While many children’s authors are turning their attention to penning “New Adult” works that target older teens and college aged readers, bestselling author of the Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins, has decided to focus on the younger crowd. Yesterday Collins’ publisher, Scholastic, announced that the author is collaborating with illustrator James Proimos to write an autobiographical picture book titled Year of the Jungle.
However, while Collins’ audience will be younger, the topic of war will still be the main thrust of her writing. Year of the Jungle, set to release on September 10, 2013, focuses on a young girl named Suzy as she struggles with father deployed to Vietnam. In a statement, David Levithan, editorial director at Scholastic, says that the tone for this picture book will be appropriate for a younger age group and Collins is able to portray the effect of war as “sympathetic rather than scary, relatable rather than raw.”
This project has been on Collins’ mind for some time, but it was only by deciding Proimos as the illustrator that she felt she could move forward. She has stated, “There’s a natural humor and sense of fun to [Proimos’] drawing style that makes the story approachable.”
2013 is going to be a big year for fans of Suzanne Collins. Not only will they be able to pick up her picture book, but Scholastic will also be releasing the paperback edition of Catching Fire in June and Collins' middle grade series Underland Chronicles, which includes five fantasy novels first published between 2003 and 2007.
Will you be purchasing Year of the Jungle for the little reader in your life, or maybe for yourself? Let us know in the comments and for more great YA reads, check out our Everything Young Adult page.