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Focus on Middle Grade
70663-v1-300x.JPGEye on Middle Grade:
Spring 2020

We asked editors about some of the latest developments in the category: the portrayal of mental health issues and #MeToo trauma, and graphic novel–style memoirs and nonfiction. more more_arrow.gif
70712-v1-300x.JPGMiddle Grade Spotlight:
A Book List

Click through to see our selection of some of the noteworthy spring titles exploring new territory in books for young readers. more more_arrow.gif
In the Spotlight
While the book publishing industry is responding daily to the coronavirus outbreak, we will provide continuing coverage on efforts by publishers, authors, booksellers, and more.
71094-1.JPGWorking from Home
Having to work from home because of the Covid-19 pandemic presents a unique set of challenges, such as figuring out a workspace, attending videoconferences with kids and pets vying for attention, and more. We asked children's publishing staffers how they are coping. more more_arrow.gif
71102-1.JPGKerlan Collection Hosts #OperationReadAloud
True to its mission of promoting children's literature and literacy, the Kerlan Children's Literature Research Collections has launched #OperationReadAloud. The project consists of videos, primarily of authors and illustrators, but also celebrities such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, reading from beloved children’s books. more more_arrow.gif
71111-1.JPGMacKids Streaming Schoolhouse
To Offer Author-Led Classes

Schools nationwide have struggled with the challenge of how best to open for online instruction, but for students who have internet access, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group is offering three days of instruction from a unique set of teachers. From April 27–30, MacKids Streaming Schoolhouse will provide classes for middle graders taught by children's authors. more more_arrow.gif
In the News
41093-1.JPGFederal Appeals Court Declares
Literacy a Constitutional Right

In a 2-1 ruling released today, the court held that basic literacy is "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty," and central to "the basic exercise of other fundamental rights," including political participation. more more_arrow.gif
71099-1.JPGBologna Virtual Fair Releases Schedule,
Opens Registrations

The Bologna Children's Book Fair has released its schedule for the virtual edition of the fair, which will be held from May 4–7. The online edition includes exhibitions, conferences, and even illustrator portfolio reviews. "We have been working nonstop for weeks to see this happen and feel we have come up with the best approximate experience of actually being in Bologna at the fair that we can with the tools available," exhibition manager Elena Pasoli told PW. more more_arrow.gif
41072-1.JPGRiordans to Match Up to $100K
In Donations to #SaveIndieBookstores

Rick and Becky Riordan have announced a personal matching gift challenge for the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign, in which they will match each dollar raised up to $100,000. MORE more_arrow.gif
71072-2.JPGGotham Group Joins Nonprofits to Provide Kids' Content During Pandemic
The Gotham Group, a management and production company representing talent in the entertainment and book industries, has assembled a number of nonprofit organizations to share free videos for children under quarantine. The Gotham Reads series, which kicked off on YouTube yesterday, will feature nearly 75 authors, screenwriters, and performers, reading books and discussing their creative process. more more_arrow.gif
Out Next Week
71074-1.JPGHot Off the Presses:
Week of April 27, 2020

Among the books hitting shelves next week are a rhyming picture book about sizzling sausages, a galactic middle grade series-starter, and the launch of a YA high fantasy duology. more more_arrow.gif
In Brief
In Brief: April 23, 2020
This week, Isaac Fitzgerald and Brigette Barrager have a dream fulfilled; Jeopardy! features a contemporary classic; Monica Hesse has a virtual launch; and Wednesday Books has a weeklong reader fest. more more_arrow.gif
PW KidsCast: Listen Now
Hear our latest podcasts, featuring Supriya Kelkar, Tomi Adeyemi, Kwame Alexander, Jonathan Auxier, Antony Barone Kolenc, Lauren DeStefano and Gaia Cornwall, Hafsah Faizal, Carlos Hernandez, Brittney Morris, Christopher Myers, Steve Sheinkin, and Rebecca Stead – listen to these and other top writers and artists discuss their new books for children and teens in our PW KidsCast podcast. Click here to listen.


