PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Ramen for Everyone by Patricia Tanumihardja
In Conversation
Linda Sue Park
and Ellen Oh

Last summer, HarperCollins Children's Books announced the launch of Allida, an imprint at Clarion Books led by Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park and Clarion editorial director Anne Hoppe. The imprint's debut title, You Are Here: Connecting Flights, is a middle grade exploration of contemporary Asian American identity told through interwoven stories from 12 East and Southeast Asian American authors. We asked Park and Ellen Oh, co-founder of We Need Diverse Books and editor of You Are Here, to discuss the impetus behind Allida and their work on its inaugural title. more
Bologna Book Fair
Bologna 2023:
Photos from the Fair

Publishing professionals from around the globe gathered for the 60th Bologna Children's Book Fair last week to scope out new trends, honor accomplished artists, and network with colleagues. Click through for our photo tour with highlights from the event, featuring visiting authors and illustrators, award presentations, an anniversary party, and more. more
Wherever You Are, God Is There
Written by bestselling author Glenys Nellist, Wherever You Are encourages kids to notice the loving presence of God all around them, no matter where they go or how they feel. A gentle, progressive answer to the perennial question: Where is God?, this picture book is a perfect addition to Easter baskets this holiday season.   MORE ►
In the News
Bank Street Launches Margaret Wise Brown
Board Book Award

The Center for Children's Literature at Bank Street College held a virtual event for the inaugural Margaret Wise Brown Board Book Award on March 9. Developed by the Children’s Book Committee, the award honors its namesake, the beloved children’s book author and Bank Street alumna. more
Young, Black & Lit Celebrates
Fifth Anniversary with Writing Contest and Donations

2023 marks five years since the start of Young, Black & Lit, a nonprofit committed to increasing access to children's books that center Black children and experiences. The organization is partnering with local nonprofits to donate books, kickstarting a national book-giving campaign, and hosting a writers’ competition. more
Book News
New Novel from Christopher Paolini
Slated for November

Knopf will publish Murtagh, the new book from author Christopher Paolini, on November 7, with a first print run of two million copies. Paolini is the author of the four-book Inheritance Cycle series, which has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. more
Mattel Will Form Its Own Publishing Imprint
The toy company, which has numerous publishing partners, has created an in-house publishing unit that plans to release its first list in fall 2024. Ryan Ferguson, head of global publishing, will oversee the unnamed imprint. more
HarperCollins, Elf on the Shelf
Sign Deal for a Dozen Books

HarperCollins has secured the global rights from the Lumistella Company to publish books tied to the Elf on the Shelf universe over the next five years. more
The One and Only Sparkella by Channing Tatum
On the Scene
On Tour with James Ponti
Last month, author James Ponti hit the road to celebrate the release of City of the Dead, the fourth book in his middle grade City Spies series. Ponti traveled to nine states and appeared at more than 15 schools, in addition to participating in both in-person and digital events with a number of fellow authors. We've rounded up photo highlights from his tour. more
Reading Roundup
Picture Books for Women's History Month 2023
In honor of Women's History Month, we've gathered a selection of books for young readers that showcase female innovators and changemakers from around the world. more
10th China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair: Nov. 17-19, 2023
Four Questions
Matt Tavares
This month, author-illustrator Matt Tavares releases his first middle-grade graphic novel. Hoops fictionalizes the true story of Judi Warren and the 1976 Warsaw High School girls' basketball team, which fought for gender equality as well as the state championship. Tavares spoke with us about interviewing the real-life team members and shining a light on the heroism of regular kids.

Q: When did you first learn about Judi Warren and decide this was a tale you wanted to tell?

A: I first learned about this story in early 2016. At the time my daughters were 13 and 10, when I first thought of doing a graphic novel. I was watching them read Roller Girl and Smile, and I saw how they devoured these books. Finally I got the idea that I could tell the story as fiction, inspired by a true story. That’s when I realized I had the freedom to give each character a distinct personality and develop their friendships and build the tension between them. more
Q & A
Brittney Morris
After the success of her previous YA novels The Cost of Knowing and her debut Slay, Brittney Morris brings readers a new tech-savvy adventure. The Jump follows Seattle teen cryptographers Jax, Yas, Han, and Spider on their biggest scavenger hunt yet to save their neighborhood from an evil developer. We spoke with Morris about writing about children of color in digital spaces, and her experience as a gamer.

