Welcome back to Young Adulting’s monthly news roundup! Wherever you’ve been this summer — out to sea, up in the mountains, or simply at home with a stack of novels — we’re glad to have you back. In this installment, we’ll dive into the latest and greatest work featured on our site, explore some upcoming back-to-school young adult, middle-grade and children’s book releases, and look ahead to some exciting upcoming events. Let’s get to it!
In our September author spotlight, we interview Ashley Spires: “drinker of tea, eater of candy, and lover of cats” — oh, and a prolific writer for children. Ashley discusses her process as a writer/illustrator, the differences between picture books and graphic novels, and how it feels to have one’s work adapted for the screen:
“It was always a dream of mine to be an animator, so to see my worlds finally land on the screen was an absolute dream.
The process varied between my two projects that were adapted, but both were very collaborative—the Agent Binky TV series based on my Binky The Space Cat graphic novels was particularly so. I was giving input on the world as they built it. They were so respectful of the source material that the changes they made to fit the story to the television format felt pulled from my head.”
With the calendar flipping to September, YAing is fully back in business. That means the long-awaited return of our intrepid reviewers to these digital pages. Here are some of the reviews that have already been featured over the past two weeks:
- “There are pygmy pythons, Burmese pythons, and then there is Frank.” Jocylene Gregory reviews How to Promenade with a Python (And Not Get Eaten), a delightful picture book written by Rachel Poliquin and illustrated by Kathryn Durst.
- “Trauma and guilt vs. love and support, diversity vs. acceptance, a quest for self-knowledge that spans two continents” — Louise Brecht reviews Munro vs. the Coyote by Darren Goth.
- “A tribute to love that defies gender and race stereotypes” — Loraine Navascués reviews Julián at the Wedding by Jessica Love.
As is the case with many industries right now, the publishing industry is feeling the crunch of widespread supply chain disruptions. But sales of books for children continue to be robust — something experts credit to the popularity of books for children and young adults on social media, particularly on TikTok. From Publishers Weekly:
Affirming what many booksellers have noted over the last year, McLean pointed to the rise of BookTok—literary posts on TikTok—as a significant platform for discoverability. “BookTok is having a huge impact,” she said. “We’ve been tracking it closely since the end of 2020. It’s very unusual. I can’t think of another situation in the last decade where organically deep backlist bestsellers are being pushed back onto the list. Netflix is definitely pushing this as well. There’s a lot of interesting talking and recommending going on, on BookTok.”
Have you checked out the lineup for the Vancouver Writers Fest yet? Here are some of the kids’ and YA authors we’re looking forward to seeing:
- Wab Kinew is the leader of the Manitoba NDP and a former journalist for the CBC. He’s also a bestselling author — most recently of Walking in Two Worlds, described as the story of “an Indigenous teen girl caught between the real and virtual world.” He’ll be discussing his new book in a free digital talk.
- The subject of our most recent author spotlight, Ashley Spires, will be doing a reading and talk about her book Burt the Beetle Doesn’t Bite. This will also be free and online!
As always, please do send us your news related to children’s and young adult literature at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature them in future newsletters. Our newsletter is published on the 2nd Monday each month.
Take care, and happy reading,
The Young Adulting Editors