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

Rights Report
41073-1.JPG Nicole Sclama at HMH has acquired, at auction, Akshaya Raman's epic YA fantasy debut, The Ivory Key, first in a duology. Set in an Indian-inspired world where magic is a physical resource, four estranged royal siblings must find a new source of magic to save their country. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Hillary Jacobson at ICM Partners brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
41074-1.JPG Arianne Lewin at Putnam has acquired, in a preempt, in a two-book deal, debut author Leslie Vedder's The Bone Spindle, an #OwnVoices LGBTQ YA fantasy pitched as a gender-flipped Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones, in which a cursed treasure hunter and an axe-wielding huntswoman must team up to rescue the prince sleeping in the Forest of Thorns. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Carrie Hannigan and Ellen Goff at HG Literary did the deal for North American rights.
41075-1.JPG Britny Brooks at Running Press has bought Fools in Love, a romance anthology co-edited by Rebecca Podos (l.) and Ashley Herring Blake, offering new takes on classic romance tropes in multiple genres, from Rebecca Barrow, Gloria Chao, Sara Farizan, Claire Kann, Hannah Moskowitz, Natasha Ngan, Lilliam Rivera, Laura Silverman, Amy Spalding, Rebecca Kim Wells, Julian Winters, and more. Publication is set for December 2021; Eric Smith at P.S. Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
41076-1.JPG Nicole Ellul at Simon Pulse has bought Jenn Bennett's (Alex Approximately and Starry Eyes) new YA romance, Always June. During a lake vacation, a teenage girl falls for a boy who mistakenly believes she's the wealthy daughter of a reclusive California record producer—not the daughter of his chauffeur. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
41077-2.JPG Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired Mapmaker, a middle-grade fantasy by Lisa Moore Ramée (A Good Kind of Trouble), and a second untitled middle grade novel. Walt is a Mapmaker, one of just a few in the universe who can draw maps that come to life. He must pit his own powers against another malevolent Mapmaker who has the power to destroy any world—including our own. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group handled the two-book deal for world English rights.
41078-1.JPG Claire Stetzer at Bloomsbury has bought, at auction, J. Elle's middle grade debut, A Taste of Magic. The first of two books set at the Park Row Magic Academy stars 12-year-old Kyana, a black girl who enrolls in an inner-city magical academy hidden in the back of a beauty shop and must fight to keep it open after redistricting and gentrification threaten to close it down. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
41079-1.JPG Laura Godwin at Macmillan/Godwin has acquired How to Be Brave, a middle grade debut by blogger and podcaster Daisy May Johnson. Set in a boarding school in the U.K.—the same one Calla's mother attended when she was orphaned years ago—Calla and her friends must outwit the new headmistress to save her mother (whose special duck expedition isn't what it seems) in the Amazon. Publication is set for fall 2021. Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio did the deal for North American rights on behalf of Bryony Woods at DKW in the U.K.; U.K. rights went to Sarah Odedina at Pushkin Press.
41080-1.JPG Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown has bought, in an exclusive submission, Sharee Miller's debut middle-grade graphic novel Curlfriends, in a planned four-book series. The series follows four black girls from different backgrounds as they meet, face challenges, and learn lessons about friendship, love, and growing up. Publication of book one is slated for fall 2022; Monica Odom at Odom Media Management brokered the deal for world rights.
41081-1.JPG Margaret Ferguson at Holiday House has acquired world rights to Worser, a middle-grade novel by Jennifer Ziegler, author of How Not to Be Popular and Revenge of the Flower Girls. Worser centers a socially awkward, word-loving boy whose life is upended by his single mother's recent stroke, but finds glimmers of hope when it turns out there are friends to be found who also share his love of wordplay. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
41082-1.JPG Karen Nagel at Aladdin has bought, in an exclusive submission, the first four books of a chapter book series, Night Frights, by Joe McGee (Junior Monster Scouts). The books tell about strange happenings in a small town in the woods, creepy things that only kids see but adults never notice. Publication of the first book, The Haunted Mustache, is scheduled for fall 2021; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
41083-1.JPG Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook has acquired world rights to Parfait, Not Parfait! by Scott Rothman (l.) (Attack of the Underwear Dragon). Avery Monsen (All My Friends Are Dead) will illustrate. The book is a minimally worded read-aloud that takes readers on a wordplay journey. Publication is set for winter 2022; Erica Silverman at Stimola Literary represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
41084-1.JPG Allyn Johnston at Beach Lane has bought world rights to An Abundance of Light by Lauren Stringer, a picture book about Henri Matisse's experiences in Tangier, Morocco, and about how the people, the culture, and most of all, the abundance of sunlight, changed Matisse's understanding of light and dark in both his art and his life. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Victoria Wells Arms at Wells Arms Literary/HG represented the author-illustrator.
41085-1.JPG Nancy Inteli and Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins have acquired world rights to Jason June's (l.) picture book Never Forget Eleanor, about the life-changing power of words and the ways in which those we love never truly leave us. The story follows a young elephant named Elijah who loves the stories his grandma Eleanor tells him. But when Eleanor's memory starts to fade, Elijah will need to become the storyteller himself. Bestselling picture book creator Loren Long will illustrate; publication is planned for winter 2023. Brent Taylor at Triada US represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the artist.
41086-1.JPG Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has bought world rights to Branches of Hope: A Story About the 9/11 Survivor Tree, a nonfiction picture book by debut author Ann Magee (l.) and illustrated by Nicole Wong. The journey of the Callery pear tree rescued from Ground Zero and replanted 10 years later is presented alongside a wordless story about a girl and her first-responder uncle. Publication is set for summer 2021, in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The author was represented by Carole Boston Weatherford, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
41087-1.JPG Kristen Mohn at Capstone has acquired world rights to Best Buddies by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Arthur Lin. In this story about friendship and growing up, a boy with Down syndrome starts kindergarten, and he and his dog realize that even though they can't be together all day long anymore, they'll always be best buddies. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Susan Cohen at Writers House represented the author, and Simon Bollinger at Shannon Associates represented the illustrator.
41088-1.JPG Katie Moore at Magination Press has bought world rights to They're So Flamboyant!, a picture book by Michael Genhart (l.) (Rainbow: A First Book of Pride) that shows the welcome change that comes over a neighborhood of birds when a flamboyance of pretty, pink, and proud flamingos moves in. Tony Neal will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2021. Nicole Geiger at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Frederica Dawson at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
41089-1.JPG Lauri Hornik at Dial has acquired world rights to Marilyn Singer's (l.) Following the Holidays, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte. The collection of poems celebrates Jewish holidays both familiar and not, and explores the history behind each special day. Publication is planned for fall 2022; the author represented herself, and Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary Agency represented the artist.
41090-1.JPG Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press has bought world rights to Ocean Soup, written by Meeg Pincus (l.). The plastics in our oceans make the waters look more like a soup than the crystal-clear waters we expect, but who were those chefs who cooked up such a brew? And more importantly, what is the recipe for cleaning up our seas? Lucy Semple will illustrate; publication is set for spring 2021. Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
41091-1.JPG Cindy Kim at Little Simon has acquired world rights to Babybug, a board book written and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan. The book is a day-in-the-life adventure featuring baby's everyday activities imagined in nature. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the author.
To see all of this week's deals, click here.


