Fall preview: Children’s books

Special to the Los Angeles Times

In young-adult fiction, look for the fall to squeeze every last drop of — excuse the expression — blood out of the vampire and supernatural creature trend. We’ve seen werewolves, ghosts, warrior fairies, zombies … where can we go next? Well, into younger age groups, for one. With her new novel “Radiance” (Square Fish/Feiwel and Friends, ages 9-12), for example, Alyson Noël spins off a new series about the ghostly younger sister from her “Immortals” books for ages 12 and older. This fall, Noël’s book is far from the only one.

Supernatural mash-ups

Other authors for young adults (ages 12 and up) are also combining the supernatural with various genres: Nancy Werlin’s “Extraordinary” (Dial, September) offers a history of the powerful Rothschild family, and by extension, much of modern Jewish experience, set into a story about a life-and-death deal made with the Fairy Queen. (Weird, but it works.) “Enchanted Ivy” by Sarah Beth Durst (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, October) injects the supernatural into a setting-off-for-college book — itself an emerging genre of young-adult fiction that recycles the first-day-of-kindergarten books for this micro-managed generation.

Graphic novel adaptations


Graphic novels conquer new territory with “The Little Prince Graphic Novel” by Joann Sfar (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October), a reworking of Antoine de St. Exupéry’s delicate French classic (first published in 1943), by the prolific creator of the wonderful “Little Vampire” series. Also getting the graphic-novel treatment are Jonathan Stroud’s “Bartimaeus Trilogy” (Hyperion, November) and Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” (Hyperion, October), two bestselling series that will surely reach even more readers in this format.

Successful series continue

Speaking of Percy Jackson, Riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero” (Hyperion, October) will bring readers the further adventures of Percy Jackson and his demigod pals after their triumphant rescue of the Greek pantheon that concluded the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series. (This is the second new series Riordan has launched this year, after his foray into Egyptian mythology with the May publication of “The Red Pyramid,” book one of “The Kane Chronicles.” The second book of that series is due out next May.) “Wimpy Kid” fans get Jeff Kinney’s next installment in November (from Abrams/Amulet Books) with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth.” Is Greg ready for puberty and (gulp!) girls? Are his readers?

Worth a thousand words


For younger children, look for these forthcoming picture books: Mo Willems concludes the “Knuffle Bunny” series (say it ain’t so!) this month with “Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion” (Balzer and Bray, September). Trixie and her well-worn companion reach the end of a journey in more ways than one. Moving on is hard to do, whether you’re a kid facing a hazy future or a toy with a clear mission. “13 Words” by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Maira Kalman (HarperCollins, October) is an audacious pairing of writer and illustrator not to be missed: Their combined brilliance should result either in genius or disaster.

Bolle writes the children’s/young adult books column Word Play, which appears monthly at