Adaptation News, Penguin Teen

The Downstairs Girl To Be Adapted As A TV Series

On April 8, an exclusive through Variety reported that Stacey Lee’s 2019 YA Historical Fiction novel, The Downstairs Girl, was optioned as a half-hour television series with Bound Entertainment.

The Korean-based entertainment studio is collaborating with Lee on the project, where she will also be an executive producer. Aminta Goyel, Daytime Emmy and WGA-award winning writer, is adapting the novel.

“I’m excited for Miss Sweetie to step into the homes of modern viewers, who might not have imagined a heroine like this could exist in 1890 Atlanta,” mentioned Lee.

Samuel Ha, founder of Bound Entertainment alongside international feature development vet Jamie Lai, will serve as executive producers.

As a Korean-American growing up in the South Ha stated he’s always wanted to “tell stories that included people who look like me in our history, set in the area I grew up…Stacey has been a leader in seeing the possibility of the characters in our history we may have overlooked, and we’re excited to have Aminta work with us in bringing this delightful and authentic YA story to screen.”

Lee’s novel follows Chinese-American Jo Kuan, a lady’s maid and secret journalist, who moonlights as a newspaper advice columnist in 1890’s Atlanta.

Bound Entertainment is focused on sharing stories from and about the Asian diaspora, based in Seoul and Los Angeles.

As of April 7, Lee became a NYT Bestselling author for the paperback version of The Downstairs Girl.

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.

While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee is out now!

Cover Reveals, Feiwel & Friends, Fierce Reads

The Red Palace by June Hur Cover Reveal

On March 22, June Hur revealed the cover to her upcoming Historical Fiction Mystery novel titled The Red Palace through Twitter, which is being released early 2022!

Hur has pitched her novel as a “romantic YA historical mystery about a palace nurse and a royal investigator teaming up to look into a pattern of grisly murders when the Crown Prince becomes the prime suspect.”

The Red Palace will feature “a tragic crown prince, slow-burn romance, and a killer on the loose,” according to her cover reveal tweet.

Cover artist is Sunga Park and designer is Liz Dresner. Hur is an author of historical mystery novels and began writing after “obsessing over books about Joseon Korea.” Novels include The Silence Of Bones and The Forest Of Stolen Girls.

June Hur, critically acclaimed author of The Silence of Bones and The Forest of Stolen Girls, returns with The Red Palace—a third evocative, atmospheric historical mystery perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Kerri Maniscalco.

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood…

Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.

The Red Palace by June Hur is set to be released January 25, 2022!

Book Deals, Feiwel & Friends, Fierce Reads

Reclaimed Classics Series Is Coming In 2021!

On April 14, it was announced through Publishers Weekly that the Reclaimed Classics series will be released starting in Spring 2021 with Feiwel & Friends, featuring authors of color.

Four books in total will be part of this series, with release dates in 2021 (Spring & Fall) and 2022 (Winter & Spring).

The PW article states that these retellings will “uphold the core plot points, characters, and themes of the familiar versions of classic novels, yet these key components will be filtered through the lenses of the writers’ diverse experiences.”

C.B. Lee will kick-off the series with a Treasure Island retelling. Lee mentioned that it “was first on [her] list because when [she] was in school, [she] was fascinated by Chinese maritime history and for [her], re-envisioning this novel from a Chinese cultural perspective was a no-brainer.”

Second, Bethany C. Morrow plans to re-imagine Little Women featuring a Black family, which’ll be set “at the Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island in 1863, a time when some of the residents were emancipated and some were not.”

Retelling this “supposedly universal story,” Morrow highlighted that “it takes place during the Civil War, but doesn’t involve or present any narratives of Black American women at the time.”

Morrow stated that if Little Women is a “universal story of love and sisterhood, then [her] novel will be a welcome adaptation among many.”

The third retelling will be written by Aminah Mae Safi, reimagining Robin Hood set during the Mideval 19th century.

Safi plans to center the story on a “Muslim girl’s adventure during the Third Crusade.” She added that “[Robin’s] someone who is deeply invested in the status quo and in his fight to rob the rich to give to the poor because he wants his own ancestral lands back. By taking this medieval legend of a crusader and turning that into the story of a young Muslim woman who is fighting to protect her own homeland from invaders and her own region’s fragile peace, I can also reclaim a piece of history. The medieval world was incredibly diverse and incredibly global. We all deserve to be able to see that.”

