PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
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In the News
76505-v2-300x.JPGKacen Callender Wins NBA
For Young People's Literature

Accepting the award for their novel King and the Dragonflies during last night's virtual ceremony, Kacen Callender said, "Young people already have changed the world in so many ways, and it’s an honor and a privilege to be given the platform and the opportunity to help in their guidance through the magic of story.” more more_arrow.gif
76463-v2-300x.JPGBologna Fair Moves to June 2021, Adds General Book Program
The Bologna Children’s Book Fair has changed its dates for 2021, moving from April to June 14–17. In addition, the fair has announced the launch of BolognaBookPlus, a new general publishing conference that will take place alongside the Children’s Fair. more more_arrow.gif
West Coast Report
76352-v3-300x.JPGChildren's Publishers in California Provide an Escape
As schools, libraries, and bookstores closed around the country this spring, California children’s publishers responded with a bevy of new books and virtual experiences to help families cope. more more_arrow.gif
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On the Scene
45791-1.JPGJeff Kinney's Drive-Thru Tour in Photos
In celebration of book 15 in Jeff Kinney's mega-bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, the author took an innovative approach that followed pandemic protocol. Kinney embarked on The Deep End Drive-Thru Pool Party, a socially distanced tour along the East Coast. Click through to see highlights from the events. more more_arrow.gif
Brand Expansion
76396-v1-300x.JPGSelf-Published Author
Moves Brand into
Consumer Products

Popular self-published children's author-illustrator Diane Alber is partnering with Surge Licensing to expand her brand and characters globally. more more_arrow.gif
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Q & A
45793-1.JPGHolly Black
One year after releasing The Queen of Nothing, the final book in the Folk of the Air trilogy, Holly Black returns to the world of Elfame with an illustrated collection of short stories featuring Cardan, an inscrutable royal fey central to the trilogy. Black spoke with us about why books about Faerie bewitch readers, and leaving space to return to and expand on her world and characters.

Q: Why do you feel these stories about humans holding their own in a dark, magical world have continued to resonate with teen readers?

A: I’ve heard people talk about why we like survival stories. They say that we like to try to figure out what we would do in those situations. Would we make the same choices this person or character would make? Or would we choose a different path? Would we find our way through this experience better than the protagonist? I think that is part of what draws people. more more_arrow.gif
Out Next Week
76515-v1-300x.JPGHot Off the Presses:
Week of November 23, 2020

