Book Flap: American Girl, Black Belt Club, & More
Welcome to the second edition of Book Flap, your every-other-week splot for all the hottest happenings in the world of books. All summer long, Fridays on Ink Splot will be chock-full of awesome, so make sure you check back every week: we've got more Book Flap alternating with POP-Corn (all the entertainment and celeb news you can sink your teeth into). It's all part of our first Summer on The Splot!
Last December, I was crushed to find out they were retiring my favorite American Girl doll: Samantha Parkington, the rich orphan from 1904, who lived with her grandmother and was friends with the factory worker/servant girl next door. Well, now that I'm an adult, I have the means to right all the failed birthday presents from my parents growing up, so I immediately had to go buy Samantha for myself before she was gone forever. I thought that would be it.
But now there's a new girl in the American Girl ranks. On May 31st, Rebecca Rubin joined Kaya, Josefina, Kirsten, Addy, Kid, Molly, and Julie as the newest historical doll in the American Girl collection. Rebecca is 9 years old in 1914, when her story is set (fun fact: all the dolls are from years that end in 4).
Rebecca lives on New York City's Lower East Side with her siblings and Russian-Jewish immigrant parents and grandma, who is called Bubbie (the Yiddish word for Grandmother). Rebecca loves movies and wants to be an actress, but her parents don't approve. The books that accompany the doll deal with Rebecca balancing her dreams with the cultural and religious values of her family. The six books in Rebecca's story arc are written by Jacqueline Dembar Greene.
The Black Belt Club to Become a Cartoon
For all the boys out there who couldn't care less about dolls, here's something for you: The Black Belt Club series by real-life third-degree black belt Dawn Barnes is being made into an animated TV show!
The book series straddles the divide between traditional books and comics, with illustrations by Bernard Chang on virtually every page. The story follows four karate students — Max, Maia, Antonio, and Jamie — who are invited to be part of an elite group (surprise, surprise, it's called the Black Belt Club). Together, they are transported to a magical land filled with mythical heroes and monsters, but it's the Black Belt Club who are charged with saving the day.
On board to work on the show is John Drdek, a writer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Yu-Gi-Oh!, plus the animation production studio Curious Pictures, who did Codename: Kids Next Door. The show will be hitting airwaves in 2010, at the same time the 4th book hits stores. In the meantime, you can get ready by checking out The Black Belt Club website and the first three books: #1: Seven Wheels of Power, #2: Night on the Mountain of Fear, and #3: Beware of the Haunted Eye.
Book Expo America
Last weekend was Book Expo America, a huge yearly gathering where authors, publishers, librarians, and anyone who has anything to do with books congregate in New York City to meet up and talk about what's coming up this year. I wasn't there (*tear*), but I've been following along, and two big items of children's book news caught my attention . . .
First, book-game-online-reading-writing-participating-multimedia extravaganzas are the way of the future. As all you Splot readers know, The 39 Clues is the first of this kind. In the ten-book series, you can follow the adventures of Amy and Dan Cahill as they search for the secret behind their family's power. And just this past Tuesday (June 2nd), the fourth book in the series, Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson, came out. After reading the books (or before, it doesn't actually matter), you can go on The39Clues.com and join the hunt yourself.
And this summer, The Amanda Project is coming. The Amanda Project is another multimedia extravaganza, this time aimed at girls ages 12-14. The series is about a new girl at school, named Amanda. Amanda is different, weird, intriguing — and then suddenly, missing. Through books, online games, fan writing, and a social website, the mystery surrounding Amanda will unfold.
Second, the world cannot wait for Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, a book for ages 12 and up by Suzanne Collins. Catching Fire comes out on September 1st, but approximately 1,000 lucky fans were able to score advanced copies at BEA. Our friend, Sonja, was there, and she'll have the whole story for you right here on Ink Splot 26 tomorrow! Make sure you check back to see it all.
In the last Book Flap column, we told you that the MTV Movie Awards would bring the debut of a new trailer for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the movie based on Stephanie Meyer's popular series for ages 12 and up (in theaters November 20th) AND a new scene from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (in theaters July 17th). If you missed the show last Sunday night, don't fret. We've got your videos right here!
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
That's all the news I've got for you today. Be sure to check out POP-Corn next Friday for all the celeb and entertainment news you can shake a stick at. And I'll be back on June 19th with more Book Flap!
— Carly H., STACKS Staffer