Thursday, September 29, 2011

YA Movie News

OK, so this weeks round up is short and actually not much YA news, but instead adult books with teen appeal news instead.

-First up, the zombie novel Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion is being adapted into a film. This book was recomended to me (haven't read it yet) but my friend and fellow librarian Heather did and she loved it! So check it out if you're a zombie fan!

-Secondly, the trailer for One for the Money was released this week. Yet another book I haven't read, but the trailer does look fun. I'd love to hear from readers who have read the books-does it look like it'll do the books justice? I'm just happy because Katherine Heigl is a fan of the books and I always like it when actors actually care about the books before they're movies!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

Release Date: 9/29/2011

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About the Book: Lola loves dressing in unique costumes. The more elaborate, the better. She has an awesome wardrobe, a rocker boyfriend, and awesome dads who are loving. Her life is pretty perfect-until Cricket Bell moves in next door. Cricket Bell, who broke Lola's heart a few years before. Lola is over Cricket, isn't she? But with Cricket so close, Lola has to decide where her heart truly lies and what she really feels for the boy next door.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: OK, here's the thing, I loved Anna and the French Kiss. Adored Anna. So when I heard about Lola, a companion novel to Anna, I was nervous. How would it live up to the first book? How could I not compare the two? And would Cricket be as crushworthy as St. Clair?
The answers were yes and no. In some ways I really enjoyed Lola and in others it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's still a great novel, don't get me wrong, and I love Stephanie Perkins-she knows how to write a great romance!

I liked Lola-for the most part. She could be a bit whiny and fickle at times, but I liked her random outfits and I felt she grew less fickle as the book went on. And Cricket is pretty crush-worthy! He's a little too perfect, but he's also super sweet and a nice guy and you really can't help but like him.

I think what bothered me the most was that Lola had a boyfriend Max, who while at times was a huge jerk, he also had moments (at least to start) that made me a bit sad that Lola was going to break up with him. Sure, he turns into more a jerk as the book goes in, so you don't like as much, but I liked him to start because he was nice enough to have brunch with Lola and her dads every week. So I had to give him credit there. But what I didn't like about Max was that it made Lola have to choose. Cricket or Max? It's a love triangle that's not a love triangle. I guess without Max, there's not much conflict. Otherwise, Lola can be with Cricket right away. But I felt that with Lola having Max, it felt like a gender-swap of Anna at times.

I did like that Lola didn't immediately jump into Cricket's arms. She takes her time and realizes that she needs to figure herself out first. When so many books seem to have a "lust at first sight" story, I really appreciated that Lola and Cricket spent time getting to know each other again and that the relationship takes time to develop. I think that's what I like most about Stephanie Perkins' novels. Her characters actually take time in their relationships. And of course, I loved the glimpses we get of Anna and St Clair! How could you not?

Despite my annoyance of a maybe love triangle, I still really enjoyed Lola and Cricket. I think Stephanie Perkins is one of the best contemporary romance writers in YA. If you want a good contemporary romance, add Lola to your reading pile. Teens will be eager to get their hands on this one and I can't wait to share it with the teens at my library.

Book Pairings: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Post: Tess Hilmo Writes About Libraries


photo_credit Jenni Howell Photography

Please welcome Tess Hilmo, author of With a Name Like Love, to GreenBeanTeenQueen. Today is the official launch day of Tess Hilmo's debut! To celebrate, I asked Ms. Hilmo to write about libraries because, you know, I'm a librarian and all and I always love hearing about everyone's library experience. I hope you like it too!

Built in Friends


Growing up, I lived in ten different places by the time I was 14. Ten! It was a challenge to make new friends with each move. But there was one friend I never had to worry about.

My librarian.



See these chairs? They are bright and welcoming and a perfect place for an uncertain girl who needed somewhere to hang out. This was my favorite refuge during my high school years–the Newbury Park California library branch–but there were many inviting chairs and many kind librarians that helped me long before I found this particular spot.

Wherever we happened to be, I knew I could go into my local library and find a friendly face behind that counter. Someone who would smile and speak softly and make me feel like I was Publishers Clearinghouse walking in their doors. It is a gift that youth librarians have. It is a blessing to countless children.

I remember browsing these very shelves as a fourteen-year-old and coming across an interesting book. I was a fan of Greek mythology and the novel, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis caught my attention. The librarian explained how it is a retelling of the myth regarding Cupid and Psyche. Her excitement for the novel was contagious and she made me promise to find her once I finished the book and tell her what I thought.

A week later, I returned to the library and kept that promise. This caring librarian sat down and asked all about the story. We spoke of issues the book brought forth, such as the meaning of true beauty, humanity and how good intentions can still cause pain. It is a deep and complex story and having the ability to discuss these points helped me glean more of what C.S. Lewis intended for his readers.

How grateful I am for that friendly librarian, and for all the others who have helped shape my love of literature!

Sharing books is my favorite part of being a librarian! I'm so glad you had a great librarian who gave you great books and that you loved books enough to write one. Thanks for sharing!

Tween Tuesday Blog Tour: With A Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and add your link below.

For today's Tween Tuesday, I'm excited to sharing debut author Tess Hilmo's novel, With a Name Like Love. Today is the official launch day of the book, so I hope you find this one at a library or bookstore near you in the wild today! You can follow the blog tour to Mother Daughter Book Club. And check out Tess Hilmo's website for a discussion guide, because you'll be wanting to use this one in book club-just saying!:)

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Mystery/Historical

Release Date: 9/27/2011

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About the Book: Olivene "Ollie" Love is the eldest daughter of the traveling minister, Reverand Everlasting Love. While Ollie appreciates her father's ministry, Ollie longs for a house with indoor plumbing and to stay in a town longer than three days. When the Love's come across Binder, Arkansas, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, a boy whose mother is in jail for the murder of his father. Ollie is warned to stay away from the Koppel's but the more she gets to know Jimmy and his mother, the more she believes the case against Mrs. Koppel is wrong. Ollie decides to investigate the murder, making some enemies along the way. Can Ollie fight against a town that's quick to judge? And will Ollie find the friend and home she's been longing for?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Oh my goodness, if you want a heartfelt mystery with characters you want to reach into the book and hug, bad guys who are so mean they make you squirm, and a family you can't help but want to be part of, With a Name Like Love is your book. I loved this book!