Among the books hitting shelves next week are a picture book about an Indigenous boy and his grandfather exploring the outdoors, the story of a snowy day up close, a queer YA fantasy retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, and more. more more_arrow.gif
In Brief
In Brief: November 19, 2020
This week, Chloe Gong launches a 'delight' of a debut; Jason Naylor unveils a colorful surprise; Scholastic Press authors gather for a heart-to-heart; and Marissa Meyer is a Karma Chameleon. more more_arrow.gif
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Rights Report
45768-1.JPG Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has acquired, in a 12-way auction, Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon. A novel of six interlinked stories of Black love, the book is set on a single day during a summer heatwave that causes a power outage across New York City. Publication is set for summer 2021; Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency, who represents Clayton, did the two-book deal for North American rights on behalf of Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary for Jackson, Mollie Glick at CAA for Stone, Brooks Sherman at Janklow & Nesbit for Thomas, Beth Phelan at Gallt & Zacker for Woodfolk, and Jodi Reamer at Writers House for Yoon. Photo (clockwise from top l.): Thomas, Jackson, Stone, Clayton, Yoon, and Woodfolk.
45769-1.JPG Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray and Andrew Eliopulos at HarperCollins/Quill Tree have signed Here's to Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. In this sequel to What If It's Us, Arthur and Ben are reunited by chance over a summer in New York, and find themselves once again asking “What if…?” Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Holly Root at Root Literary and Jodi Reamer at Writers House brokered the deal for world English rights.
45770-1.JPG Alexandra Sehulster at Wednesday Books has bought Remi K. England's YA contemporary novel, The One True Me and You, a geeky queer romance where a beloved fanfic author and beauty pageant contestant find love, and learn what it means to be, and stand up for, yourself. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Eric Smith at P.S. Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
45771-1.JPG Carmen Johnson at Amazon/Skyscape acquired, in a six-figure preempt, world rights to Farah Heron's #OwnVoices coming-of age rom-com Tahira in Bloom, starring a South Asian Muslim heroine, and pitched as Schitt's Creek meets Netflix's The Big Flower Fight. Seventeen-year-old aspiring designer Tahira is chasing her big fashion dreams, but when her coveted internship falls through and she's forced to spend the summer working at her aunt's sleepy boutique in a rural community, she'll be forced to innovate if she wants to keep her plans on track, possibly with help from the plant nerd next door. Publication is slated for late 2021; Rachel Brooks at BookEnds Literary handled the two-book deal.
45772-1.JPG Hannah Smith at Owl Hollow has bought YA psychological thriller Cabin Redemption by Shelly X. Leonn (The Ghost and the Wolf), in which troubled teen Laena is sent by her family to Cabin Redemption, a program offering immersive, holistic therapy, complete with horses. When Laena and 11 other teens are left alone at the cabin and the bridge leading off the mountain is swept away by floods, tragedy ensues, and it's a race against time for them to solve the mystery and save themselves. Publication is set for summer 2022; Stephanie Hansen at Metamorphosis Literary did the deal for world rights.
45773-1.JPG Robyn Chapman at First Second has acquired, at auction, Wes Molebash's Travis Daventhorpe for the Win!, a four-book middle-grade graphic novel series about an 11-year-old robotics engineer who discovers he's the prophesied hero of a magical kingdom from another dimension who must survive a school bully's atomic wedgies, new friendships, and an ancient evil while trying to master the hardest task of his life: swinging a sword. Michael Moccio will edit; publication is scheduled for 2022. Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
45774-1.JPG Emily Seife at Scholastic Press has bought Daphne Benedis-Grab's I Know Your Secret, pitched as a middle grade One of Us Is Lying. Seventh graders Ally, Todd, Gemma, and Owen have nothing in common—until the evening they each receive the same email: “I know your secret. Do what I say… or I will tell everyone.” Desperate to protect their secrets, they band together to follow the increasingly challenging instructions, while racing to discover who is blackmailing them and why. Publication is planned for 2021; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal.
45775-1.JPG Erika Finkel at Abrams has acquired Karthik Delivers by Sheela Chari, a middle grade novel set during the financial crisis, following a boy who makes deliveries for his family's struggling grocery store while secretly acting in a play about Leonard Bernstein. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Steven Malk at Writers House handled the deal for North American rights.
45776-1.JPG Anne Hoppe at Clarion has bought, in a preempt, picture book author Mylisa Larsen's debut middle-grade novel, Playing Through the Turnaround, in which an ensemble cast of eighth graders fighting school budget cuts learns to stand up and speak out. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
45777-1.JPG Liz Kossnar at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins!, a middle grade first period story by debut author Karina Evans, in the vein of Eighth Grade and Pen-15. After finishing seventh grade, Tahlia is excited to jumpstart her eighth grade social status at a popular kid's pool party, until her first monthly gift arrives just as her mother leaves for a weekend retreat. Publication is set for winter 2022; Jessica Mileo at InkWell Management negotiated the deal.
45778-1.JPG Dana Chidiac at Dial has bought, in a preempt, world rights to Champ and Major: First Dogs by Joy McCullough (l.), illustrated by Sheyda Abvabi Best, a picture book about President-elect Joe Biden's two German shepherds, Champ and Major. Major will be the first shelter dog to live in the White House, and Champ can't wait to show him the ropes. Publication is planned for January 19, 2021; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented the author, and Tamara Shannon at Shannon Associates represented the illustrator.
45779-1.JPG Allyn Johnston at S&S/Beach Lane has acquired world rights to Where They Once Flew, a picture book by Angela DiTerlizzi, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell. Told in rhyme, the book invites young readers to journey into the world of bird migration and conservation. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio represented the illustrator.
45780-1.JPG Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins bought world rights to Indigo Dreaming by Dinah Johnson (l.), illustrated by Anna Cunha. A celebration of the African Diaspora, this picture book introduces readers to a Gullah girl from the South Carolina Sea Islands who imagines another girl, living in the home of her ancestors across the sea. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and the illustrator is unagented.
45781-1.JPG Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Just as You Are: Every Kid Is a Revolutionary by Cindy Wang Brandt (l.), illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao. This debut picture book declares that every child already has what it takes to participate in revolutionary social change no matter their age, skills, or personality. Publication is set for October 2021; Rachelle Gardner at Books and Such Literary Management represented the author, and Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
45782-1.JPG Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought, at auction, To Make by Danielle Davis (l.), a debut picture book that explores and celebrates the creative process, suggesting that the patience and perseverance required to make anything are part of what makes it special, to be illustrated by Mags DeRoma. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Hannah Mann at Writers House represented both creators in the deal for world rights.
45783-1.JPG Kathleen Keenan at Kids Can has acquired world rights to Hiders Seekers, Finders Keepers by Jessica Kulekjian (l.), illustrated by Salini Perera, a look at the way animals respond to cold weather. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Tracy Marchini and James McGowan at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented themself.
45784-1.JPG Zhiqiao Wang at Yeehoo Press has bought world rights to The Perfect Party, a picture book by Laurel Paula Jackson (l.), illustrated by Hélène Baum. All the animals from different countries in the zoo want to throw a birthday party for bird Robin, but they start to out-sing each other—until they are reminded that they can collaborate perfectly, especially when they are all different. Publication is set for fall 2021 in the U.S. and mainland China; the author and the illustrator represented themselves.
45785-1.JPG Susan Brooke at Phoenix International/Sunbird has acquired world English rights to My Feelings, My Touch, and My Imagination by Jeffrey Turner, board books that help young children connect words with their inner and outer experiences. Publication for the first two is scheduled for May 2021, with My Imagination to follow in February 2022. Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented the author-illustrator.
45786-v1-300x.JPG Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has bought world rights to No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Climate Change, a picture-book anthology edited by Jeanette Bradley (l.), Keila V. Dawson (c.), and Lindsay H. Metcalf (r.), and illustrated by Bradley, featuring 14 contemporary young activists working to combat climate change. The subjects, who began their activism as children and teens, include eco hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, solar engineer Maanasa Mendu, and water commissioner Autumn Peltier (Anishinabek). Contributors include G. Neri, Traci Sorell, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, and Rajani LaRocca. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt did the deal for the co-editors and the illustrator.
45787-v1-300x.JPG Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Pool Party by Elisa Parhad (l.) and Amy Duchene (c.), illustrated by Anne Bentley (r.), a picture book about a fun-filled day at a public pool. Publication is slated for spring 2022; the authors and illustrator represented themselves.
To see all of this week's deals, click here.


