PW's reviews editors have selected some of the most notable adult and children's authors to meet at this year's Winter Institute:


American War
Omar El Akkad
Knopf, Apr.
$26.95 hardcover
First printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: "Omar El Akkad has reported on the war in Afghanistan, the Arab Spring uprising, and the Black Lives Matter movement here in the United States. American War is a remarkable novel made all the more daring perhaps by the unsettling times we find ourselves in right now." —Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor-in-chief, Knopf

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; online and print advertising campaign, including Goodreads,, LitHub, and Facebook; newsletter ad campaign with major newspapers; prepub bookseller events; prepub giveaways through Goodreads, First to Read, and Read It Forward; book trailer; author Q&A; reading-group guide and promotion; jacket blowups.

Opening: "When I was young, I collected postcards."

Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women
Susan Burton
New Press, May
$26.95 hardcover
First printing: 40,000

Why the buzz: "When Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) introduced us to her, we knew we had to publish Susan's book. Someone with Susan's background is usually in prison—or dead. Through Susan's remarkable story readers will understand the human cost of mass incarceration—and be inspired by her new life of activism." —Ellen Adler, publisher, New Press

Publicity & marketing plans: Eight-city author tour, including women's prisons and events with criminal-justice-reform advocates; advertising; outreach to women's media, urban media, and recovery communities; co-op available.

Opening: "The women take their first step of freedom at the Greyhound bus station in downtown Los Angeles, around the corner from Skid Row, where America's largest concentration of homeless people live on the sidewalk, the lucky ones in makeshift tents; it's nothing like the freedom you'd dreamed about in your cell."

The Bedlam Stacks
Natasha Pulley
Bloomsbury, Aug.
$26 hardcover
First printing: 40,000

Why the buzz: "The Bedlam Stacks is a gorgeous literary fantasy novel, a follow up to Pulley's beloved debut, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. Two members of the British East India company are sent on a clandestine mission to procure highly valuable quinine trees in the magical landscape of 19th-century Peru." —Marie Coolman, senior director of publicity and
communications, Bloomsbury

Publicity & marketing plans: Advertising; prepub blogger and bookseller mailings; online consumer-review campaign.

Opening: "Although I hadn't been shot at for years, it took me a long time to understand that the bang wasn't artillery."

Down City: A Daughter's Story of Love, Memory, and Murder
Leah Carroll
Grand Central, Mar.
$26 hardcover
First printing: 50,000

Why the buzz: "Leah Carroll has written a deeply moving memoir of a hardscrabble childhood in blue collar America. [It] reminds me of two of the greats: The Glass Castle and The Liars Club. This book is nothing if not a reckoning with Leah's past and the legacy of her parents and the city that made them: Providence, R.I." —Maddie Caldwell, assistant editor, Grand Central

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; early reader campaign to book groups and social-reading networks; Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers.

Opening: "On the night she died, my mom drove to a motel to buy cocaine with two men: Peter Gilbert and Gerald Mastracchio."

The Hearts of Men
Nickolas Butler
Ecco, Mar.
$26.99 hardcover
First printing: 50,000

Why the buzz: "Nickolas Butler is one of the most exciting young writers working today. What struck me about this novel was that Nick manages to get all the details of his painfully real characters and his perfectly evoked sense of time and place absolutely right, but he uses them to tell a much larger, richer story about family, fidelity, and morality." —Megan Lynch, v-p, editorial director and Butler's editor, Ecco

Publicity & marketing plans: 12-city author tour; prepub online buzz campaign; prepub author media luncheon; "camp memories" Instagram promotion; ABA White Box mailing.

Opening: "The bugler needs no alarm."

Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng
Penguin Press, Sept.
$26 hardcover

Why the buzz: "As she did in her celebrated debut, Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng has written a masterly work that plumbs the secret depths of a seemingly perfect community. Little Fires Everywhere meticulously takes apart the tidy, progressive haven of Shaker Heights, Ohio. It's also an incisive examination of how little we can ever know what drives other people—or even ourselves." —Ginny Smith Younce, senior editor and Ng's editor, Penguin Press

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; advertising; prepub bookseller events; literary-blog and literary-podcast campaign; outreach to online and in-store book clubs; major social media campaign featuring giveaways, targeted advertising, and shareable designs; jacket blowups; promotional author video; IndieBound White Box mailing.

