Random House Children’s Books

See Our Books Adapted for the Big Screen This Fall: Watch Their Previews Now

Several motion pictures based on our books are debuting on theater screens across North America this fall, beginning this weekend and continuing into the pre-holiday season.  Our hope is that the old adage – “see the movie, read the book” – will continue to prevail among filmgoers.   Read on, and watch the trailers. 

September 22:  Victoria & Abdul” The extraordinary friendship between an elderly, ailing Queen Victoria and her young Indian companion, Abdul Karim, is chronicled in Shrabani Basu’s book, VICTORIA & ABDUL: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant (Vintage). Lonely in the wake of the deaths of her beloved Prince Albert and John Brown, and increasingly isolated from the cocooning royal entourage, Victoria and Abdul formed a platonic bond, and to the dismay of her staff and son Bertie he became an empowered figure in her court and a friend close to her heart.  In the film, directed by Stephen Frears, Dame Judith Dench portrays Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal plays Abdul Karim.  Michael Gambon and Eddie Izzard are also part of the cast. Watch the trailer:   October 6: “The Mountain Between Us” Charles Martin’s THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US (Broadway) is a life-affirming tale of love and survival.  Following a plane crash, a pair of strangers – one a doctor, the other a writer – are stranded in the remote wilderness of Utah. With winter closing in, no food or water, and only meager supplies, the pair is forced to rely on one another.  As the days in the mountains become weeks, their mutual survival becomes increasingly perilous.  The film, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, was directed by Hany Abu-Assad and written by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, based on Martin’s book. Watch the trailer:    October 20: “The Snowman” Jo Nesbo’s THE SNOWMAN (Vintage), the eighth Harry Hole novel, revolves around a bizarre missing-person’s investigation that sets Hole on the trail of an elusive and brutal serial killer. One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day.  Inspector Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he has received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished—all on the day of the first snow.  In the film, directed by Tomas Alfredson and written by Hossein Amini and Peter Straughan, based on Nesbo’s novel, Michael Fassbender plays Hole, with the cast also including Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, Chloe Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and J. K. Simmons. Watch the trailer:   November 17:  “Wonder” R. J. Palacio’s WONDER (Knopf Books for Young Readers), a multi-year #1 bestseller, with more than 6 million copies sold, and inspiration for the #ChooseKind movement, is the story of Auggie Pullman, an ordinary kid with an extraordinary face.  Born with a facial difference that for the first several years of his life prevents him from attending school, Auggie is finally allowed to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep – but is the school ready for him?  In this long-awaited film, Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson star as the parents of Auggie, portrayed by Jacob Tremblay.  Stephen Chbosky directed and Steve Conrad wrote the screenplay, based on Palacio’s book. Watch the trailer:   December 15:  “Ferdinand” The Grosset & Dunlap classic children’s book, THE STORY OF FERDINAND by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, originally published in 1936, tells the story of the world’s most peaceful and beloved bull, one that prefers smelling flowers to chasing red capes held by matadors in the bullfighting arenas of Spain.  FERDINAND, the movie, based on Leaf’s book and directed by Carlos Saldanha, is a timeless tale of pacifism and nonviolence for all ages, and proves “you can’t judge a bull by its cover.”  Kate McKinnon, John Cena, Bobby Cannavale, and Gina Rodriguez are among the actors who give voice to the characters in the animated film. Watch the trailer:   

Watch Video: Markus Dohle and RHCB’s Barbara Marcus Featured in “Spread Kindness, #ShareTheLaughter” Campaign

The world needs a little more kindness these days, and in 2017 Elmo has resolved to spread as much as he can all year long with “Spread Kindness, #ShareTheLaughter,” a global multimedia campaign initiated by Sesame Workshop.  Elmo launched his challenge by telling a joke on the TODAY Show, and our very own CEO Markus Dohle and Barbara Marcus, President and Publisher of Random House Children’s Books, followed with their own video.  Watch it below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IoR7O3P2wo The #ShareTheLaughter challenge invites social media users to share a video of themselves telling their best joke to their social pages, and challenge a few of their friends to tell a joke and continue the challenge. We encourage you to accept Elmo, Markus and Barbara’s challenge and share a joke using the hashtag #ShareTheLaughter, which has already garnered over 24 million impressions since the campaign was announced on August 16, National Tell-a-Joke Day. Penguin Random House Digital Video produced the Markus, Barbara and Elmo video.  Our digital video team also produces Brightly Storytime, the monthly picture book read-along video series, in which Ms. Linda reads some of Brightly’s favorite books.  In the newest episode, released this week, Elmo came in to co-host and help Ms. Linda warm up with a few tongue twisters before she read ELMO’S TRICKY TONGUE TWISTERS (Random House Children’s Books).  Watch the new Brightly Storytime video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP8NiBI-vD0

All-Star Panel of RHCB YA Authors Coming to CT

On Tuesday, September 19, five of the biggest YA authors from Random House Children’s Books will come together at R. J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut, at 7:00 PM to participate in a young adult fiction panel.

