Two popular panels return to BEA’s programming this year, giving five editors of young adult and five editors of middle-grade books a chance to share news of a forthcoming novel for which they have high hopes.
The Young Adult Editors Buzz Panel takes place this morning, 10–10:50 a.m., in Room 1E14/1E15. The following editors will talk up these novels: Sara Goodman, associate editor of St. Martin’s Press (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell); Wendy Loggia, executive editor of Delacorte Press (Anna Jarzab’s Tandem); Emily Meehan, Disney-Hyperion editorial director (Cristin Terrill’s All Our Yesterdays); Kate O’Sullivan, executive editor of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta); and Elise Howard, editor and publisher of Algonquin Young Readers (Sara Farizan’s If You Could Be Mine).
“I am thrilled to spotlight All Our Yesterdays, but I’m so terrified I won’t do it justice,” says Meehan. “The novel has terrifying emotional depth and it is the kind of book that, when it’s over, you are beyond depressed that there’s not more to read.”
Having attended BEA Editors Buzz Panels over the years, Meehan says she was flattered to be asked to take part in this year’s event, noting, “I know I’m in some really talented company, and I know how much everyone looks forward to these particular panels.” Addressing the value of this venue, she adds, “A glimpse into the life of a book before it becomes the one we know and love is fascinating, and I think that’s why this panel is not only so popular but such an invaluable tool to spread the word about a novel. I like how the panel is a balance of books that might be considered quieter and those that many editors have competed to win.”
Like Meehan, Sara Goodman expresses some jitters about participating on the panel—and also has high praise for the program. “I was absolutely honored to be asked to be on this panel and, if I’m honest, a little nervous,” she says. “This is one of the hottest events of the fair, and audience attendance seems to grow exponentially every year. What a thrill it is going to be to get up in front of a roomful of industry professionals to brag about this wonderful novel. Any chance an editor has to personally endorse a book is a privilege, so to be able to shout from a stage ‘I love this book!’ is an amazing opportunity.”
Goodman is especially pleased to introduce Fangirl. “For many Rainbow Rowell fans out there, Eleanor & Park, her critically acclaimed debut YA novel, will be a tough act to follow,” she says. “But Fangirl definitely rises to the occasion. It is a big, gorgeous novel full of living, breathing characters. At the heart of it, it’s a story about a young woman learning to open up and trust herself and those around her. But it’s also a love story with a swoon-worthy boy. This is a book that readers will want to savor and devour at the same time.”
The Middle-Grade Editors Buzz Panel takes place tomorrow, 11–11:50 a.m., in Room 1E12/1E13. Participating editors and the novels they will spotlight are Toni Markiet, senior executive editor of HarperCollins Children’s Books (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson); Lauri Hornik, president and publisher of Dial Books for Young Readers (Holly Goldenberg-Sloan’s Counting by 7s); Gillian Levinson, Razorbill associate editor (The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward); Jason Rekulak, associate publisher and creative director of Quirk Books (Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith); and Elise Howard, Algonquin Young Readers editor and publisher (Amy Herrick’s The Time Fetch).
Levinson looks forward to spreading news of The Fantastic Family Whipple at tomorrow’s event. “We pre-empted this debut novel after having read it over a weekend,” she explains. “It wraps a classic middle-grade message—caring about people is what makes one most special of all—in a fun, unusual story about record-breaking, unsafe sports, and sleuthing. The book is zany and fun, with a really eccentric cast of characters, and is set in a quirky and inventive world. I can’t wait to share the details of that story with everyone.”
Rekulak is happy to spread news of Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab, in which a brother and sister with a knack for science, electronics, and getting into trouble are sent to live with their inventor uncle who engineers top-secret gadgets for the government. “It’s a wildly inventive novel for kids—one part mystery, one part mad scientist’s workbook—with blueprints and instructions for making your own MacGyver-ish creations,” he says. “Like most editors, I love to talk about my upcoming projects, and I don’t know of a better forum than a BEA buzz panel. It’s a terrific opportunity to stand before a large audience of readers and discuss a book I’m excited to publish.”