Opening: "Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down."

The Middlepause: On Life After Youth
Marina Benjamin
Catapult, Mar.
$16.95 paperback
First printing: 15,000

Why the buzz: "We live in a culture that creates such anxiety around aging that it's almost impossible to approach midlife with anything but foreboding. Thank goodness for Marina Benjamin's The Middlepause, a smart, unsentimental look at middle age that serves as both a personal and a cultural history. This is a vital book for everyone." —Erin Kottke, director of
publicity, Catapult

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; extensive national media campaign with emphasis on women's, broadcast, and literary media.

Opening: "I live on a small square in northeast London."

Mrs. Fletcher
Tom Perrotta
Scribner, Aug.
$26 hardcover
First printing: 200,000

Why the buzz: "Written with his trademark pathos, humor, wit, razor-sharp insight, cultural understanding, and big-hearted empathy, Perrotta's new novel combines the caustic campus politics of Election with the darker anxieties of Little Children. It's the story of a mother and a son, and it's a glorious look at the difficulties and delights of redefining ourselves as we grow older." —Liese Mayer, editor, Scribner

Publicity & marketing plans: Seven-city author tour; prepub events; social media outreach and giveaways; Goodreads promotion and giveaways; book club promotion.

Opening: "It was a long drive and Eve cried most of the way home, because the big day hadn't gone the way she'd hoped, not that big days ever did."

My Absolute Darling
Gabriel Tallent
Riverhead, Aug.
$28 hardcover
First printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: "This deeply empathic, emotionally urgent novel—a survival story about a fierce, haunted young girl in the thrall of her tortured father—will live inside you long after you finish reading. Inspired by the teenagers he met while leading youth trail crews in the Pacific Northwest, Gabriel Tallent has created an all-consuming story of Turtle's heart-stopping fight for her own soul." —Jynne Dilling Martin, publicity director, Riverhead

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; online advertising; social media and online promotion; book club promotion.

Opening: "The old house hunkers on its hill, all peeling white paint, bay windows, and spindled wooden railings overgrown with climbing roses and poison oak."

The Orphan's Tale
Pam Jenoff
Mira, Feb.
$15.99 paperback
First printing: 300,000

Why the buzz: "With echoes of The Nightingale and Water for Elephants, The Orphan's Tale has mesmerized all who have read it. Pam depicts the circus in vivid detail: the grace of the aerialists, the bright colors of the tents, the sounds and smells of the animals—and in stark contrast
to the horrors of war." —Erika Imranyi, editorial director, Park Row Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; advertising, including in-book advertising in selected Mira titles; book group and social-reading-networks promotion; promotion through early reader review programs, including Goodreads; extensive blogger and social media campaign.

Opening: "They will be looking for me by now."

The People We Hate at the Wedding
Grant Ginder
Flatiron, June
$25.99 hardcover
First printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: "The People We Hate at the Wedding had me at the title, but then there was that great first chapter where they open the wedding invitations and jealously try to figure out how much it cost, and then came the House Hunters binge watching and Klonopin popping, along with keen insights into love and family." —James Melia, editor, Flatiron

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; print, digital, Instagram, Facebook, and video-on-demand advertising; 7,500 ARCs; Summer Beach Reads campaign, including a sweepstakes with swag; bridal-industry collaborations and giveaways; video trailer.

Opening: "Christ, Alice thinks, staring at the envelope, these invitations must have cost a fucking fortune."

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
Kate Moore
Sourcebooks, May
$26.99 hardcover

Why the buzz: "Kate Moore's astonishing narrative history reads like a thriller. Everyone who's met these incredible women has felt a personal passion to tell their story, and we are so excited to illuminate this piece of hidden history. The Radium Girls reminds us that no matter the darkness, our strength and perseverance can be enough to change the world." —Grace Menary-Winefield, associate editor, Sourcebooks

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; advertising; drive-time-radio tour; prepub excerpt campaign; reading-group outreach.

