Scholastic to Publish Year of the Jungle, an Autobiographical Picture Book by
Suzanne Collins in Fall 2013
Also to Be Published in 2013: Trade Paperback Edition of Catching Fire (June
2013) and Newly Designed Paperback Editions of The Underland Chronicles Series
NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2012
NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Scholastic, the global children's
publishing, education and media company, today announced the publication of
Year of the Jungle (September 10, 2013), an autobiographical picture book by
Suzanne Collins, author of the worldwide bestselling The Hunger Games trilogy,
with illustrations by James Proimos. Scholastic also announced plans to
publish the trade paperback edition of Catching Fire (June 4, 2013, ISBN:
978-0-545-58617-7, $12.99), as well as re-packaged paperback editions of
Collins's bestselling The Underland Chronicles, a five-book series about
Gregor the Overlander, featuring all new cover art (Summer 2013). Scholastic
will publish and deliver the books through all of its distribution channels.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100907/SCHOLASTICLOGO )
Year of the Jungle ($17.99, ISBN: 978-0-545-42516-2), to be published on
September 10, 2013, is an autobiographical picture book for ages 4 and up,
based on the year Suzanne Collins's father served in Viet Nam. The book is
illustrated by James Proimos, an acclaimed picture book author-artist and
television writer/animator. Longtime friends, Collins credits Proimos for
initially suggesting she write books for children while they were working in
children's television together.
In Year of the Jungle, when young Suzy's father leaves for Viet Nam, she
struggles to deal with his absence. What is the jungle like? Will her father
be safe? When will he return? The months slip by, marked by the passing of the
familiar holidays and the postcards that her father sends. With each one, he
feels more and more distant, and when he returns, Suzy must learn that even
though war has changed him, he still loves her just the same.
"The Underland Chronicles, with its fantasy world and eleven-year old
protagonist, Gregor, was designed for middle readers," said Suzanne
Collins."The Hunger Games Trilogy features a teen narrator, Katniss Everdeen,
and a stark dystopian backdrop for the YA audience.Year of the Jungle
attempts to reach the picture book readers by delving into my own experience
as a first grader with a father deployed in Viet Nam."
"One of the things Suzanne has done so masterfully in The Hunger Games and The
Underland Chronicles is to give readers an honest portrayal of the effects of
war," said David Levithan, VP, Publisher & Editorial Director, Scholastic.
"Now she has done it for a younger age group, in a way that is sympathetic
rather than scary, relatable rather than raw. This is something that Suzanne,
as a military child, lived with for many years, and it's something that all
families will be able to share, whether they have a personal connection to the
military or not."
About the origins of Year of the Jungle, Collins explains: "For several years
I had this little wicker basket next to my writing chair with the postcards my
dad had sent me from Viet Nam and photos of that year. But I could never quite
find a way into the story.It has elements that can be scary for the audience
and it would be easy for the art to reinforce those. It could be really
beautiful art but still be off-putting to a kid, which would defeat the point
of doing the book.Then one day I was having lunch with Jim and telling him
about the idea and he said, 'That sounds fantastic.' I looked at him and I
had this flash of the story through his eyes, with his art. It was like being
handed a key to a locked door.So, I just blurted out, 'Do you want to do
it?' Fortunately he said yes.That afternoon, on the train ride home, the
book started unfolding in my head. There's a natural humor and sense of fun
to his drawing style that makes the story approachable.As the emotional life
of the main character evolves into darker places, the pictures beautifully
keep pace with it, but they never lose that Proimos quality. His art made
telling the story possible."
"I had decided that I would not draw a single thing for a year and concentrate
only on my writing," said James Proimos. "In fact, I told this to Suzanne only
minutes before she asked me to illustrate her next book. How could I refuse?
The idea she laid out over burritos and ice tea during our lunch was
brilliant and not quite like any picture book I had ever come across.The
writing is moving and personal. What Suzanne does so well here is convey
complicated emotions through the eyes of a child. The art had to do the same.
We did not want this to be the kind of book that grownups put on a shelf, but
instead be the kind of book that a kid would want to read again and again.
Luckily, my brain is very much in touch with my first grade self and my art
skills have never left that general vicinity."
About The Hunger Games
First published in September 2008, The Hunger Games was an instant bestseller,
appealing to both teen readers and adults. It has appeared on the New York
Times bestseller list for more than 200 consecutive weeks since publication,
and has been the recipient of countless awards. Scholastic has more than 50
million copies of the original three books in The Hunger Games trilogy in
print and digital formats in the U.S. (more than 23 million copies of The
Hunger Games; more than 14 million copies of Catching Fire; and more than 13
million copies of Mockingjay). Foreign publishing rights for The Hunger Games
trilogy have been sold into 56 territories in51 languages to date.
Lionsgate released The Hunger Games movie on March 23, 2012, shattering
multiple box office records to become the 13th highest grossing film of all
time domestically, with more than $700 million at the box office worldwide.
Following the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on November 22, 2013,
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II
are scheduled for respective November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015 releases.
About The Underland Chronicles
The Underland Chronicles is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling
five-book fantasy series for middle-grade readers following young Gregor as he
goes through a grate in the laundry room of his New York City apartment
building and hurtles into the Underland, an underground city where humans live
beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches and rats in a fragile peace. With the
Underland on the brink of war, Gregor finds himself on a quest for his missing
father. The series explores various war-related topics, including military
intelligence, biological warfare, and genocide. With more than 2.5 million
books in print and digital formats and foreign publishing rights sold into 16
foreign territories to date, The Underland Chronicles has received wide praise
both in the U.S. and abroad. The series includes Gregor the Overlander (2003),
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (2004), Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
(2005), Gregor and the Marks of Secret (2006), and Gregor and the Code of Claw
About Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for
children's television on such shows as Clarissa Explains It All, The Mystery
Files of Shelby Woo and Wow Wow Wubbzy. She made her mark in children's
literature with the New York Times bestselling five-book series for
middle-grade readers The Underland Chronicles. Collins continued to explore
the effects of war and violence on those coming of age in the award-winning
and bestselling The Hunger Games trilogy. In 2010 Collins was named to the
TIME 100 list as well as the Entertainment Weekly Entertainers of the Year
list. In 2011 Fast Company named her to their 100 Most Creative People in
Business. She lives with her family in Connecticut.
About James Proimos
James Proimos is the author and illustrator of more than 20 books for children
including The Best Bike Ride Ever and Knuckle and Potty Destroy Happy World,
as well as Joe's Wish, Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel, Todd's TV, and his first
novel for teens called 12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn. James
Proimos also is the author and illustrator of Swim! Swim! (Scholastic Press),
under the pseudonym "Lerch." Proimos began his career in advertising where he
won several CLIO awards, and before writing books for young people he worked
in children's entertainment writing screenplays and creating television shows.
He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his family.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and
distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology and
related services and children's media. Scholastic creates quality books and
ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines,
multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at
home.The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a
variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail
stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online at www.scholastic.com.
Contact: Tracy van Straaten, Vice President of Publicity, Trade, Scholastic
Inc., +1-212-389-3782, email@example.com, or Sheila Marie Everett,
Publicity Manager, Trade, Scholastic Inc., +1-212-389-3786,
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