Thursday, September 02, 2004

Sounds Interesting...

The Tale of Hill Top Farm: The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter by Susan Wittig Albert

Wolf Brother: The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver

Articles in the news today about two new book series.

The first is a mystery series "for adults and teens" based on the life of Beatrix Potter. The article quotes Natalee Rosenstein, Vice President and Senior Executive Editor of the Berkeley Publishing Group, "We've certainly seen other adult mysteries, including our own, The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun, have a big teen readership and we think these will too."

The village of Near Sawrey is not as peaceful as it appears. Miss Abigail Tolliver has died. Her valuable John Constable painting is missing, and children's author Beatrix Potter is buying Hill Top Farm.
Sawrey's inhabitants, human and animal, are in an uproar. The stage is set for The Tale of Hill Top Farm, the first of an eight-book mystery series for adults and teens -- The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter -- by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley/Penguin, September 27)...
Hill Top Farm deftly interweaves real and imaginary people with talking animals, creating a rich cast of characters for a story set in the English countryside. The juicy gossip and petty squabbles of small-town life form a backdrop to the mystery. A comic undercurrent is created when Sawrey's animals comment amongst themselves on the action.

Beloved Potter creatures, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Josey and Mopsy Rabbit and Tom Thumb are joined here by Ridley Rattail, Galileo Newton Owl and Max the Manx. Readers interested in Beatrix Potter will find Hill Top Farm to be an intriguing way to imagine her life beyond known facts. Kids will be drawn in by Beatrix' friendship with Jeremy, a boy with a penchant for drawing frogs who is wrongly accused of a crime.

A second article describes a new series, The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness which debuts with the book, Wolf Brother. It has been sold for a $5 million advance - the highest ever paid for a debut British children's book.
"Orion is not in the habit of paying out big money for children's books. It was obvious when Michelle came along that these books are page turners. Many adults have now got into the habit of picking up children's books." She said the book had already earned back its advance for British rights.

The novel is the first of six which are set in the Stone Age forests of 4,000BC.
Wolf Brother tells the story of Torak, a 12-year-old hunter who lived in a forest 6000 years ago. After his father is killed, the youngster teams up with an orphaned wolf cub and sets out to rid the forest of an evil force.

...and this is very cool...
The Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian McKellen has just recorded an audio version of the story.

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