In September, Lemony Snicket released Shouldn’t You Be In School?, the third installment in the Series of Unfortunate Events prequel series All the Wrong Questions. To promote the series, Snicket has uploaded 34 interactive “You Choose the Mystery” videos to YouTube. Done in a faux-’50s mystery style, the goofy videos let viewers—you guessed it—choose their own mysteries via clickable options in the video. They’re silly.
Snicket, of course, is the pen name of Daniel Handler, who will release his next novel for adults, We Are Pirates, on Feb. 3, 2015. [Mediabistro]
Another popular children’s writer, Jeff Kinney, is quickly approaching a milestone. The next Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, The Long Haul, hits shelves Nov. 4, and its first printing will carry the series’ total sales past the 150 million-copy mark. That a decidedly unwimpy figure. [Publishers Weekly]
One of Kinney and Snicket’s forebears, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, died last week in San Francisco. The author specialized in books for preteen readers, often writing creepy tales about witchcraft and murder. She wrote nearly 50 books, which often combined realism and the supernatural for ambiguous endings. She was 87. [The New York Times]
China is cracking down on authors in a response to recent unrest in Hong Kong. To stifle pro-democracy protesters, the Chinese government has banned books by eight writers, including Taiwanese writer and director Giddens Ko and Chinese-American historian Yu Ying-shih. The government also detained a scholar, Guo Yushan, who helped activist Chen Guangcheng escape house arrest in 2012. [NPR]