PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Magination Press
In the Spotlight
Illustrators Say:
'Nous Sommes Charlie'

Children's book and comic illustrators from around the world are responding to the affront to free speech perpetrated in Paris last week at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Click through to see some of the responses they created. more
In the News
Philip Pullman Delivers Audible Exclusive
It’s been six years since Pullman last visited the world of His Dark Materials. But audiobook fans can now travel back to Lyra Belacqua’s Oxford via “The Collectors,” an original short story narrated by British actor Bill Nighy. Click through to listen to an excerpt from the story about artwork that has a connection to the sinister Mrs. Coulter. more
First Look: New Illustrated Edition of
Harry Potter

Here's a first look at images for the forthcoming deluxe hardcover edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The artwork is by Kate Greenaway Medalist Jim Kay, known for his illustrations for Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls. more
Digital News
FableVision and Lulu Jr. Partner on
Book Publishing Platform

Educational media and software publisher FableVision Learning will partner with Lulu Jr., the children’s publishing division of web-based self-publisher Lulu, to develop an online book publishing platform for children in grades K-8. Read more about the impetus for Peter H. Reynolds's latest effort to get kids writing. more
Q & A
Q & A with Selina Alko and
Sean Qualls

Even after 12 years of marriage, Selina Alko and Sean Qualls had never collaborated on a book project – until now. Alko wrote and they both illustrated The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage; the book recounts the story of interracial couple Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, who married in Washington, D.C., because their marriage was illegal in their native Virginia. They fought their case all the way up to the Supreme Court. PW spoke to Alko and Qualls, who are also an interracial couple, about their collaboration and the message they hope the book delivers.

Q: How did you learn about the Lovings' case – and why did you decide to collaborate on a book about it?

Selina Alko: For years, Sean and I have thought of illustrating a book together, and were waiting for the right story to come along. We felt that the Lovings' case was very important, and as an interracial couple, we felt a strong personal connection to their story. more

PW KidsCast: Listen Now

Ann M. Martin, Jack Gantos, Paolo Bacigalupi, Lisi Harrison, Adi Alsaid, Gail Carriger, John Rocco, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – listen to these and other top writers and artists discuss their new books for children and teens in PW KidsCast, a regular podcast from Publishers Weekly. Click here to listen.


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  • Rights Report
    Catherine Onder at Bloomsbury has acquired in a pre-empt three books in The Great Shelby Holmes series, the middle-grade debut from YA author Elizabeth Eulberg. In this reimagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Shelby Holmes is a bright but prickly nine-year-old girl and John Watson is a friendly, easygoing boy; together, they form a hard-to-beat team. The first book in the series is scheduled for U.S. and U.K. publication in fall 2016. Erin Malone of William Morris Entertainment did the deal for world English rights.
    David Linker at HarperCollins has bought the first four books in author-illustrator duo Fred Van Lente (l.) and Ryan Dunlavey's Action Presidents series, graphic novel-style biographies of U.S. Presidents. The first two books are slated for summer 2017. Jason Yarn at the Jason Yarn Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
    Nick Eliopulos at Scholastic Press has acquired two middle-grade horror novels by Dan Poblocki. The first, The Ghost Hunter's Daughter, tells the story of the 12-year-old daughter of the world's most famous ghost hunter; when he and his entire crew disappear, she must join forces with her arch-nemesis to rescue him. The second, The Liars' Room, is the tale of a brother and sister forced to move into a creepy old house where their younger cousin torments them with stories of a ghost he soon invites to live upstairs. Publication is set for fall 2016 and fall 2017, respectively. Barry Goldblatt at BG Literary negotiated the deal for North American rights.
    Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins's Balzer + Bray imprint has bought Julie Murphy's Ramona Drowning, a YA novel set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast about 17-year-old Ramona Leroux. She has always known she would only ever fall in love with a girl, until she finds herself reconsidering everything she thought she knew. The book is tentatively scheduled for fall 2016; Molly Jaffa at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
    Shauna Rossano at G.P. Putnam's Sons has acquired the rights for the historical YA novel Unsinkable Mercy Wong by Stacey Lee, a #WeNeedDiverseBooks founding member and author of Under a Painted Sky. In the new novel, a spirited Chinese-American girl pretends to be an heiress from China to get entry into an all-white boarding school, but more than her future plans are shaken up when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake hits. Publication is slated for early 2016; Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
    Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has bought Meagan Spooner's YA fantasy Hunted, a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast and Russia's Firebird folk tale, featuring Beauty with a battleax, in a three-book deal. It's scheduled for winter 2017. Josh Adams at Adams Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
    Joy Peskin at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has bought world rights to Dashka Slater's (l.) Escargot, a picture book featuring a French snail who wants to be your favorite animal, illustrated by Sydney Hanson. Publication is scheduled for spring 2017. Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented Slater, and Justin Rucker from the Shannon Associates represented Hanson.
    To see all of this week's deals, click here.

