PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Big Panda and Tiny Dragon
In the Spotlight
83454-v1-300x.JPGBiographies Illuminate STEM/STEAM
Heroes and Concepts

We spoke with some of the editors and creators of books that showcase key figures and essential content from the STEM and STEAM disciplines. more more_arrow.gif
83466-v1-300x.JPGSTEM/STEAM Biographies Shine in New and Established Series
The biography genre continues to grow, presenting students and educators with more reading choices than ever. more more_arrow.gif
83505-v2-300x.JPGBringing STEM/STEAM
to Life

We asked a number of authors and illustrators known for their STEM and STEAM biographies to tell us more about how they work on these books. more more_arrow.gif
Memento Monstrum
Memento Monstrum contains Count Dracula's rather true memoirs. And there are tons of hideous creatures in it. Giant yetis, insidious werewolves, slimy fish monsters...beware! On Sale This October from Arctis Books USA. WATCH NOW ►
Educational Trends
83463-v1-300x.JPGKids’ Workbooks Level Up
Workbook sales remain strong and new programs are launching after a windfall year in 2020, fueled by parents’ search for resources to help their children learn at home. more more_arrow.gif
Class Notes
51700-1.JPGThe Not-So-Lazy Hazy Days of Summer: Planning for the New School Year
We spoke with five educators about their strategies and goals for the upcoming school year, which is still clouded by the uncertainty of the pandemic. more more_arrow.gif
83541-1.JPGThe Future of School Author Visits
As the new school year approaches, a lot of authors are looking forward to resuming their classroom visits. But with Covid-19 conditions changing daily in states across the country, the foreseeable future of in-person author school visits remains uncertain. more more_arrow.gif
Chameleon Can Be
Reading Roundup
82842-v1-300x.JPGBack to School Books for Fall
The return to school is upon us and with it comes excitement and anxiety. We've compiled some back-to-school stories to help ease those first-day jitters. more more_arrow.gif
83515-v1-300x.JPGSTEM/STEAM Biographies for Young Readers:
A Booklist

In a recent feature, editors and creators of STEM/STEAM-centric biographies revealed what goes into developing one of these books. See our extensive list, including more than 75 titles. more more_arrow.gif
83633-v1-300x.JPGNew and Noteworthy Kids' and YA Books: August 2021
Summer is winding down, making this the perfect time to discover some cool new reads to beat the heat. Read about a girl who visits her grandfather in Cuba, a celebration of Black boyhood, a teenage medium, and much more in our roundup. more more_arrow.gif
What Do You Say Little Blue Truck
Exit Interview
83722-v1-300x.JPGThe Byrds of Cinco Puntos Press Say Goodbye
For 36 years, Bobby and his wife Lee Byrd, now in their late 70s, ran Cinco Puntos Press in El Paso, Tex. In June, they sold their publishing house, which they founded in 1985, to Lee & Low Books in New York City. "We are very pleased that our books will have a strong future," Lee said. PW asked the Byrds to look back on their career in publishing. more more_arrow.gif
Book News
83758-v1-300x.JPGGibbs Smith's BabyLit
Thrives at 10

We take a look at Gibbs Smith's BabyLit series of board-book primers, which introduces children to bits and pieces of classic novels long before they enter a classroom. Ten years after its launch, the popular series has nearly 95 individual titles currently in print, and has sold more than two million copies in North America alone. more more_arrow.gif
Tarot for Kids
83630-v1-300x.JPGQ & A with Dwayne Reed
Dwayne Reed, who calls himself "America's Rapping Teacher," is the author of the debut middle grade novel Simon B. Rhymin'. In the midst of his back-to-school preparations, Reed spoke with us about how he uses rap to reach his students and readers, and his passion for education. more more_arrow.gif
83706-v1-300x.JPGQ & A with Dan Yaccarino
Dan Yaccarino is quick to say that his experience of the pandemic was "not nearly as challenging and difficult as it was for others." Nonetheless, isolating at home inspired a picture book that he says is unlike anything he's done before: The Longest Storm, about a family hunkering down together while a storm rages outside. We spoke with Yaccarino about the new book. more more_arrow.gif
Out This Week
83736-v1-300x.JPGHot Off the Presses:
Week of August 23

Among the books hitting shelves next week are a picture book about an unlikely fairy tale duo, a queer witch's coming of age story, a supernatural YA novel in which a teen harnesses her magical powers in order to survive, and more. more more_arrow.gif
The Countdown Is On. Submissions Close 9.10
PW Star Watch shines a light on creative members from all parts of the industry. Now more than ever, such individuals are critical thought leaders as we navigate change. Join us in honoring a new list of innovators, trailblazers and change makers by nominating yourself or a colleague making a difference. GET STARTED HERE ►
In Brief
In Brief: August 26, 2021
This week, authors remember 9/11 and the impact that day had on our lives; Fierce Reads celebrates love and Black spaces in the book world; and Kathi Appelt hitches a ride on top of an unexpected friend. more more_arrow.gif


For more about these and other great jobs, visit the new PW JobZone, now with resume hosting and more!

