PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Cryptozoology for Beginners
In the News
Finalists for 2019 NBA in Young People's Literature Announced
The National Book Foundation has narrowed its longlist down to five finalists for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. The winners will be announced during the NBA’s 70th annual awards dinner on November 20. Read on for PW’s reviews of the books by all of the finalists. more
Editor Wendy Lamb Starts a New Chapter
Wendy Lamb has announced her decision to step down, at year's end, from her position as v-p and publishing director of the eponymous imprint she established at Random House Children's Books in 2001. Lamb will continue to edit the work of some of her longtime authors, including Christopher Paul Curtis and Rebecca Stead. more
Obituary
Richard Jackson
Legendary children’s book publisher, editor, and author Richard “Dick” Jackson died on October 2 from complications of multiple myeloma at his home in Towson, Md. Offering a remembrance of Jackson, publisher Neal Porter said, "The words that come to mind are elegance, followed closely by eloquence and unfailing generosity of spirit." more
Christmas Activity Guides
Book News
Debut YA by Member of Chippewa Tribe Sells in Seven-Figure Deal
In the run-up to next week's Frankfurt Book Fair, 'The Firekeeper's Daughter' was acquired by Tiffany Liao at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers after a 12-bidder auction. The author, Angeline Boulley, is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and works as director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. more
Title and Cover for New Hunger Games
Novel Revealed

Last Friday, fans of Suzanne Collins’s blockbuster Hunger Games trilogy got their first peek at the cover of a new book in the YA fantasy franchise: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, slated for release on May 19, 2020 with a first printing of 2.5 million copies. The book is a prequel set in the fictional country of Panem 64 years prior to the events of The Hunger Games. more
Actress and Activist Alyssa Milano Introduces 'Hope'
This month, actor Alyssa Milano presents Hope Roberts, a spunky 11-year-old who wants to change the world, in the first installment of her middle-grade series, Hope #1: Project Middle School. “All the seeds that are planted in your child are what cultivate a truly empathic and compassionate adult,” Milano said of her heroine. more
From the Regionals
Children's Booksellers on the Rise at New England Conference
New England's children's booksellers are carving out a prominent place within the New England Independent Booksellers Association. At the annual NEIBA conference, held in Providence, R.I. from October 2–4, the organization’s children’s advisory group rolled out a series of ideas that chart a big vision for the coming years. more
On the Scene
Inaugural Seattle Children's Book Fair in Photos
The first-ever Seattle Children's Book Festival launched on September 28. Nearly 50 authors and illustrators attracted more than 7,000 kids—with several thousand adults in tow—for a day of presentations, literacy activities, and signings. The event raised more than $16,000 for low-income public schools in Seattle. Click through for a selection of highlights from the festival. more
Reading Report
Welcome to the Neighborhood:
Books on Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers won the hearts of generations of Americans with his entreaty to love all. With the success of the 2018 documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and the imminent release of the drama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a number of books are due about the late TV personality. more

