Posts Tagged ‘The Near Witch’

Interview with Ellen Archer, CEO of Hyperion

Published by Kirsten on January 6th, 2012 - in Uncategorized

Digital Book World just presented an interview with Ellen Archer, the CEO of Hyperion. For those who don’t know, Hyperion is a publisher that is part of  Disney. We’ve received many excellent books for review from Hyperion Teen, including the stellar Generation Dead, and several books they sent us ended up on our  2011 Top Picks list for Young Adults, including Mercy by Rebecca Lim and the Near Witch by Victoria Schwab.

That they sent us these books doesn’t really have anything to do with why I’m sharing this interview with you, though. Here’s the deal: in spite of the fact that Hyperion is not one of the Big Six publishers we hear about and write about so much of the time, it is a reasonably good-sized publisher that puts out some really quality books, and it’s also part of a major media empire. Disney is about a lot more than princesses, and it has an impressive marketing machine. Hyperion, as part of that media empire, has the opportunity to produce transmedia experiences that will really stand out.  I wrote about transmedia over the summer last year (and while I continue to be fascinated by it, I still favor physical books for children, which seems to be true for many parents, even those addicted to ebooks themselves), and I can see from this interview that Archer is headed in this direction (in a much more complex way than I described) from what she says here:


Maybe we have to drop “books” from the way we think. I think that’s keeping us from not thinking as big and broadly as we need to.

I have authors come in and I suggest we start with e-books and then have a print companion later on and they say, “what about the ‘book’ book?”

What I see Hyperion as is a producer of great reading experiences in the form that someone enjoys.

I continue to see debates about the value of ebooks vs. physical books. I think it’s pretty clear now that in order for publishers to survive that debate has to be reframed. There are going to be ebooks, physical books, and media of all kinds in play. And it’s not just going to be about how we consume media, but how our experiences of a variety of media bring us together. Have the Big Six publishers recognized this? They seem to be moving tentatively into this sphere, but if other publishers, like Hyperion, move faster, I think we’ll see the structure of the publishing industry change considerably. For those of us who are used to categorizing media into discrete areas (like some librarians and many, many digital immigrants) it won’t be an easy transition. But it’s coming, and, if Archer’s ideas about the future of publishing are on target, it’s coming sooner than we think.’s Top Picks for 2011- Young Adult and Children’s Books

Published by Kirsten on January 4th, 2012 - in Uncategorized

So here we are- part two of the Top Picks list for 2011.

Each book on the list below was reviewed in the past year, although not all the books were published in 2011. If the book made a Top Picks list in the past, it won’t be on this year’s list (Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson, was first reviewed in 2009 and made the list that year, so it’s not on this year’s list).

Books that made this list were chosen by our reviewers as exceptional examples of compelling writing, creativity, and original illustration or presentation. Many of them provided considerable food for thought as well as entertainment value. The choices were made only from books reviewed for the site, so there are many fine titles that do not appear here. The Monster Librarian’s Top Picks for 2011, listed below, have not been ranked in any order(although I tried to list them alphabetically). We created lists for adult books, young adult books, and kids’ books. I previously posted the Top Picks for Adult Fiction in 2011. You’ll find the Top Picks booklists for young adults and children below. Enjoy!

Note for librarians and readers: As with all recommended reading lists, not all of The Monster Librarian’s Top Picks for 2011 will be appropriate for or appreciated by every reader. Please take the time to check out reviews of these titles at before making a decision about reading them or recommending them to others.


The Monster Librarian’s Top Picks for Young Adults, 2011

A special mention goes to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, chosen as a top pick by four different reviewers independently of each other.


Abarat series by Clive Barker (Abarat, Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War, and  Abarat: Absolute Midnight)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Ghost Town (Morganville Vampires, Book 9) by Rachel Caine

Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely) by Melissa Marr

Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1 by Alexander Gordon Smith

Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Nickel Plated by Aric Davis

Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls) by Maggie Stiefvater

Skulls by Tim Marquitz

Subject Seven by James A. Moore

Teeth: Vampire Tales edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

The Dead (An Enemy Novel) by Charlie Higson

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab



The Monster Librarian’s Top Picks for Kids, 2011

A special mention goes to Crooked Hills: Book One by Cullen Bunn, reviewed independently by two different reviewers and highly recommended by both.


Crooked Hills by Cullen Bunn

Dragonbreath series, books 1-3, by Ursula Vernon (Dragonbreath,

Attack of the Ninja Frogs,

Curse of the Were-wiener


Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror edited by R.L. Stine

Monster and Me (Monster and Me) by Robert Marsh

Scary School by Derek the Ghost

Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane, illustrated by Jane Manning

The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg

The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere: Volume 1 by Jacqueline West