The Love family is a family you won't soon forget. Each of the five Love daughters is a distinct character and each girl has her own voice, which is hard to pull off in a large cast. Even though Ollie is the main character and we get the story mostly from her point of view, we still get to know the rest of the family. The supporting cast is just as richly drawn. The mean townsfolk who hate the Koppel family, the sheriff who doesn't seem to care for the justice system, the kind Mrs. Mahoney who offers the Love family more than they could have imagined. Binder, Arkansas was a town I could picture in my head and hear the voices of the townsfolk as I read.

There is a mystery to this book, although there's so much more. This is a book about family, friendship,  justice and love.  It's one of those books that you just might tear up a little over in the best way. There is some heartbreak but there's also joy. There are good times and bad. But through the struggles the Love family face, they lean on each other. They are such a wonderful caring family without being an overly sappy family. (This is not Seventh Heaven) While Ollie's father is a traveling peacher, and the book does have an element of faith to it, that's more of a side story than a main part of the book, so don't let that deter you from reading if you think it's going to be more Christian fiction heavy (it's not). I'm also pleased with the way the mystery worked out. For a middle grade mystery to really work for me, it has to not be obvious and make you suspect a few characters, which Tess Hilmo successfully pulls off. The ending may wrap up a bit quick and be a bit simple, but overall, the mystery was engaging enough to keep me guessing.

With A Name Like Love takes place in 1957, but it never felt like it got bogged down in historical details. There were things here and there to remind me of the time period, but this is a book that could be set anytime. I think this would help with giving the book to readers who might shy away from historical fiction. There's a mystery, but again, I would hesitate to say it's just a mystery. Mostly it's a book about family and readers who want a bit of a mystery or a bit of history have an extra treat.

I would keep an eye out for this book. I'm thinking it may be a dark horse for award season and you might be hearing about the Love family come January. It's a book to read and cherish and fall in love with. I think what I like most is that it's a book that I think won't just appeal to teachers, librarians, and parents, but will also be loved by tweens. This is a wonderfully charming, memorable book that will steal your heart!

Book Pairings: The Penderwicks Series by Jeanne Birdsall, Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, The Casson Family Series by Hilary McKay, A Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from final copy sent by publisher.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Celebrate Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is here! I hope you will celebrate the freedom to read this week by reading a banned book. ALA is hosting a virtual Read Out so I decided to join in the fun and celebrate by reading one of my favorites, A Wrinkle In Time.


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I also wanted to re-post my review of Sarah Ockler's novel, Twenty Boy Summer, since it was recently banned in my community and Sarah will be visiting my library this week.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 6/1/09

About the Book: Frankie, Anna and Matt have always been inseparable.  Then one summer changed everything-Matt and Anna become something more.  They spend a month sneaking out and sharing a summer romance-until the tragic accident that Matt dies in.

Now, a year later, Anna is joining Frankie and family on their first summer vacation without Matt.  Frankie is convinced if they find a boy every day, Anna will have a summer romance.  Anna still keeps her and Matt a secret and she's not sure she's ready to let Matt go.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: A perfect book for readers wanting summer romance with something deeper.  The story deals with loss, grief, and letting go without being bogged down in those issues.  Sarah Ockler does something amazing-she manages to tie together something tragic with the sweetness and happiness of first love.  I don't know how she pulls it off, but it all comes together in a great story that has many layers and readers are in for a treat. 

The memories of Matt made him feel like a real character, although I would have liked a few more Matt moments, because he seemed so sweet.  But I also liked Sam and enjoyed Anna's burgeoning relationship with him.  One of my favorite quotes of the book, “What is the statute of limitations on feeling guilty for cheating on a ghost?” really sums up Anna for me.  She's unsure of how and when to let go of Matt, but she also opens herself up to falling for someone else.  I think that makes her a great character. 

Frankie could be annoying and I wish we could have seen more of her pre-Matt self.  One of things I liked is that everything doesn't tie up in a neat little bow in the end-the characters still have some growing to do, which I think makes the book more satisfying and realistic. 

A great read-I read this one in one sitting.  It has a light breezy feel to it at times, but it also has depth.  I would recommend to fans of Sarah Dessen, Nicholas Sparks, and Ann Brashares. 

How are you celebrating Banned Books Week this week?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall TV Talk

Friday's is when I usually post YA Movie News, but it's been pretty quiet lately with not a lot of rumblings about YA Books and Movies. So instead I thought I'd talk about one of my other favorite things (after books of course!:) Fall TV! Every year I get so excited for the new TV season. I'm such a dork about these things. I research all the new shows, buy the Fall TV Preview of Entertainment Weekly, and circle the shows I want to watch. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I don't always agree on what shows to watch and he would rather wait a season to see if a show sticks around, where I would prefer to get in on a new show from the start. So here's what made my DVR list and what I'm excited about this year:

Ringer-I really wanted this show to be good, but so far it's not exciting me as much as I thought. I really thought this last week's episode had scenes that looked and sounded like they were straight out of a soap opera. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan would say "it's on CW, what did you expect? I know, I should know better. I had hopes this would fill the Veronica Mars-sized hole in my heart. I'll still watch it though-because it is Buffy after all.

New Girl
Thanks Jana for reminding me I forgot this one! I think this one could be very funny. My favorite part of the pilot was the Lord of the Rings reference. But I do hope the characters get developed more. I don't think a show can only be about how nerdy the girl is.