This free event will feature E. Lockhart (GENUINE FRAUD  and WE WERE LIARS), Julie Buxbaum ( WHAT TO SAY NEXT), Kara Thomas (LITTLE MONSTERS), Jennifer E. Smith (WINDFALL) and Ann Brashares (THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER).   Coming off the success of her New York Times bestseller WE WERE LIARS,  E. Lockhart has delivered GENUINE FRAUD. In this diabolically smart and brutal psychological thriller, Lockhart explores themes of friendship, ambition, social status, and, above all, deceit.
[caption id="attachment_7767" align="alignright" width="300"] Julie Buxbaum, E. Lockhart, and Kara Thomas[/caption] This summer, readers fell in love with Julie Buxbaum’s WHAT TO SAY NEXT, a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. Publishers Weekly said, “Buxbaum uses split first-person narration to give readers striking insight into both teens.” Fans of Pretty Little Liars and Beware That Girl, as well as readers of Kara Thomas’s debut The Darkest Corners, rejoiced when LITTLE MONSTERS hit stores this past July. This mind-bending psychological thriller is a story about appearance versus reality and the power of manipulation among teenage girls. Jennifer E. Smith is the author of seven novels for young adults, including The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. In her latest novel, WINDFALL, Smith has penned a lush, gorgeously written romance about how one chance event can change everything. In June, it was announced that Windfall had been optioned by Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls fame (and author of Talking as Fast as I Can) to be adapted into a feature film by her production company, Good Game Productions.   [caption id="attachment_7768" align="alignleft" width="200"] Ann Brashares, Jennifer E. Smith[/caption] Ann Brashares is a powerhouse in the world of YA fiction. Older fans will remember her #1 New York Times bestselling series the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but her latest novel appeals to a whole new generation of YA readers. In THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER, love, sadness, and years of good and bad decisions collide over the course of one bittersweet summer in a dysfunctional, privileged family filled with secrets. Leading up to the YA panel at R. J. Julia, E. Lockhart and Julie Buxbaum will also participate in a number of events in the New York City area. Lockhart will be joined by Daniel Handler at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn on September 14 at 7:30 PM and  will participate in another panel at Books of Wonder’s new Upper West Side store on September 15 at 6:00 PM.  Julie Buxbaum will be hosted by McNally Jackson on September 17 at 5:00 PM.

Breakout Delacorte YA Bestseller ONE OF US IS LYING Celebrated in PW

Author Karen M. McManus’ debut Young Adult novel, ONE OF US IS LYING, published by Delacorte Press on May 30, has been on The New York Times YA Hardcover bestseller list for six straight weeks, now at #2.  Publishers Weekly took notice and last week writer Shannon Maughan presented an in-depth “Moving On Up” PW profile, with quotes from the author and Delacorte Press Executive Editor Krista Marino.  The article looks at the genesis and writing of the book, how Marino acquired it, and what Delacorte did to turn the title into a bestseller.

Here is an excerpt from the PW article: Five students—strangers to each other—walk into detention at Bayview High: the brain, the beauty, the jock, the criminal, and the outcast. This is the set-up for ONE OF US IS LYING (Delacorte, May), the debut YA novel by Karen M. McManus, which has been on the New York Times bestseller list for five (now six) weeks straight, and currently sits in the #2 spot. And, if the book’s premise sounds familiar, that’s because it purposely echoes the opening notes of the classic 1985 John Hughes movie The Breakfast Club. But many of those initial similarities fade away when McManus’s tale takes a much darker turn, and only four of the five students leave detention alive. Those remaining are obvious suspects, and they all are keeping secrets. “I actually got the idea while I was driving and listening to the radio,” McManus said, noting that she gets lots of ideas that way. “I think there’s something about having half my brain engaged in a mundane task that kind of gives the other half freedom to roam.” During her drive, the song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds from The Breakfast Club’s soundtrack came on. “I started thinking it would be fun to write an update of that movie, which I loved, but with some sort of a twist,” she said. “And the phrase ‘The Breakfast Club with murder’ popped into my head and it just stuck there.” She “noodled” on the idea for a while imagining how, and just as importantly, why, you would kill somebody in a classroom. With those questions settled, “the four characters started springing into my mind and just sort of took off from there.” And “took off” is the right phrase to describe ONE OF US IS LYING’s performance thus far. To date the book boasts 120,000 copies in print and rights have been sold into 20 territories. When it comes to puzzling out what the hook for her book has been, McManus has heard feedback that “it’s the characters. In some way it’s maybe helpful to have four of them because almost anybody can connect with someone,” she said. “[Readers] feel that the characters are relatable and appreciate that they are all flawed. The characters all have growth arcs, and go on different types of journeys to end up in a different place from where they started the book. So they feel real.” Krista Marino, executive editor at Delacorte Press, agrees with that assessment. “Something about this book feels very authentic,” she said. “People might pick it up because it seems like it’s Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, but then you read it, and it’s grounded in the real world. The characters are not flashy Hollywood kids and this is a real situation that could happen.” Beyond character development, Marino lauds what she sees as the book’s other points of appeal. “It’s such an easy, fast read and so compelling in so many different ways,” she said. “It’s easy to talk about and pitch, which is a blessing for publishers, but it exceeds your expectations.” She has received feedback that the cover is very compelling to readers, which, she said, “is nice to hear.” To read the complete PW article, click here.