Q: What drew you to want to explore the consequences of corporate greed?

A: I used to live in Seattle [where the book is set]. The tone of individualism, raising your fist to all the corporations in the area, kind of settled over the city. I think I used that energy, also watching Gen Z on TikTok and YouTube. The idea that we don’t need to overcommit to our day jobs, just to be seen as being adequate, is really cool and inspiring to me. more

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

Rights Report
Tiffany Liao at Zando Young Readers/Sweet July Books has won, at auction, Roselle Lim's (Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune) YA debut Celestial Banquet, pitched as Iron Chef meets Lore, set in a Chinese folklore-inspired world in which minor deities walk among us, following a hotheaded noodle chef who competes to create a feast for the gods while battling monsters, cutthroat gourmands, and her own heart. Publication is slated for January 2025; Jenny Bent at the Bent Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Rosemary Brosnan at Heartdrum has acquired Davy June's Legendary Fry Bread Drive-In, edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith, a YA collection of upbeat, interrelated short stories by Indigenous authors Darcie Little Badger, Marcella Bell, Angeline Boulley, KA Cobell, Christine Derr, AJ Eversole, Jen Ferguson, Eric Gansworth, Byron Graves, Kate Hart, Karina Iceberg, Cheryl Isaacs, Andrea L. Rogers, David Robertson, Monique Gray Smith, and Brian Young. Publication is set for summer 2025; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown did the deal for world rights.
Rachel Stark at Disney-Hyperion has bought, at auction, in a six-figure deal, debut author Codie Crowley's horror-infused YA thriller Here Lies a Vengeful Bitch. The biting wit of Jennifer's Body meets #GoodForHer's celebration of girls leaning into their monstrous urges in this novel starring Annie Lane, who's dead—but dead set against going quietly. Annie will stop at nothing to avenge her murder, just as soon as she figures out who put her in the ground. Publication is planned for August 2024; Larissa Melo Pienkowski at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented the author for world English rights.
Carolina Ortiz at HarperTeen has acquired bought world rights to Better Catch Up, Krishna Kumar by Anahita Karthik. The debut YA rom-com follows Krishna on a road trip across India to find her summertime crush after discovering he's left her the flirty text she had been dreaming of the night before she’s set to return to America. Publication is scheduled for 2025; Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Camille Kellogg at Bloomsbury has bought world rights at auction to debut author-illustrator Veronica Casson's Grind Like a Girl. Set in New Jersey in 1993, this semi-autobiographical YA graphic novel follows Heather, a transgender high school senior navigating Catholic school, dreams of art school, family dynamics, and confusing crushes, all while finding the courage and community to let people see her for who she really is. Publication is slated for spring 2027; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House handled the deal.
Margaret Raymo at Little, Brown has acquired Rules for Camouflage by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, a YA novel about a neurodivergent teen who channels her inner octopus to find her way through the intensity of school, friendship, and first love. Publication is planned for summer 2024; Michaela Whatnall at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret sold world rights.
Desiree Rodriguez at Oni Press has acquired Junepurrr's YA fantasy webcomic series, SubZero, in a three-book graphic novel deal. Sub-Zero details the story of Clove, the last princess of the near-extinct Azure dragon clan, as she marries her sworn enemy, Kyro, the prince of the Crimson dragon clan, in an effort to finally bring peace to her war-torn land. Publication of the first book is set for 2024; Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management brokered the deal for world English rights.
Stacy Whitman at Lee & Low/Tu Books has bought Guadalupe García McCall's Seasons of Sisterhood YA trilogy, books set in the world of McCall's 2012 novel Summer of the Mariposas. In the first novel, Fall of the Fireflies, twins Delia and Velia must put aside their differences to fight cucuys, heed the gods, and follow their hearts to save their father, in a horrifying retelling of Antigone. Publication is scheduled for spring 2025; Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency did the deal for North American rights.
Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Nox Winters and the Midnight Wolf by Rochelle Hassan, a middle grade fantasy series in which angry, cynical 12-year-old Nox ventures into a magical forest where it's always nighttime in search of a cure for his twin brother's mysterious illness—and comes face-to-face with deadly cryptids, capricious minor deities, and the terrifying Keepers of the woods. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Erica Bauman at Aevitas Creative Management negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Meghan Maria McCullough at Inkyard Press has bought No Place Like Home by Linh S. Nguyễn, a middle grade portal fantasy about Lan, an 11-year-old recent immigrant to Canada from Vietnam who falls into the pages of her latest read and learns she is a budding witch. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Lisa Rundle at Harper Canada handled the deal for U.S. rights.
Connie Hsu and Nicolás Ore-Giron at Roaring Brook have acquired Bad Influence, a middle grade novel by Brigit Young (The Prettiest). A sheltered young teen from a small, suburban town forms an underground book club for banned books with the new kid from New York City who isn't afraid to speak her mind. Publication is set for fall 2024; Melissa Edwards at Stonesong brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Alison Weiss at Pixel+Ink has bought world rights to National Archive Hunters: The French Four and a sequel by Matthew Landis (The Not So Boring Letters of Private Nobody), which follow 10-year-old twins who become unofficial National Archives "consultants" assisting the FBI's Art Crime Team to help find and recover stolen relics from history and beyond, while hunting for the Moriarty-like figure behind it all. Publication will begin in summer 2024; Lauren Galit at LKG Agency did the deal.
Katherine Easter at Zonderkidz has acquired world rights to Operation: Happy by Jenni L. Walsh (Over and Out). In this middle grade historical novel inspired by the experiences of a young Pearl Harbor survivor, a brave girl copes with wartime and family upheaval by completing a bucket list with her dog. Publication is scheduled for 2024; Shannon Hassan at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Alison Deering at Capstone has bought world rights to Farm Friends, an early chapter book series by Kimberly Derting (l.) and Shelli R. Johannes (c.), illus. by Kristen Humphrey (r.). Farm Friends centers on Poppy, a girl living on a farm with her family and pet goat, Vincent Van Goat, and titles will focus on topics such as goat yoga, gardening, and more. Publication of the first book, Blue-Ribbon Radishes, is set for spring 2024; Lara Perkins and Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the authors, and Tina Doffing at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Maria Modugno at Random House Studio has acquired world rights to Ajó and the Big Box of Crayons, written and illustrated by Àlàbá Ònájìn. This picture book follows a Nigerian boy as he slyly experiments with finding places to draw, staying one step ahead of the grownups watching him. Publication is slated for summer 2025; Gillian Mackenzie at Gillian Mackenzie Literary Agency sold world rights.
Farrin Jacobs at Little, Brown has bought I Lived Inside a Whale, a whimsical picture book debut by Xin Li about finding your own voice and learning how to connect with others. Publication is set for winter 2024; Angharad Kowal Stannus at Kowal Stannus Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Courtney Code at Abrams has acquired O.K. Is Gay, a picture book by author-illustrator Vincent X. Kirsch. It follows Olivio Kipling (aka O. K.), who discovers that words cannot express the joy of loving who he loves. Publication is tentatively planned for spring 2025; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kelly Delaney at Crown has bought Lolly in the Spotlight by Sarah S. Brannen, about a young figure skater who loves being on the ice but freezes when anyone besides her father watches her skate. Publication is scheduled for fall 2025; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Denene Millner at S&S/Denene Millner Books has acquired world rights to Willis Watson Is a Wannabe by Carmen Bogan (l.) (Where's Rodney?), a picture book about everyday heroes as seen through the eyes of a Black boy, illustrated by Cheryl Thuesday. