One Book at a Time Expands its Reach

Family-to-Family’s One Book at a Time program, in partnership with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, has expanded to 19 communities in 13 states, and continues to grow. One Book at a Time matches donors to children in need, helping them build their own home library. “We’re really amazed at the daily requests we get from donors from all over the U.S. to sponsor a child,” said Pam Koner, executive director of Family-to-Family. “We are working with Boys & Girls Clubs across the county, YMCAs and schools, and we hope to be in all 50 states by the end of the year,” Koner added.

As part of the expansion, OBAAT is exploring the idea of bringing on a children’s book author as a spokesperson, and is in talks with publishers about a possible “featured publisher of the month.” The featured publisher would recommend books for donors to consider under the OBAAT program and link back to indie booksellers to promote independent bookstores in the process.

The latest states to sign on to the program include New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri, Maine, Maryland, and Alabama, as well as additional sites in New York and California.

A Novel Crosses the Pond

Illustrator Edward Carey, married to author and professor Elizabeth McCracken – McCracken (The Giant’s House) holds the James A. Michener Chair in Fiction at the University of Texas, Austin – has a new YA trilogy debuting in the U.S. Heap House was originally published in the U.K. by Hot Key Books; Overlook will publish the first volume here this October. Carey’s story focuses on Clod the Iremonger, who hears what objects whisper and lives on the grounds outside a heap of a house full of dark secrets.

“Edward Carey’s a brilliant writer and illustrator in the Mervyn Peake vein, and as Peake did with Gormenghast, has created a wholly original and irresistible world with Heap House that I believe readers are going to embrace in a big way,” said Tracy Carns, associate publisher at Overlook, who is the book’s U.S. editor. “Fingers crossed, everything’s building toward the success it and the entire Iremonger Trilogy deserves, including rights sales in nine countries, enthusiastic response from the trade, strong film interest, and support from such star authors as Gregory Maguire and Eleanor Catton,” she said. In fact, Catton, the most recent winner of the Booker Prize, declared that Heap House was her “favorite book of the year”; the book has also received endorsements from authors Kelly Link and Holly Black.

Teen Author for Young Palmetto

This December Young Palmetto Books, from the University of South Carolina Press in Columbia, S.C., will publish Katie’s Cabbage, a picture book written by teenager Katie Stagliano. Stagliano, who was named one of Money magazine’s 50 Heroes from the 50 States earlier this month, is the youngest recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award, a subject of the documentary film The Starfish Throwers, and founder of Katie’s Krops – a national nonprofit organization based in Summerville, S.C., which grows fresh produce for soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

“Young Palmetto Books set out to publish books that recognize what’s best about our region,” said YPB publisher Jonathan Haupt. “As the writer and subject of Katie’s Cabbage, Katie Stagliano is definitely that. Her story is proof that one person, no matter her age, can make an amazing difference in the lives of so many others. Her first book – and the first of many, I hope – celebrates the power of service and social responsibility while sharing the story of one of South Carolina’s most recognized young citizens.”

Katie’s Krops was born from a project Stagliano was assigned in third grade, when the then eight-year-old grew a 40-pound cabbage in her backyard, and donated her efforts to a local soup kitchen. Katie’s Cabbage is 15-year-old Stagliano’s account of what it means to inspire other children and families. Katie’s Cabbage is a team effort: USC First Lady and author Patricia Moore-Pastides wrote the foreword, Children’s Literature Association president Michele H. Martin provided editorial assistance, and local artist Karen Heid painted the book’s illustrations.

Family First at Arte Publico

Arte Publico is continuing its streak of family-focused picture books, with an October release that focuses on the memories of author Diane Gonzales Bertrand and illustrator Thelma Muraida. Bertrand and Muraida teamed up to create an album of stories reflecting their experience and memories of growing Mexican-American in San Antonio in Cecilia and Miguel Are Best Friends/Cecilia y Miguel son mejores amigos.

“We are super excited about Diane’s new picture book, in which she writes a sweet but simple story that all kids can relate to,” said Marina Tristán, assistant director for Arte Público Press. “Everyone wants to know where they came from and how their parents met and fell in love. I expect many teachers will use this book to encourage kids to write their own stories about their family.”