J.K. Rowling followed up her wildly successful YA series Harry Potter with The Casual Vacancy, a literary novel that dealt with weighty themes and garnered mixed reviews. But Suzanne Collins, whose YA trilogy The Hunger Games has become a similarly massive phenomenon, doesn’t appear to harbor any secret literary pretensions. The author has announced her first new book since 2010’s Mockingjay — and there’s no chance it’ll get compared to its predecessor.
Year of the Jungle, due out September 10, 2013, is an autobiographical picture book for readers as young as four. Collins’ publisher, Scholastic, summarizes it as follows: “In Year of the Jungle, when young Suzy’s father leaves for Viet Nam, she struggles to deal with his absence. What is the jungle like? Will her father be safe? When will he return? The months slip by, marked by the passing of the familiar holidays and the postcards that her father sends. With each one, he feels more and more distant, and when he returns, Suzy must learn that even though war has changed him, he still loves her just the same.” OK, so it won’t be that different from The Hunger Games, because it will still depress the hell out of us. [via GalleyCat]