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Rights Report
Vicki Lame at Wednesday Books has acquired LGBTQ Reads founder Dahlia Adler's YA novel, Cool for the Summer, about a girl named Lara who finally lands the guy of her dreams, only to have her unexpected(ly female) summer fling transfer to her school for their senior year. Publication is slated for summer 2021; DongWon Song at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
Lauren Smulski at Inkyard Press has bought, on exclusive submission, Summer Heacock and Eric Smith's Origin Story, an #OwnVoices YA contemporary about two adoptees from very different backgrounds grappling with the question of what it means to be family. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Brent Taylor and Uwe Stender at TriadaUS represented Heacock, and Dawn Frederick at Red Sofa Literary represented Smith in the deal for world English rights.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has acquired world rights to a YA graphic novel memoir from Jasjyot Singh Hans, as yet untitled. This debut follows the artist's life from New Delhi to Baltimore, including growing up Sikh, learning how to catch a cricket ball and not die, learning to love his body, becoming an artist, family traditions while watching TV soaps, coming out, his loving and only the tiniest bit suffocating parents, immigrating to the U.S., navigating dating apps, and more. Publication is planned for spring 2022; the author represented himself.
Mallory Kass at Scholastic has bought, at auction, One Way Or Another by Kara McDowell, pitched as a Sliding Doors YA romantic comedy. Seventeen-year-old Paige has an undiagnosed anxiety disorder and a debilitating fear of making the wrong decision. When faced with an impossible holiday dilemma, she lives out two parallel fates: Christmas at a snowy cabin with her best friend and longtime unrequited crush, and Christmas in New York with exciting new possibilities. Publication is set for fall 2020; Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Brian Geffen at Holt has acquired The Plentiful Darkness, a middle-grade fantasy novel by Heather Kassner, author of The Bone Garden and The Forest of Stars. When 12-year-old Rooney de Barra's nemesis—and her prized lunar mirror—are snatched by a magician in the dead of night, Rooney reluctantly embarks on a rescue mission, chasing the magician into the world of Darkness Below, where other children are being held captive. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media did the deal for world English rights.
Amanda Maciel at Scholastic has bought world rights to Lisa Schroeder's new novel, her 14th book for middle grade readers. Tackling the subject of toxic masculinity for a middle grade audience, Don't Judge Me tells the story of 12-year-old Hazel, who finds a notebook that the boys at her middle school have been using to rate the girls on their looks, and how she finds the courage to fight back. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties brokered the deal.
Margaret Raymo at HMH/Versify has acquired Lola StVil's The Summer I Flew Away, in her debut middle grade work written as Marie Arnold, which follows 10-year-old Fabiola on her journey from her native Haiti to America as she reexamines the concepts of family and home and embraces a power all her own. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Adrienne Rosado at Stonesong sold world rights.
Nathaniel Tabachnik at Penguin Workshop has bought world rights to Willis Wallace by Lindsey Leavitt. The younger middle-grade story is about a boy who creates a life-coaching business for kids in an attempt to avoid his mom's cringeworthy “Summer Fun Plan” and win a prize for young entrepreneurs. However, being a business owner turns out to be trickier than Willis thought. Publication is set for summer 2021 with a sequel in 2022; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.
Tricia Lin at S&S/Aladdin has acquired world rights to Cheese and Quackers, a two-book early graphic chapter book series by author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrator Mike Ciccotello. The series follows the adventures of a lamb and a duck at summer camp. Publication of the first book is scheduled for spring 2022; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented both the author and the illustrator.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has bought world rights to two early chapter books, Audrey L. and Audrey W: Best Friends-ish and its sequel, by Carter Higgins (l.). The books are about challenging identities, the complications of second grade when someone new shares your name, and what happens when that stranger turns out to be a little bit “friend-ish.” Jennifer K. Mann will illustrate; publication is set for fall 2021. Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Emily Easton at Crown has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Rachel Ignotofsky's What's Inside a Flower? The first in a three-title picture book series by the author-illustrator of Women in Science, it explores the inner workings and life cycle of a flower. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Monica Odom at Odom Media Management sold world rights.
Nancy Mercado at Dial has bought bestselling author Shannon Hale's (l.) debut picture book The Bookmobile, illustrated by Tracy Subisak, in which a boy visits his local bookmobile only to be told he can't check out the books he really wants to read. The book is inspired by Hale's Washington Post piece about the gender bias adults impose on children when it comes to reading preferences. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to Faraway Things by Dave Eggers, a picture book to be illustrated by Kelly Murphy. In the story, a boy becomes attached to a mysterious cutlass he's found that has washed ashore, which he must agree to let go one day in order to discover something greater. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Steven Malk at Writers House represented the author, and the artist represented herself.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has bought world rights to Nerdycorn by Andrew Root, illustrated by Erin Balzer, in which science and tech-minded Fern finds she has trouble fitting in with the other unicorns at her school who are more concerned with sparkles and rainbows than 3D printers and chemistry. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Alvina Ling at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to The Sock Thief: A Soccer Story author Ana Crespo's (l.) Hello, Tree, a story about the friendship between a girl and a tree, and the fire that threatens it, told through the perspective of the tree and inspired by the 2013 Black Forest Fire in Colorado. Dow Phumiruk (Counting on Katherine), winner of the 2019 Cook Prize, will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Deborah Warren at East West Literary Agency represented the author and the illustrator.
Karen Greenberg at Knopf has bought world rights to Blue, a picture book by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, illustrated by Coretta Scott King Honor winner Daniel Minter. Blue is an exploration of the history and cultural significance of the color blue through time. Publication is set for spring 2022; John Rudolph at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented the author, and Rick Margolis at Rising Bear Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has acquired The Tiny Baker by Babymoon author Hayley Barrett (l.), illustrated by Alison Jay (I Took the Moon for a Walk). The story features a miniature baker whose devoted insect clientele help her weather an unexpected disaster at her stylish teashop. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the artist represented herself in the deal for world rights.
Carter Hasegawa at Candlewick has bought world rights to Beatrice Fixes Everything by Mara Rockliff, a picture book biography about Beatrice Shilling, a World War II engineer, whose brilliance and tenacity not only helped win the war but also helped her flourish at a time when women had few professional opportunities in engineering. Daniel Duncan will illustrate; publication is set for fall 2021. Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Tamar Brazis and Aneeka Kalia have acquired, in a three-book deal, world rights to Diane Adams's (l.) Sports Baby board book series about little athletes who love getting on the field to play. Charlene Chua will illustrate; publication of the first book is scheduled for spring 2021. Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the illustrator.
Jes Negrón at Boyds Mills & Kane has bought world rights to Merry Witchmas by Petrell Özbay (l.) and Tess LaBella (c.). In a twist on the holiday's traditional "believe" concept, the book is about a witch who believes in Santa, who doesn't deliver to her home... because he doesn't believe in witches. Sonya Abby Soekarno will illustrate. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency represented the authors, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
To see all of this week's deals, click here.