Once Upon a Time
I love fairy tales and this one looks like it has the right amount of epic fantasy and fairy tale-plus amazing costumes and you know I love me some pretty dresses!:)
Grimm
OK, for some reason in my head this show seems like BBC's Sherlock. I don't know why-I think it's the dectective thing and I hope this one has the same amount of witty snark to it. If it does, I'm sold!



I'm also watching The Sing Off, my favorite reality competition (after Project Runway, which I'm way behind on this season!) And I think I'm going to give Pan Am a try, although I fear it too will be too soapy.

What's on your watch list? Anyone else excited about fairy tales being the next big thing?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Giveaway: Ruling Passion by Alyxandra Harvey

I'm a big fan of The Drake Chronicles series by Alyxandra Harvey, so of course I was excited to hear about Bloomsbury's new bind up of the first three books in the series. Hearts At Stake, Blood Feud, and Out for Blood have all been repackaged into one new volume titled Ruling Passion. Check out the gorgeous new cover!

All the Drake brothers are very crush-worthy (my favorite is Nicholas-love him!) This series is such fun and the characters are all awesome and kick butt with just a bit of snark, which I always enjoy. So I'm thrilled to share the love.

One lucky winner will recieve a copy of Ruling Passion thanks to Bloomsbury Teen.
-US Shipping Address Only
-One Entry Per Person
-Contest Ends Sept. 27 at midnight CT

Leave a comment below to enter-good luck!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Amulet Series by Kazu Kibuishi PLUS GIVEAWAY

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and post your link below.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction/Graphic Novel

Release Date: 09/01/2011

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About the Book: (from publicist): Kazu Kibuishi's thrilling, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling series continues!

Emily and her friends think they’ll find the help they need in Cielis, but something isn’t right.  Streets that were once busy are deserted, and the townspeople who are left live in fear.  Emily is soon escorted to the Academy, where she’s expected to compete for a spot on the Guardian Coucil, a group of the most powerful Stonekeepers.  But as the number of competitors gets smaller and smaller, an awful secret is slowly uncovered – a secret that, if left buried, means the certain destruction of everything Emily fights for.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I first came across the Amulet series when I first started working in the library. I noticed lots of tweens checking out the first book and coming in begging to know when book two would be released. I was curious to know what had them so interested, so I read Amulet for myself and I was hooked. This is a graphic novel fantasy/science fiction blend of epic proportions.

The characters are wonderful! Emily is a strong main character and you want to see her succeed on her journey. Emily, her brother Navi, and their mom find themselves in a strange new world (a bit like Narnia meets Gregor the Overlander) and Emily is supposedly the one who will help save them from the evil elf king.

The supporting cast is fantastic! Emily and Navin discover that their great-grandfather created all sorts of creatures/robots and each one is unique and has a personality all their own. These supporting characters are all richly developed and we meet new characters in each volume. I'm really loving the introduction of Vigo, an elderly stonekeeper who may become a strong ally and mentor for Emily, in volume four. Each volume brings a new adventure and new characters and the story becomes even more layered.

And of course, being a graphic novel, you have to mention the artwork, which is absolutely stunning!!


Each page draws you in and you can easily get lost in the rich details of the artwork. The fight sequences are packed full of action and it's easy to envision the whole thing playing out in front of. Sometimes the artwork makes me feel as though I'm watching a Miyazaki film-it's that detailed and beautifully animated.

Each book ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, so our adventures with Emily aren't quite over yet. Readers will have to stay tuned for the next volume, but I don't think they'll mind going back and pouring over the previous books while they wait. The series has a little bit of something for everyone-it's a nice science fiction/fantasy blend. There's magic, but there's also technology and robots. There's talking animals, elves, curses, flying ships, good creatures and bad, a new cute dragon-ish friend (another new favorite from volume four!), mysterious cities-really there's so much packed into this series the action never end! There's also a nice layer of humor, especially with a couple of the robot sidekicks, which helps the text from getting too bogged down in the drama and action.

Overall, I'd say Amulet has a Star Wars/Lord of the Rings/Howl's Moving Castle feel to it, so if you have fans of any of those, give them the Amulet series. I would even suggest this as a must have for libraries looking for great graphic novels to add to their collection-I doubt it will stay on your shelves for long!



Book Pairings: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne-Jones, Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins, Bone by Jeff Smith

Full Disclosure: Volumes 1-3 borrowed from the library for a re-read, volume four reviewed from final copy sent by publicist

Want to win a copy of Amulet: The Last Council? (Volume Four in the series)
Two lucky winners will each recieve a copy!
-US Shipping Address only
-Ends Tuesday, Sept. 27 at midnight CT
-One Entry Per Person

Google Docs isn't working correctly, so leave a comment below if you'd like to enter!



Monday, September 19, 2011

Keeping up With YA: I'd Like Your Help!


Next month, I will be presenting a session at my state library conference on Keeping Up With YA. The goal for the session is to present titles that are "must know" books and books that be paired with those titles to help keep up YA collections. My session is only 45min. long which is not a lot of time to talk books, so my goal is to provide attendees with handouts that will have even more titles in the categories I'll be talking about. I'd love some help putting together a list of "must know" YA reads-I'd like books from the last three-five years that librarians should know and have in their collection. The genres I'd like to cover are:

Contemporary Romance
Contemporary Fiction
Mystery
Science Fiction
Dystopian
Paranormal
Issue-driven YA
Humor
Fantasy
Historical
Audiobooks

What books would you say are "must know" YA titles that librarians should read and know about? And what books would you say are "must reads" for teens?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In My Mailbox-or Why I Don't Post It Anymore

I used to participate regularly in In My Mailbox. But lately, I've stopped posting this meme for a couple of reasons.

