Authors Libba Bray, Gayle Forman, and many more gathered in Melbourne, Australia this weekend for Reading Matters, a conference dedicated to the discussion and celebration of Young Adult fiction.

While BookExpo America was charging on in New York, a smaller but equally exciting conference was kicking off in Australia. Reading Matters is presented by the Centre for Youth Literature, and ran from Thursday 30 May to Saturday 1 June, with an accompanying roadshow to share the love around. Hypable writer Marama Whyte was in attendance, and has all the highlights from the Saturday programming.

Reading Matters 2013

The most controversial panel of the day was ‘Gender Less,’ a discussion of gender roles and divides in Young Adult fiction, featuring authors Libba Bray (Beauty Queens, The Diviners), Myke Bartlett (Fire in the Sea), and Fiona Wood (Wildlife). Referencing author Maureen Johnson’s wonderful Coverflip experiment, the panelists questioned how far a book cover can go in determining the book’s readership (Their answer: seriously far).

Bray noted that by categorising a novel as a ‘girl book’ or a ‘boy book,’ “what it says to boys is you don’t need to be concerned with the female experience,” and vice versa. Bartlett admitted that his novel was a response to Bella Swan, the Twilight protagonist who he found so depressing: “I really wanted to write a female character who seemed more realistic”.

On the final panel of the day, Gayle Forman (If I Stay, Just One Day), Morris Gleitzman (After), and Keith Gray (Ostrich Boys) returned to the question of gender. Gray took a converse approach, saying “I think boys are underrepresented in YA,” while Forman asked “why is it acceptable for girls to go into the boys’ world, but not for the boys to go into the girls’ world?”

Before dropping some big news about the If I Stay movie, Forman also brought back the ever relevant idea – had Harry Potter been about Hermione, would it still have been a phenomenon?

In other programming, Gabrielle Williams (The Reluctant Hallelujah) stole the show on a panel about adaptation and inspiration with Alison Croggon (Black Spring) and Andrew McGahan (Ship Kings). Authors Garth Nix (Shade’s Children), Tim Sinclair (Run), and Vikki Wakefield (Friday Brown) teamed up for ‘Outsider, Outside,’ a discussion of (you guessed it) outsiders in YA.

Raina Telgemeier, the New York Times bestselling author of graphic novels Smile and Drama was also in attendance, kicking off the Saturday program with her upfront and entertaining presentation. Her new book Sisters will be published in Fall 2014, and is an accompanying novel to Smile.

Endearingly, it seemed that all of the authors who appeared on panels together had taken the time to read each other’s books, and so were able to critically discuss their work in conjunction with each other. The conference also reminded us that while we may love reading YA, there is more to talk about in this fantastic genre than merely our favourite characters or ships. Sometimes we need to take the time to think a little harder, and delve a little deeper.

For more in-depth discussions of Young Adult literature, be sure to check out Hypable’s Book Hype podcast

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

Present day Han Solo may’ve left the main Star Wars series after the events of The Force Awakens, but the character’s time in movie theaters is far from over.

The new Han Solo film from Lucasfilm — scheduled to hit theaters in May 2018 — might turn into a trilogy for the reluctant hero, according to the New York Daily News.

The paper reports that star Alden Ehrenreich has signed a three-picture deal, suggesting that the studio intends to expand the Han Solo spinoff into a trilogy. “They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies,” a source told NY Daily News. “They’re keeping things under wraps at the moment, but the deal is that he has signed for at least three movies.”

This makes a lot of sense given the popularity of the character coupled with his absence in Episode 8 and beyond. We also know that Lucasfilm and Disney have many, many grand plans for Star Wars in the years ahead: The very first Star Wars theatrical spinoff, Rogue One, opens later this year. Episode 8 then hits theaters a year later (2017), followed by Han Solo’s own movie (2018). Next comes Episode 9 in 2019, followed by yet another spinoff reportedly focused on Boba Fett in 2020.

As for 2021 and beyond? Only time will tell, but we expect more movies set in the worlds of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and now Han Solo.

The Han Solo spinoff will be directed by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They’re currently deep into pre-production, as this tweet from Lord this morning shows:

“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with,” the directors said last July. “We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”

Barnes & Noble has announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already a gigantic hit. In fact, it’s the most pre-ordered book since Deathly Hallows.

It’s been 9 years since J.K. Rowling publsihed Deathly Hallows in the summer of 2007, but Harry Potter fans are evidently still eager for more stories from the Wizarding World. In a press release on Monday, the biggest book chain in the United States revealed that they haven’t seen pre-orders this huge since the last Harry Potter book.


“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Barnes & Noble’s most pre-ordered book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and we expect it to be our biggest selling book of the year,” said Mary Amicucci, Chief Merchandising Officer at Barnes & Noble in a press release. “To guarantee that our customers get the new Harry Potter book as quickly as possible, Barnes & Noble is the only national retailer that’s guaranteeing delivery of the book on August 1, for both online and ship-to-home pre-orders placed by noon ET on Friday, July 29. Our booksellers are also preparing to host big crowds for our signature Midnight Magic parties on July 30.”

If you’ve passed by a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble in the past few months you’ve probably seen the heavy promotion they’ve been doing. Headers that state “HARRY POTTER IS BACK” will clearly entice people to pre-order.

HARRY POTTER IS BACK! (Spotted at a Barnes & Noble) #harrypotterforever #harrypotter

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In a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier this month we learned that Scholastic was printing 4.5 million copies of “the eighth story” for the United States and Canada. This is a far cry from the 12 million printed for Deathly Hallows, but still a very large print run for a book in modern times. (Also worth noting: Many readers have switched to eBooks in the years since Deathly Hallows.)

It’s nice to see that Harry Potter fans haven’t lost their interest in the series. Perhaps the success will inspire J.K. Rowling to continue writing within Harry’s world?

The book has also been a huge success on Amazon. The Cursed Child has sat at the top of the online retailer’s bestseller list for months.

Hypable will have lots of coverage surrounding The Cursed Child once it’s released this weekend. Stay tuned! AHHHH!