PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Magination Press
In the Spotlight
Sleepless Kids? A Trio of Picture Books
Comes to the Rescue

Publishers have caught on to the parental need for books to help little ones to sleep. A recent trend heralds three such titles that tackle the issue strategically and organically, incorporating sleep-inducing elements into the stories themselves. more
Frankie Forklift and Friends
Book News
Writer Nurses Craft Until Diabolically Good Things Happen
Shelley Jessica Kincaid had faced down a moment like this one once before: after writing six novels she couldn't sell, she was one week away from graduating from nursing school and having to, in her own words, "become an adult and get a real job." Then her next manuscript, lucky number 7, Insignia, sold to HarperCollins. It grew into a trilogy – published under the name S.J. Kincaid – which kept Kincaid writing and off the hospital ward. And she has just sold her next book to S&S. more
Digital News
Listen Up! Harry Potter's
Million-Audio Milestone

J.K. Rowling's phenomenally popular tales of a boy's adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry continue to have legs in any format. Just four months after the Harry Potter digital audiobooks became available via subscription-based Audible, the company reports that one million total units have been sold. more
Q & A
Adam Shankman
Adam Shankman has been a Broadway dancer, a choreographer, film director and producer (Hairspray, A Walk to Remember) but people probably know him best from the seven years he spent as a judge on the TV program, So You Think You Can Dance? Now he adds another credit, that of author. PW caught up with him on the eve of the release of his first YA novel, Girl About Town, a whodunit set in Hollywood's Golden Age, co-written with Laura L. Sullivan.

Q: You have had an enviable career – dancer, choreographer, director, producer – but was there always some unfulfilled desire to be a writer?

A: Quite the opposite. I've been terrified my whole life of the blank page. I'm not afraid of a rehearsal room, but a blank page scares the hell out of me. more
Out Next Week
Hot Off the Presses:
Week of April 4, 2016

Among new titles hitting bookshelves this week are a picture book about two unlikely friends, a middle grade novel about a jock turned poet, and a YA novel in which the self-described worst band in the world seeks their first gig. more
In Brief

In Brief: March 31, 2016
This week, an author meets a very small super hero; a publisher answers an age-old question; two middle grade authors "draw" an audience; an illustrator and author are honored; and authors welcome the spring melt. more

PW KidsCast: Listen Now

Kwame Alexander, Matthew Quick, Sarah Mlynowski, Brian Selznick, Rebecca Stead, Lane Smith, Linda Urban, Mike Curato – listen to these and other top writers and artists discuss their new books for children and teens in the PW KidsCast podcast. Click here to listen.


