Lori Benton, whose career in children’s publishing includes a long run at Harcourt’s children’s division where she rose to v-p and publisher, has been named v-p and publisher for the Scholastic Trade Publishing division. In her new role, which begins January 3, Benton will oversee direction of the publishing program for all imprints. She succeeds Suzanne Murphy, who moved to Disney Publishing in June, and will report to Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing.

Benton was most recently the general manager and publisher of the fiction division of Capstone Publishers, in Bloomington, Minn., and is currently chairman for Every Child a Reader, the non-profit foundation of The Children’s Book Council dedicated to promoting the enjoyment and importance of reading among America’s youth.

Berger called Benton “one of the most experienced and well-respected executives in the children’s publishing industry. I am thrilled to welcome Lori to Scholastic, where her expertise and enthusiasm will be a perfect addition to our exceptional team.”

“As someone who has devoted her career to the publishing and promotion of children’s books, I can hardly begin to express my excitement about joining Scholastic,” said Benton in a statement.