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
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
Listen Up! Harry Potter's
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
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
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: 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
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.
Of Aristophanes and Oculus Rift
Virtual reality and the dangers of displacement.more »
Most Interactive Promo Item Ever
How does a bookseller open a coconut?more »
Super Heroes at the Bookstore
Booksellers may not wear capes, but we save the day on a regular basis.more »
A New Source for The Stars So Far
Just when ShelfTalker readers worried that the starred review roundup was no more….more »
This Is Not a Book
The Best Days Are Dog Days
The Star-Touched Queen
March 31, 2016
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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.
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. The Children's Bestsellers of 2015
Agents Talk Trends Before Bologna
It Takes 16 People Working Full Time to Publish All of James Patterson's Books
Two Librarians Share Their Favorite Spanish-Language Small Presses
Q & A with Ally Condie
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