children and adults can both appreciate.
Appropriately, the final decision in this award ceremony will be up to the kids. When the nominees are announced, classrooms around the world get to vote on their favorites via the Laugh Out Loud Awards website. Have your kids (or kids at heart) fallen in love with any of these?