Opening: "The scientist had forgotten all about the radium. It was tucked discreetly within the folds of his waistcoat pocket, enclosed in a slim glass tube in such a small quantity that he could not feel its weight."

Stephen Florida
Gabe Habash
Coffee House, June
$25 hardcover
First Printing: 10,000

Why the buzz: "When we found it in the queue, three of us read it within three days and we immediately made an offer. Between the voice, edging into the uncanny, and the heart in it, we couldn't not have it." —Caroline Casey, managing director, Coffee House

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour, including AWP and BEA bookseller dinners; advertising; 500-copy galley run.

Opening: "My mother had two placentas and I was living off both of them."

Temporary People
Deepak Unnikrishnan
Restless, Mar.
$17.99 paperback
First printing: 10,000

Why the buzz: "We launched the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing last year hoping to find an urgent new voice to exemplify immigrants' essential role in our culture. Those hopes were exceeded by the bold, transfiguring work of Deepak Unnikrishnan. Temporary People suffuses the ‘anonymous' laborers of the Gulf with unforgettable vividness."
—Nathan Rostron, editor and marketing director, Restless

Publicity & marketing plans: 10-day author tour; prepub media lunch; ABA Indies Introduce selection for winter/spring 2017.

Opening: "In a labor camp, somewhere in the Persian Gulf, a laborer swallowed his passport and turned into a passport."


At the Edge of the Universe
Shaun David Hutchinson
Simon Pulse, Feb.
$17.99 hardcover
Ages 14 and up
First printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: "At the Edge of the Universe offers readers a surreal, high-concept story as well as a heartbreaking metaphor for the power of loss. We're so proud to publish Shaun not only for the masterful novels he writes but also for his openness and willingness to be a role model who can inspire troubled teens to see that they are not alone in our universe." —Liesa Abrams, v-p, editorial director, Simon Pulse and associate editorial director, Aladdin

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; advertising; prepub buzz campaign; VIP blogger campaign; Riveted Community featured title; SimonTeen social media promotion.

Opening: "I sat beside the window pretending to read Plato's Republic as the rest of the passengers boarding Flight 1184 zombie-walked to their seats."

The Case of the Stinky Stench
Josh Funk
Sterling, May
$16.95 hardcover
Ages 5–8

Why the buzz: "We couldn't wait to read the next installment in Josh Funk's hilarious chronicles of our favorite breakfast-food heroes, Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast. In their second adventure, they have to solve the mystery of who's causing the terrible odor in the fridge. The case takes them from Marshmallow Coast to Corn Chowder Lake, where they meet an actual red herring." —Christina Pulles, senior editor, Sterling

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; advertising; book trailer; activity kit available; Skype visits to schools.

Opening: "Back in the kitchen and deep in the fridge, past Trifle Tower, across Taco Bridge, on a vacation at Marshmallow Coast, sat Lady Pancake beside Sir French Toast."

City of Saints & Thieves
Natalie C. Anderson
Putnam, Jan.
$18.99 hardcover
Ages 12 and up
First printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: "Tiny, the heroine of this knockout of a debut, is nothing short of a sensation. You'll be instantly pulled into her story by the bravado of her voice and compelled to stay by the trueness of her heart. In between, prepare yourself for a thrilling, breathless journey where betrayal lurks around every corner and an ending you won't see coming." —Stacey Barney, senior editor, Putnam

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances with Penguin Teen on Tour; advertising; prepublication buzz campaign; extensive online promotion and social media outreach; preorder campaign with two Boston-area stores; a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers and an Indies Introduce winter/spring 2017 selection.

Opening: "If you're going to be a thief, the first thing you need to know is that you don't exist."

The Cruelty
Scott Bergstrom
Feiwel and Friends, Feb.
$18.99 hardcover
Ages 17 and up
First printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: "I love a good unputdownable thriller. I started The Cruelty late at night and then couldn't sleep—and not only because of the tension of a teenage girl searching for her kidnapped father. This is more about a girl's painful but necessary evolution, her quest to hold onto a modicum of control in this violent and unfair world."—Liz Szabla, editor-in-chief, Feiwel and Friends

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances, including book festivals and trade shows; advertising; blogger outreach; promotions on Goodreads and Fierce Reads.

