'Hunger Games' author to release children's picture book 'Year of the Jungle'
BY HILLEL ITALIE Associated Press
Friday, November 30, 2012
11/30/12 at 4:57 AM
NEW YORK - "The Hunger Games" novelist Suzanne Collins has a new book coming out next year.
The multimillion-selling children's author has completed an autobiographical picture story scheduled for Sept. 10, 2013, Scholastic Inc. announced Thursday. The 40-page book will be called "Year of the Jungle," based on the time in Vietnam served by Collins' father, a career Air Force officer.
"Year of the Jungle" is Collins' first book since 2010's "Mockingjay," the last of "The Hunger Games" trilogy that made the author an international sensation. More than 50 million copies of the "Hunger Games" books are in print, and the first of four planned movies has grossed more than $600 million worldwide since being released in March.
Collins' next project will be intended for ages 4 and older, a younger audience than those who have read, and re-read, her dystopian stories about young people forced to hunt and kill one another. But "Year of the Jungle" will continue, in a gentler way, the author's exploration of war. James Proimos, an old friend from her days as a television writer who helped persuade Collins to become a children's author, illustrated the book.
"For several years I had this little wicker basket next to my writing chair with the postcards my dad had sent me from Vietnam 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," Collins, 50, said in a statement released by Scholastic.
According to Scholastic, "Year of the Jungle" will tell of a little girl named Suzy and her fears after her father leaves for war. She wonders when he'll come back and "feels more and more distant" as he misses family gatherings. He does return, but he has changed and his daughter must learn that "he still loves her just the same."
Scholastic also announced Thursday that "Catching Fire," the second "Hunger Games" book and originally released in 2009, is coming out in June as a paperback. The paperback edition usually comes within a year of the hardcover, but "Catching Fire" had been selling so well that Scholastic waited. "Mockingjay" has yet to be released as a paperback.
Original Print Headline: 'Hunger Games' writer has new book
"The Hunger Games" author Suzanne Collins' new autobiographical picture story, "Year of the Jungle," is scheduled for release Sept. 10, 2013. Scholastic Inc./Associated Press