-I somtimes feel that In My Mailbox is a bit show-offy. I like how I see what people are getting and what's really being promoted, but for me, I don't want to appear as though I'm bragging about what books I got. So at times I had a hard time posting my mailbox posts. It didn't bother me as much if it was library books or books I bought, but I kind of disliked showing the books I was mailed-either by request or not. It just felt a bit selfish to show off advanced reader copies. Because that's not what blogging is about for me-who got the most coveted ARC. Blogging isn't about ARCs and making people jealous, it's about sharing books. I felt like showing off a pile of ARCs was a bit like saying "look, I'm cooler than you" and I really hated that. I know not everyone feels that way and some people really like mailbox posts and that's fine. I'm not saying all bloggers who post mailbox posts are trying to show off, but it just wasn't for me. I do like from a librarian standpoint seeing what books are being marketed and sent-in some ways it can give me an idea of what publishers are trying to build up buzz for. But it wasn't working for me personally.

Since I haven't bought many books recently, I haven't had much to post. And so often I check out books from the library only to have them sit on my shelf and I don't get to them. So then I would never review them because I never read them. Other people have mentioned they don't feel that way about mailbox posts, so maybe it's just me.

-The other, bigger reason was that I knew my work on the Printz Committee was coming up next year and I knew once committee work started, I'd be getting A LOT of books in the mail. And these are titles I won't be able to share or talk about. So I couldn't post about them anyway. So I decided to go ahead and phase out the In My Mailbox posts now.

But I still want something to post on Sundays. A review of posts from that week? Picture book review day or a day I can post my storytime plans from the previous week? I'm open to suggestions! I'd love a new Sunday post idea so let me know what sort of post you'd be interested in seeing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Library Programs: Harry Potter Trivia Contest

Trivia Judge Rita Skeeter

I love trivia! Any chance I get to use trivia in a program, I add it because I'm such a trivia nerd. Add in my love for Harry Potter and a Harry Potter trivia contest sounded like the perfect library program!

The idea for a Harry Potter trivia contest came from my cousin-in-law, who is one of the most Harry Potter obsessed teens that I know. She spent a year working on trivia just for the fun of it. Kaylee went through each book and came up with easy, medium, hard, and ridiculously hard questions for each chapter. (Told you she was obssessed!) With the trivia question work already done for me, I transformed it into a program.

I browsed through Kaylee's questions and pulled out ten for each book with a variety of easy to ridiculously hard since we had all ages. I tried to pick the most ridiculously hard questions because I knew we would have some hardcore fans who would know everything! I took the questions and added them to a powerpoint. I required registration for the event and said teams had to be made up of two-four people, any ages. I opened registration up for all ages and we ended up with a wide age range of contestants which made it a great multi-age program.

I've done the Harry Potter Trivia program twice-once in November when Part One of the movie was coming out and again in June before Part Two. We packed out both events with huge crowds! There were several attendees that were family members of participants or people who just wanted to watch and not play, so I had seats in the back and around the side open for non-players. For the teams, I set up tables all throughout the room. For the November event, I had movie posters of various characters, so I assigned team characters to each table. For the June event, because our numbers were so much higher, we had teams create their own names. I also had more judges the second time around (seven compared to three!) and assigned judges to each table so the judging was more spread out. Add a large whiteboard for scoring and team names and you're set!

In addition to the tables, I tried to decorate the room as much as possible. Harry Potter posters hung all around, the library's statue of Dobby stood at a place of honor, cauldrons and wands decorated the tables. I used any and all Harry Potter decor the library had collected over the years.

I made sure no one entered until it was time to start. With Hedwig's Theme playing in the background as everyone entered, the judges welcomed the teams (aka-O.W.L. exams takers!) into Hogwarts. Judges included Aberforth Dumbledore, Hermione, Ginny, Rita Skeeter, Professor Trelawney, and a few muggles. Having a big entrace adds to the fun and everyone got a kick of coming into a big announcement of "Welcome, welcome, one and all to the O.W.L. exams at Hogwarts!"

Now to start the trivia game! To make it easiest on everyone, each team had a chance to answer any and all questions. I provided each team with paper and pencils and had them number 1-10. As the questions were asked, they could talk to teammates and write down the answers. Questions could be repeated if needed throughout the round and once everyone was satisfied wi th the all the repeats, answer sheets were turned in to the assigned judge. As each round was being asked, the judges were busy grading the answers. After each round, one appointed judge would tally all the team totals on the whiteboard. We announced the team totals after the third and sixth rounds.

Of course we were prepared for a tie-breaker and asked three tie-breaker questions and tried to make them extremely hard! The winning team won the House Cup, complete with bookmarks, movie tickets, and candy. We also had a second place prize of gift certficates to area businesses.

The whole event lasted about two hours, depending on the number of teams and how many times you have to repeat questions. If you do any sort of trivia contest, make sure to site the source for your answers as there is sure to be someone who wants to debate it! For this contest, having the chapter and page number of the answer helped. It might even be a good idea to have the books on hand for those who want to challenge can look up the answer in the end.

Both events we hosted were huge hits and easy to run. It was a great program to bring in all ages-we had teams of tweens to teams of adults and teams that had all ages. Everyone had a blast and asked when we would hold another one. We're going to try trivia again this Winter with a 80s/90s Pop Culture Triva Night. If you get a chance to host a trivia event, I highly recommend it!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What Happens When My Book Hits Hollywood? Guest Post by Kathleen Churchyard

Author Kathleen Churchyard, author of the middle grade novel, Bye for Now, has a lot of Hollywood experience! So when she came up with the idea for a guest post about how books get made into movies, I knew she had to write it! You know I love my book to movie adaptations-I post weekly movie news here on the blog. So if you've ever wondered what exactly is involved in a book to movie, you'll want to check out Kathleen's post!

What happens when my book hits Hollywood?
Guest Post by Kathleen Churchyard

Despite 16 years working as an executive in LA, there’s no job I ever held that’s as conversation-sparking as my very first secretarial job in the West Coast Book Department of William Morris and subsequently ICM. I get asked the above question all the time, so today’s blog is my answer to all.

