Unmissable Weekly: August 20, 2017

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

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Deadline reports that Odeya Rush has officially joined the cast of Dumplin’.

The upcoming comedy is based off of Julie Murphy’s 2015 young adult novel of the same name and centers around a girl named Willowdean (Patti Cake$ Danielle Macdonald), a confident, plus-sized teen whose nickname is Dumplin.

In an effort to spite her mother, Willowdean enlists in a local beauty pageant, and subsequently inspires a crop of outcast teens to enlist with her.

Rush is set to play Willowdean’s best friend, Ellen ‘El’ Dryver in the upcoming film, who complicates the nature of their friendship after she decides to join the pageant as well.

Odeya Rush has found her next book-to-film project.

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It is now common practice for foreign novelists writing books containing LGBT characters and stories to find their work shrinkwrapped in plastic and given an 18-plus rating in Russia, in order to comply with the law, which brings fines for individuals and organisations who break it. Schwab’s Russian publisher, Rosman, took a different approach: cutting a flirtatious scene in the second novel in the series – in which two male characters are reunited after three years apart – down to just a few lines. Rosman did not respond to questions from the Guardian, but told Russian press that “we only did this so that we wouldn’t violate the ban on gay propaganda for minors … but we kept the romantic plotline as a whole”, the Moscow Times reported.

NOT. OKAY. No, this is more than not okay. This is appalling. This is discriminatory and homophobic. And this is probably a move from V. E. Schwab’s Russian publisher to sidestep the country’s “gay propaganda” law—a ruling that simply needs to be rescinded—but it doesn’t excuse the fact that they altered the book without consulting the author.

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What these novels have in common is a shared interest in the psychology of their main characters. Though they are set in fantastical worlds, their protagonists’ struggles are recognizable. They may have access to incredible science and sorcery, but they suffer from the same mundane troubles as humans on Earth today. They’ve lost their families; they are troubled by difficult romantic relationships; they feel like outcasts in their communities. And they aren’t always the epic heroes of their own adventures. They might have grand destinies, or they might just be fighters on the line along with thousands of others.

These four book series are shaping the future of science fiction on TV.

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Dhonielle Clayton, author of the upcoming The Belles (and co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series with the co-writer of this article, Sona Charaipotra), sees online activism as part-and-parcel of being a YA author today. “The status quo is no longer acceptable, and women of color have been working to make the industry shift,” Clayton tells Bustle. “We will not be quiet. We will not go away. If the word ‘toxic’ was colloquially used in the 1960s, white people would’ve labelled the Civil Rights movement as such. This is what happens when you challenge white supremacy and its systems, and yes, children’s books are tools of white supremacy.”

Bustle published a careful, detailed look on how YA Twitter is trying to dismantle white supremacy one book at a time.

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Unmissable Weekly: August 13, 2017

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

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Studies in the past have found that children’s books are dominated by male characters, that history books are overrun by male authors writing about male figures, and that literary fiction is less likely to win a prize if it focuses on a female character.

A new wave of books aimed at children might just be doing its small bit to change that. Thousands of little girls – boys as well, but likely mainly girls – will be settling down for bed this evening with a new kind of bedtime story, one in which the heroines are not fictional, but real. From Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls to Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, sales of books about inspirational women have boomed this year – and look set to grow.

Who run the world? GIRLS!

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Nick Jonas will star with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland in Lionsgate’s post-apocalyptic thriller Chaos Walking.

Mads Mikkelsen also stars in the film, playing a villain, and Demian Bichir and Kurt Sutter recently joined the project.

Heads up, Patrick Ness fans! You have your Davy Prentiss Jr., as well as the Mayor himself and Ben and Cillian.

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“There are a lot more stories to be told, and we’re ready to tell them,” Lionsgate CEO says of their golden goose-franchises Twilight and The Hunger Games.

Ummmmmmmmmm…

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While two of the top 10 titles can be considered “diverse” (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Eleanor & Park), only a total of seven books in the top 50 feature protagonists or subjects from marginalized cultures. Even though the We Need Diverse Books movement was already in full swing by the time this poll was posted, the majority of responders didn’t include diverse titles in their top 100 picks. Diaz has written a follow-up piece to address this gap.

