Two years ago my pick for the most overlooked title at Frankfurt was "Nobody Owns the Moon," a Viking/Penguin Australia picture book by Tohby Riddle. This year I have a new nominee, a title that should be required reading in every school in the land. Can we have a round of applause for Larry Gerber's "CITED! Identifying Credible Information" (Rosen Publishing Group)? This brief title makes it clear that "much of the information on the Internet is someone's opinion" that can't be tested or proved. It shows young people how to do accurate and trustworthy research and avoid being suckered by "phony facts." Parents, go get this book for your kids.And bizzarely:
Certainly one the most ambitious travel guides of the year is "The Holocaust Sites of Europe: An Historical Guide" by Martin Winstone (I.B. Taurus/Palgrave Macmillan). Even if you have no plans to visit any of these destinations, this is a superb armchair travel book for students of the Third Reich. An exhaustive look at the Holocaust camp by camp, this work documents little-known Nazi killing groups like Maly Trostenets in Belarus. At this former Karl Marx Collective, Hitler's troops executed at least 200,000 prisoners.Euronews Video: Pressing issues at the Frankfurt Book Fair (YouTube)
Deutsche Welle reminds us how the Frankfurt Book fair evolved (DW)
Frankfurt's fair is the largest in the world, but it also looks back on a proud tradition: Manuscripts have been traded at fairs in Frankfurt since the late Middle Ages. After Johannes Gutenberg invented the letterpress in the neighboring town of Mainz in the 15th century, he came to Frankfurt to sell his products. Even then, printers and book traders made their way from across Europe to Frankfurt, and a special "Book Barge" from Cologne helped ferry visitors from Flanders to the event.Rachel Deahl in PW looks at the deal action (PW):
This pan-European book trade, the center of which was Frankfurt, was possible due to Latin's role as the lingua franca of the time. But the Reformation changed that, heralding a new era of book publishing in national languages. The Reformation also brought the Kaiser as an advocate of Catholic interests into play, and as a free imperial city, Frankfurt quickly became a focal point of attention. Whoever wanted to trade in books was forced to comply with draconian censorship regulations. This pushed Frankfurt aside, making way for a new center of European book trading to flourish in Protestant Leipzig. Frankfurt's book fairs closed in the 18th century.
Amid a frenzied round of deal-making before the fair, Leyla Belle Drake, at Salomonsson, is selling a debut trilogy by Alexander Soderberg called The Andalucian Friend. The agency was going to hold off on selling the series until London, but, after the scouts picked up on it, rushed a translation—in a week they got the first 100 pages of the book translated into English to have at Frankfurt. The trilogy was pre-empted in Sweden in what Drake called a “huge” deal, and a significant auction has also closed in Italy and Germany. A number of offers are in from other countries, but the agency is planning to hold off on a U.S. sale at the fair and, instead, to shop the rights in the States in November. A U.K. auction, the agency said, may or may not close in Germany. The trilogy is set in Sweden and the author used to be a screenwriter. The central character in the trilogy is a female nurse and Drake said the first book, which is written, is “very cinematic”and features “explosive action.”Book one in the trilogy will be published in Sweden in May.Sound familiar?