Rick Riordan Presents, my new imprint at Disney Publishing Worldwide, is off to a roaring start!
In case you’ve missed out, here is the latest on what we’re doing and what’s coming up!
Rick Riordan Presents is one small branch of the Disney-Hyperion Publishing family. We aim to publish about four books a year. All these will be books that my editor Stephanie Lurie and I feel will appeal to kids who like my books. In other words, they will probably be some type of middle grade fantasy, with lots of humor and action, and probably draw on myth or folklore in some way.
Our goal is to publish great middle grade authors from underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, to let them tell their own stories inspired by the mythology and folklore of their own heritage. Over the years, I’ve gotten many questions from my fans about whether I might write about various world mythologies, but in most cases I knew I wasn’t the best person to write those books. Much better, I thought, to use my experience and my platform at Disney to put the spotlight on other great writers who are actually from those cultures and know the mythologies better than I do. Let them tell their own stories, and I would do whatever I could to help those books find a wide audience!
Are the Rick Riordan Presents connected to Percy Jackson’s world?
No! My job is to help edit the books where it seems appropriate, to offer advice and guidance where I can, and to promote the great books we will publish. I am not writing the books and I don’t tell the authors what to write. This is not like using a ghost writer or ‘assistant writer’ to write my ideas. These are original stories generated by the authors – their intellectual property, told their way, with their characters and their sense of humor. The worlds they create are their own. They are not extensions of Percy Jackson’s world, but I can safely say that if you like my books, you will probably love these.
*Suspicious Sideways Glance* So what’s in it for you?
Disney is paying me a nominal fee to write an introduction for each book, help edit and promote it, etc., but that’s the limit of my monetary involvement. The authors own their own intellectual property and negotiate contracts with Disney as they would with any publishing deal. I am not doing this for money.
For me this is a way to give back for my success. I’ve been very lucky in my career. I want to use my platform to help other writers get a wider audience. I also want to help kids have a wider variety of great books to choose from, especially those that deal with world mythology, and for all kinds of young readers to see themselves reflected in the books that they read.
The Lineup So Far!
ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME, by Roshani Chokshi.
Released March 27, 2018
Cover art by Abigail L. Dela Cruz (@hyamei)
Aru Shah is a smart and salty middle school girl who just wants to impress her snooty private school friends. She takes them on a tour of the Indian-American Museum her mom curates, where her friends dare her to do the one thing she is forbidden to do: light an ancient lamp that will supposedly start the end of the world…
14 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list
* “Chokshi weaves an engrossing adventure that will leave readers anticipating the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
* “Chokshi spins a fantastical narrative that seamlessly intertwines Hindu cosmology and folklore, feminism, and witty dialogue for an uproarious novel for young readers.”—Kirkus (starred review)
* “An enthralling start to a series that Riordan fans and anyone in the mood for a high-octane adventure will love.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
And coming in April 2019:
ARU SHAH AND THE SONG OF DEATH
Cover art by Abigail L. Dela Cruz (@hyamei)
Just when she’s learning how to be a Pandava, Aru is accused of stealing the god of love’s bow and arrow. In order to prove her innocence, she must navigate the serpent realm with Mini and two new companions, one of whom is a BOY!
ARU SHAH BOOK 3: April 2020
ARU SHAH BOOK 4: April 2021
Rosh on Twitter: @NotRashKnee
STORM RUNNER by Jennifer Cervantes
To be released September 18, 2018
Cover art by Irvin Rodriguez
Zane is a lonely 13-year-old boy in New Mexico whose physical disability makes him feel even more like everyone at his middle school is watching him. But as he soon learns, his physical differences are merely the first clue to a family history that connects him to the Mayan gods–and puts him in mortal danger. As an ancient Mayan prophecy begins to unravel, Zane has to find the hero within himself!
*Cervantes wastes no time getting right into the action, and her conversational tone and suspenseful pacing will keep the pages turning as the tension escalates and the characters face deepening stakes. Don’t miss this rip-roaring adventure.”—Booklist (starred review)
*“Fantastic and villainous creatures from Mayan folklore combine with clever, realistic, and heartwarming characters. VERDICT A page-turning and well-written trip into the world of Mayan mythology.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
And coming in September 2019:
THE FIRE KEEPER
In this fiery, fast-paced sequel to THE STORM RUNNER, Zane Obispo has an impossible choice to make: save other godborns like him from the angry Maya gods, or rescue his godly father from his eternal prison.
Jennifer on Twitter: @jencerv
DRAGON PEARL by Yoon Ha Lee
To be released January 15, 2019
Cover art by Vivienne To (@VivienneTo)
Sci fi meets Korean mythology! Min, a teenaged fox spirit, goes searching for her missing brother, who vanished while hunting for the legendary artifact the Dragon Pearl.
*“Lee has created an adrenaline-filled space opera with mythological creatures living alongside humans. It is refreshing to see both Korean elements and a nonbinary character seamlessly integrated into the storyline. A high-octane, science-fiction thriller painted with a Korean brush and a brilliant example of how different cultures can have unique but accessible cosmology and universal appeal.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
*“Lee skillfully weaves Korean folklore into this space opera narrative, creating dynamic and relatable characters. VERDICT With ghosts, pirates, and a rollicking space adventure, there’s a little something for everyone here.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
Yoon on Twitter: @motomaratai
SAL AND GABI BREAK THE UNIVERSE by Carlos Hernandez
To be released March 5, 2019
Cover art illustration by Andrea Galecio, hand-lettering by Saskia Bueno
A brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)?
And coming March 2020, the sequel:
SAL AND GABI FIX THE UNIVERSE
Carlos on Twitter: @WriteTeachPlay
RACE TO THE SUN by Rebecca Roanhorse
To be released September 2019
Book cover coming soon!
A seventh-grade girl named Nizhoni Begay and her brother, aided by various Navajo gods disguised as relatives, must stay one step ahead of a shape-shifting monster as they follow in the footsteps of the legendary Hero Twins to save their family!
Rebecca on Twitter: @RoanhorseBex
TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY by Kwame Mbalia
To be released January 2020
Book cover to come!
Tristan Strong accidentally creates a hole into the MidPass, where gods of African American folklore clash with ancient African gods. He must race to find Anansi, the Weaver, and repair the rip before iron monsters wreaking havoc in the MidPass consume their world—and ours.
And coming January 2021: TRISTAN STRONG BOOK 2
Kwame on Twitter: @KSekouM
PAOLA SANTIAGO AND THE DROWNED PALACE, by Tehlor Kay Mejia
To be released May 2020
Book cover to come!
A 12-year-old aspiring scientist suspects that the infamous La LLorona is responsible for the disappearance of her best friend, and she must venture into an underwater world to prove it.
And coming May 2021: PAOLA SANTIAGO BOOK 2
Tehlor on Twitter: @tehlorkay