Rights Report
51729-1.JPG Andrew Karre at Dutton has acquired Salt the Water by National Book Award finalist and Printz Honoree Candice Iloh (Every Body Looking). In this YA novel-in-verse, a free-spirited genderfluid teen drops out of 12th grade after a confrontation with a teacher. But when a family crisis forces them to take on adult responsibilities, their dreams of living life off the grid with their friends crash into the harsh realities of a world full of roadblocks. Publication is planned for 2023; Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
51752-1.JPG Brittany Rubiano at Disney Hyperion has signed author William Ritter (Jackaby) to pen the first book in a new line of Buffy the Vampire Slayer YA prequel novels focusing on fan-favorite characters. Bloody Fool for Love features notorious vamp Spike as he plans the ultimate heist to win back his paramour Drusilla during turn-of the-century London. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Lucy Carson at the Friedrich Agency sold world rights.
51731-1.JPG Carolina Ortiz at HarperAlley has bought, at auction, YA graphic novel Strange Bedfellows by two-time Ignatz Award-winning comic artist Ariel Slamet Ries. Oberon is finding his way back after a very public "breakdown," but when he develops the ability to conjure his dreams in real life—including a facsimile of his high school crush—he might have more on his plate than he thought. Publication is set for summer 2024, with an untitled second book to follow in summer 2026; Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.
51730-1.JPG Cassidy Leyendecker at Disney Hyperion has acquired, in a six-figure, two-book deal, Witch's Dice from debut YA author Kaylie Smith. In a world on the brink of war where one more roll from a magical dice may set you down a dangerous path, Calla Rosewood joins a ragtag group of witches who venture into a demonic enchanted forest to find a way to reset their fate, only to discover the forest may be more than any of them bargained for. Publication is slated for winter 2023 and winter 2024; Emily Forney at BookEnds Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
51732-1.JPG Hannah Smith at Owl Hollow Press has bought Shared Sin, a dark historical mystery by Beverly Patt (Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook). When 16-year-old Victoria Robbins feels trapped by her high-society life, her only escapes include visits with her neighbor, Miss Lizzie Borden, reading Sherlock Holmes serials and—when the urge overtakes her—stealing. When Mr. and Mrs. Borden are murdered and Lizzie is accused of committing the crime, Victoria goes to great lengths to solve the mystery and ensure she does not become like Lizzie Borden. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Clelia Gore and Adria Goetz at Martin Literary & Media Management handled the deal for world English rights.
51733-1.JPG Cassandra Pelham Fulton at Scholastic/Graphix has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to two standalone middle-grade graphic novels, Luna and Ouch, by Megan Wagner Lloyd (l.) and Michelle Mee Nutter, the creators of Allergic and the forthcoming Squished. In Luna, a 12-year-old girl and her father have moved to the town where her late mother grew up, and Luna attempts to understand her mother through the naturalist notebooks she left behind, all while trying to make a new friend, connect with her very formal grandmother, and reconcile her ideas of family and feeling at home. In Ouch, a car accident puts 11-year-old River, an outdoor adventurer, in the hospital with a broken pelvis, and she has to figure out how to stay occupied as she recovers and consider how she can return to her old life as she faces a new normal. Luna is set for publication in 2025; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented Lloyd, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented Nutter.
51734-1.JPG Kiara Valdez at First Second has bought The Odyssey by Rex Ogle writing as Rey Terciero (l.) and illustrator Joe Casanova, a middle grade graphic novel following a mouse on an epic journey back to his home in Ithaca. Publication is slated for fall 2025; Brent Taylor at Triada US negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.
51735-1.JPG Liz Kossnar at Little, Brown has acquired middle grade novel Learning to Fall by debut author Sally Engelfried. Twelve-year-old Daphne is sent to stay with her estranged father, who helps her rediscover their shared passion for skateboarding, but Daphne can't overcome her fears—and trust her dad again—until she learns what really happened when he didn't show up for her at a skate park years ago. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
51736-1.JPG Kathleen Merz at Eerdmans has bought world English rights to The Miracle Seed by Martin Lemelman, a middle grade graphic novel melding history, science, and adventure, about the Judean Date Palm that culminates with its resurrection in 2020 after 2000 years of extinction. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented the author-illustrator.
51737-1.JPG Brittany Rubiano at Disney Hyperion has signed Sam Hay to write Camp Lil’ Vills, a humorous chapter book series narrated by kids who must stop younger versions of the Disney Villains, including Cruella de Vil and Ursula, from devious exploits and nefarious acts at a magical summer camp. Books one and two are slated for winter 2023, with book three following in summer 2023; Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency sold world rights in a three-book deal.