The final book in this series will be written by Tasha Suri who’ll be reimagining Wuthering Heights. Suri plans to weave in a “little-known part of history” when the British colonized India. White men traveled there, had children with Indian women and if the children passed as white, they were then sent back to England to be integrated into ‘proper’ white society.

Suri wants to “write a reclamation that says: everyone comes from somewhere, and colonialism may try to make us its monsters, but we don’t have to let it. I hope my re-imagining will also help make readers a little more aware of the long, long history of South Asians in Britain. There’s so much history that we’re not taught that young readers deserve to know…”

Emily Settle will be the assistant editor of this series and ” ‘absolutely’ anticipates that Reclaimed Classics will extend beyond the inaugural four titles…”

The series is now available to add on Goodreads!

Reclaimed Classics is set to be released in 2021!

Adaptation News, Fierce Reads

The Prince And The Dressmaker Optioned As A Musical Film Adaptation

On February 19, it was revealed through Playbill that the duo behind the soundtracks for Frozen, Kristen and Robert (Bobby) Lopez, have decided to pick up The Prince And The Dressmaker as their next movie musical.

It was also announced that they’ll be working alongside Marc Platt and Amy Herzog, who will adapt Jen Wang’s 2018 graphic novel.

“Our next movie musical project is with Marc Platt and it is a musical version of a graphic novel called The Prince and the Dressmaker.”

Kristen & Bobby Lopez Via Playbill

The feature rights were originally acquired by Platt and Universal Pictures back in April of 2018, according to Deadline.

The article from Playbill also stated that there is no timeline currently set for the adaptation of The Prince And The Dressmaker.

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart. 

The Prince And The Dressmaker by Jen Wang is out now!

Book List, Fierce Reads, Inkyard Press, Penguin Teen

2019 Young Adult Books About Journalists

To celebrate the release of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine from Maika and Maritza Moulite, here’s a list of some wonderful 2019 Young Adult releases that focus on characters in journalism!

Whether its about an aspiring journalist looking to pursue it as a major or career, being a columnist for a newspaper, or writing for a tabloid, check out these Young Adult books featuring protagonists in the field of journalism!

1.Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

Co-written by sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite, and told in epistolary style through letters, articles, emails, and diary entries, this exceptional debut novel captures a sparkling new voice and irrepressible heroine in a celebration of storytelling sure to thrill fans of Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi and Jenna Evans Welch!

When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…

You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?

Actually, a lot.

Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.

All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.

You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.

2.Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

3.The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. 

While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light.

The Downstairs Girl was also a Book Of The Month YA pick for August! If your interested in signing up, you can do so using my affiliate link here! + use the promo code ‘GROW’ to get your first box for $9.99 this September!

Book Of The Month YA is a monthly subscription box that allows you to pick your next read and if you aren’t sure on which book to read, your credit can carry over to the next month!

Adaptation News, Chronicle Books

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed The World by Ann Shen Optioned For Anthology TV Series

On August 21, it was announced through Variety and The Hollywood Reporter that illustrator and author, Ann Shen, had her nonfiction collection Bad Girls Throughout History optioned as an anthology series by television production company Universal Content Productions (UCP).

Liz Hannah (Mindhunter), is set to adapt and write the first pilot episode, while Ry Russo -Young (The Sun Is Also A Star) is set to direct.

What makes this project especially unique is that with each episode, there will also be a different team of females behind the camera, writing and directing.

Its planned for each episode to feature a different female figure from Shen’s novel.

” Bad Girls is an incredible opportunity to focus not on a single character or genre, but a kind of uncompromising personality that inhabits great women throughout history…”

ry russo-young via the hollywood reporter

Hannah stated, within The Hollywood Reporter article, that “Ann Shen’s book is all that needs to be said about the ambitions of this show. To depict women throughout history as they are: complex, funny, dark and everywhere in between…”

Aphra Behn, first female professional writer. Sojourner Truth, activist and abolitionist. Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer. Marie Curie, first woman to win the Nobel Prize. Joan Jett, godmother of punk. The 100 revolutionary women highlighted in this gorgeously illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed. From pirates to artists, warriors, daredevils, scientists, activists, and spies, the accomplishments of these incredible women vary as much as the eras and places in which they effected change. Featuring bold watercolor portraits and illuminating essays by Ann Shen, Bad Girls Throughout History is a distinctive, gift-worthy tribute.