SHELFTALKER

Meghan Dietsche Goel
To Read with a Flashlight Under Your Chin

A bookseller shares some personal favorite scary stories, just in time for Halloween.

more »

Kenny Brechner
The Price Changes But the ISBN Remains the Same

How best to address a gaping hole in the bottom line?

more »

Cynthia Compton
Donate or Destroy and Despair

The problem of books damaged in the shipping process is both escalating and alarming.

more »

Elizabeth Bluemle
This Just In!

New small gift-item treasures we found at the NEIBA trade show.

more »
FEATURED REVIEWS

Goodnight Bubbala: A Joyful Parody
Sheryl Haft, illus. by Jill Weber. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-55477-6

“In the small blue room/ There was a bubbala” begins this parody of Margaret Wise Brown’s classic; here, the narration is Yiddish-inflected and the young rabbit’s bedtime room becomes anything but quiet. In fact, “the whole mishpacha” drops by to boisterously celebrate Hanukkah and make a big fuss over their youngest member. more

The Tooth Fairy vs. Santa
Jamie L.B. Deenihan, illus. by Erin Hunting. Penguin Workshop, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5247-9080-6

Blue, an aspiring tooth fairy, is assigned to retrieve a child’s lost tooth on Christmas Eve—the final test before officially joining the “Toothtopia Tooth Fairy Team.” But when Blue arrives, Santa is at the girl’s house, too, and he insists that nothing steal thunder from his deliveries. more

The Crayons’ Christmas
Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers. Penguin Workshop, $19.99 (52p) ISBN 978-0-525-51574-6

The holiday season is underway at Duncan’s house, and with it comes a flurry of mail—for his crayons. In envelope- and package-style pouches that occur throughout, readers will find crayoned correspondence and holiday cards, along with decorations, a foldout game, and other interactive items. more

The Little Fir Tree
Christopher Corr. Frances Lincoln, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-78603-662-9

Illustrations that feature dazzling colors, folk art, and contemporary sensibilities power this neatly pared retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s existential story about a small fir who feels neglected as loggers fell the towering trees that surround it.The fir gets its chance to shine, literally, when it’s cut down to become a festively decorated Christmas tree in a grand house. more

Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever
Matt Tavares. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0137-6

In this prequel to the Rudolph story, Tavares explains how Santa ended up with his original reindeer crew. Tavares’s classically painted figures are lit by moonlight and falling snow in this cozy antidote to holiday hullabaloo. more

October 10, 2019
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Holidays & Seasons | Flyaway Books
PW KidsCast: A Conversation with Fiona Basile
People
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing has four promotions and one new hire. Lisa Moraleda has been promoted to senior director of publicity, from director of publicity, for the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Margaret K. McElderry, Atheneum, and Beach Lane imprints. Caitlin Sweeny has been promoted to director of marketing, from associate director of marketing, for the Simon Pulse, Aladdin, Little Simon, and Simon Spotlight imprints. Anna Jarzab has been promoted to director of digital and social marketing, from digital marketing strategist. Kate Bouchard has been promoted to digital and social marketing coordinator, from digital marketing assistant. Kristin Gilson has joined as editorial director for Aladdin Books; she was most recently editorial director of Puffin Books.
HarperCollins Children's Books has four promotions and one new hire. Jacquelynn Burke has been promoted to associate director of publicity, from publicity manager. Lindsey Karl has been promoted to senior manager, conferences and conventions, from manager. Talia Chaves has been promoted to marketing associate, from coordinator. Tyler Breitfeller has been promoted to marketing associate, from marketing coordinator. Mimi Rankin is joining as manager, school and library marketing; previously she was marketing manager at Myrick Marketing & Media.
Alexandra Hightower has joined Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as associate editor; previously she was assistant editor at Delacorte Press.
Matthew Sciarappa has been named marketing coordinator at Little Bee Books; previously he was executive assistant.
Mark Your Calendar

The Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pa., is hosting Cinderella & Co.—Three Fairy Tales Reimagined. On view now through January 5, 2020, the exhibit explores the enduring stories of “Cinderella,” “The Three Little Pigs,” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” through a wide array of illustrations created through time and across cultures. Guest curated by H. Nichols B. Clark, founding director and chief curator of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art emeritus, the collection features more than 100 drawings from books illustrated by 35 artists. For more information, click here.
Bestsellers
Children's Frontlist Fiction
#1 The Tyrant's Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan. Click here
Picture Books
#1 Hey Grandude! by Paul McCartney, illus. by Kathryn Durst. Click here
Sneak Previews

Take a look ahead at some of the big titles for children and teens due out in spring 2020, from picture books to YA novels, in our exclusive roundup. more
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