The Thursday Book Beat: Melissa de la Cruz Writes Descendants Prequel

Descendants. Disney. Banner. 2015.

Melissa de la Cruz to Pen Descendants Prequel

Melissa de la Cruz, author of Witches of East End and Blue Bloods, will be writing a novel based on the characters of Disney’s new movie, Descendants. It’ll be a prequel to the film that’s set to come out in 2015 and will be titled Isle of the Lost.

DESCENDANTS - Disney Channel's original movie "Descendants" stars Dove Cameron as Mal, BooBoo Stewart as Jay, Sofia Carson as Evie and Cameron Boyce as Carlos. (DISNEY CHANNEL/Bob D'Amico)

“Legend has it that long ago, the most infamous villains were imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, cut off from the rest of the world as punishment for their misdeeds. In this dark and dreary place, the likes of Maleficent, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, and the Evil Queen reside and evil reigns supreme. Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos are their descendants, teenaged sons and daughter of the Isle’s most villainous characters, and they are coming of age on the Isle of the Lost.

It’ll hit shelves May 5, 2015.

eReaders Are A Dying Breed! Says Tech Experts

Tech writers are foretelling the death of the eReader given that devices with a single purpose tend to get replaced by multiple purpose devices like the iPad.  Jordan Weissmann disagrees:

But I’m not convinced that’s where the death of e-readers will lead. Nook and Kindle owners might buy more books than your typical American, but I’m guessing a lot of that is simply because they’re more, well, bookish. As Pew wrote in January, “Adults who own e-readers like Kindles or Nooks read e-books more frequently than those who only own other devices (like tablets or cell phones). However, it is difficult to know whether that is because dedicated e-readers encourage more reading or because avid readers are more likely to purchase e-reading devices.”

There’s always something dying whether it’s comics, physical books, or the television, and yet they’re all still here! I think the eReader might get a facelift but it won’t disappear forever…

“New Wave of African Writers With an Internationalist Bent” LOL!

I once made a comment on twitter in response to diverse books: Diversity in literature isn’t a sub-genre. Well, it appears to be a trend.

After years of political and social turmoil, positive changes in several African nations are helping to greatly expand the number of writers and readers. Newer awards like the Caine Prize for African Writing have helped, too, as have social media, the Internet and top M.F.A. programs. At the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, black writers with recent African roots will make up more than 10 percent of the fiction students come September. Moreover, the number of African immigrants in the United States has more than quadrupled in the past two decades, to almost 1.7 million.

And publishing follows trends: Women, Asian-American, Indian and Latino writers have all been “discovered” and had their moment in the sun — as have African-Americans, some of whom envy the attention given to writers with more recent links in Africa.

I’m so happy that more African voices are being heard through writing. I’m not a fan of categorizing people’s experiences and voices as a “trend.” If that’s how this “new wave” is being seen then we still have a long way to go before the human experience is reflective of all people and not just a select few.

Seth MacFarlane Pledges $1 Million to Reading Rainbow

Seth MacFarlane vowed to match up to $1 million worth of pledges for the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter. His offer goes into effect on July 2 at 3PM EST when the Kickstarter concludes.

New Judy Blume Novel for Adults Coming in 2015

Summer Sisters. Judy Blume. Random House Publishing House. Dell. Book. 1998.

Judy Blume’s last adult book was Summer Sisters in 1998 and her latest adult book will be out in 2015. Alfred A. Knopf will be publishing it. 

Sarah Polley to Direct Looking For Alaska

Who doesn’t love a lady director helming a YA movie adaptation? No one! Polley will be directing John Green’s Looking for Alaska. Green already had a book adapted to the screen, The Fault In Our Stars, and Looking for Alaska will mark his second.

Polley directed Away From Her from her own Oscar-nominated script. She won the Writers Guild of America award this year for best documentary script for Stories We Tell.

I’m interested to see what she does with this property.

Not Everyone is a Fan of Kevin Brooks’ Carnegie Win

Penguin has defended Kevin Brooks’ Carnegie medal after literary journalists criticised the winning title for its “shock value”, “lack of redemption” and for being “depressing.”

Oh, books. A subjective experience for all but I think these literary critics have forgotten that. All this hubbub is about Kevin Brooks’ YA book, The Bunker Diary, which won the Carnegie medal. Penguin has come out to defend their author against these criticisms.

[Publisher for Puffin Fiction, Shannon Cullen]: “I would 100% describe him as a literary author and he is one of our top literary authors, because he writes wonderfully and beautifully,” she told The Bookseller. She pointed out that the Carnegie medal is voted for by librarians, people “who have children’s best interests at heart.”

Nothing like an uproar in the book industry…

Ardo Omer

Ardo Omer

Former WWAC editor. Current curmudgeon and Batman's personal assistant. Icon art by Diana Sim.