    IN THE MEDIA
    From Bustle:
    Time's "100 Best Young Adult Books Of All Time" Is Very White... And Not Very YA. Click here
    From the Montreal Gazette:
    Drawn & Quarterly's publishing success story: the Moomins. Click here
    From the L.A. Times:
    Why you should be following J.K. Rowling on Twitter. Click here
    From Indie Wire:
    Hailee Steinfeld to star in an adaptation of 2003 YA novel Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner. Click here
    From the Guardian:
    J.K. Rowling attacks Rupert Murdoch for tweet-blaming all Muslims for Charlie Hebdo deaths. Click here
    From the Guardian:
    YA author Gayle Forman on why we need to talk about depression. Click here
    From Bustle:
    12 Books From Your Childhood That Can Make You a Better Friend. Click here
    From author Zetta Elliott:
    How Many Black-Authored Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels Were Published in the U.S. in 2014? Click here
    From Time:
    Go Behind the Scenes of John Green's Looking for Alaska. Click here
    From MTV News:
    Amazing Amy Spins Off From Gone Girl. Click here
    From School Library Journal:
    Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon discuss their YA novel about teenage Malcolm X. Click here
    Also from the Guardian:
    Books to breed tolerance: what children can read after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Click here
    From Common Sense Media:
    13 Books to Help Kids Feel Good About Themselves & Their Bodies. Click here
    From BuzzFeed:
    If the Cast Members of Girls Were in the Baby-sitters Club. Click here
    SHELFTALKER
    ShelfTalker
    Josie Leavitt
    Mean Customers and How They Make Us Feel
    Working at a bookstore can be really hard sometimes. more »

    Josie Leavitt
    Misreading a Book
    Are jacket writeups and blurbs ruining the reading experience? more »

    Elizabeth Bluemle
    The Stars of 2014: Final Round-Up
    It's the final starred review count for 2014. Share with customers, patrons, family and friends! more »

    Kenny Brechner
    An Interview with the Year 2015
    How a children's book saved humanity from destruction. more »
    FEATURED REVIEWS

    My Pen
    Christopher Myers. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4231-0371-4

    A graceful boy with a fedora and soft curls talks about the power of making art, as finely detailed black-and-white images surround him, like a sketchbook brought to life. Deep in thought, the boy compares himself to people who are rich or famous. "Sometimes I feel small," he confesses. more

    It's Only Stanley
    Jon Agee. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3907-9

    Stanley the beagle is a diehard fixer-upper, and for some reason he likes doing noisy chores in the middle of the night. One by one, he wakes up every member of the alliteratively named Wimbledon family, from parents Wilma and Walter to their four children. more

    The Penderwicks in Spring
    Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-375-87077-4

    With the addition of baby sister Lydia, the Penderwicks' blended family returns with all the big-family drama and joys that fans have come to expect. In this fourth installment, musically inclined fifth-grader Batty is delighted to learn that her school’s dull music teacher has been replaced by the more appealing Mrs. Grunfeld; better still, the new teacher thinks Batty has a "rare and beautiful" voice. more

    Firstborn
    Tor Seidler. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1017-5

    The designation "firstborn" applies to several characters in Seidler's animal adventure – the effervescent narrator, Maggie the magpie; Blue Boy, a wolf who accepts Maggie as an unofficial pack member; and Lamar, Blue Boy's eldest son, who wrestles with familial duties and his unorthodox love for a coyote. more

    Half Wild
    Sally Green. Viking, $18.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-670-01713-3

    This riveting second entry in Green's Half Bad trilogy continues the story of Nathan, the outcast child of Black and White Witches, as he struggles to find his bearings amid a deadly power struggle in the witch world. Simultaneously, Nathan attempts to control his newfound magical Gifts and comprehend the prophecy that claims he will kill his father, Marcus, the most feared Black Witch in Europe. more

    January 13, 2015

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    People
    Tim Ditlow has been named v-p of content for Epic!, the subscription service for children's books based in Palo Alto, Calif. He will be in charge of content acquisition and editorial for the company, working from New York. Ditlow was formerly a consultant for Epic!, and before that was associate publisher of children's books at Amazon and v-p/publisher at Listening Library
    Michael Eisenberg has joined the book publishing group of Highlights in the newly created role of director, book marketing. He will lead marketing programs that drive book sales through trade and retail channels, and will contribute to the publisher's overall strategic direction. Eisenberg has been a consultant with Highlights for the past five years; previously he was svp and co-publisher of children’s books at FSG, and worked in marketing at Macmillan and William Morrow.
    Michelle F. Bayuk has joined Quarto Publishing Group USA in the newly created position of associate director, children's book marketing, publicity, and social media. She was most recently associate sales and marketing director at Egmont Publishing.
    Mark Your Calendar
    The 92nd Street Y in NYC will offer a four-session class on the surprising back stories of the classics of children's literature, taught by children's book historian Leonard S. Marcus. The course will cover the rich histories of four canonical children's books; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, Peter Pan, and The Secret Garden. It begins on Wednesday, February 11; for more information and to register, click here.
    Bestsellers
    Children's Frontlist Fiction
    #1 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney. Click Here
    Picture Books
    #1 Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold. Click Here
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