Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing plans to boost the offerings of its newly introduced Aladdin MIX paperback program for children ages 9 to 13 by licensing the Beacon Street Girls series, which it will market and distribute worldwide starting January 1. The series, which features five middle schoolers in Brookline, Mass., was introduced in 2004 by B*tween Productions, Inc., founded by Addie Swartz. Within a year sales passed $1 million.
In making the announcement about the partnership, Rubin Pfeffer, executive v-p and publisher of S&S Children’s Trade, said, “We are committed to making the Beacon Street Girls the new classic in preteen literature. The brand presents positive images and parent-approved values in a mass market media-friendly format.”
According to Bobbie Carlton, director of marketing at B*tween Productions, under the agreement the Lexington, Mass.-based company will continue to produce four BSG books a year for each of the next two years. S&S has delayed the previously announced February publication of Katani’s Jamaican Holiday. It will be published in May along with another new title, Time’s Up, when S&S relaunches the series with repackaged editions of the first four books.
For now, B*tween Productions plans to focus its own marketing efforts on its Web site and products that it has spun off from the series, including sleepover bags and clothing. Currently there are 11 titles in the series, as well as three “special” BSG books, all written by Annie Bryant.