Soar with Reading: RHCB Brings 100,000 Free Books to Kids in South Florida

Random House Children’s Books and JetBlue have launched the seventh annual Soar with Reading initiative, which provides age-appropriate books to children who need them most. This summer the program lands in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with JetBlue installing four

custom vending machines throughout the city to distribute 100,000 books, free of charge. The vending machines include a variety of children’s books. The newest enhancements to the program are the addition of bilingual (Spanish/English) books and, given research supporting higher reading scores among students who see their parents reading, the inclusion of a selection of titles appealing to parents.   “We know that access to books is a foundational necessity for children in order for them to achieve success inside and beyond the classroom,” said Barbara Marcus, President and Publisher, Random House Children’s Books. “Books allow children and adults to explore the far reaches of their imaginations, and we are thrilled to be part of the JetBlue program, which provides young people with the opportunity to experience that adventure, regardless of where they live.” To celebrate this year’s Soar with Reading launch, actress and singer Victoria Justice and renowned Magic Tree House author Mary Pope Osborne joined JetBlue, Random House Children’s Books, and the city of Fort Lauderdale at a celebration to reveal the book vending machines and allow young residents to select their first free books. Victoria Justice, a South Florida native, and Ms. Osborne, whose bestselling series continues this August with A BIG DAY FOR BASEBALL and the new nonfiction book BASEBALLwill support the program throughout the summer by encouraging participation in the #BookBattle. Random House Children’s Books authors Judd Winick (Hilo series), R. J. Palacio (WONDER), and Chris Grabenstein (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series) and illustrator Christian Robinson (LITTLE PENGUINS) are also active members of the campaign, helping to generate awareness for the program and spark online voting in each #BookBattle city. Last summer, JetBlue’s vending machine program visited Detroit. During that time, the annual online #BookBattle voting competition also took place, where JetBlue’s customers and crew members and the local community overwhelmingly voted for Fort Lauderdale to receive 100,000 free children’s books in 2017. This year, four cities—Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco—will go head-to-head in the national online #BookBattle to receive the 2018 donation. Voting is open at SoarwithReading.com through August 31. For the first time, anyone who casts a vote online will also receive a special 99¢ digital children’s book from Penguin Random House.
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THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR Author Nicola Yoon Wins John Steptoe Award for New Talent

At this past weekend’s 48th annual Coretta Scott King Book Awards in Chicago, Random House Children’s Books author Nicola Yoonwon the John Steptoe Award for New Talent for her book, THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR(Delacorte Press).  In her acceptance remarks, Ms. Yoon spoke of how books for young readers can (and need to) be mirrors.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t see a lot of characters that looked like me,” she said. “I didn’t know that my interior life mattered….” It’s important to recognize that “we are more than a stereotype. We are more than the struggle. We get to have joy.”  Congratulations to Ms. Yoon, her editor and the publishing teams at Random House Children’s Books and Delacorte. The Steptoe Award was established by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee to affirm new talent and to offer visibility to excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published book creator. THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, was also a National Book Award Finalist, a 2017 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a New York Times Notable Book of 2016.

Watch the New WONDER Movie Trailer Starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay

wonder movie tnail2Why blend in when you were born to stand out?  In the upcoming movie based on WONDER, the #1 New York Times bestseller by R. J. Palacio, August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. But that’s all about to change as Auggie enters fifth grade, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

   Watch the new trailer from Lionsgate for #WonderTheMovie, starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay, coming to theaters nationwide on November 17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngiK1gQKgK8&feature=youtu.be