45752-1.JPGBig Rig Rescue!
Chris Gall. Norton Young Readers, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-324-01539-0

A semi “haulin’ tons of scrap” has rolled over in a swirling snowstorm. First on the scene is 14-wheeler Big Orange, whose bearded, pale-skinned driver narrates the story. The toppled rig refuses to budge until another tow truck, Big Blue, arrives, piloted by a tan-skinned figure with a long ponytail and pink gloves. The two drivers hook cables onto either side of the semi, and with some get-’er-done engineering, the semi is righted. Gall’s storytelling is as muscular as the rigs he celebrates. more more_arrow.gif


45753-1.JPGOutside, Inside
LeUyen Pham. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-79835-0

Slowly, deliberately, Pham explores what changed about the world when Covid-19 hit. A street full of adults, children, dog walkers, and grandparents empties in the turn of a page: “Everybody who was OUTSIDE.../ ...went INSIDE.” The Caldecott Honoree offers a record of a period of difficulty, a testimony both to loss experienced and moments of unexpected good. more more_arrow.gif


45754-1.JPGRoot Magic
Eden Royce. Walden Pond, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-289957-6

Eleven-year-old twins Jezebel and Jay Turner have just lost their grandmother when an unexpected visit from a racist police deputy spurs their uncle, Doc, to begin teaching them how to engage with their heritage through root magic, which offers healing and protection. 1960s South Carolina comes to life in this middle grade debut filled with magic and heart. more more_arrow.gif


45755-1.JPGDon’t Tell a Soul
Kirsten Miller. Delacorte, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-58120-8

When Bram Howland’s troubles begin threatening her widowed mother’s social standing, the 17-year-old recovering drug addict heads upstate from Manhattan to Louth, where her uncle James is renovating a mansion built by the town’s namesake. Multiple “dead girls” have been linked to the house, most recently James’s second wife, who died in a fire allegedly set by her teenage daughter. Bram suspects there is more to the story, though—particularly after she starts seeing Grace’s ghost. Miller delivers a feminist twist on gothic horror that thrills and chills. more more_arrow.gif


Katharyn Blair. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-0626-5764-0

In this dystopia with a largely female cast, humankind unleashes the Crimson, a viruslike curse that causes the end of the world as it is known. Several years later, Charlotte feels invisible between her two sisters: older Harlow, the fierce military commander and younger Vanessa, who is prophesied to be the Chosen One who will end the Crimson. Pretending to be the Chosen One herself to protect Vanessa, Charlotte begins to develop self-confidence and unravels a conspiracy behind the virus’s spread. This relevant adventure is sure to interest socially conscious fantasy fans. more more_arrow.gif

November 19, 2020
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Little Simon Graphics!
Little Simon Graphics!
Katherine Paterson Remembers Editor Virginia Buckley
more more_arrow.gif
Expect the Unexpected from Enchanted Lion’s 'Unruly' Imprint
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2020 CBC Diversity Awards: 'Experience, Strength, and Hope'
more more_arrow.gif
In Conversation: Rachel Cohn and
David Levithan on ‘Dash & Lily’

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