On the Books: Ylvis' 'The Fox' children's book breaks records; 'Harry Potter' prequel headed to the stage

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A fox and a boy wizard lead today’s book headlines. Read on for more news:

Talk about a fast turn-around: Ylvis released “What Does the Fox Say?” in September, went viral shortly after, inked a book deal with Simon & Schuster in November, and released said book an unheard-of five weeks later. Now, it’s reached the top of the New York Times’ Best Sellers List for Children’s Books. According to the publisher, the record-breaking sales for children’s publishing have amounted to more than 60,000 units sold in-store in just one week; it’s now in its sixth printing with 300,000 copies in print. The question is, will viral videos continue to be turned into book so quickly? Should we expect the lyrics for goat versions of Taylor Swift songs to also hit shelves soon?

In other news, J.K. Rowling will co-produce a play based on her Harry Potter books that will “explore the previously untold story of Harry’s early years as an orphan and outcast.” [AP]

Detroit-based literary group Write-A-House is offering a “writer’s-in-residence program” that will award writers homes in the city. “We believe this is a city that could really use more writers,” the group says on its fundraising page. [Indiegogo]

Andrea Elliott, the writer for the New York Times series, “Invisible Child,” in which she followed a homeless girl named Dasani, has inked a book deal with Random House. [Publishers Weekly]

The New Yorker has introduced a poetry podcast hosted by Irish poet Paul Muldoon, with the first podcast featuring Philip Levine. [The New Yorker]

According to the Kids’ Right to Read Project, the number of challenges to books increased by 53 percent in 2013. Does this mean book banning is on the rise in American schools and public libraries? [LA Times]

Dave Eggers penned an essay for The Guardian, in which he criticizes the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. [The Guardian]

What’s America’s most hated word? (Hint: It’s not “twerk.”) [Huffington Post]

Finally, check out a new edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, with eerie illustrations by Matt Kish. [Boing Boing]


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