Opening: "The boys are waiting for the beheading."

Daughter of the Pirate King
Tricia Levenseller
Feiwel and Friends, Feb.
$17.99 hardcover
Ages 12 and up
First printing: 25,000

Why the buzz: "I adore pirates, and this book has everything a good pirate yarn needs: sea battles, sword fights, ancient treasure maps, action, adventure, romance, and even a little bit of magic. And, most important of all, [it has] a truly kick-butt heroine, who is strong, smart, capable, and, as befitting a pirate princess, quite ruthless when necessary. What's not to love?" —Holly West, editor, Feiwel and Friends

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; YA blog tour; advertising; a Fierce Reads title; a Winter/Spring 2017 Indies Introduce selection.

Opening: "I hate having to dress like a man."

Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo
William Joyce
Atheneum, Apr.
$17.99, hardcover
Ages 4–8
First printing: 40,000

Why the buzz: "Bill Joyce's earlier works were classics the moment they were first published. Each is an epic adventure in a mere 32 pages; the lush and sumptuously rendered watercolors and acrylics create the worlds that kids dream of and wish to fall into. So to have the opportunity to bring these gems to a new generation is a dream for me as an editor." —Caitlyn M. Dlouhy, v-p and
editorial director, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour, including book-festival appearances; advertising.

Opening: "The Lazardos were an interesting family."

Dragonwatch: A Fablehaven Adventure
Brandon Mull
Shadow Mountain, Mar.
$18.99 hardcover
Ages 8 and up
First printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: "The focus is on the dragons who now view their safe sanctuaries as prisons, and they want out. In that quest we are introduced to the personalities, foibles, and wisdom of the dragon characters. A young Fablehaven reader once told me, ‘Dragons are really misunderstood: they look mean and scary, but we just need to get to know them better.' Now we will." —Ilise Levine, sales and
marketing manager, Shadow Mountain

Publicity & marketing plans: Eight-week school tour; six-figure marketing campaign; advertising; Decked Out for Dragonwatch contest with winners chosen by the author; reader's guide; poster; "Dragon wisdom" stickers; pins; bookmarks.

Opening: "Kendra Sorenson jogged through the warm mist, damp gravel crunching underfoot, wondering if the moisture in the air was falling enough to be called rain."

The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas
HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, Feb.
$17.99 hardcover
Ages 14 and up
First printing: 100,000

Why the buzz: "The Hate U Give is not only a complex and nuanced portrayal of racism and police brutality; it's also an authentic depiction of a black teen girl finding her voice with the support of her loving, complicated family and community. An essential, urgent novel by a remarkable new talent." —Donna Bray, v-p and copublisher, Balzer + Bray

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances, including at the North Texas Teen Book Festival and the Houston Teen Book Con; advertising; discussion guide; Indie Red Box easel and discussion-guide mailing.

Opening: "I shouldn't have come to this party."

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Clarion, Mar.
$17.99 hardcover
Ages 12 and up
First printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: "For all the editorial love I bear for the book, sometimes only a writer can find the right words. Award-winner Bill Konigsberg called this novel ‘a story about learning how to be a gentle person in a world that's mostly filled with fear. What the world needs now is a book like this one.' What more can I possibly say?" —Anne Hoppe, v-p,
associate publisher, Clarion

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; advertising; bookmarks; social media campaign.

Opening: "I have a memory that is almost like a dream: the yellow leaves from Mima's mulberry tree are floating down from the sky like giant snowflakes."

The Lotterys Plus One
Emma Donoghue
Scholastic/Levine, Mar.
$17.99 hardcover
Ages 8–12

Why the buzz: "Emma Donoghue has given us a loud, loving, boisterous family for the 21st century—a family that's tried hard to create a small piece of utopia in their rambling Victorian house. This beautiful, funny novel does more than make you laugh. It makes you think about the bonds of family, about how best to stand up for oneself, and about acceptance."—Arthur A. Levine, v-p and publisher, Arthur A. Levine Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; advertising; video book trailer; featured in LGBTQ Read with Pride campaign; featured on Scholastic social media networks and websites.