My boss was a co-agent. That meant she didn’t sign many author clients of her own. Predominantly, she was responsible for selling the film and television rights to every book, of every author client, for every publishing agent in the East Coast offices of William Morris, the oldest and biggest literary agency in the world. In addition, she co-agented for many great boutique NY agents, who don’t have/don’t need a dedicated West Coast office of their own.

Sound like a tall order to you? It was. We averaged six new books arriving in our office every week.

Can any one co-agent handle that kind of volume effectively? Absolutely. The week I started working for my boss, she was responsible for the film sales of 4 out of 10 Top Grossing Movies at the box office, including “DANCES WITH WOLVES” and “THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER.”

So how does it work?

The #1 rule of Hollywood: there are no hard-fast rules in Hollywood. Everything I tell you here has multiple exceptions, because every adaptation sale comes with a story of its own. But if you had to make a guideline, this is usually how it goes.

The #2 rule of Hollywood: it’s not a mirror image of the NY publishing process. Think “Through the Looking-Glass.” Looks the same on the surface – agents selling to big corporate entities, everyone playing a guessing game based purely on artistic and commercial opinion – but everyone and everything looks a little distorted from what you know about New York.

If you’re lucky enough to have a bidding war for your book in New York, keep in mind, the process works a little differently than what I’m about to say.

Okay, so your agent sends the book to the co-agent. The co-agent will read it, trying to gauge whether to send your book to studios (rarely) or whether to send it to the producers, directors and actors that have a “deal” at each studio. These studio deals are important, because they’re people who can rally support at the studio level.

Rule #3 Studios are the top of the food chain.
There are seven major studios: Fox, Paramount, Sony, Warner, Universal, Disney, and Dreamworks. Now think of the producers, directors and actors as “imprints,” housed within those studios. Like imprints, the studio provides each of them with an office and a staff, in exchange for either a “first-look” or an “exclusive” look at anything these guys want to do. There’s usually somewhere between 10 and 20 studio deals at any studio. BUT where imprints are autonomous -- ie, they make the final decision whether they make an offer on a book -- in film, the studio gets final say on whether a book is bought.

So why not just go to the studio, then? Your book is a book, not a film. They’re buying the right to try and transform it. If a studio decides to go through with it, the process is long and expensive. They want to know that someone is behind it, shepherding it all the way. Someone they think has a) talent as a filmmaker and b) passion for the material. And trust me, you want that, too – the average development time before a book goes to screen is 7 years.

(GreenBeanTeenQueen Note: 7 YEARS?? WOW! Authors and readers have to have a lot of patience before that movie hits the big screen!)

Your co-agent will definitely pitch his/her ideas about who to go to -- and simultaneously ask for input from -- your agent in New York. So if you have a fantasy about an actor or a director making your book into a movie, it’s always best to share a wish list with your agent. Early.

The co-agent makes the final list and starts making calls. Usually, he/she will send it to only one production company per studio in the first round. So, if your fantasy list includes two directors who are both at Universal, your co-agent may have to pick between them for the first round.

#4 They may not love you in the morning
“I LOVE IT!” It’s a cliché, but one that’s hard to remember when Ben Affleck’s company is saying it. Don’t get too excited just yet. It’s a pretty standard favorable response. Where NY editors are circumspect in their praise, LA people are effusive. They’re also a little fickle.

Keep in mind they may feel pressure to “love” your book – if they don’t say it, and someone else does, they lose the opportunity to take the material to the studio. “I love it” in LA is a bit like yelling “Shotgun” faster than your sibling and winning the front seat in the car. Whatever production company carries the manuscript through the door first is designated the producer of the project, in the event that studio bids.

If they say pass, it’s a pass. Move on, don’t worry about it. But if a producer says they love it – and want to “take it in” to the studio – you’ve just crossed another bridge. The producer is going to call an executive at the studio and pitch it. And you’re on to the next phase: coverage.

#5 Coverage is an inescapable evil
Coverage is a 1-2 page synopsis of your book with a page of comments from a studio reader. (And no, you will never see the coverage.) If it is favorable, your book has a chance of selling at that studio, because now the studio executive will actually read it, and be favorably inclined toward it, provided the studio doesn’t have a rival project in the pipeline. If the coverage is unfavorable, most of the time the studio says no and quite often, a producer’s interest evaporates with that no. Sometimes a producer can convince the studio to use a different reader, and sometimes the producer will genuinely love it and ask to take your book to another studio. But short of a major star or director calling the head of that studio personally, chances are your book is not going to work out there.

The implications are bit damning: seven studios, seven pieces of coverage written by people whose names you will never know. What’s more, the coverage stays on file at the studio permanently, cross-referenced in filing, so it’s not like you can change the book’s title (or substitute a pen name) and get a different result. Those seven readers potentially stand between you and a studio deal.

The Good News: There’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Coverage is what it is – one person’s opinion whether or not your book has potential as a commercially viable studio feature film. You’re still an author of a published work.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Note: (I think that's the most important thing to remember-even if the movie never gets made, you're still a published author with readers out there reading your book-and that's awesome!)

#6 Show me the money!
Say you do get through the coverage process. And the studio executive takes it upstairs and pitches the book to his boss. They’re going to make an offer. Yay! Your co-agent will alert the other studios, in the hope of starting a bidding war. They do happen, but if you manage to get a bid of any kind, consider yourself lucky. For the sake of not getting over-excited, let’s stick with a small studio deal as an example.

