PR: Viz to do Naruto chapter books

Now this is a bit more newsworthy: Viz is planning to publish Naruto chapter books, leveraging that profitable franchise in yet another new direction. Tokyopop tried this with their manga chapter books, but while they were attractive books (my nephew loves them), they didn’t really take off. These, on the other hand, are based on Naruto and therefore will probably outsell the Bible. Read on for more.


Showcase Of The Newest VIZKIDS Format Introduces The Exciting World Of Ninja To Young Readers In Booth #1647

Los Angeles, CA, May 30, 2008 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, showcases its first Chapter Book series based on NARUTO, the wildly popular animated and manga (graphic novel) series, at the 2008 Book Expo America (BEA) show which takes place May 30-June 1, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. BEA is the preeminent yearly trade event for publishers and booksellers in North America. VIZ Media will be located in Booth #1647.

The NARUTO Chapter Book series is the latest addition to the company’s VIZKIDS imprint designed for younger readers. It tells the action-packed saga of a boy named Naruto Uzumaki who dreams of becoming the world’s greatest ninja. The stories are designed to reinforce positive messages about friendship, teamwork, resilience and overcoming adversity through a variety of adventures inspired by the original manga series. Each Chapter Book edition is based on the original concept by NARUTO creator Masashi Kishimoto and will be presented in an 80-page volume in the traditional Western style (left to right), complemented by illustrations, a map, a glossary and more!

The first two Chapter Books will be:

#1: NARUTO: THE BOY NINJA • Recommended for Ages 7 – 10 • SRP: $4.99 US/$5.99 CAN • Available October 7, 2008
Naruto’s training to be a ninja, but he’s having trouble keeping his jokester ways under control. He’s causing all kinds of trouble at the Ninja Academy and his teachers think he’s annoying. Naruto himself thinks he’s going to be the best ninja that ever lived, but first he’ll have to prove to everyone that he’s more than just the class clown!

#2: NARUTO: THE TESTS OF A NINJA• Recommended for Ages 7 – 10 •
SRP: $4.99 US/$5.99 CAN • Available October 7, 2008
After graduating from Ninja Academy, Naruto makes new friends including the pretty and smart Sakura and the moody and popular Sasuke. He also meets his new sensei named Kakashi. But Naruto’s jokester ways won’t help him to keep up with his talented new pals. If he wants to be the best ninja ever, he’s going to have to work for it!

“BookExpo America is the preeminent event for the North American publishing industry and VIZ Media is pleased to return to the show this year with a brand new line of NARUTO titles specifically aimed at younger readers,” says Alvin Lu, Vice President, Publishing, VIZ Media. “The tremendous international success of the NARUTO brand continues to attract legions of fans of all ages. Our latest expansion of the VIZKIDS library with Chapter Books represents our long-term commitment to develop and publish unique and age-appropriate titles while utilizing the popularity of NARUTO and other top properties to encourage a love of reading in younger fans.”

First introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999, NARUTO quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga targeting tweens and teens and has sold more than 82 million copies to-date. NARUTO currently enjoys widespread domestic success as the best selling manga title in North America. NARUTO has sold over 3.6 million copies to date and regularly appears on USA Today’s Bestseller list and Bookscan’s Graphic Novel Top 50. VIZ Media also distributes the NARUTO animated series on DVD (which has sold through over 750,000 copies domestically). Today, NARUTO is considered one of the most popular animated series in Japan’s history and has achieved immense success not only as a manga and TV series, but also in the realm of licensed categories such as toys, trading card games and video games. For more information go to

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