Press Kit / Be More Chill

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For Immediate Release Contact: Jaime Horn
Judy Blume Picks First YA Novel for Today Book Club

Judy Blume Picks First YA Novel for Today Book Club


By Ned Vizzini

November 18, 2004 -- Children’s book legend Judy Blume selected the teen social satire BE MORE CHILL (Miramax/Hyperion Books for Children), by 23-year-old author Ned Vizzini, as her recommendation for Today’s book club, marking the first young adult book ever to be selected on the show. Blume and Vizzini appeared together on the Today show this morning.

BE MORE CHILL follows Jeremy Heere, your average high school dork.  Day after day, he stares at beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have, and dryly notes the small defeats that come his way on his Humiliation Sheets…until he gets a “squip.” A pill-sized supercomputer that you swallow, the squip instructs Jeremy on everything from what to wear to how to talk and walk, transforming him from super-geek to superchic. But Jeremy finds that there is a dark side to having a computer in your brain—and it can lead to disastrous consequences.

BE MORE CHILL has sold through two hardcover printings. It has been called “a genre onto itself” by Chris Weitz (writer/producer, American Pie) and it has been published in six languages. It has been incorporated into curricula at New York University and Manhattan Marymount College. Since the book’s publication, Ned has spoken to young people at such venues as the Brixton Academy in London, the National Association for Gifted Children in Indianapolis and Midwood High School in Brooklyn. His message of encouragement for those seeking success in the arts resonates, because Ned himself is a success.

Vizzini was thrilled to hear that Judy Blume, author of such enduring titles as Deenie and Are You There God? It is Me, Margaret selected his novel for the Today show’s book club. “It is particularly cool to get tapped by Judy Blume because she is one of the first authors who influenced me and when I had the chance to meet her, I stood there flabbergasted and said, ‘What am I supposed to say to someone who helped shape my consciousness at age ten?.’ I stammered and she said, ‘I understand, you’re one of my ‘guys’.”

“Quirky, funny and dead-on” (New York Post), “razor-sharp” (Kliatt) and “genuine” (School Library Journal), BE MORE CHILL heralds Ned Vizzini as a hot new talent in YA fiction.

The Weitz Brothers, creative minds behind the fantastically successful American Pie movie trilogy ($708.8m worldwide), have signed on to develop BE MORE CHILL into a major motion picture. The Weitz Brothers have tapped Steve Pink (High Fidelity) to adapt the book. Ned is currently working with Steve as he writes the script, slated to be finished in December 2004.

For Interviews, contact: Jaime Horn, 917-606-5543, or Jennifer Levine, 212-633-4844,




For Immediate Release                                                             Contact: Hilary Bass    




Miramax Books Signs Two Book Deal with

Teen Cult Writer Ned Vizzini



New York, NY – Miramax Books has acquired North American rights to Be More Chill, a first novel from Ned Vizzini, author of Teen Angst? Naaah…, a critically acclaimed memoir of the author’s high school days which became a cult phenomenon nationwide.  The first novel and a second book will be published by Miramax Books in conjunction with Hyperion Books for Children.  The announcement was made today by Jonathan Burnham, president Miramax Books.


 Jonathan Burnham commented: “Ned Vizzini's first novel is a hilarious and pitch-perfect fantasy for readers of 12 years and up: it's the novel you wish you'd read in high-school, a cautionary tale for our times about the pleasures and risks of being cool. And Ned is clearly a major talent who has a remarkable career in front of him.”


Be More Chill is both a classic young adult morality play and a hyper-hip, up to the minute novel.  The young protagonist, Jeremy Heere, is a particular brand of dork, smart and savvy, but lacking the must-have quality: Cool. When he gets his hands on and ingests an underground digital gadget called The Squip, he has swallowed the ultimate lifesaver----a cool coach in the form of an inner voice telling you what to say, how to get the hot date, who to know and who to ditch.  Jeremy’s swift rise in popularity is not all he expected and it is the lessons learned that will make Be More Chill a novel for generations to come.


Ned Vizzini began writing for New York Press at 15, had his first essay published in The New York Times Magazine at 17, parlayed that into Teen Angst? Naaah at 19 and is now 21.  He is currently a student at Hunter College and continues to write for The New York Press. 


“Miramax Books and Jonathan Burnham are letting me stay true to my dork nature,” says Vizzini.  “Smart, strange kids across America brought me to where I am today and this one is for them…if I can be the guy who doles out their absurdist high school humor, that’s rocking.”


The partnership between Miramax Books and Hyperion Books for Children has already produced the hugely successful Artemis Fowl series (over 1 million books in print), Summerland,  The New York Times best-seller from Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon and will soon publish Adam Gopnik’s first children’s book, The King in the Window as well as the first book in a highly anticipated Bartimaeus Trilogy.


Alessandra Balzer, executive editor, Hyperion Books for Children, who acquired the book plans for a spring 2004 publication.


Devereux Chatillon, evp business and legal affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of Miramax Books.  Jay Mandel of the William Morris Agency negotiated the deal on behalf of Ned Vizzini.





For Immediate Release



Cult teen writer acquired by HarperCollins



HarperCollins Children’s Books have acquired UK rights to Be More Chill, a first novel from American author, Ned Vizzini for a five figure sum. It will be published in July 2004.


Be More Chill is both a classic teenage morality story and a hyper-hip, up to the minute novel. The hero, Jeremy, is a particular brand of dork – smart and savvy, but lacking that must-have quality: Cool. When he gets his hands on and swallows an underground digital gadget called The Squip, he has swallowed the ultimate life saver – a cool coach in the form of an inner voice telling him what to say, how to get a hot date and who to ditch.


Ned looks set to become the teen sensation that everyone will be clamouring for – a Melvin Burgess meets American Pie.


“I’m not gonna lie,” Vizzini says. “I have so many regrets about not getting with enough girls in high school that I wrote a whole book about it. I wish I’d had a pill that made me cool. I live vicariously through dorks.”


The book’s humour has caught the evil eye of Hollywood. A high-profile team of producers and a screenwriter with a critically-acclaimed movie of British origins to his credit have joined forces to develop Be More Chill into a film. In it, they see the potential for a teen touchstone on the level of American Pie or St. Elmo’s Fire. The production team will be pitching the movie to studios in September.


Stella Paskins, Senior Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books said, “Ned Vizzini is a star in the making - no doubt about it. The fact that he is only a few years older than his hero (and therefore his readers) gives his voice real credibility, and you can't help feeling that some of the exploits featured in the book must be based on experience. The wry wit and razor-sharp observation is all there - and yet there's a warmth and innocence which shines through, making Jeremy a really loveable character, despite his eyebrow-raising exploits.”


Ned’s UK agent, Eugenie Furniss commented, “I'm delighted HarperCollins will be publishing Ned.  I think his writing is fantastically quirky and original and that British readers will love him.”


Brooklyn-based Ned Vizzini began writing for The New York Press at 15. He is now 22 and still contributes, having also written for Newsday and the New York Times Magazine. His first book Teen Angst? Naaah… was published by Free Spirit Publishing in 2000, when he was 19, and was picked up by Random House US for mass-market distribution in 2002. He has been described as a Holden Caulfield for Generation Y, which is a little worrying as he has never read Catcher in the Rye.


For further information, please contact Jo Williamson on 020 8307 4680 or email


©2000-2005 Ned Vizzini