PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Jodi Dee Catalog
In the Spotlight
Going Their Own Way: Heartland Children's Publishers Think About Tomorrow
We spoke with a number of Midwest children’s publishers about how they are addressing timely issues to meet young readers' social and emotional needs. more
All Our Stars
Children's Starred Reviews 2021
Our Children’s Starred Reviews Annual features more than 350 reviews of exceptional books for young readers, a selection of interviews with some of today’s top authors and illustrators, our 50 Best Books of 2021, and a cover by Ruth Chan. more
Magnificent Homespun Brown
In the News
PRH Education Promotes Inclusive Curriculum via #DisruptTexts Partnership
In an effort to expand the literary canon for students across all grade levels, Penguin Classics has joined forces with #DisruptTexts, a crowdsourced, grassroots organization orchestrated by and aimed at teachers. more
Smart Marketing
Tuning In and Tying In to J.C. Geiger's YA Novel
In J.C. Geiger's 'The Great Big One,' a group of friends in coastal Oregon happens upon a musical mystery. It wasn’t until Geiger was nearly done writing his YA novel that he realized the story was calling out for its own soundtrack. So, he made one. more
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Literacy in Action
New York City Reads in Color with Little Free Libraries
The Little Free Library organization has installed special "Read in Color" book-sharing boxes in New York City as part of its effort to reach underserved communities in cities around the country. Launched in fall 2020, the Read in Color initiative seeks to amplify diverse voices and stories. more
Reading Roundup
New and Noteworthy Children's and YA Books: November 2021
We've compiled a cornucopia of new releases, including a celebration of culture and family; a middle grade story about speaking up and standing out; a speculative novel based in Apache lore; and much more. more
Q & A
Sophia Glock
Author and artist Sophia Glock's debut YA graphic memoir, Passport, depicts an adolescence that is both typical and highly unusual. As a high school student born to American parents and attending international schools in various South American countries, Glock feels like she doesn't belong anywhere; she navigates friendships, crushes, and the desire to rebel against her parents... who she gradually realizes work in intelligence. Glock spoke with us about her writing process and making her family secret public.

Q: When did you realize that your teen years and your parents’ professions were topics you could write about?

