Publishing Industry News: Jan. 31, 2020

Curious about what’s happening in the world of books and publishing? Catch up on the biggest acquisitions, news, adaptations and more here!

• The 2020 Edgar Award nominees for Best Novel include Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland, The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths, The River by Peter Heller, Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee, and Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham.

• The highly publicized novel American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins has been receiving backlash since its release. What was anticipated to be one of the best books of 2020 is now receiving criticism for its treatment of the immigrant experience and inaccuracies about Mexican and Mexican-American culture and heritage. Critics are saying the work is “littered with stereotypes, stilted bilingualism and an awkward peppering of italicized Spanish phrases.” Some are even saying the novel is “inauthentic, harmful trauma porn written for white non-Latinx readers to feel like they care about immigrants.”

• Some fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins are displeased with the apparent focus of her prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. After reading a released excerpt, readers have discovered that the story will come, at least in part, from Coriolanus Snow – the villainous president from the original trilogy – as an 18-year-old student during the 10th annual Hunger Games. Fans are expressing their distaste for this focus, saying, “Like we need another story about some tortured white boy.” Collins’ original trilogy is set in a dystopian future America known as Panem, where every year children from 12 districts are chosen, or “reaped,” to fight to the death on television. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – due to be published in May – will have a world-record first printing of 2.5 million copies.

• Netflix is adapting Sandra Cisneros’ classic The House on Mango Street as a television series.

• The winners of the Caldecott, Newbery and Printz Medals were announced at the American Library Association’s Midwinter 2020. Jerry Craft has earned the 2020 John Newbery Medal for New Kid – the first graphic novel to receive the honor, which was established in 1922. Kadir Nelson won the 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal for The Undefeated, and A.S. King earned the 2020 Michael L. Printz Award for Dig.