PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Anna Hibiscus
In the Spotlight
Children's Books for Spring:
All Our Coverage

Check out our comprehensive A-to-Z listings of publishers’ spring offerings for kids and teens, and more, in our Spring Announcements issue—featuring a cover by Caldecott Honoree LeUyen Pham. Happy reading! more
In the News
Sterling Acquires Boxer Books
Sterling Publishing has announced its acquisition of Boxer Books, an independent London-based publisher of books for children up to age seven. The purchase expands the range of publishing businesses owned by Sterling, which will now publish kids' books under its Union Square Kids and Boxer Books imprints. more
Seuss Studios Will Shed New Light on Vintage Art and New Voices
The seemingly limitless legacy of Dr. Seuss will soon add yet another creative chapter with the launch of Seuss Studios, a joint venture of Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children's Books. The new imprint will publish a line of books for early readers by new and emerging authors and illustrators, who will create original stories inspired by Dr. Seuss's unpublished sketches and illustrations. more
Rebel Girls Receives $13 Million in New Funding
In a seed round, the Rebel Girls brand has raised $13 million to build "an immersive online/offline experience." Over the past few years, the Rebel Girls brand has grown from a self-started book series into a budding multimedia empire. more
SPONSORED
A Fantastical Tale Inspired by a Real-Life Heroine
In this empowering new fairy tale, young Loujain challenges the injustices of her world and makes her biggest dream come true. The New York Times calls it a "clever narrative" filled with “extraordinary spirit… gorgeous colors… a magical quality.” Inspired by activist Loujain AlHathloul and a perfect read-aloud for Women's History Month! MORE ►
Obituary
Paula Cohen
Rising children's author-illustrator Paula Cohen, whose picture book Big Dreams, Small Fish was published on March 1, died suddenly on February 24. She was 57. Christy Ewers of the CAT Agency, who represented Cohen, said, “Paula was so much like Shirley, the protagonist of her debut picture book. She was thoughtful, fiery, sweet, funny, talented, and wildly determined. It was a true honor to be a small part of making one of Paula’s big dreams come true.” more
Bookselling News
Cincinnati's Blue Manatee Loses Lease, Will Close
The Blue Manatee Literacy Project announced on Wednesday that due to the building's owner not renewing the store's lease, the Cincinnati indie is closing on March 13. It will continue to maintain its online presence. more
Punky Aloha
Interview
Christina Soontornvat: Genre Master
In a rare feat, Christina Soontornvat was awarded two Newbery Honors in 2021 for two dramatically different books: A Wish in the Dark, her Thai-inspired fantastical twist on Les Misérables; and All Thirteen, about the daring, real-life rescue of a Thai boys’ soccer team trapped underground and underwater. Her forthcoming books are just as diverse in content and form. “The thread that ties them together," she said, "is this idea of, what can one person do?” more
Out Next Week
Hot Off the Presses:
Week of March 7

Among the books hitting shelves this week are a middle grade book in which a girl searches for her missing friend, a picture book answering questions about gender, a YA novel that follows teens on a thrilling road trip, and more. more
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Hear our latest podcasts, featuring Kate Albus, Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, Carlos Hernandez, Supriya Kelkar, Brittney Morris, Christopher Myers, and Jo Watson – 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.

