Book Beat: Avatar YA Series, Book the Vote, and The Alt Nobel Shortlist

Hello everyone, and welcome to September! I know this is a busy time for a lot of folks, so I hope you’re here to take a little break, relax, and enjoy some book news.

New Avatar: The Last Airbender Books

By now, I hope you’re all acquainted with the brilliance of Avatar: The Last Airbender. And if you’re a fan, then you’re sure to be pleased by the announcement that the Avatar universe is about to expand with a series of original novels.

Nickelodeon has partnered with Abrams Children’s Books to create a series of YA novels about Avatar Kyoshi, founder of the Kyoshi Warriors and the more secretive and corrupt Dai Li.

F.C. Yee, author of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, will be writing this series. Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator and executive producer of The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, will also consult on the series.

While some may be disappointed that these stories won’t be told in a comic or graphic novel format, there’s hope that the novel format will have some crossover appeal. The first book, The Rise of Kyoshi, will hit shelves in July 2019.

Book the Vote Goes Live in September

Y’all remember the Rock the Vote campaign in the United States, right? Well, get ready for a new flavor: Penguin Random House is teaming up with nonpartisan voter registration organization HeadCount for an initiative called Book the Vote.

Book the Vote is a companywide endeavor to encourage voter registration.  Through this initiative, PRH will provide bookstores with tools and materials for registration drives. These drives will be staffed by HeadCount and held at events with PRH authors such as John Green and Ransom Riggs.

According to PRH, the Book the Vote registration drive was inspired by the upcoming release of Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement, a book by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students. Book the Vote will launch on September 25 this year, which is National Voter Registration Day.

The Alternative Nobel Prize Shortlist

Following this summer’s announcement of a substitute award for the recently canceled Nobel Prize in Literature, the Alternative Nobel Prize continues to garner attention. The shortlist was recently announced, and it includes authors such as Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Kim Thuy, and Maryse Conde.

While all of these authors are accomplished and talented in their own right, the women on this list weren’t treated as equal to their male counterparts in a few articles and headlines reporting on the shortlist. For example, The Bookseller’s article “Gaiman and Murakami shortlisted for Nobel Prize substitute” didn’t mention Thuy or Conde until its third paragraph.

Luckily, Twitter is here to call out such biased reporting (and shout out to Gaiman for using his massive platform to do the same).

PW’s Star Watch 2018

Since we’re on the topic of awards and recognition, Publishers Weekly recently announced the honorees and finalists of the 2018 Star Watch program. The program recognizes “individuals who further the cultural and economic success of publishers, bookstores, and the industry at large.”

This year the finalists include:

* Elizabeth Jordan, CEO of BookPeople

* Abbie Wright, senior editor, Read It Forward, Crown Publishing Group

* Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli, founders of Timbuktu Labs (Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls)

* Daniella Wexler, editor, Atria Books.

* Matt Gagnon, Editor-in-chief, Boom! Studios

Be sure to check out the full finalist list and the honorees list for more information on how people are improving the industry.

Out this week:

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope by DeRay Mckesson

Sadie by Courtney Summers Sadie cover

That’s it for this week folks. Good luck to those of you starting new semesters at school or sending others off to school. Happy reading, and happy Thursday!