Here’s the SLJ list of the librarians-voted Top 100 Must-Have YA Books, with the addition of 42 editors-selected diverse titles. No surprises, mate.

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Unmissable Weekly: August 6, 2017

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

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Indies First, held on Small Business Saturday, brings together authors, readers, and publishers in support of independent bookstores. Authors and local celebrities volunteer at events across the country, and publishers offer special terms on books and exclusives.

Jason Reynolds was named the 2017 Indies First spokesperson.

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Girls Trip star Regina Hall has joined The Hate U Give, Fox 2000’s adaptation of the Black Lives Matter YA novel of the same name.

Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg is starring along with Russell Hornsby in the adaptation of Angela Thomas’ debut novel that George Tillman Jr. will direct.

Meet the Carter family!

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“I don’t like it when I see my books sold cheaply,” Pullman said. “But I’d like to think I’m speaking on behalf of all authors who are caught in this trap. It’s easy to think that readers gain a great deal by being able to buy books cheaply. But if a price is unrealistically cheap, it can damage the author’s reputation (or brand, as we say now), and lead to the impression that books are a cheap commodity and reading is an experience that’s not worth very much.”

There is no way to quote this article without oversimplifying Pullman’s argument, so please head over to The Guardian.

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Celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson has assembled a team of brilliant minds to help him with an immersive and completely customizable video game entitled Space Odyssey. The team includes Bill Nye (the Science Guy), American Gods author Neil Gaiman, and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, among others in science and literature.

This screams, without a doubt, “nerd”—I mean, the Kickstarter goal is pi ($314,159)! But I have questions, mainly a why is there no woman in this “legendary team” and b what other projects that are not Winds of Winter is George R. R. Martin going to work on?

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Unmissable Weekly: July 30, 2017

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

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This week on literary film news…

Wonder Woman is holding better than any superhero film in more than 15 years at the North American box office. It has grossed more than $389 million at the domestic box office to date and passed Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 over the weekend.

So far, Wonder Woman 2 is the only release slated for Dec. 13, 2019.

Wonder Woman 2 is a thing that’s happening and I AM SO HERE FOR THIS.

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Apparently, Nicholas Hoult is in “early talks” to star as J.R.R. Tolkien in the forthcoming biopic Tolkien, which will be directed by Dome Karukoski. But wait, I thought Nicholas Hoult was going to play J.D. Salinger? Oh he is? (The proof is below, in the trailer.) And he’s also appearing as Nikola Tesla? I know, Hollywood and all that, but this is really starting to strain credulity.

Is Nicolas Hoult the last man standing in Hollywood? Although, I’ve seen the Rebel in the Rye trailer and I’m sold! So, Tolkien and Salinger are basically twins, is what it is.

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Sony Pictures has optioned movie rights to the Action Lab Comics series Princeless. Created by Jeremy Whitley and Emily Martin, the series follows a young black princess who, instead of waiting for a prince to save her, takes matters into her own hands. She breaks out of her tower, befriends the dragon guarding her, and sets off on a quest to rescue her six older sisters who are also locked in towers and guarded by assassins.

This sounds badass!

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The trailer wastes no time getting into the action and the scares as fans are treated to their first taste of the villain’s voice. From there, it’s a cavalcade of creepy as the voiceover describes the terror of being alone as a child.

“When you’re alone as a kid, the monsters see you as weaker. You don’t even know they’re getting closer… Until it’s too late.”

Watch It with the lights open and, hopefully, someone nearby.

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Unmissable Weekly: July 23, 2017

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

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On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the Bank of England has unveiled a new banknote featuring the beloved author.

The Telegraph notes that Austen “will be the only woman – apart from the Queen – to be featured on an English bank note, following the withdrawal of the old £5 notes, which featured Elizabeth Fry, in May.” (The five-pound note now features Winston Churchill.)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single Austenite in possession of a good fortune must also be in want of an Austen tenner.

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X-Men: Apocalypse actress Lana Condor has signed on to star in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before alongside John Corbett. The film, based on the novel by Jenny Han, is being directed by Susan Johnson and was written by Sofia Alvarez. Production on the film, which is also being produced by Awesomeness and Overbrook Entertainment, has begun in Vancouver.

Ladies and gentlemen, Lana Condor is your Lara Jean!