Things to Look For in the Deal:
1) Options: Your book contract will usually include two “options” – these are periods of time where the studio controls the rights, enabling them to hire a screenwriter, without the studio actually purchasing the book outright. Usually the options will be around 18 months each. One is “applicable” against the final purchase price (ie, deducted from the purchase price if they do eventually buy the book outright) the second option is usually not applicable. If the studio won’t come up in price, you can always ask your co-agent if they’ll negotiate a shorter option period – 12 months instead of 18, or 18 instead of 24.
2) Purchase Price: On a $25K option, chances are the purchase price will be around $250K. That’s a big amount of money to an author. The bad news is you can’t count on it ever showing up. Studios option a lot of books. If the script is disappointing, they will often move on and quietly relinquish the option without exercising the option.
3) Reversion: In the event the studio DOES purchase your book outright, ask your co-agent to try and negotiate a reversion clause. You’d be amazed how many great books are sitting in the studio vault, having been purchased outright and yet were never made into a film, because they had no reversion clause. This clause allows that if the studio doesn’t make your movie in a period of say, 10 years, the rights revert back to you. It’s a hard thing to get a reversion clause, so don’t stand on ceremony about it, but it never hurts to ask.

#7 Give them your blessing once the deal is closed
It’s never a good idea to insist that you be the screenwriter, unless you’re a screenwriter first and a novelist second. Occasionally, the studio will come up with the idea on their own and if that happens, great! You can decide for yourself whether you’re up for it. But I’ve seen WAY too many authors absolutely ruin their chances of selling a book, and/or ruin the film development by attaching themselves as the screenwriter. It dampens interest, and even if you do manage to get hired, they’re going to judge your results far more harshly than a professional screenwriter they’ve picked for themselves.

Same goes for checking in with the producer – relax! Nothing is happening week to week or even month to month. Seven years, remember? You’ve got time. Enjoy the money, write your next book. Check in once every few months, ask if there’s anything you can do (chances are no) and I encourage you to be enthusiastic about whatever the producer finds exciting in the process.

#8 You will be tracked
If your book sells as a movie, chances are you’ve made the Hollywood development radar. This is very flattering, because development execs all over Hollywood are calling you, telling you how talented you are, flogging ideas of you writing a screenplay for them, and/or pressuring you to give them an early look at your next novel. My suggestion is be gracious, be brief. Encourage them to talk to your agent if they’re serious. But tell them you’re a novelist, and so it’s time to shut the door and work.

#9 There’s always your next book
If you don’t sell to a studio, there are a host of mini-majors and independent companies that might still be interested. And then there’s television. The upfront money is a lot less than studio film, but indies often have quality going for them, while a produced t.v. show means money in the mailbox forever. If the studio process has been exhausted, and you’re still convinced your book is a movie or t.v. show, start thinking up ideas to send to your co-agent: movies you liked that were made by lesser known companies and directors, etc.

If it doesn’t happen at all, don’t lose heart. Some big name director might read your book tomorrow to her kids and decide it’s a movie. Or, your next book might sell big as a movie, at which point, development execs will start raiding your shelves for other books you’ve written, and what they’re worth goes drastically up.

In any case, it’s worth prepping for every book to eventually hit LA, the same as you prep thinking about publishers in NY – with thought, and research. Start noticing more than the stars when you watch movies -- what producers made your favorite films? Check them out on IMDB.com, especially if your story is similar in genre or tone to what they’ve already done. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent questions, but don’t be afraid to trust your co-agent’s advice, either.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Note: Thanks so much Kathleen! Here's hoping all our favorite books make it Hollywood!!

Tween Tuesday: Bye for Now A Wishers Story by Kathleen Churchyard

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and add your post below.

Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Fantasy

Release Date: 8/23/2011


About the Book: Robin's 11th birthday is not going well. She bumped into her sister and got a black eye, she can't win at her swim meet, and her sister has head lice so now she has to spend the evening having her head checked instead of having a sleepover with her best friend. It's so bad in fact that Robin wishes to be someone else. The next thing Robin knows she's Fiona from London, England. Robin has taken over Fiona's life and it seems pretty glamorous-Fiona is set to star in a professional production of Peter Pan! Robin discovers that there's a whole network of wishers-11-year-old girls who wish to be someone else. As fun as Fiona's life is, Robin misses her own home-so how can she make it back?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Who hasn't thought about what it would be like to be someone else? For my tween self I wanted to be Anne Shirley, Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Jo March (only so I could go back and fix that horrid mistake she made by picking the wrong boy!) For tweens who share in my imaginations of being someone else (and there are many!) Bye For Now will be a magical treat!

What I enjoyed most was that the wishers all ended up in fun, unique situations. But no matter where they went, there were good things and bad things. Not everything was perfect no matter where the wisher ended up. The bad things weren't over the top bad things either, but were little things that made each girl realize that maybe they had it good all along. There's a nice message about being happy with who you are and seeing what's amazing about everyone's life, but it never feels heavy handed. I think it's done in a way that will get tween readers thinking without feeling like they sat through a lesson.

The writing is fresh and engaging and full of contemporary references that tweens will relate to. Ms. Churchyard has a background in writing scripts and it comes through in the book. The dialogue is catchy and the story moves at a fast pace. Some of the text speak was a little annoying for me, but tweens will eat it up. At times I felt like the book could easily transition into a Disney Channel movie which I think will really appeal to tween readers.

The ending leaves it open for a sequel, so we may hear more from the wishers in the future. Bye For Now is great for readers looking for a book with a bit of magic with lots of humor and heart.

Book Pairings: Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers, Help! I'm Trapped Series by Todd Strasser, The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney by Lauren Barnholdt

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by the publisher

Thursday, September 8, 2011

YA Movie News

-The movie poster for the upcoming film Young Adult was released this week. I like the idea of it looking like a book, but it makes me annoyed as I feel like the designers haven't looked at a YA book since the 80's. It looks like a cover for Sweet Valley High or an 80's Judy Blume novel. Maybe that's what they're going for-for the nostalgia of 20 and 30 somethings? Still, I find it a bit demeaning. I also hate the tagline "Everyone gets old. Not everyone grows up." Like the main character isn't grown up because she writes for teens. I'm still interested in seeing the movie (maybe-we'll see after the trailer) but I think I'm going to end up annoyed.

