Coming of "The Curie Society," LOC Writing Contest, and More: NewsBites

A new graphic novel, related television series and real life science society, a Library of Congress contest, a new AR app, and more.

There's exciting news here for science- and graphic novel-loving readers, those attending PLA, and students waiting for the annual Library of Congress "Letters About Literature" contest.


Curie Society Graphic Novel and Series

The MIT Press and Einhorn’s Epic Productions (EEP) are developing and producing an original graphic novel, The Curie Society.

The coming title is the first young adult adventure original graphic novel deal for the MIT Press. The story will center around an international secret society of young female scientists who use STEM skills to protect the world. The novel is being written by Blue Delliquanti (O Human Star, Meal) and edited by Joan Hilty (Birds of Prey, Manhunter, Batman) with an artist still to be announced. In addition, Scooter Braun’s SB Projects has obtained the television rights and will co-develop the franchise for TV with EEP. And MIT Press and EEP will collaborate with science media company Massive to build a real-world Curie Society: a digital community of actual science superheroines readers.


PLA's Midwinter Schedule

The Public Library Association (PLA) announced its ALA Midwinter events , including Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries: Normalizing, Organizing, and Operationalizing ; PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative, Project Outcome: Public Library Trends, Results & Impacts, Libraries and Open Enrollment; and Racial Equity: Libraries Organizing to Transform Institutions (presented as part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries). PLA is also partnering with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Northwest and the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services to present a half-day Midwinter Institute called Implicit Bias, Health Disparities and Health Literacy: Intersections in Health Equity.

ALA Midwinter is January 25-29 in Seattle. Melinda Gates is the opening session speaker and registration is now open.


Letters About Literature Submissions

The Library of Congress annual reading-and-writing contest Letters About Literature, is accepting applications—and for the first time in its 26 years, the submission will be done electronically. Students in grades 4–12 are asked to read a book, poem, speech or essay by an author, living or dead, to think about how that work affected them, and to write to the author on the work’s impact. Students compete on the state and national level and receive cash prizes of up to $2,000. Deadlines, dependent on the applicant's state, are Dec. 14 or Jan. 11.

The contest is made possible through a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. For more information:


New Award To GIve $1,000 in Books

Bulk Bookstore has introduced the Bulk Bookstore Smile Award.  The award was created to recognize the work of public libraries, non-profit organizations, and other community-based literacy sponsors to "foster a reading culture and love of books in local communities nationwide." The recipient of the inaugural award will receive $1,000 in free bulk books. Participants must explain how their organization would use the $1,000 in free bulk books. A panel of judges will select the recipient. Entries must be received by Jan. 11 and the winner will be notified Jan. 18.  For more information: or call 877-855-5956.


New App with AR of Classics and More


Bookful is a new app with AR experiences for some of Penguin Random House’s classic and frontlist titles. This launch of this app from Inception includes Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. Each of these titles has “read” and “play” modes, bringing illustrations to life using AR technology and allowing users to interact with the characters.  

The launch will also include the DK Children’s Encyclopedia and Step-into-Reading titles Dinosaur Days by Joyce Milton and S-s-snakes.


Follett Safety Product

Follett is partnering with CrisisGo to sponsor the release of Safe Classroom a free product to PreK–12 schools. Safe Classroom is an emergency alert crisis management application for PreK–12 schools that allows building staff to send an audible alert, enable two-way communications to every computer or mobile device in the school, and automatically contact first responders.


Collaboration To Bring New Paperback Editions

Lerner Publishing Group is working with Holiday House Publishing, Inc. to publish paperback editions of select Carolrhoda Books and Carolrhoda Lab fiction titles, beginning with two award-winning novels in Fall 2019.

The partnership will launch with Holiday House publishing paperbacks of Printz Honor recipient Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez and Morris Award Finalist The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnston. It will continue with two paperback publications per season.


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