RHCB to Publish Khizr Khan’s Debut Children’s Book This Fall

Random-House-Children-Books-Thumbnail-Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers has acquired world rights for Pakistani American Gold Star father Khizr Khan’s first book for young readers and will publish it this fall, it was announced today by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children’s Books. Mr. Khan is best known for

the powerful speech he delivered during last summer’s Democratic National Convention. THIS IS OUR CONSTITUTION, a middle-grade nonfiction hardcover, will release simultaneously with Khan’s adult memoir, AN AMERICAN FAMILY (Random House), on November 14, 2017. Michelle Frey, Executive Editor for Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, will edit. “I was so deeply moved by my first meeting with Khizr Khan—by his incredibly admirable personal journey, and also by the stories he shared about connecting with our nation’s youth at various events across the country,” says Ms. Marcus. “THIS IS OUR CONSTITUTION is an important book for young readers, families, and educators, and I am honored that Random House Children’s Books will be its home.” 9781524770914-198x300Mr. Khan says, “This book is my humble effort to pay tribute to our future leaders, the true custodians of our Constitution, and to all of the human dignities enshrined in our Bill of Rights, as the making of our republic continues.” THIS IS OUR CONSTITUTION will extend Mr. Khan’s message to young readers, introducing them to the history and contents of the Constitution and Bill of Rights—what these documents say, and why they still matter. Mr. Khan will share his highly personal perspective on the relevance and importance of the Constitution, including a history of how it was drafted, passed, and amended, and highlighting some of the key turning points in its interpretation that he considers essential to understanding our country. Khizr Khan grew up in Pakistan with few of the fundamental rights that are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and his personal experiences and education inspired THIS IS OUR CONSTITUTION. Khan is deeply passionate about raising awareness of the rights and protections that the Constitution provides for every American, and calling attention to the symbol of hope it represents throughout the world. Khizr and his wife, Ghazala, immigrated to America in 1980, and subsequently became citizens. Their middle son, Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in 2004 in a suicide attack near Baqubah, Iraq, and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. In 2016, Khizr and Ghazala attended the Democratic National Convention, where he delivered a speech honoring his son’s sacrifice and stressing the importance of an inclusive America with liberty for all citizens. After the extraordinary response his speech received, he has taken this message on the road, delivering talks throughout the country.

First Literary Landmark in Arizona Honors Junie B. Jones Author Barbara Park

junie b jones2The first Literary Landmark in Arizona was presented in honor of the late Junie B. Jones author Barbara Park, in partnership with the Arizona Center for the Book at Arizona State Library and Random House Children’s Books. The landmark designation was Cherokee Elementary School in Paradise Valley, AZ, which served as the inspiration for Junie B. Jones.

Ms. Park wrote JUNIE B. JONES AND THE STUPID SMELLY BUS (Random House Children’s Books), the first book in her bestselling series, after she found a young Cherokee student walking home after he missed the school bus. junie b jonesThe entire school took part in the dedication and celebration on Friday, May 5. There were many special guests on hand, including Ms. Park’s family and friends, the Arizona Secretary of State, the Superintendent of the Scottsdale Unified School District, as well as local Girl and Boy Scout troops. Many of the children were dressed as Junie B. Jones, and the entire school was decorated with artwork that students created from the series.  Part of the inscription on the commemorative plaque reads: “Cherokee Elementary will always consider itself to be Barbara Park’s home school.” The Literary Landmark program is administered by United for Libraries. More than 150 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated since the program began in 1986.  Any library or group may apply for a Literary Landmark through United for Libraries. For more information, click here.

Delacorte Press to Publish Sophie Kinsella’s Debut Chapter Book Series

sophie kinsella1Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, has acquired a new chapter book series from the New York Times and global bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, it was announced by Beverly Horowitz, Senior Vice President, Publisher, Delacorte Press.  U.S. and Open Market rights for the series were acquired by Ms. Horowitz from agent Kim

Witherspoon at Inkwell Management in association with Araminta Whitley and Philippa Milnes-Smith at Lucas Alexander Whitley Ltd. The first book in the series, FAIRY MOM AND ME, will be published on January 2, 2018, and will be edited by Delacorte Press Associate Editor Kelsey Horton. FAIRY MOM AND ME will be simultaneously published in both the U.K. and Canada. fairy“We are so excited to bring Sophie Kinsella’s signature humor and heartwarming stories to a younger audience for the first time,” Ms. Horowitz said. “FAIRY MOM AND ME has all the ingredients for a magical reading experience for young book lovers and their families, and we are happy to have the opportunity to introduce Sophie to them.” “As a mother of five, I’ve always told stories to children,” Ms. Kinsella said. “I invented Fairy Mom, Ella, and the Computawand for my youngest two children, and now I’m thrilled that they will find a wider audience. Marta Kissi’s illustrations bring the stories to life perfectly with tremendous wit and charm. I think the publication will be a lot of fun. I can’t wait!” FAIRY MOM AND ME tells the story of Ella and her family’s special secret: Ella’s mom is a fairy! With the help of her new-tech wand (dubbed Computawand), she can cast amazing spells to make delicious cupcakes, create the perfect birthday, party, and cause chaos at the supermarket. But sometimes the spells go wrong, and that’s when Ella, the fairy-in-waiting, must assist to return everything to normal. Family, friendship, and magic abound in this sweet and funny debut chapter book, complete with illustrations by Marta Kissi.