Titles from bestselling picture book author and illustrator Graeme Base and well-known science fiction writer William Sleator will lead the inaugural list of the new imprint of Abrams Books for Young Readers.

The imprint, Amulet Books, will debut next spring with four novels and four nonfiction titles, aimed at middle-grade and teen readers. Harry N. Abrams launched its children's publishing program in 1999, but until now has done only a limited number of books aimed at older readers.

Senior editor Susan Van Metre, who came to Abrams a year ago after 12 years editing children's and YA books at Dutton, will lead the new imprint. Amulet will feature a number of writers Van Metre worked with at Dutton, including Sleator, who has signed a multibook deal with the imprint. Sleator, whose previous titles include House of Stairs and Interstellar Pig, will begin his new series with The Boy Who Couldn't Die.

"I think that my taste runs toward fantasy and funny contemporary, some historical," said Van Metre. "I have pretty broad tastes." The nonfiction portion of the debut list will consist of four books in an ongoing self-help series the publisher is calling Sunscreen. The first books are I Don't Like My Looks, Just Us Girls, My Parents Are Getting Divorced and Sex: Explained.

Though the emphasis will be on text, not illustrations, Van Metre said the books will reflect Abrams's influence. "We're very keen to take Abrams's high design sensibility to the novels and we hope to produce particularly beautiful books," she said.