Kenny Brechner
Two Twos

Two things I’m pretty sure are true and two things we’re doing at DDG to work around the closure of our selling floor.

more »

Elizabeth Bluemle
Publishers: Think Like a Kid

Pushing books back several months affects children differently from adults.

more »

Elizabeth Bluemle
Stars and Stares

Kind acts and thoughtful generosity shine through the darker moments of this crisis.

more »

Meghan Dietsche Goel
Reaching Readers Where They Are: At Home!

Offering a big thank you to BookShop and Ingram Direct-to-Home.

more »

41050-1.JPGIt’s Not My Fault!
Jory John, illus. by Jared Chapman. Random House, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-9848-3060-9

John and Chapman’s redheaded protagonist is a pro at passing the buck: it’s his pen’s fault that his homework is messy and late, and the moon’s fault that he’s up past his bedtime. But his fall guys are not as inanimate as he assumes. The blame game is never just fun and games. more more_arrow.gif


41051-1.JPGAny Day with You
Mae Respicio. Random/Lamb, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-525-70757-8

Filipina-American Kaia, 12, begins to see her beloved 90-year-old great-grandfather, Tatang, in a new light when he announces that he’ll be moving from their Santa Monica home to live in his homeland year-round. Rich with opportunities for discussion and contemplation, Respicio’s book offers a heartfelt story about family, embracing change, and the meaning of home. more more_arrow.gif


41052-1.JPGThe Turnover
Mike Lupica. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2158-5

Lupica’s newest feel-good sports story features dutiful 12-year-old Lucas Winston who, having lost his father to cancer when he was an infant, looks to his grandfather for guidance, especially when it comes to basketball. Now, with Gramps returning to coach the Claremont Wolves, Lucas is confident that their talented team will dominate the season. But when Lucas learns the startling truth about Gramps’s college career, he questions everything he thought he knew about his beloved grandfather. more more_arrow.gif


41053-1.JPGThe Betrothed
Kiera Cass. HarperTeen, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-229163-9

Cass’s trademark love triangle is set against the fictitious 16th-century kingdom of Coroa and its elaborate customs, while the threat posed by the insidious Isolte king adds danger. Though Hollis begins with a deference toward Jameson that at first makes her seem timid, she has found both her voice and her spine by the end of this duology opener, becoming a headstrong heroine whom Cass’s loyal following will champion. more more_arrow.gif


41054-1.JPGThe Fascinators
Andrew Eliopulos. Quill Tree, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-288804-4

In small-town Georgia, being a magicker is only slightly more acceptable than being gay, which makes things very difficult for high schooler Sam, who is both. With his best friends Delia and James, the group makes up the entire roster of their high school’s magic team, the Fascinators. Trouble begins as James steals a book from a cultlike magical group looking for ways to increase their numbers. Eliopulos, making his YA debut, builds out the complexities of childhood friends on the precipice of adulthood. more more_arrow.gif

April 23, 2020
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npd - Industry Expertise: Books
PW KidsCast: A Conversation with Supriya Kelkar
Award News
Family entertainment company Encantos has announced the launch of its Encantos Fellowship, a year-long creative mentorship and training program to provide the next generation of underrepresented talent with tools to embark on a career in family entertainment. Kayla Bowles, an 11th-grade student and National Honor Society member at the Ursuline School in New Rochelle, N.Y., has been selected as the first Encantos Fellow. The fellowship includes a $5,000 stipend. For more information, click here.
Learning at Home in the Age of Covid-19
more more_arrow.gif
With School Closures, Book Fairs Go Online
more more_arrow.gif
Free Coronavirus Picture E-Book Finds Eager Readers
more more_arrow.gif
Feiwel Series to Put New Faces and Spins on Classics
more more_arrow.gif
Sneak Previews
Take a look ahead at some of the big titles for children and teens due out in fall 2020, in our exclusive roundup. CLICK HERE more_arrow.gif
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