This year, fans of Rick Yancey’s critically acclaimed Monstrumologist—and then, due to the outcry, the rest of the teen-lit community—learned that Simon & Schuster didn’t plan to publish any more books in the series. It wasn’t being cancelled, exactly, as the original deal was for three books, but to fans, it may as well have been—because, as those who’ve already read Isle of Blood know, the story is far from over. In an attempt to save the series, Stephanie Oakes of Stephanie Reads started a write-in campaign.
Find more great books for exploring the past among our 2011 Best Books for Teens.
Long story short*, a week after the campaign began, Yancey announced that Simon & Schuster had decided to publish a fourth book, a reversal that is rare—if not unheard of—in the book world. Much rejoicing ensued on the part of fans, much attention was brought to the series, and there was much happiness in many corners.
But… (Yes, of course there’s a but!)
Before we forget about this story—before we get distracted by rumors of the next celebrity book deal or most recent movie news—we should take something away from it. We should—get this!—learn from it. If our most-beloved series or book isn’t getting the attention it deserves, we need to speak up. To draw attention to it. To recommend it to readers who might not find it otherwise. To evangelize for it. To get creative.
For example? The Monstrumology books have tremendous crossover appeal for adult fans of horror and dark fantasy. Booksellers, librarians, bloggers and everyday readers, just because a book is published for and marketed to one audience doesn’t mean that we have to keep it in that pigeonhole. Include it on a list called YA Horror That’ll Creep Out Even the Most Jaded Adult Reader. Make a display of Lovecraft-inspired fiction**. Know people who’d like the books, but who are resistant to reading the YA? Give it to them without telling them that it’s YA. Then you’ll get the added bonus of being able to say, “I told you so,” when they ask for the second book in the series.
In my next post, I’ll tell you all about a much-adored series that I think—nay, I know—isn’t getting nearly enough attention. In the meantime, let me know: What overlooked books are on your list? And what are you going to do to rectify that?
**Which could include, in addition to Yancey’s books, some Brian Lumley, some Hellboy, Shadows Over Baker Street, Neil Gaiman’s story “A Study in Emerald,” the Wodehouse/Lovecraft mashup Scream for Jeeves, among others. You could even print out a few Hello Cthulhu panels to decorate it!
If she isn't writing Bookshelves of Doom or doing her librarian thing, Leila Roy is probably maniacally organizing all of her music into far-too-specific Spotify playlists.