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Rights Report
Megan Peace at Scholastic/Graphix has acquired Stars in Their Eyes, a queer YA rom-com graphic novel by Jessica Walton (l.) and Aśka about two teens who meet at a fan convention, and—among crowds of cosplay and celebrity appearances—connect with each other in ways they never expected. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Daniel Lazar at Writers House sold world English rights (minus Australia and New Zealand) on behalf of Jane Fraser at Fremantle Press in Australia.
Becky Monds at Thomas Nelson has bought, in an exclusive submission, The Houdini Murders in a three-book deal by Court Stevens. In a small town, friends wrestle with the death of a childhood friend, the horrific guilt of a former town hero, and a hydroelectric dam project that may sink the entire town before the answers can be found. Publication is slated for September 2023; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Polo Orozco at Putnam has acquired Deaf author Anna Sortino's Give Me a Sign, a YA contemporary debut novel pitched as Jenny Han meets Crip Camp, in which a teen girl with hearing aids returns to camp for the Deaf and Blind as a counselor, eager to improve her ASL and find her place in the community—not expecting to also find summer romance along the way. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Kari Sutherland did the deal for world English while at Bradford Literary Agency.
Charlotte Greenbaum at Abrams/Amulet has bought, in an exclusive submission, The Hollow by Che Grayson (l.), illustrated by Taylor Keith. This YA debut horror graphic novel, set in the Great Smoky Mountains, follows Ruby James, a young podcaster who takes a trip with her three best friends to her ancestral home, the mysterious ghost town of Cure, where urban legends are real and monsters lurk around every corner. Publication is set for spring 2025; Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Ashtyn Stann at Flux has acquired debut author Kate Anderson's sapphic paranormal YA novel Here Lies Olive, in which a 16-year-old girl summons a ghost to find out what happens after people die, unleashing an otherworldly danger that threatens everyone she loves. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Sharon Belcastro at Belcastro Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Shaina Olmanson at Lerner/Zest Books has bought the YA nonfiction title Nearer My Freedom by Monica Edinger (l.) and Lesley Younge. Using Olaudah Equiano's autobiography as a source text, the title shares Equiano's life story in found verse supplemented with annotations. The book follows Equiano from his birth in the Igbo region of western Africa and his enslavement at a young age to his liberation and his work as an abolitionist. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management represented both authors and brokered the deal for world rights.
Karen Lotz and Susan Van Metre at Candlewick won a seven-house auction for John Schu's debut middle grade novel-in-verse, Louder Than Hunger, a fictionalized version of the author's experiences and emotions as a young teen while living in residential treatment facilities due to an eating disorder. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kate Prosswimmer at Simon & Schuster has acquired, at auction, Finch House by Ciera Burch. This middle grade debut, aimed at fans of Coraline and Doll Bones, follows 12-year-old Micah who gets trapped in an old Victorian house while looking for her grandfather who was last seen there. If she has any hope of escaping, she must outsmart the house and get it to release its hold not just on them, but on the other souls it has trapped over the years. Publication is set for fall 2023; Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary & Media did the two-book deal for world English rights.
Miriam Newman at Candlewick has bought world English rights, at auction, to Caroline Carlson's middle grade novel Wicked Marigold, about a princess who fails at being perfectly good and decides to be perfectly wicked, only to discover that life as an evil wizard comes with its own challenges and that people are, in fact, more complicated that she thought. Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal for publication in spring 2024, and a second untitled middle grade novel, in spring 2025.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle Books has acquired Anna E. Jordan's debut middle grade novel, Shira and Esther Double the Wonder, pitched as The Prince and the Pauper meets The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. A rabbi's daughter and a performer's daughter who share a remarkable resemblance swap places to pursue their forbidden dreams of the theater stage and the synagogue bima, until they must team up to save the theater from closing and bring their families together. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Janine Le handled the deal while at Sheldon Fogelman Agency.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Young Readers has bought MarcyKate Connolly's next middle grade novel, A Breath of Mischief. In this standalone fantasy, a young Windling named Aria must go on a quest when her parent, The Wind, goes missing and their cloud castle falls from the sky. But when all the natural elements begin to vanish one by one, Aria realizes that there is a darker mischief at play. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to The Number Nine Plaza by Winterhouse trilogy author Ben Guterson. In this middle grade mystery duology, 11-year-old Herbert Olinga is determined to save his grandmother's 19-story out-of-this-world department store from an unknown adversary. Publication of the first book is planned for winter 2024; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency did the deal for the author.
Joy Bean at Arctis Books USA has bought the first two books in the middle grade Franny Cloutier series by Stéphanie Lapointe (l.). Written in diary format, a 14-year-old humorously chronicles her life after she is sent to live in a small town with her aunt after her mother dies and her father moves to Japan to pursue his research. The first book in the series, The Year My Life Turned Upside-Down, will be translated from the French by Ann Marie Boulanger. Publication is set for spring 2023; Mathilde Pineau-Valencienne at Tilly Ink brokered the deal for world English rights.
Renee Kelly at Penguin Workshop has bought world rights to Bug Catchers and Beetle Mania, the first two books in the Dirt & Bugsy early reader series by Megan Litwin (l.), illustrated by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn; Kelly and Alex Wolfe will edit. The books introduce two friends with contagious curiosity, creative problem solving, and passion for bugs. Publication is slated for spring 2023 and summer 2023; Lindsay Auld at Writers House represented the author, and Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrew Smith at Abrams has acquired Matthew Reinhart's Marvel Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book, a pop-up book of Marvel super heroes—from Spider-Man to the Avengers to the Fantastic Four. Meredith Mundy is editing; publication is planned for fall 2022. Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought author-illustrator Bob Holt's picture book The Red Jacket, about a seagull named Bob who finally feels appreciated by his flock after he receives a red jacket—until he loses it. Publication is set for summer 2023; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Karen Lotz at Candlewick has acquired, on exclusive submission, world English rights to The Poetry Place Is Our Space by John Schu (l.), a celebration of poetry, possibility, and the power of creative collaboration; Holly Hatam will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Liz Bicknell at Candlewick has bought world rights to Everyone Starts Small, a picture book about the growth cycle and interconnectedness of all things by All the World author Liz Garton Scanlon (l.), illustrated by Dominique Ramsey, for publication in spring 2024. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Kristen Mohn at Capstone has acquired world rights to Yoshi's Big Swim: One Turtle's Epic Journey Home by Mary Wagley Copp (l.) (Wherever I Go), illustrated by Kaja Kajfež. This picture book tells the true story of an injured loggerhead turtle rescued by fishermen, rehabilitated in an aquarium in South Africa, and released on her journey home—recorded to be two years and 22,000 miles. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Erin Tisdel at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane Books has bought world rights to City Song by Ishta Mercurio (l.), illustrated by Erin Robinson. City Song is a picture book ode to cities and the people that give life to a city as it changes across generations. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency represented the author, and Marlena Torzecka at Marlena Agency represented the illustrator.
Amanda Ramirez while at Simon and Schuster acquired world rights to Remembering, a picture book of children building an ofrenda in memory of their dearly departed pets on Día de los Angelitos, one of the ritual celebrations of Día de Muertos. It's written by Xelena González (l.) and illustrated by Pura Belpre Honor recipient Adriana M. Garcia, in their third collaboration; Celia Lee will edit. Publication is set for summer 2023; Marietta Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency represented the author, and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the illustrator.
Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has bought world English rights to Henna Is… by Marzieh Abbas (l.), illustrated by Anu Chouhan, a picture book celebrating the traditional and cultural significance of henna. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Elizabeth Schleisman at Beaming Books has acquired North American rights to the debut picture book Big Truck Playdate by Laurie Carmody (l.), illustrated by Jennica Lounsbury. When his school hosts a semi-truck event and is swarmed by interested kids, a boy with a singular passion for semi-trucks must find a way to be his unique, enthusiastic self. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the author, and Christina Doffing at Astound Agency represented the illustrator.
Dena Neusner at Apples & Honey Press has bought world rights to The Porridge Pot Goblin, a picture book by Jacqueline Jules (l.), illustrated by Hector Borlasca. The book follows a brother and sister as they outwit an invisible goblin who gets in their way as they try to let their mother rest while they get ready for Shabbat. Publication is planned for September 2022; the author represented herself; MB Artists represented the illustrator.
To see all of this week's deals, click here.