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Nicole Geiger at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Elizabeth Law at Holiday House has bought world rights to Goodbye, Hello by Angela H. Dale (l.) (Bus Stop), illustrated by Daniel Wiseman (The World Needs More Purple People), a picture book that follows the 24-hour travel of a child and their family as they return overseas to their military-base home for a long-awaited reunion. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Jordan Brown at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray/ has acquired world rights to They Built Me for Freedom by Tonya Duncan Ellis (l.), illus. by Jenin Mohammed, a picture book about the history and legacy of Emancipation Park, a site in Houston, Texas, purchased and developed by formerly enslaved people to commemorate Juneteenth. Publication is set for 2024; Sara Megibow at kt literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has bought That Is Not a Dog by Bea Birdsong (l.), illustrated by Charlie Alder, a picture book about a cat who has been told to stay away from dogs, but keeps making new mysterious friends in his neighborhood (and surprise, surprise, they're all dogs). Publication is scheduled for spring 2026; Melissa Edwards at Stonesong represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Cecily Kaiser and Nicole Fox of Rise × Penguin Workshop have acquired world rights to Américas Award-winning author Aida Salazar's (l.) board book series, My Living World, illustrated by Caribay M. Benavides (r.). Inspired by Mexican Indigenous wisdom, this series of board books encourages readers to find an honest, heartfelt connection with the natural world. Book one, When Moon Blooms, is planned for fall 2023, followed by a second book on water in 2024, and a third on the sun in 2025. Marietta Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency represented the author, and Karen Kaller at IllustrationX represented the illustrator.
Catherine Laudone at S&S/Paula Wiseman Books has bought world rights to Sandhya Acharya's (l.) Living Bridges, a picture book set in the mountains of Meghalaya, India, where one generation teaches the next how to weave the roots of their beloved Jingkieng Jri, ancient man-made bridges made of living tree roots, illustrated by Avani Dwivedi. Publication is slated for spring 2025; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Shadra Strickland at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Anna Sargeant at Sourcebooks has acquired world rights to Gifts from the Garbage Truck, a picture book by Andrew Larson (l.) about the creative life of Nelson Molina, an NYC sanitation worker who found over 45,000 objects in the trash to display in his museum for others to enjoy; Oriol Vidal will illustrate. Publication is set for fall 2024; Fiona Kenshole at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and Simon Bollinger at Shannon and Associates represented the illustrator.
Rebecca Glaser at Amicus Ink has bought world rights to Unicycle Dad by Sarah Hovorka (l.), illustrated by Alicia Schwab. This picture book, based on the author's childhood, tells a story comparing a single parent to a unicycle while sharing the inherent struggles and quiet joys of a single-parent, impoverished household. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Kaitlyn Sanchez represented the author, and Melissa Edwards at MLE Consulting represented the illustrator.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Make New Friends by Joshua David Stein (l.) (Solitary Animals), illustrated by Marichiara di Giorgio (The Midnight Fair), a picture book about a shy boy's first week at school and the way he navigates his father's loaded question, "Did you make any new friends?" Publication is planned for fall 2025; Stephen Barr at Writers House represented both the author and the illustrator.
Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has bought world rights to The Tide Is Rising: A Climate Movement Anthem by climate activist and rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman (l.), illustrated by Kiki Kita, a picture book rallying cry for all to rise up and act from love in the face of rising tides and a changing climate, based on the author's climate anthem "The Tide Is Rising." Publication is slated for spring 2025. the author represented herself, and Tina Doffing at Astound US represented the illustrator. 
To see all of this week's deals, click here.