A: The thing that makes it interesting [my parents’ work in intelligence] was the reason I couldn’t write it. But my parents were incredibly supportive. They were gratified to know someone could tell their story, even if pertinent details were omitted. The things they did working in secret—that taught me how to be an observer. more
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Rights Report
Jessica Anderson at Little, Brown/Christy Ottaviano Books has acquired, at auction, world rights to The Third Daughter and The Second Son, a sapphic YA fantasy duology by Adrienne Tooley (Sweet & Bitter Magic). Pitched in the tradition of Three Dark Crowns and Girl, Serpent, Thorn, this dual PoV series features a crown under siege, an enchanted well of sadness, a ruthless antiheroine, and a slow-burning romance. Book one is scheduled for summer 2023; Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich negotiated the deal.
Alyssa Miele at Quill Tree has bought Out of Character by debut author Jenna Miller, a queer, fat-positive contemporary YA romance that explores online and offline relationships in all their messiness. Cass Williams escapes the stressors of the real world by roleplaying online in secret, but after falling for her roleplay bestie, she must decide if she can be honest about her double life. Publication is set for winter 2023; Michaela Whatnall at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the two-book deal for world rights.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido, in an exclusive submission, has acquired North American rights to debut contemporary middle grade novel Control Freaks by J.E. Thomas. The novel, told in alternating POVs, follows a diverse group of preteens working together as a team on a rollercoaster quest for their school's inaugural Hunger Games-esque STEAM competition. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Quressa Robinson at Nelson Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Jenny Bak at Viking has bought, at auction, world rights to Sangu Mandanna's (l.) middle grade graphic novel Jupiter Nettle and the Seven Schools of Magic, illustrated by Pablo Ballesteros, which follows a 12-year-old girl who has dreamed of learning magic her whole life, only to find that her new school isn't as fun or rewarding as she hoped. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Charlotte Greenbaum at Abrams/Amulet has acquired world rights to the middle grade graphic novel Lionharts and an untitled second book by Mike Lawrence (Star Scouts), about the Lionhart family, where adventuring isn't just in the blood—it's the family business. When Alder and Flynt's parents go missing after accepting an unusually high-paying job, the boys set out to find them, eager to prove they're ready to join the family ranks. Publication is set for spring 2024; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency handled the two-book deal for world rights.
Amy Fitzgerald at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought a middle-grade novel by Laura Schaefer (The Teashop Girls). In A Long Way from Home, 12-year-old Abby feels anxious about everything from climate change to her family's recent move to Florida's Space Coast for her astrophysicist mother's new job, so when she meets two boys from the future who need her help, she hatches a plan to escape her 21st-century problems. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Stephen Barbara at Inkwell Management did the deal for world rights.
Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to Rashad Doucet's middle-grade graphic novel Art Club, in which Dale Donovan recruits talented artists at his school to create an after-school art club after the art programs are cut. Publication is planned for fall 2023; the author was unagented.
Mark Siegel at First Second has bought Eowulf and the Descendant Dilemma by Mike Cavallaro, a spinoff of the Nico Bravo series. The middle-grade graphic novel follows Eowulf, descendant of the legendary hero Beowulf, who played a major role in Nico's adventures and now stands poised to take center stage in a few of her own. Publication is scheduled for winter 2024; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has acquired author-illustrator Jessixa Bagley's picture book Maurice, about a busking dog who finds that his cherished music no longer has a place in modern Paris, and embarks on a search for himself and the meaning of life. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Alexandra Penfold at Upstart Crow Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins has bought Dim Sum, Here We Come! by Maple Lam, a picture book about a Chinese American girl and her sister as they attend their weekly dim sum family gathering. This story celebrates the traditional Chinese customs passed on from generation to generation and highlights togetherness and love. Publication is set for winter 2023; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary and Media negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Kelsey Murphy at Viking has acquired world rights to Savannah Allen's debut solo picture book, Tim's Nature Journal, about a nature-loving boy named Tim. When his father is too busy with life and work to connect with him, Tim discovers a piece of his father's past that could bring them together again. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the author-illustrator.
Kathleen Merz at Eerdmans has bought world rights to Darshana Khiani's (l.) The Boys of Koh Panyee, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk, a story inspired by true events, about a group of boys who overcome many odds to start their own soccer club in their small rural village. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Deborah Warren at East-West Literary represented the illustrator.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired, at auction, Fireworks by Matthew Burgess (l.), illustrated by Society of Illustrators Gold Medalist Cátia Chien. Part poem, part portable fireworks display, this picture book follows the adventures of two siblings from breakfast to rooftop firework show to bedtime—capturing all the anticipation, joy, and contentment of a perfect summer day in New York City. Publication is set for summer 2024; Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Steve Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator in the world rights deal.
Yolanda Scott and Alyssa Pusey at Charlesbridge have bought world rights to Sneed B. Collard III's (l.) Border Crossings, a picture book about the impact of border barriers on wildlife, illustrated by Howard Gray; Alyssa Pusey will edit. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Lucie Luddington at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Jill Davis at Astra/Hippo Park has acquired world rights to A Bear, a Bee, and a Honey Tree by Daniel Bernstrom (l.) (One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree), illustrated by Brandon James Scott (Cow Says Meow). In the picture book, a hungry bear and a hive of buzzing bees have a spirited standoff around some delicious honey. Publication is planned for November 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author, and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Christopher Robbins at Familius has bought world rights to June Moon, a bedtime picture book by Lynn Becker (l.), illustrated by Nate Carvalho, that captures a languid summer evening as child and moon reluctantly prepare for sleep. Publication is slated for May 2023; Lori Steel at Raven Quill Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has bought world rights to Once There Was by Corinne Demas (l.), illustrated by Gemma Capdevila, a picture book about a girl whose dream about being something else whimsically evolves in this modern fairy tale. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023. Ariana Philips at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to Dancing Through Life: The True Story of Sydney Mesher, A Professional Dancer with a Limb Difference by co-authors Sydney Mesher (l.) and Catherine Laudone (c.), illustrated by Natelle Quek (r.). This picture book biography debut tells the story of Sydney Mesher, who was born with one hand and went on to become a professional dancer and the first Radio City Rockette with a visible disability. Publication is set for fall 2023; Dorian Maffei at Kimberly Cameron & Associates represented the authors, and Alice Williams at Alice Williams Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Patricia Stockland at Kind World has acquired world rights to Abuelito by David Corredor Benavides (l.) and Nelly Buchet (c.) (Cat Dog Dog), illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo (r.) (Amor, Amor), about a boy who loved his abuelo so much that he was called "Abuelito." Publication is planned for spring 2023; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink represented the authors, and Christina Doffing at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Luyang Xue at Yeehoo Press has bought world rights to Howard Pearlstein (l.) and Amanda Pearlstein's (c.) picture book The Liebrary. After checking out books from the "liebrary," a family goes on a series of misadventures, until they realize that you can't believe everything you read. Adam Larkum (r.) will illustrate; publication is slated for spring 2023 in the U.S. and mainland China. The authors represented themselves, and Amary Tang at IllustrationX represented the illustrator.
To see all of this week's deals, click here.

November 23, 2021
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BookLife Prize Nonfiction 2021
To Our Readers
Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, we won't have an issue of Children's Bookshelf on Thursday. See you next Tuesday!
In the Winners' Circle

The National Council of Teachers of English has announced the winners of their literary awards. The winner of the 2022 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children went to Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls, written by Kaela Rivera and illustrated by Christian Robinson. The Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children went to Nina: A Story of Nina Simone, written by Traci N. Todd and illustrated by Christian Robinson. For more information on the awards, click here.
Bestsellers
Children’s Frontlist Fiction
#1 Big Shot (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #16) by Jeff Kinney. Click here
Picture Books
#1 The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Click here
Best Books
Best Children's and YA Books 2021
Our selections for the top 50 books of the year, for readers of all ages. MORE
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