Opening: "Only eight people at breakfast today, which feels weird."

Just Fly Away
Andrew McCarthy
Algonquin Young Readers, Apr.
$17.95 hardcover
Ages 12 and up
First printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: "[Heroine] Lucy Willows is a seeker, and travel is at the heart of her story. Lucy captured me with her refreshing directness. While plots often turn on what's not said, Lucy plunges into big questions. And befitting her creator's history, Lucy's literal route—from the Jersey shore to the lobster shacks and lighthouses of Maine—is equally essential to her self-discovery." —Elise Howard, publisher, Algonquin Young Readers

Publicity & marketing plans: 18-city author tour; cover reveal with exclusive excerpt; downloadable reader's guide and author Q&A.

Opening: "I suppose if I thought about it I would have to say that I had a premonition when we were down the shore that something bad was going to happen."

Midnight at the Electric
Jodi Lynn Anderson
HarperTeen, June
$17.99 hardcover
Ages 14 and up
First printing: 75,000

Why the buzz: "Effusive isn't a big enough word to describe the in-house praise. Who else but Jodi Lynn Anderson could bring three distinct young women stunningly to life and in the process show us more tenderly how their—no, how our—fates are entwined? Gorgeous, moving, and quietly unforgettable, Midnight at the Electric is Jodi's masterpiece." —Jennifer Klonsky, editorial director, HarperTeen

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances, including at TLA; extensive ARC distribution and big-mouth mailings; ABA White Box promotion; online and social media advertising; promotion at seasonal festivals.

Opening: "From above, Miami looked as if it were blinking itself awake; the rising sun reflected against the city's windows."

Old Turtle: Questions of the Heart
Douglas Wood, illus. Greg Ruth
Scholastic Press, Mar.
$19.99 hardcover
Ages 4–8

Why the buzz: "Twenty-five years ago, independent booksellers made Douglas Wood's small press picture-book sensation Old Turtle a national bestseller. This companion book is another timeless tale of wisdom, and its universal spiritual themes find their perfect complement in the ethereal paintings of Greg Ruth. The book promises to delight fans of the first book while speaking to the concerns of the world today." —Anamika Bhatnagar, associate publisher, Scholastic

Publicity & marketing plans: Author appearances; advertising; included in outreach for the Story Starts Here picture-book campaign.

Opening: "It had been a long time. So long that many had forgotten or had begun to doubt that such a being as Old Turtle had ever really existed."

What Girls Are Made Of
Elana K. Arnold
Carolrhoda Lab, Apr.
$18.99 hardcover
Ages 12 and up

Why the buzz: "What Girls Are Made Of stands out for its unflinching look at the darkest crevices of what it means to be female. It follows the journey of Nina, who is grappling with what love means and trying to embrace who she really is. Raw and compelling, this book will surprise readers with its unconventional narrative approach." —Alix Reid, editorial director, Carolrhoda Lab and Carolrhoda Books

Publicity & marketing plans: Advertising; Web and major trade show promotions; bookmarks, discussion guides, and free downloads.

Opening: "When I was 14, my mother told me there was no such thing as unconditional love."

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
M.T. Anderson
Candlewick, Mar.
$19.99 hardcover
Ages 12–up

Why the buzz: "The incomparable M.T. Anderson has taken us to a near-future Earth in Feed, to besieged Leningrad in Symphony for the City of the Dead, and now to Arthurian forests in his first graphic novel, Yvain. In Anderson's retelling, the 12th-century epic poem ripples with action, but also reveals themes of gender, power, love, and hate." —Jennifer Roberts, v-p of publicity and executive director of marketing campaigns, Candlewick

Publicity & marketing plans: Author tour; extensive galley distribution; illustrations by Andrea Offermann to be showcased in a social media campaign and across all corporate digital-marketing platforms; discussion guide.

Opening: "I shall speak of love... and of hate."