IN THE MEDIA
FEATURED REVIEWS

Elefantastic! A Story of Magic in 5 Acts
Jane Yolen, illus. by Brett Helquist. Chronicle, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7681-9

Told in five acts, Yolen writes a variation story of a Broadway producer who bought an elephant, orphaned in Zimbabwe in 1982. The artwork successfully centers a magician’s love for a creature in this nostalgic piece of Americana. more

Witchlings
Claribel A. Ortega. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-338-74552-8

Centering three resourceful, sympathetic protagonists and considering issues of exploitation and privilege, Ortega’s lively sophomore release interweaves Spanish phrases, contemporary elements, and well-grounded magical worldbuilding. more

I Will Protect You: A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz
Eva Mozes Kor with Danica Davidson. Little, Brown, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-316-46063-7

In a powerful telling, the late Eva Mozes Kor (1934–2019) and Davidson provide as much history lesson as personal recollection and call for human rights, contextualizing background on topics such as anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories and propaganda, genocide, and WWII. more

This Rebel Heart
Katherine Locke. Knopf, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-593-38124-3

Lyrically melding facts and otherworldly elements, Locke offers an original, moving tribute to the bravery of freedom fighters—straight and queer, Jewish and gentile—who risked their lives for their cause. more

The Chosen One: A First-Generation Ivy League Odyssey
Echo Brown. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-31066-6

Brown’s autobiographical sophomore novel weaves magical realism and mentions of Star Wars mythology into the collegiate experience of Echo, a Black student whose aim to succeed at Dartmouth becomes a quest to overcome personal trauma and broad cosmic forces. more

March 3, 2022
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Meaning of Pride
Honeybee Rescue
Total US Book Sales NPD
People
Adriana Dominguez has joined Aevitas Creative Management as senior agent; she was formerly literary agent at Full Circle Literary.
Abrams Children's Books has three promotions. Erica Finkel has been promoted to executive editor, from senior editor. Charlotte Greenbaum has been promoted to senior editor, graphic novels, from editor. Megan Carlson has been promoted to managing editor from associate managing editor.
Simon & Schuster Children's Books has three new hires. Alex Kelleher has joined as associate director of publicity; he was most recently associate director of publicity at Scholastic. Jennifer Jimenez has joined as digital marketing associate; she was a production associate at Abrams. Maryam Ahmad has joined as publicity assistant.
At HarperCollins Children's Books, Rose Pleuler has been promoted to editor for HarperAlley, from associate editor.
ICYMI
Soapbox: Why Amazon’s New LGTBQ+ Children's Category Matters
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Cover Reveal:
Ian Falconer Debuts Dachshund Duo in 'Two Dogs'

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Gina Gagliano Tapped to Head Boston Book Festival
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Four Questions for Traci Chee on 'A Thousand Steps into Night'
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Sneak Previews

Take a look ahead at some of the big titles for children and teens due out in fall 2022, from picture books to YA novels, in our exclusive roundup.
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