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed The World by Ann Shen is out now!

Adaptation News, Little Brown And Company

Circe Optioned For HBO TV Series

As of July 31, Variety announced that Madeline Miller, an author well-known for her mythology retellings, had her most recent novel Circe optioned as a television series for HBO Max.

Screenwriter’s Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa are set to be the writers and executive producers for the adaptation, which has gotten an eight episode order.

” Circe’ tells an epic story of love, loss, tragedy and immortal conflict, all through the eyes of a fierce female lens…I’ve been a longtime fan of Rick and Amanda’s work and their ability to simultaneously build epic imaginative worlds while creating emotional dynamic characters. In partnership with Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping, we have the dream team to bring ‘Circe’ to life…”

sarah aubrey head of original content for hbo max via variety

According to Deadline (which first broke the news), “Chernin Entertainment is producing with Endeavor Content through the companies’ scripted drama venture…”

HBO Max is an upcoming subscription streaming service set to launch in Spring 2020!

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Circe by Madeline Miller is out now!

Book Tours, Penguin Teen, Philomel Books

Ruta Sepetys Tour Dates For The Fountains Of Silence

Revealed exclusively through Entertainment Weekly on July 18, were the upcoming tour dates for bestselling-historical fiction author Ruta Sepetys to discuss her upcoming novel The Fountains Of Silence!

The article shared that Sepetys will embark on a 16-city tour to celebrate and promote her October release of The Fountains Of Silence!

States will include Utah, Ohio, Michigan, and California, to name a few. The tour will start in Nashville, Tennessee on October 1!

Full details of the locations for Sepetys tour can be found via the Entertainment Weekly exclusive!

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true post-war struggles of Spain.

The Fountains Of Silence by Ruta Sepetys is set to be released October 1, 2019!

Cover Reveals, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Penguin Teen

The Kingdom Of Back by Marie Lu Cover Reveal

On June 28, Entertainment Weekly revealed the cover to Marie Lu’s first historical fantasy novel, The Kingdom Of Back.

Lu’s novel The Kingdom Of Back, is “about a musical prodigy and the dangerous lengths she’ll go to make history remember her. And it isn’t just any musical prodigy: Her heroine, Nannerl, is Mozart’s sister…”

” [The Kingdom Of Back] is a standalone historical fiction, which is different from what I’m used to and has been an intimidating experience. It’s a book about Wolfgang Mozart and his sister, Nannerl. Not a lot of people know about Nannerl, but she was a very accomplished pianist and composer and toured with Wolfgang. The book is about their adventures when they were younger, with some fantasy elements. It’s a huge departure for me and has required a heavier amount of research than past books…”

4 Questions for marie lu via Publishers weekly (september 2018)

Alongside the cover reveal (designed by David Curtis), EW also revealed an exclusive excerpt from The Kingdom Of Back!

The Kingdom Of Back Official Cover via Entertainment Weekly

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish: to be remembered forever.

But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age; her tyrannical father has made that much clear. And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true. But his help may cost her everything.

The Kingdom Of Back by Marie Lu is set to be released March 3, 2020!

Balzer + Bray, Cover Reveals, Epic Reads

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby Cover Reveal

On June 18, Laura Ruby (author of Bone Gap) shared through her twitter, the cover for her upcoming historical fiction novel Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All.

According to Goodreads, Thirteen Doorways is pitched as the “unforgettable story of two young women—one living, one dead—dealing with loss, desire, and the fragility of the American dream during WWII…”

The cover was originally shared via Balzer + Bray through twitter on May 24, but the cover Ruby shared is the final design!

Thirteen Doorways, Ruby shared, is “a mystery wrapped up in a fairy tale wrapped up in a historical… “

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All Official Cover

When Frankie’s mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporary—just long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again. That’s why Frankie’s not prepared for the day that he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket.

Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, are abandoned alongside so many other orphans—two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive.

And as the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death walk the streets in broad daylight, it will be up to Frankie to find something worth holding on to in the ruins of this shattered America—every minute of every day spent wondering if the life she’s able to carve out will be enough.

I will admit I do not know the answer. But I will be watching, waiting to find out. 

That’s what ghosts do.

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All is set to be released October 1, 2019!