At BEA in June, New York City’s Seven Stories Press offered galleys for several YA books and a middle-grade title. But unlike years past, when the press published one-off books for kids, this fall it is gathering them together under its first children’s imprint, called Triangle Square Editions.
For Seven Stories founder and publisher Dan Simon, it was time. “The few books we’ve done for young adults and children have been well-received,” he says. “[Howard Zinn’s] A Young People’s History of the United States is our bestselling backlist title. We know how to speak to young people and retain the complexity of ideas.” Although the first list of four books is geared toward middle-grade readers and up, Seven Stories has published successful picture books, like Marcus Ewert’s 10,000 Dresses, illustrated by Rex Ray, and will include books for a variety of age groups on coming lists.
Simon plans to release Triangle Square books only in the fall. The imprint’s name comes from a park located off of Seventh Avenue in New York City, which has since been renamed. And, as Simon points out, the number of sides of a triangle and a square add up to seven. Beyond that tie-in, Triangle Square shares a deep connection with Seven Stories’ adult list; both have strong social justice and narrative components. Triangle Square’s tagline emphasizes this: “telling personal stories of courage and commitment.”
The first list includes two works of nonfiction: a multicultural history, A Different Mirror for Young People (Aug. 28) by Ronald Takaki (adapted by Rebecca Stefoff, who also adapted Zinn’s history), and a memoir by mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin, Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl Without Sight (Oct. 23). In fiction, there’s a novella by James Lecesne, Trevor (Aug. 28); the book updates his 1994 Academy Award-winning short film of the same name, about a 13-year-old who feels scared and alone because of his sexuality. Celebrated Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason, whose adult novel LoveStar, was named Novel of the Year by Icelandic booksellers and is on Seven Stories’s fall adult list, has a children's fable for middle-grade readers, The Story of the Blue Planet (Oct. 23 or Nov.).
“I have a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old,” says Simon. “I really believe in this generation. As a publisher and editor I love the [raised in the] Depression-era authors we worked with – Kurt Vonnegut, Howard Zinn, and Art Buchwald. They weren’t spoiled by excess optimism. The next generation coming up is skeptical in that same way. I’m excited to be publishing for them. Their approach is, we have all but blown it. Technology doesn’t solve anything.”
Future Triangle Square lists will include books by Octavia Butler and Jared Diamond, as well as a YA edition of Russ Kick’s The Graphic Canon, which PW named one of the top 10 graphic books of the season and the graphic literary publishing event of the year.