Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has announced that Alessandra Balzer and Donna Bray will bring their HarperCollins imprint, Balzer + Bray, to MCPG. As senior vice-presidents and co-publishers, they will build a new list of picture books, middle grade, YA fiction, and graphic novels. All books published by the two at HarperCollins will remain there, to be reassigned to other imprints in the division.

Launched in 2009, Balzer + Bray has published numerous critical and commercial successes. Bray is the editor of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (a #1 bestseller and recipient of the Printz Award and Coretta Scott King Honor); Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli (a Stonewall Honoree); and bestsellers Pax by Sara Pennypacker, and the Emmie & Friends series by Terri Libenson. Balzer’s editing credits include Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (a #1 bestseller); Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi (winner of the Coretta Scott King Award); Only This Beautiful Moment by Abdi Nazemian (Stonewall Award winner); and The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes (a National Book Award finalist and Morris and Pura Belpré Honoree). Additional high-profile books from the imprint are Newbery Honor winner Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga, and Caldecott Honor winner Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen. Several Balzer + Bray titles have also been adapted for film.

Before starting their imprint at HarperCollins, Balzer and Bray served as executive editor and editorial director at Hyperion Books for Children, respectively. Their move to Macmillan is effective April 15. As of now, no further staff will be joining them; a representative of HarperCollins told PW that only Balzer and Bray, and no other employees, would be leaving the company as a result of the move, although the rep did not specify where former Balzer + Bray staff would be reassigned.

Balzer and Bray said in a joint statement, “We’re incredibly excited to move our imprint to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, whose high-quality, award-winning list we’ve long admired. At Macmillan, we plan to continue Balzer + Bray’s mission of publishing bold, innovative books that appeal directly to kids in a fresh way, inspire conversations, and reflect a wide breadth of experiences. We are grateful to our brilliant authors and illustrators, as well as our beloved colleagues at HarperCollins, who have contributed so much to B+B’s success over the years.”

Jen Besser, president and publisher of MCPG, said, “The only word is thrilled. Balzer + Bray has been an inspiration in the world of children’s publishing. As a team, Donna and Alessandra are formidable. They have a passion for finding stories that resonate with readers, and their books have been enriching my own reading life for years. I could not be more excited for them to bring their talents to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.”

The departure of the imprint to Macmillan is just the latest change to occur at HCCB in recent months. Last September, Suzanne Murphy, president and publisher of HCCB, left the company and the oversight for the group was turned over to Liate Stehlik, who also remains president and publisher of the Morrow Group. In November, Stehlik reorganized the division, naming Rich Thomas senior v-p and executive director of publishing at HCCB, with the mandate to "lead the editorial strategy for the division with oversight of the Children’s Book Group imprints." Accompanying that announcement, Stehlik said the integrated marketing, marketing design, and rights teams at William Morrow and HarperCollins Children’s were being combined.

This story has been updated with further information and for clarity.