Every new author must wish for the kind of attention John Stephens is receiving for his book, The Emerald Atlas. The first time I read about it was on the Books for Keeps website – an online version of England’s children’s book magazine. And now I read about Stephens’ book everywhere, and each article has the same bottom line: this book is the next “big thing”, even, should we say it…the next Harry Potter.
I haven’t read it, but it has moved to the top of my “to read” pile so the plan is to begin it tonight. In response to a question about his literary influences, Stephens said: “I guess I was always influenced by British children’s books, from E. Nesbit up to Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling. And I think their voices were very much in my head when I was writing.” That’s a relief. Because the other “voices in his head” are from the Gossip Girl TV series for which Stephens is a former executive producer.
Here’s an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal’s review: “A great story is all in the telling, and in The Emerald Atlas the telling is superb. First time novelist John Stephens has created a vicarious adventure for children ages 9-15 – the first in a trilogy – filled with unexpected twists and marvelously distinct and vivid characters.” That’s enough to send you to the bookstore – in one of the 34 countries where the book has been published!
In other news…
Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer will be published on June 10 – just in time for what I hope will not be a “bummer summer” for anyone.
Maurice Sendak, who is now 82-years-old, has a new picture book! Bumble-Ardy is about a pig who has his first birthday party when he turns 9. It will be released in September.
Finally, for all of you Rick Riordan fans, The Throne of Fire, the second book of The Kane Chronicles will be released on May 3.