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  • Advantage Media Group is seeking a Publishing Project Manager.
  • Pomegranate Communications Inc is seeking a General Manager.
  • Workman Publishing is seeking a National Accounts, Sales Assistant.
  • Guinness World Records is seeking a VP or Director, Publishing Sales.
  • Ingram Content Group is seeking a Sales Representative (Ingram Publisher Services).
  • Rights Report
    Karen Chaplin at HarperTeen has acquired The Cerulean and an untitled sequel, a YA fantasy duology by Amy Ewing. The Cerulean tells the story of Sera, who lives in a Sapphic utopia where all women have three mothers and a young woman is chosen every 100 years to be abandoned on the planet below as a sacrifice. Publication is scheduled for 2017; Charlie Olsen at Inkwell did the deal for North American rights.
    Nick Eliopulos at Scholastic Press has bought two books from debut British author Lisa Thompson. The first of two stand-alone titles, The Goldfish Boy, tells the story of 13-year-old Matthew, who suffers from severe OCD that renders him a virtual recluse. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window. When a boy staying next door goes missing, Matthew must turn detective and unravel the mystery of the boy's disappearance. The novel will publish in the U.K., U.S., and Canada in early 2017; Adam Gauntlett at the Peters, Fraser and Dunlop Literary Agency brokered the deal.
    Kate Sullivan at Delacorte has acquired at auction Chris Tebbetts's YA novel The Weakness of Gravity, told in alternating chapters of two possible timelines that diverge when graduating senior Chris smashes his face in a parking lot after doing a hit of whip-its. In one timeline, he is shipped off to live with his strict physicist father, and in the other, he stays home to have his perfect last summer – or so he thinks. Publication is tentatively set for fall 2018; Michael Bourret negotiated the deal for North American rights.
    Paula Wiseman at S&S/Paula Wiseman Books has bought 25-year-old debut novelist (and daughter of YA author Carol Lynch Williams) Kyra Leigh's YA novel Reaper, about a teen girl who dies but learns that she still has a task to complete. The projected publication date is fall 2017; Stephen Fraser at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary did the deal for world rights.
    Renee Hooker at Grosset & Dunlap has bought the first two books in a new chapter book series, Jada Jones, by Kelly Starling-Lyons, about a science-loving fourth grader making new friends, facing new challenges, and finding her way. Publication is scheduled for fall 2017; Caryn Wiseman at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
    Wendy Lamb at Random House/Wendy Lamb Books has preempted Mae Respicio's debut middle-grade novel, A House Like This. The story is about a Filipina-American girl who sets out to build her own tiny house where she can escape her intrusive family, but her summer DIY project becomes life-changing when her long-lost father suddenly reappears. Publication is planned for spring 2018; Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
    Erin Stein at Macmillan/Imprint has acquired husband-and-wife author-illustrator team Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr's first two books in an illustrated middle grade series, called The Real McCoys. It follows the first-person adventures of a self-styled fourth grade detective – the flawed-yet-indomitable Moxie McCoy – and her indispensable foil of a little brother. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Meredith Kaffel Simonoff at DeFiore and Company brokered the deal for world rights.
    Charlie Ilgunas and Jenna Pocius at Little Bee Books have acquired an untitled middle grade nonfiction series by Erin Peabody, to be illustrated by Victor Rivas, about mythical creatures and their “appearances” throughout history, starting with the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. Publication for the first two books is set for summer 2017; Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency represented Peabody and Justin Rucker of Shannon Associates represented Rivas in the deal for world rights.
    Mark Siegel at First Second Books has bought world rights to Chasma Knights, a graphic novel written by Kate Reed Petty (l.) and illustrated by Boya Sun. The book tells the story of a world where toys give you superpowers – except for one kid, Beryl, who can't work with toys and becomes an engineer. Publication is scheduled for 2018; the authors were unagented.
    Kate Harrison at Dial has acquired at auction Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back?, and a second untitled picture book written by Jory John and illustrated by Liz Climo. The picture book chronicles a day in the life of an elephant with a desperate itch, surrounded by peers who are unable to scratch it. Scratch is slated for publication in spring 2018; Steven Malk of Writers House represented the author and Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary & Media represented the illustrator in the deal for world English rights.
    Celia Lee at Scholastic/Orchard has bought author-illustrator Darren Farrell's latest project, LetterTown, at auction. The book follows Detective D through the jam-packed pages as he chases Robber R through the neighborhoods teeming with funny letter-characters (including a hipster, a Lincoln impersonator, an underwear model, and more). Publication is set for 2018; Heather Alexander at Pippin Properties did the deal for world English rights.
    Hannah Lambert at Little Simon has acquired world rights to Lines by Sarvinder Naberhaus (l.), to be illustrated by Melinda Beck. The story follows the many ways a line can shape and grow, smallest scope to the largest. Publication is scheduled for fall 2017; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author and the illustrator was unagented.
    Tamar Brazis at Abrams has bought at auction Camille Andros's (l.) The Dress and the Girl, to be illustrated by Julie Morstad. The picture book tells a tale of immigration, the value of simple joys, and the power of memory. Publication is planned for fall 2018; world rights for the two-book deal were negotiated by Lori Kilkelly of Rodeen Literary Management for the author and Emily van Beek of Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management for the illustrator.
    Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane Books has acquired world rights to Jennifer Ward's Mama Dug a Little Den, to be illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Steve Jenkins. The book will feature the many kinds of dens and burrows animals make for their little ones. Publication is set for spring 2018; Stefanie Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented Ward and Jenkins was unagented.
    Maria Modugno at Random House and Tara Walker at PRH Canada have bought Owls Are Very Good at Keeping Secrets by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Jacob Grant, an alphabet book featuring 26 animals with commentary on each one's unique personality quirk. Publication is slated for fall 2018; Jackie Kaiser of Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and Steven Chudney of the Chudney Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
    Sylvie Frank at S&S/Paula Wiseman Books has acquired world rights to Boing! by Tim McCanna (l.), illustrated by Jorge Martin, an onomatopoeic alphabet book about a boy's misadventures as he chases his ball through the city. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018; Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong of Bright USA represented the illustrator.
    To see all of this week's deals, click here.

    IN THE MEDIA
    From the New York Times:
    John Flanagan's Ranger’s Apprentice Series to Be Adapted as Film, Directed by Paul Haggis. Click here
    From Bustle:
    B.J. Novak and Penguin Young Readers Donate 10,000 Books to Kids in Need. Click here
    From Education Week:
    Authors Use Awards to Advocate for Diversity in Children’s Books. Click here
    From Entertainment Weekly:
    Book publisher responds to J.K. Rowling's rejection letter for Robert Galbraith novel. Click here
    From OregonLive.com:
    For Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday, love letters from Portland. Click here
    From LitHub:
    The aftermath of publishing diversity studies: what happens next? Click here
    From Mashable:
    Teens vastly prefer YouTube and Netflix to TV, don’t mind ads, report finds. Click here
    From Buzz Feed:
    "32 Harry Potter characters, according to my mom." Click here
    From i09:
    The 10 Most Disappointing Young Adult Adaptations of the Last Decade. Click here
    From the Amherst Bulletin:
    Magician of the Modern: Eric Carle museum celebrates the work of children's book artist Leonard Weisgard. Click here
    From Entertainment Weekly:
    Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston on creating A Child of Books out of works of beloved literature. Click here
    From the Huffington Post:
    Goodnight Moon and Book Banning in America. Click here
    From Mashable:
    YA authors will take on Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Catwoman. Click here
    From the Guardian:
    Top 10 children's novels that open the door for reluctant readers. Click here
    From the Guardian:
    10 wild facts about Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are. Click here
    From Buzz Feed:
    A first look at the new illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Click here
    From Pop Sugar:
    19 Children's Books to Read This Spring. Click here
    From Bustle:
    12 Things That Happen When You Get Addicted to a Book Series. Click here
    SHELFTALKER