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“It’s been a real joy to move into writing for young readers, especially as my royalties from this project go to Room to Read, a nonprofit working in literacy and girls’ education across communities in Asia and Africa. The Lotterys series has raised more than $100,000 so far.”

Emma Donoghue is my Hero of the Week!

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A campaign to promote Northern Ireland to Game of Thrones fans isn’t settling for guided tours and tacky souvenirs. Tourism Ireland has debuted its latest Game of Thrones tribute: a giant woven tapestry that highlights every episode in the series in meticulous detail. And with every new episode, the tapestry will grow… reaching 250 feet in length by the end of the show.

Wow. I mean. WOW.

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Unmissable Weekly: July 16, 2017

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

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Chaos Walking, starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, is set to hit theaters March 1, 2019.

Doug Liman is directing the post-apocalyptic thriller, an adaptation of the best-selling YA novel by Patrick Ness, for Lionsgate.

The film adaptation of Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking gets a release date!

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HBO has optioned sci-fi fantasy novel Who Fears Death to develop as a series, with George R.R. Martin attached to executive produce, according to the book’s author Nnedi Okorafo.

It appears HBO is gearing up for its next huge fantasy series. Congratulations Nnedi Okorafo! This sounds really interesting and timely.

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“Have a wander through the sci-fi and fantasy section of your local bookstore: How many of these books’ authors are female? Yet these are where the big movie ideas come from.” Well, actually, quite a lot of the authors are female (and many of them already have sold the film/TV rights to their books). Fiction from J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) has inspired some of the most popular film and television of recent years, but there are countless others who fly slightly more under the radar just waiting for their stories to become the next big thing. Here are 27 female authors who rule sci-fi and fantasy right now.

Shocker.

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Two key elements convinced DuVernay that Wrinkle, with its script by Oscar winner Jennifer Lee (Frozen), was worth investigating when Disney proposed the idea. “The first image [I had in my head] was to place a brown girl in that role of Meg, a girl traveling to different planets and encountering beings and situations that I’d never seen a girl of color in,” she explains. “All of those scenes struck my fancy, and then it was also something that [Disney VP of production] Tendo Nagenda said to me, which I’ll never forget. One of the things that really made me want to read it was when he said, ‘Ava, imagine what you would do with the worlds.’ Worlds! ‘Planets no one’s ever seen or heard of,’ he said. There aren’t any other black women who have been invited to imagine what other planets in the universe might look and feel like. I was interested in that and in a heroine that looked like the girls I grew up with.”

EW shared an exclusive first look at Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time! The film is set to hit theaters March 9, 2018.

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Unmissable Weekly: July 9, 2017

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

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Percy Jackson has fought all manners of monsters, but his latest adventure sees him adapted for the stage in The Lightning Thief, a musical based on (and named for) the first book in author Rick Riordan’s best-selling series. Now EW has your exclusive first listen to the full cast album, which will be going on sale July 7.

“The gods are real. Like the Greek gods. Like the ones you learned about but weren’t paying attention to. Well, they don’t pay attention to you, either, especially if you’re their kid.” This is transporting me back to 2013, that September I got OBSESSED with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series!

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As publishers, we connect your story with readers everywhere.

We want books to reflect everyone in our society, and to publish the stories which aren’t often told.

That’s why through WriteNow we want to find, mentor and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves. This includes writers from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, writers who have a disability, or come from a socio-economically marginalised background.

Get published. Write NOW. (Props to Penguin Random House UK for this programme!)

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An unpublished picture book by Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, has been found hidden deep in his archives, five years after his death – somewhat like a little boy lost in the jungle after being sent to his room with no supper.

The new book will be published in autumn 2018, a posthumous release for an author regarded as one of the most influential picture-book creators of the last 50 years.

And Maurice Sendak joins the ranks of children’s authors with a book discovered posthumously in a drawer.

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The final two seasons of Game of Thrones are set to be shorter than previous installments of the series—down from the usual 10 episodes to 7 for the seventh season, and 6 for the eighth. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll necessarily be getting any less of the show. We already know that three of Season 7’s episodes run longer than an hour, and at this weekend’s Con of Thrones, sound designer Paula Fairfield told the crowd that the Powers That Be might make all six episodes of Season 8 feature-length.

It seems we are getting a full season’s worth of Game of Thrones for both seasons 7 and 8, after all.

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