-The same production company behind Coraline has bought the film rights to the middle grade novel Wildwood by Colin Meloy. Thanks to Publishers Weekly for the news.

-A movie version of the YA novel Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph will air on Disney Channel in 2012. The movie has had a title change and will be called Radio Rebel. It should be airing early next year. Thanks to Publishers Weekly for the news.

-Fall TV season is upon us and there are some book related shows debuting this time around. First up, The CW has The Secret Circle to go along with The Vampire Diaries, making an L. J. Smith night!


There are two fairy tale themed shows coming to TV this Fall-one is Grimm, which is a cop show with fairy tales:


The second is Once Upon A Time, which seems a little more all ages friendly and a bit more fantastical.



Any other Fall shows you're looking forward to? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blog Tour: Magic 101-A Guest Post by Cinda Willams Chima

Please welcome Cinda Willams Chima to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Cinda is the author of The Seven Realms Series which just released book three with The Gray Wolf Throne. The Seven Realms Series is one of the most talked about fantasy series at my library-seriously, my teens love it! They've been talking about it since book one, which made Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I both have to pick it up! The series is an engaging adventure with wonderful descriptions, kick butt characters, and magic-what's not to love? Seriously, if you work in a library that has avid fantasy readers, you need to add these books to your shelf!

I'm happy to share her thoughts on writing magic-and hopefully this inspires all you aspiring fantasy writers out there!
Magic 101

Magic is the element that distinguishes fantasy from other types of fiction. But what is magic? And how much of it do you need to call your work a fantasy? What are the keys to developing a coherent magical system of your own?

First and foremost, remember that there are more similarities than differences between fantasy fiction and other genres. Successful fantasy fiction has to nail the other elements common to fiction—character, setting, and plot. It doesn’t matter how spectacular your magical fireworks—they won’t save a lame story starring one-dimensional characters. Well-written fantasy should be accessible even to those who don’t generally seek it out.

Magic is a term used for the supernatural—events and beings outside of natural law as we understand it. As far as we know, people cannot turn invisible (though I understand they’re working on that.) As far as we know, people cannot fly without benefit of airplanes, helicopters, and the like. As far as we know, people cannot predict the future.

A well-conceived magical system will enhance your story and provide endless options for complicating your characters’ lives. A poorly-conceived system will give you fits through the entire story arc and cause readers to lose confidence. So it makes sense to take some time and do it right up front.

Questions to Consider in Magical Worldbuilding
1.  Who has magic? Is it limited to a particular race or culture? Is it gender-specific? Is it present at birth or does it come on at puberty? (a common trope) Do different races have different kinds of power? Is it a matter of skill and training or in-born power or both?

In the Seven Realms series, much of the conflict comes from tensions  between peoples with differing magical gifts.

Wizards continually generate raw power called flash—an elemental power that can be used to do high magic.

The Spirit Clans—tribal people who live in the mountains—are flashcrafters—they make the amulets and tools that wizards need. But wizards and clans hate and distrust each other, which makes it difficult for them to cooperate.

The queendom is ruled by the Gray Wolf Line, valley people who have the gift of prophesy and communication with the dead.

2.  Do non-magical people know about the magic in their world? In Harry Potter, muggles, or non-magical people, don’t know about the wizards and witches in their midst. A whole bureaucracy exists to keep them from finding out. In Holly Black’s White Cat series, magic is known, but illegal, and so magic practitioners are criminals. In Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus series, magicians rule present-day Londan as a gifted aristocracy.

3.  What can and can’t be done with magic? Harry Potter is magic-intense—involving dramatic transformations. For example, people can turn into cats, lamps into animals, people can turn invisible and transport themselves over distances, and, of course, ride on brooms. In other fantasy stories, magic is a subtle thing. In Kristin Cashore’s Graceling, one character has the power of persuasive speech—can make others believe what he says and do what he wants. That may seem like a small thing—until you consider the implications.

My magical systems tend to be subtle—magic is an energy that can change the state of matter, or support healing, or create illusion.

4. Are certain kinds of magic forbidden? Is there a hierarchy that makes and enforces the rules? Are some spells so dangerous and powerful that they have been banned?

For example, in Twilight, the Volturi are the enforcement arm of the vampire hierarchy. In Harry Potter, there are three unforgivable curses: the Killing Curse, Avada Kedavra, the Cruciatus Curse, Crucio, and the Imperius Curse, Imperio.

The magical world in the Seven Realms is controlled by the Naeming, a set of rules put in place after the magical disaster known as the Breaking. For example, wizards no longer have access to amulets as powerful as what they used before.

5. What are the limits of magic? Yes, magic must have limits, or you have no story. An all-powerful character is always going to be able to get himself out of trouble—which you as the author don’t want. For instance, magic may require tools, such as wands and amulets or magic rings. If Harry Potter loses his wand, he can’t do magic.

Magic may require expensive or difficult-to-obtain materials, such as gold or jewels or innocent blood. There may be defenses against magic, such as talismans. Does magic involve complicated spellwork that requires years of study?

Consider vampires. In traditional vampire stories, at least, the power of vampires is limited because they can be driven off with a crucifix or garlic, and they can’t enter a dwelling without being invited, and they cannot go out in the daylight.  Otherwise, vampires always win.

In crafting a magical system, it’s important to consider the implications for story. If your character has the gift of prophesy, she will always be able to avoid trouble. If your character can turn invisible, that will get her out of a whole range of dangers. If she can transport herself from place to place in an instant, or communicate across vast distances, that takes a lot of opportunities for conflict off the table.

In the Seven Realms series, wizards produce flash continually, but it must be saved up in amulets in order to accumulate enough to cast a spell. Once expended, it takes time to build up again. The Spirit Clans are flashcrafters—they make the amulets that allow wizards to do magic. They also make talismans that defend against the high magic of wizards. The Gray Wolf line has the gift of prophesy, but it is limited, its meaning often obscure and difficult to interpret.  The interaction between power and its limitations creates conflict.