Kenny Brechner
Roald Dahl: What’s at Stake?

The nature of the controversy is considered.

more »

Kenny Brechner
Hannah on ‘Homeland’

Am interview with ‘Homeland’ author and longtime bookseller Hannah Moushabeck.

more »

Kenny Brechner
Talking About ‘That Flag’

An interview with Tameka Fryer Brown.

more »

Kenny Brechner
An Interview with The Year 2023

The New Year reveals her top book picks and other matters of moment.

more »

NO Is All I Know!
Chris Grabenstein, illus. by Leo Espinosa. Random House, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-5933-0204-0

In another socially themed picture book from the creators of No More Naps!, young Oliver McSnow responds “NO!” when faced with any ask, big or small. Whether the inquiry is about the necessary or the potentially enjoyable, big red dialogue balloons emanate from the child with Oliver’s signature oppositional. “His NO! became so strong... there was no way to stop it,” Grabenstein writes, and readers will sense that Oliver, who now smells “cheesy” from never bathing and eating only mac and cheese, is just as weary of it as his parents. more

The Eyes and the Impossible
Dave Eggers, illus. by Shawn Harris. Knopf, $18.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-524764-20-3; McSweeney’s, $28 (250p) ISBN 978-1-952119-45-3

In this exuberant illustrated novel by previous collaborators Eggers and Harris, narrator Johannes is an “unkept and free” dog entrusted by the Keepers of the Equilibrium—three penned Bison who oversee the park where they all live—to be the park’s Eyes. Aided by a team of “comrades, allies” known as the Assistant Eyes, Johannes reports each day’s occurrences to the Bison. When construction activity is detected, Johannes encounters “rectangles full of gorgeous commotion”—an art display that transfixes him, leading to his being leashed. After a dramatic cooperative rescue, Johannes realizes the “glory of liberation." more

Forever Is Now
Mariama J. Lockington. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $19.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-3743-8888-1

When Sadie’s girlfriend dumps her, Sadie just barely manages to wrangle her emerging panic attack until, moments later, both teens witness an act of violent racial discrimination on the streets of their Oakland, Calif., hometown. The event triggers Sadie’s anxiety disorder, which keeps her inside all summer. Attempting to overcome her fear, Sadie goes live on an activism app called Ruckus, starting a series about mental health and racial justice. more

The Melancholy of Summer
Louisa Onomé. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-82356-4

Unbeknownst to her friends, Summer has been visiting her old house, searching for clues about her parents’ whereabouts after they went on the run following charges of fraud. But when a social worker intervenes, Summer is placed in the care of her 20-year-old cousin Olu, a famous musician from Japan who is currently living in Port Credit and hiding struggles of her own. Now Summer must face the reality of her parents’ actions and learn how to move forward with her life. more

Kate Glasheen. Holiday House, $22.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5071-8; $14.99 paper ISBN 978-0-8234-5488-4

In the 1980s, high schooler Claire's struggle between conforming to their family’s pressure that they “act like a normal girl” and their own discomfort with their gender identity throws them into a spiral that they try to mitigate with increased alcohol consumption. Claire falls further into alcohol dependency when classmates begin bullying them for kissing a girl, and a subsequent spiral results in them being placed in a juvenile recovery program. more

March 14, 2023
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Peter Cottonball's Hoppy Easter by Jennifer Sattler
Chaos and Flame by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland
All About Nothing by Elizabeth Rusch
Little, Brown has several promotions. Milena Blue Spruce has been promoted to assistant editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, from editorial assistant. Leyla Erkan has been promoted to assistant editor at Christy Ottaviano Books, from editorial assistant. Angelie Yap has been promoted to senior designer, from designer. Prashansa Thapa has been promoted to designer, from junior designer. Gabrielle Chang has been promoted to designer, from junior designer. Patrick Hulse has been promoted to junior designer, from assistant designer.
Workman Publishing has several promotions and a new hire. Moira Kerrigan has been promoted to senior director, marketing, from marketing director. Nicole Higman has been promoted to director, digital marketing, from associate director. Ilana Gold has been promoted to associate director, publicity, from assistant director. Meghan O’Shaughnessy has been promoted to publicist, from associate publicist. Katie Campbell has been promoted to assistant editor on the Educational Resources team, from editorial assistant. And Karolyn Mena is joining the company as publicity assistant.
Lora Wanta has joined Scholastic as trade digital workflow associate; previously she was operations coordinator at WorldStrides.
Isabelle Snyder has joined Random House Children's Books as junior designer on the Brand and Licensed team.
In the Winners' Circle

The 2023 Ezra Jack Keats Awards winners and honorees have just been announced. This year’s winner for Writer is Kari Percival for How to Say Hello to a Worm, illus. by Percival (Rise X Penguin Workshop). Winner for Illustrator is Doug Salati for Hot Dog, written by Salati (Knopf). The Writer Honors are Pauline David-Sax for Everything in Its Place, illus. by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow (Doubleday), and Juliana Perdomo for Sometimes All I Need is Me, illus. by Juliana Perdomo (Candlewick). The Illustrator Honors are Chioma Ebinama for Emile and the Field, written by Kevin Young (Make Me a World), and Zahra Marwan for Where Butterflies Fill the Sky, written by Zahra Marwan (Bloomsbury). The award ceremony will be held in-person and via livestream on April 13. For more information, click here.
Children’s Frontlist Fiction
Collaborations (Cat Kid Comic Club #4) by Dav Pilkey. CLICK HERE
Picture Books
#1 Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Click here
Sneak Previews

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