    Kenny Brechner
    Of Aristophanes and Oculus Rift

    Virtual reality and the dangers of displacement.

    more »

    Josie Leavitt
    Most Interactive Promo Item Ever

    How does a bookseller open a coconut?

    more »

    Josie Leavitt
    Super Heroes at the Bookstore

    Booksellers may not wear capes, but we save the day on a regular basis.

    more »

    Elizabeth Bluemle
    A New Source for The Stars So Far

    Just when ShelfTalker readers worried that the starred review roundup was no more….

    more »
    FEATURED REVIEWS

    This Is Not a Book
    Jean Jullien. Phaidon, $9.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7148-7112-7

    In a tour de force of visual transformation, French graphic designer Jullien makes good on the promise of the title, turning this board book into a laptop, butterfly, fridge, tightrope, human rear end (yes, that's right), and more. more

    The Best Days Are Dog Days
    Aaron Meshon. Dial, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-42817-6

    In Take Me Out to the Yakyu (2012), Meshon used visual parallels to explore the similarities and differences between baseball in the U.S. and Japan. In this story, ebulliently narrated by a family's charcoal gray bulldog, he brings a similar symmetry to the day-to-day rituals and activities of the dog and his human "Sis." more

    Beetle Boy
    M.G. Leonard. Scholastic/Chicken House, $16.99 (228p) ISBN 978-0-545-85346-0

    When Dr. Bartholomew Cuttle mysteriously disappears from a windowless vault that contains a rare beetle collection belonging to famous fashion designer Lucretia Cutter, it's up to his 12-year-old son, Darkus, to figure out what happened. The police believe that Dr. Cuttle simple left town, but Darkus knows his father would never abandon him. more

    The Star-Touched Queen
    Roshani Chokshi. St. Martin's Griffin, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-08547-4

    A princess's destiny may lie among the stars in Chokshi's exquisite debut novel. Princess Mayavati of Bharata is only one among her father's many children, and her horoscope says that death is her constant shadow. Her kingdom is on the brink of war, and when her father announces that she soon must choose her husband, it comes with a horrible catch. more

    Faerie
    Eisha Marjara. Arsenal Pulp (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-55152-618-8

    A young woman looks back on her upbringing in Quebec and her time in a psychiatric ward, in Marjara's emotionally charged debut. Lila, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has always been uncomfortable with her body, which she perceives as chubby, especially compared to her lean younger sister and beautiful older cousin. more

    TALES FROM THE SLUSH PILE

    SEE ALL

    March 31, 2016

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    Let's Go to Sleep By Maisie Reade
    A Celebration of Cearly Clearly. Sun, Apr. 03 | 4 PM
    PW KidsCast: A Conversation with Ruth Chan
    From the Editors
    Because of next week's Bologna Book Fair, we’ll have one issue of Bookshelf next week, on Wednesday, live from Bologna.
    In the Winners' Circle

    The 2015 Christopher Awards, which honor work across media that "affirms the highest values of the human spirit," have announced the winners for its Books for Young People category: One Good Deed by Terri Fields, illus. by Deborah Melon (Kar-Ben); An Invisible Thread Christmas Story by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski, illus. by Barry Root (S&S/Little Simon); Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate (Peachtree); Katie’s Cabbage by Katie Stagliano with Michelle H. Martin, illus. by Karen Heid (University of South Carolina/Young Palmetto); Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee, illus. by Christopher Denise (S&S/Atheneum); and Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (S&S/McElderry). For more on the award, click here.
    Contest for Author Visit
    Bookstore owners, teachers, and school/public librarians are invited to participate in a contest to win a visit from author Len Vlahos. Create a display inspired by his novels Scar Girl and The Scar Boys, share it on social media via #ScarGirl and tagging @CarolrhodaLab, and the publisher will send Vlahos to the winning venue. For more details, click here.
    In Case You Missed It
    The Children's Bestsellers of 2015
    Click here
    Agents Talk Trends Before Bologna
    Click here
    It Takes 16 People Working Full Time to Publish All of James Patterson's Books
    Click here
    Two Librarians Share Their Favorite Spanish-Language Small Presses
    Click here
    Q & A with Ally Condie
    Click here
    Of Note

    Children's Bookshelf is now on Instagram! Please check us out and follow us @pwkidsbookshelf.
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    Looking for a previous edition of Children's Bookshelf? Didn't finish reading a story in last week's issue? Want to forward Bookshelf to a friend? Click here for our archives page!
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