51738-1.JPG Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick has acquired, in a preempt, a trilogy of picture books by debut author-illustrator Ruth Whiting about Lonely Bird, a mysterious little artist who lives in a house with humans, yet has adventures that are uniquely, solitarily her own. The first book, Lonely Bird, is due out in fall 2023; Jessica Saint Jean at Jill Grinberg Literary Management negotiated the three-book deal for world rights.
51739-1.JPG Frances Gilbert at Doubleday Books for Young Readers has bought Catching Flight by Rebekah Lowell, a meditative picture book about hope and possibility, depicted through the metaphor of birds and their flight. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Paige Terlip at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author-illustrator for world rights.
51740-1.JPG Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired The Year Without a Summer by author-illustrator Keith Negley (Mary Wears What She Wants). The story takes place in 1816, when ash from a volcano in Indonesia covered the sky throughout Europe, causing a chain reaction of events that led to the invention of the bicycle. Publication is set for spring 2022; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House did the two-book deal for world rights.
51741-1.JPG Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has bought world rights to Baller Ina by author-illustrator Liz Casal, a debut rhyming picture book about a ballerina who helps her basketball team leap to victory, celebrating the multifaceted nature of kids. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic brokered the deal.
51742-1.JPG Becky Nesbitt at Convergent has acquired world rights to A Message in the Moon, written by actor, producer, and author Roma Downey (l.), illustrated by Holly Hatam. The picture book delivers a message to help parents talk to their children about the feeling of longing when someone has gone away. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Shannon Marven at Dupree Miller and Associates handled the deal.
51743-1.JPG Margaret Anastas at Flamingo Books has bought world rights to Sleepy Sheepy, a picture book about the antics of a young sheep who won't settle down to sleep, written by Lucy Ruth Cummins (l.) and illustrated by Pete Oswald. Publication is scheduled for January 2023; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator in the two-book deal.
51744-1.JPG Grace Maccarone at Holiday House has acquired world rights, in a two-book deal, to the first two titles in a bilingual picture book series about friends who speak English and Spanish in a dual-language classroom: Let's Be Friends/Seamos amigos and We Play Soccer/Jugamos al fútbol by Premio Actitud Award winner René Colato Laínez (l.), based on his experiences as a teacher at one of Los Angeles Unified School District's most innovative bilingual elementary schools. The books will be illustrated by Nomar Perez; publication will start in winter 2022. Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
51745-1.JPG Karen Smith at Knopf has bought, in a two-book deal, world rights to There Was a Blue Sky by Jody Jensen Shaffer (l.), illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, about how our food chain takes shape, from the smallest critters to the biggest creatures. Publication is planned for summer 2023; James McGowan at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Stephen Barr at Writers House represented the illustrator.
51746-1.JPG Kate Farrell at Henry Holt has acquired, at auction, world rights to Not He or She, I'm Me by A.M. Wild (l.), illustrated by Kah Yangni, and a second untitled picture book. A celebration of gender diversity, the picture book debut follows a joyful day in the life of a nonbinary kid who knows that, no matter from which angle you look, they will always be themself. Publication is set for spring 2022; Melissa Nasson at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
51747-1.JPG Kathleen Keenan at Kids Can Press has bought world rights to Dark Cloud by Anna Lazowski (l.), illustrated by Penny Neville-Lee, an exploration of how depression can look and feel, using symbolic imagery kids can understand. It features a girl who has a dark cloud that follows her around and, at first, keeps her from doing her favorite things but slowly, she learns how to live with her cloud at her side. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Jodie Hodges at United Agents represented the illustrator.
51748-1.JPG Alison Deering at Capstone has acquired world rights to Penny, the Engineering Tail of the Fourth Little Pig, a picture book from Cece Loves Science authors Kimberly Derting (l.) and Shelli R. Johannes (c.), illustrated by Hannah Marks (r.). In this reimagining of The Three Little Pigs, Penny isn't just the fourth little pig—she's an engineer. So when big bad Wolfgang destroys her brothers' homes, Penny comes to the rescue, using her engineering know-how to save her family from his huffing and puffing. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Lara Perkins and Laura Rennert, both at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, represented the authors, and Kate Kendrick at Astound US represented the illustrator.
To see all of this week's deals, click here.


