April 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Scholastic Authors Reveal What’s Coming for Fall

If for no other reason than to see Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s special effects with his pug, Ralph, one should check out the Scholastic Fall 2016 Online Preview. Krosoczka talks about A New Class (July), the fourth installment in the “Star Wars: Jedi Academy” series. Krosoczka is taking over the reigns of the series from Jeffrey Brown.


Jarrett Krosoczka guarantees me that no pugs were hurt in the filming of this preview.

The preview also has a host of Scholastic authors, illustrators, and editors talking about their upcoming titles. We are treated to a peek inside the Melbourne, Australia studio of Shaun Tan as he talks about Singing Bones (October). He created sculptures that represent 75 Grimm fairy tales for this unique title. It is his hope that the book will both inspire children to further read Grimm’s works and to pursue sculpture. Sarah Aspinall also tries to encourage young artists in Penguins Love Color (October), in which  she has six little penguins paint a bold, cheerful surprise for their mama on a snow-white landscape.


Sarah Aspinall

We move from art to music with Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs (August), which is the first in a series by Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld. Litwin, a former teacher, used music and movement with children to help them learn to read. During the preview, you can catch Litwin singing Love My Doggy Ice Cream. However, if you are looking for a picture book that is more STEM than STEAM,  check out Cleonardo, the Little Inventor (August) by Caldecott Honor artist Mary GrandePré. The story features a little girl who merges invention, creativity, science, and innovation.

Eric Litwin

Eric Litwin

Children (and fans of The New Yorker) will enjoy No Fair, No Fair and Other Jolly Poems of Childhood (August) which brings together longtime New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. It seems that at the age of 80, Mr. Trillin still resents his sister hogging the back seat of the family automobile. Meanwhile, Cecil’s Pride: The True Story of a Lion King (April) can be said to be “ripped from the headlines.” Written by Craig Hatkoff, and his daughters Juliana and Isabella, it tells the story of the lion whose killing by a tourist hunter made news around the world. The book features photos of Cecil and his pride.

Children serving as spies in World War II were more common than one might imagine. Those young secret agents are well represented by Scholastic this fall with Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II (October), Bicycle Spy (September) and The Darkest Hour (July). Both Projekt 1065 and Bicycle Spy are geared towards middle grade readers. They each have a young boy involved in covert adventures. Caroline Tung Richmond’s The Darkest Hour is aimed at the YA audience and features a 16-year-old American girl whose aim is to take down Hitler.

Being a spy may just be easier than trying to cope with middle school. That is the assumption that  Kyle Finds Her Way (October) by Susie Solom, Marvin and the Moths (September) by Matthew Holm and Jonathan Follett, and Fall Over Sideways (September), the YA novel by Jordon Sonnenblick, are all operating on.

Raina Telgemeier one-word title for her latest graphic novel Ghosts (September) sums it up. It is out just in time for Halloween and is about two sisters who move to a haunted town (not just a house, but an entire town) in northern California.

Matthew J. Kirby showcased two new titles in the preview. He is making his YA debut with A Taste of Monster (September), which is set Jack the Ripper’s Victorian London. He also kicks off the “Assassin’s Creed” series with Last Descendants (August). The series is based on the video game franchise of the same name.

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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.