February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Hyperion Books Spring 2014 | Preview Peek


The preview of spring titles from Disney Hyperion during the ALA Midwinter Meeting gave the books’ publicists and editors a chance to perform as they read and presented 10 titles in 60 minutes—and they did not disappoint.

It was no coincidence that the first item presented, a new graphic novel series called “Space Mountain,” shares a title with the popular ride at Disney theme parks. The three books in the Bryan Q. Miller series, illustrated by Kelley Jones and set in the future, will feature the famous Disney theme park attraction Tomorrowland. The first book, Space Mountain, out in May, follows two students on their time travel adventures.

If you are in the market for another type of graphic literature, take note of Matt Faulkner’s Gaijin: American Prisoner of War, publishing in April. The plot reveals the hardship of a half-Japanese boy living in San Francisco at the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, who is later interred.

Another novel set during World War II is L.M. Elliott’s April release Across a War-Tossed Sea, a companion novel to Elliotts’s Under a War-Torn Sky (Hyperion, 2001). Her new story follows two British boys who are sent to the Virginia to wait out the war. The difficulty of adjusting to American ways and the proximity of a POW camp and German U-boats off the Virginia coast set the scene.

Deep Blue, a book starring six mermaids, is the first title in the “Waterfire Saga” series, out in May. Author Jennifer Donnelly previously won a Printz Honor for her book A Northern Light (Harcourt, 2003). Her new four-book saga will also feature enhanced e-books with video and an original song.


Game of Thrones meets Vanderpump Rules meets Downton Abbey”—in novel form—is how editors described Melissa de la Cruz’s novel The Ring and the Crown at the preview. With magic, royalty, and social climbing Americans, the book, out in April, is jokingly referred to among editors as “Game of Vanderpump Abbey” and promises to be a lively booktalking choice.

Caged Warrior by Alan Lawrence Sitomer, a May release set in the underground world of mixed martial arts in Detroit, will surely find a core of boy readers, as will Frenzy, an April release by debut author Robert Lettrick. The latter turns a summer camp story featuring bullies, puppy love, and creepy cabin mates into a life-and- death thriller as campers try to escape a forest filled with rabid wildlife.

Debut authors Tess Sharpe and writing duo Adrianna Brad Schanen and Greg Swearingen were also featured. Sharpe’s teen novel,Far From You, out in April, featured a main character facing an Oxycontin addiction, the death of her friend, and the misjudgment of others. Schanen and Swearingen’s middle grade novel Quinny & Hopper, slated for June, is told in alternating viewpoints of  two very different characters who join forces to face bullies, third grade, and a killer chicken.

The Ring and the Crown, Across a War-Tossed Sea, Caged Warrior, and Far from You are available for preview on Net Galley.

Rocco Staino About Rocco Staino

Rocco Staino @RoccoA is the retired director of the Keefe Library of the North Salem School District in New York. He is now a contributing editor for School Library Journal and also writes for the Huffington Post.

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