An early glimpse of Catching Fire

I managed to sneak away from the office for a few hours on Friday to see firsthand the unveiling of Catching Fire — Suzanne Collins’ eagerly-awaited sequel to The Hunger Games.

Scholastic gave away roughly 1,000 advanced copies of the book to conventioneers at BookExpo America. Collins also signed a small number of copies for those who rose early enough in the morning to get in line for free tickets.

Here are some photos and a video from Friday.

AND, for those of you who couldn’t make it to BEA this weekend, keep an eye on our blog next week!! (wink wink)

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYGF12GPoFQ%5D

Laodicean

It’s an adjective, of course! And it’s also the winning word in last night’s Bee. Kid Reporter Maddie Weber was mad Twittering all night.

My favorite tweet: BTW, this was Kavya’s four time to participate in the Spelling Bee. She finally wins! It pays to keep trying.

Maddie even got a chance to interview the winner for Scholastic News. Get the whole low-down on the Kids Press Corps blog.

Congratulations to Kavya for a job well-done and to Maddie for your awesome coverage!

Bee Seeson

Did I get your attention? G-O-O-D.

Tonight Maddie Weber, our D.C. correspondent from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps, will be at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She’ll be live-Twittering all the way through to the nail-biting finish. (Don’t worry, Maddie’s not one of the contestants.) Go on and follow her!

The show starts on ABC at 8:00pm tonight (Eastern time). The semifinals were on ESPN, which begs the question: is a spelling bee a sporting event? Check out this off-beat story exploring that very question.

I like to think of spelling itself as a sport, and myself as an athlete. Just wish it burned more calories.

How to get a Catching Fire ARC at BEA

We can hear the buzz loud and clear. Your hunger (like ours) is unabated for the release of the highly-anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins — Catching Fire.

And what some of you already know is true: A limited number of advance copies will be available this weekend at BookExpo America in New York City.

So, if you’re planning to go to BEA this weekend, go fetch a towel to mop up your drool and a pen to write this down:

FIRST, Catching Fire ARCs will be given away in the Scholastic booth (#302-303) while supplies last, on Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. only. First come first serve. I can’t say how many (trust me, I asked), but they’re sure to go fast.

SECOND, Suzanne Collins will be signing at the official BEA autographing area on Friday at 3 p.m. This is a ticketed event, as designated by BEA. Tickets, which are free, will be given out starting at 6:30 a.m. on Friday in the Lobby (info here). Anyone with a ticket will receive a signed ARC. There are about 200 tickets available.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.

Oh, and I’m thinking of taking my Flip camera out there to get some video. So, if you see me, say hello!

UPDATE: Publishers Weekly goes more into depth today on the buzz surrounding Catching Fire, and says there will be 1,000 copies to give away at BEA.

’50 Top Women in Book Publishing?’ We got 4!

I figure it’s OK to pat ourselves on the back in a post every once in a while… Am I right?

This made us happy: Book Business magazine in their May issue named their 50 Top Women in Book Publishing, and four of them are from Scholastic!

Congrats to Ellie Berger (President of Trade Publishing), Francine Colaneri (Vice President, Manufacturing and Supply Chain), Margery Mayer (President, Scholastic Education) and Suzanne Murphy (Vice President, Group Publisher, Trade Publishing and Marketing).

The article has short profiles of each woman, and tips from them on how to succeed in book publishing.

I really liked this quote from Ellie:

“Be willing to try new ideas and always keep the reader in mind. Our readers are 21st-century kids who live in a multiplatform world, who want fun and excitement, as well as the timeless quality of a good story.”

Almost the weekend

As we all get ready to, ahem, scoot out a little early for the holiday weekend, I thought I’d share this awesome interview our L.A. Kid Reporter Mariam El Hasan got with Shawn Levy, the director of Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. He LOVES Amelia Earhart. Check out Mariam’s story too where she spills all about her visit to the movie’s Vancouver set.

I’ll probably see NATM2 next week…since the blockbuster I plan to see this weekend is all about a certain cyborg army and the one man born to stop it.

Lest you think I’ve forgotten the reason for the long weekend, check out the latest post on the Scholastic Kids Press Corps blog, where Mississippi Kid Reporter Miandra Miers brings it all home.

Readin’, writin’ and recognition

Here is, without a doubt, my favorite part of this job: helping kids get the recognition they deserve.

Whether they’ve struggled to improve their reading skills, read a ton of books so other kids can benefit, or worked hard to grow their inherent talents, there is nothing like shouting about their achievements from the media rooftops.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sharing Chelli’s story— one of our Portfolio Gold Award winners for writing– with her hometown paper, the Wisconsin State Journal. I had heard from Chelli that the culture of her school and state are very much about sports…not writing. And that’s why the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards exists, to celebrate and recognize the artists and “creative types” with the same kind of hoopla as the athletes get.

The story meant a lot to me too, especially after I got this email from Chelli:

Thank you so much for getting me the WSJ story! It was really nice to finally get some recognition, and I felt very proud of my accomplishments.

I’m tearing up right now just writing this. I’m going to be a blubbering mess when at the Awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall and hundreds of kids are crossing the stage!