Cinda Williams Chima has authored two best-selling fantasy series: The Heir Chronicles (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir) with two books forthcoming; and the Seven Realms series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, and the newly-released The Gray Wolf Throne) with more forthcoming. You can find information about her tour for The Gray Wolf Throne and other upcoming events here http://cindachima.com/Events/events.htm.

More information and excerpts from each book are available on her website, www.cindachima.com. Help for writers can be found under Resources/Tips for Writers, including a document called, “Getting Started in Writing for Teens.”

Chima blogs at http://cindachima.blogspot.com/, where you’ll find rants, posts on the craft of writing, and news. Visit her Seven Realms http://www.facebook.com/Seven.Realms and Heir Chronicles http://www.facebook.com/Heir.Chronicles pages on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guest Post: Tami Lewis Brown

Please welcome Tami Lewis Brown to GreenBeanTeenQueen!


Tami is the author of the middle grade novel, The Map of Me.



Tami has a great post about libraries that warms my heart! I hope you love it too!

Why I Read Dangerously—or How the Sidney Eline Library Saved My Life

The motto on my website says READ DANGEROUSLY. It’s a directive I take seriously—both as a reader and a writer. Read with open eyes and an open mind. Seek out new writers, new genres, new ideas. Read to foster life long learning. For me reading dangerously isn’t about reading books with “bad language” or drugs or promiscuous behavior. It’s REAL danger. It’s reading books that make you think.

But I wasn’t always an adventurous reader. In fact, the odds were against me being any kind of reader at all. Decoding came hard. By second grade I was barely keeping pace with Dick and Jane and the Sparrows reading group while the Bluebirds and Cardinals soared into chapter books.



No one in my family was an enthusiastic reader and we didn’t have lots of books at home. I remember one battered volume of Childcraft nursery rhymes in our house—not exactly dangerous reading.

What we did have, just a few miles away, was the children’s department of the Sidney Eline Public Library. And their impressive display of novels with shiny gold and silver stickers on the front. I wasn’t exactly sure what those stickers meant except that it was something good. And these books, even the picture books, weren’t for babies. No “See Spot run” in the shiny sticker books.

Look out Cardinal reading group! I was hooked. Then and there I decided I was a reader and believing in a thing is more than half of making it happen.

Soon I read about a silver maker’s apprentice, a wild Wisconsin tomboy, and my favorite, a brother and sister who run away to a museum in a city that fueled all my dreams. I didn’t love them all. Sailing around the Pacific on a little handmade boat? Boring. And so I learned to rely on my own taste and judgment, valuing my own opinions and back them up with reasons.

Maybe these books, classics now, don’t seem “dangerous” but they showed me there are other ways of thinking and living. I may have been only eight or nine but the books in the Eline Library Children’s Department introduced me to the life of the mind. They made me a person who asks questions and doesn’t expect easy answers. A person who’s willing to wait and savor to reach the end. A person who knows the obvious solution isn’t necessarily the right one.

So why do I write for children? If my books lure just one child into one library, opening their eyes to the possibilities, I will have accomplished more than any “adult” writer who crafts pretty phrases or twisted plots. I will have passed the love of books to the next generation. What could be more deliciously dangerous?

Tween Tuesday: Blog Tour: The Map of Me by Tami Lewis Brown

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great tween reads! Join the fun and add your link below.

This week, I have a blog tour stop for Tami Lewis Brown's debut middle grade novel, The Map of Me. Check out the next stop on the tour at The Book Monsters.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 8/30/2011

Add to Goodreads

Find out more about Tami and download an activity kit at her website

About the Book: When Peep and Margie arrive home to find a note on the fridge from Momma that says only "I have to go" Margie is convinced that she knows where Momma went. Momma has to be at the International Poultry Hall of Fame to find the Henny Penny Coin Bank to complete her chicken collectables. It's up to Margie to find her and bring her home. So Margie finds an extra key to Daddy's Faithful Ford and Margie and her younger sister are off in search of Momma. As Margie sets off on a trip to find Momma, Margie discovers she may be learning more about herself as well.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: The Map of Me is a short middle grade novel that has a nice emotional family story. The book is 150 pages, so I think it could easily be used as a classroom read aloud.

Margie is full of spunk and she doesn't realize how funny she is. Although Margie is the oldest, she feels overshadowed by her sister Peep, who is super smart and been moved up to sixth grade-Margie's grade. I thought this gave the book an interesting dynamic, because you don't often see older siblings who feel overlooked by the younger ones. Margie has a hard time seeing her own worth because she feels that Peep is the perfect one that everyone loves, but throughout her journey, Margie learns more about herself.

The story isn't spoon-fed to the reader and there's a lot to be inferred-especially with the storyline with Momma. There are some things that aren't really resolved, but left to the reader to decide how they turn out. Because of this, I think this would be a good book to read in a group setting and discuss with readers-it would be interesting to hear their thoughts on Margie, Peep, Momma and Daddy.

The Map of Me is a quick read with two memorable sisters on a heartwrenching journey of self discovery.

Book Parings: Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, The Hole in the Wall by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publicist for blog tour

Friday, September 2, 2011

YA Movie News

There's been lots of talk about The Hunger Games teaser-Gary Ross even gave commentary which has me even more excited about the film!


-Speaking of The Hunger Games, The Capitol site is up, although not much is happening right now. All I know is I'm District 7-which I figure makes sense, since lumber can make paper which makes books, right?:) Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan is District 4, which doesn't bode well for him as he's allergic to fish! haha

-Disney Channel has a movie of Robin Palmer's Geek Charming airing in November. The movie stars Sarah Hyland from Modern Family.

Any other movie news from this week?

 
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