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Date: 12/11/2004
Author: Lisa Moraleda

Contact: Lisa Moraleda


NEW YORK (December 11, 2004) — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for Julianna Baggott, a Florida State University assistant professor of creative writing and author of one of 2004’s break-out children's books, The Anybodies. HarperCollins Children’s Books announced last week that Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures have jointly acquired motion picture rights to the book by Baggott, under the pseudonym “N.E. Bode.”

Moviegoers should probably get in line now. Baggott’s -- make that N.E. Bode’s -- first wildly imaginative foray into children’s literature has been snatched up by young readers and lauded by critics since its release in Spring 2004. People Magazine named The Anybodies one of their Top Five Book Picks for “what’s cool this summer ’04,” describing it as “Potter-style magic meets Snicket-y irreverence in a saga of a girl swapped at birth and raised by ‘tragically dull’ parents.”
School Library Journal, in a starred review, said of Baggott’s book, “What more could a reader want?”

“What I love is that the book is respected by the literary elite – including Kirkus Review and School Library Journal and the Washington Post – but it also has real commercial appeal,” said Baggott.

The first installment in a planned trilogy from HarperCollins, The Anybodies follows the bizarre adventures of 11-year-old heroine Fern. A rare breed of human “anybodies” with the power to change shape, Fern is swapped at birth only to be raised by a “tragically dull” family called the Drudgers (pale, joyless accountants). Fern first finds out about the mix-up when The Bone (a.k.a. her real father) appears unannounced at the Drudgers’ front door. Leaving her dull life behind, Fern sets off on a wild adventure with The Bone and enters into the secret world of the Anybodies—a sparkling, mysterious place where things aren’t always what they seem. Throughout the book, fairies fall out of books, nuns turn into lampposts and accountants become monkeys in this highly literary book that is both magical and hilarious.

The sequel, The Nobodies, is scheduled for release in 2005, with The Somebodies to follow.


For Baggott, writing for children brings palpable rewards. “I was astonished by how deeply moved I was when I first saw a kid curled up, ignoring everyone, engrossed in my book,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed stepping into the grand tradition of children’s literature. I’ve taken off my coat and hung up my hat, in fact, so I guess I intend to stay a while.”

Julianna Baggott is an accomplished and bestselling storyteller whose novels for adults include Girl Talk, The Miss America Family and The Madam. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Glamour, Ms. as well as read on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.” Her alter-ego, the elusive and charming N.E. Bode, delivers an utterly unique and riveting narration in The Anybodies. To learn more about Julianna Baggott, pen name pal N.E. Bode and The Anybodies, visit www.theanybodies.com and www.juliannabaggott.com.

Julianna Baggott is also an assistant professor of creative writing at Florida State University.
FSU’s top-ranked Creative Writing Program is the only one with inclusions in every volume of Harcourt’s prestigious annual anthology, Best New American Voices. It is home to Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners and the author of the world's most adopted creative writing text.

HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many children’s classics—Charlotte’s Web, The Chronicles of Narnia, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends and Where the Wild Things Are; popular series—A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Princess Diaries. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English language publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NCP, NCPDP). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australasia. You can visit HarperCollins Children's Books on the Internet at http://www.harperchildrens.com.

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