51770-1.JPGThe Tiny Star
Mem Fox, illus. by Freya Blackwood. Knopf, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-30401-3

This meditation by Fox and Blackwood starts with a miracle: “Once upon a time, although this happens all the time, a tiny star fell to earth,” Fox begins engagingly, “and turned into a baby!” At the end of its life, the star shrinks, then disappears altogether. Its human companions grieve until they realize that the star, back in the sky, is shining down on them, in a book that shows how love can draw people closer as individuals and as a community. more more_arrow.gif


Ashley Wolff. Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8773-4

“Buck hears the rumble. Squirrel sees the flash.” A lightning strike ignites a fire on Spruce Mountain, spurring animals and people into action in this sweeping picture book by Wolff. This timely, factually rooted book simultaneously focuses on one forest’s ecosystem and depicts the wildfire reactions of myriad species. more more_arrow.gif


51772-1.JPGstar.gifFifty-Four Things Wrong with
Gwendolyn Rogers

Caela Carter. Quill Tree, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-299663-3

Carter draws from her own experience of undiagnosed ADHD and dyslexia in this moving, authentically told story. Carter provides searing descriptions of Gwendolyn’s attempts at “appropriate” behavior, as well as of the school’s differing class- and gender-related expectations. A compassionate portrait of what a diagnosis can offer. more more_arrow.gif


51773-1.JPGstar.gifThe Golden Hour
Niki Smith. Little, Brown, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-316-54033-9

After saving his art teacher from an armed attacker at school, Manuel Soto, a Latinx aspiring photographer, copes with PTSD with the help of a therapist and his single mother. With a soft start and a gentle build, Smith’s graphic novel details the realities of Manuel’s trauma response while reveling in subdued, generous scenes that showcase the three friends’ everyday joys. more more_arrow.gif


51774-1.JPGstar.gifA Snake Falls to Earth
Darcie Little Badger. Levine Querido, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-64614-092-3

The second novel by Lipan Apache author Little Badger is a smartly intertwined, shifting-perspective story about two characters in worlds that diverged thousands of years ago: Earth-living Nina, and Reflecting World–living Oli. With a basis in Apache stories, this speculative novel details Nina’s lineage. Fun, imaginative, and deeply immersive. more more_arrow.gif


51775-1.JPGWe Light Up the Sky
Lilliam Rivera. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0376-3

Three Latinx teens must team up to protect Earth and stop an alien invasion converging on a post-Covid-19 Los Angeles in Rivera’s thought-provoking, genre-savvy work of speculative fiction. Sharp social commentary, on-point humor, and a tender exploration of grief add heart and depth to a novel that’s just right for fans of Attack the Block. more more_arrow.gif

August 26, 2021
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Clavis Back to School
The Other Talk
Astro Nuts Series
How to Fold a Taco
To Our Readers
Children's Bookshelf is currently on a summer schedule. For the rest of August, we'll be publishing once a week, on Thursdays. We'll resume our regular twice-weekly schedule after Labor Day.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers has three promotions. Kathleen Merz has been promoted to editorial director, from acquisitions and managing editor. Holly Hoover has been promoted to art director, from design and production manager. Courtney Zonnefeld has been promoted to assistant editor, from editorial assistant.
Talia Behrend-Wilcox has been promoted to senior manager, subsidiary rights at Abrams. She was previously subsidiary rights manager.
At Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Catherine Laudone is joining Paula Wiseman Books as editor; most recently she was associate editor with the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers imprint.
Claire Rivkin has joined Random House Children's Books as subsidiary rights coordinator; she was previously a rights and cross-channel assistant at Scholastic.
Paktra Lynch has joined Candlewick as educational marketing and consumer outreach assistant.
Sneak Previews
Take a look ahead at some of the big titles for children and teens due out in spring 2022, from picture books to YA novels, in our exclusive roundup.
Booksellers Eye the Future at Children’s Institute 2021
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New Children’s Bookstores Opening Their Doors
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Social Media Tips from Kids' Booksellers
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2021 Middle Ground Book Fest in Photos
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51551-1.JPGChildren's Frontlist Fiction
#1 Mothering Heights (Dog Man #10) by Dav Pilkey. Click here more_arrow.gif
51695-1.JPGPicture Books
#1 Our Class Is a Family by Shannon Olsen, illus. by Sandie Sonke. Click here more_arrow.gif
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