While the book publishing industry is responding daily to the coronavirus outbreak, we will provide continuing coverage on efforts by publishers, authors, booksellers, and more. Children's Books: What's Selling in the Mass Channels?
Mass retailers have remained open during the pandemic and continue to bring in enormous foot traffic. Customers are not only picking up essentials like food and pharmacy items, but also children's books, with publishers reporting strong sales in educational and coloring and activity titles, and other categories. more
Debut Children's Books and Authors Affected by the Coronavirus
With schools, libraries, and bookstores closed indefinitely, children's authors have had to cancel their travel plans and appearances during the Covid-19 outbreak. Many publishers are finding creative new ways to spread the word about new releases and connect authors with their readers through digital platforms while maintaining social distancing protocol. We've been highlighting some of the books this season that may not have gotten the attention they were due, and now we turn our sights to some of spring’s debuts, kicking off a series. more
Virtual Handselling: Recommendations from Politics and Prose's Children's Manager
As part of our ongoing series, Donna Wells of Politics and Prose shares personal recommendations of new children's and YA releases. "During these challenging times," she said, "booksellers continue to provide opportunities to share some joy while strengthening the bonds within our community." more
2021 Carle Honors Announced
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has revealed the recipients of its 2021 Carle Honors, which will be celebrated at an event in fall 2021. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 Carle Honors are shifting to a virtual benefit to support the museum and its programming. more
Chico Bon Bon Moves
From the Page to Netflix
Industrious monkey Chico Bon Bon, the star of Chris Monroe's Monkey with a Toolbelt picture books, is coming to the small screen next month, when Netflix releases an adaptation of the books. more
'Oh, the Places You'll Go!'
Virtual Graduation Party
In honor of the many students who are graduating this spring without the pomp and circumstance of a live ceremony, and the 30th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's inspirational picture book Oh, the Places You'll Go!, Random House Children's Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises are launching a nationwide virtual celebration tomorrow. more
Choose Your Own Adventure
Moves into Board Books
Chooseco is skewing its signature interactive reading concept significantly younger with the launch of its Choose Your Own Adventure board book line, which is aimed at babies and toddlers up to age three. more
In order to maintain social distancing while building YA community, more than 70 authors came together for an online version of teen festival YALLWest on April 25–26. Click through to see our selection of photos from the inaugural YALLSTAYHOME, which featured panels, readings, contests, and more. more
Hot Off the Presses:
Week of May 4, 2020
Among the books releasing next week are a nonfiction picture book about a brilliant horse, a historical middle grade novel from a Newbery Medalist, and a YA novel about two teens brought together after a plane crash. more
In Brief: April 30, 2020
This week, Minh Lê and Gene Luen Yang don their capes in the digital space; Oliver Jeffers gives Instagram an exclusive sneak peek; Melanie Sumrow has a talk with teachers; and Angela Dominguez and Maris Wicks present a science study sesh. more
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PW KidsCast: Listen Now
Hear our latest podcasts, featuring Supriya Kelkar, Tomi Adeyemi, Kwame Alexander, Jonathan Auxier, Antony Barone Kolenc, Lauren DeStefano and Gaia Cornwall, Hafsah Faizal, Carlos Hernandez, Brittney Morris, Christopher Myers, Steve Sheinkin, and Rebecca Stead – 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.
Alexandra Hightower at Little, Brown/Poppy has acquired, in a five-house auction, North American rights to Mariko Turk's debut YA novel, The Other Side of Perfect. The story features a 16-year-old ballerina whose life-changing injury thrusts her back into the halls of a normal high school. As she navigates a world without her passion, she discovers friendship and romance, and finally confronts the discrimination in the dance industry that she tried hard to ignore. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Alexandra Levick at Writers House negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has bought, at auction, debut author Vanessa Len's Monsters trilogy, set in London. Sixteen-year-old Joan is half-monster; when Nick, the boy she loves, turns out to be a legendary monster slayer, Joan must embrace her own monstrousness to stop him from killing everyone she cares about. The first installment, Only a Monster, will publish in fall 2021, with the subsequent two following annually; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster has acquired Indestructible Object by Printz Honor author Mary McCoy (I, Claudia). The YA novel follows a queer teen girl who hosts a podcast about the love stories of great artists. When she finds her life falling apart after her parents announce they're divorcing and her boyfriend breaks up with her right after graduation, it inspires her to set out on a summer podcast project about whether love even exists at all. Publication is set for summer 2021; Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Jennie Conway at Wednesday Books has bought Cristin Terrill's The Stars Between Us, a YA sci-fi romantic thriller. Pitched as Defy the Stars and Empress of a Thousand Skies with a Dickensian twist, the book follows a girl who, when she gets the chance to leave her planet behind, realizes things are not what they seem in her new glittering world. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret handled the deal for North American rights.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Fire has acquired Sara Walters's debut A Violent Season and a second untitled novel. In the town of Wolf Ridge, November is marked by violence. Last year, Wyatt's mother was murdered, and this year she worries her best friend, Cash, might snap. As she and Cash pull away from one another, and she unexpectedly connects to the town's golden boy, Wyatt has to figure out who to trust. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Natashya Wilson at Inkyard Press has bought The Kindred, a YA sci-fi novel by Alechia Dow (The Sound of Stars) and a second, untitled YA novel. Felix, a royal, and Joy, a commoner, mistakenly mind-paired at birth, land on Earth after fleeing royal assassins, only to find the "developing" planet might hold the solutions to their divided and unjust lives back home. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Lisa Yoskowitz at Little, Brown has acquired, in a preempt, J. Albert Mann's next YA novel, Fix. In verse and prose, the novel explores a complicated friendship between two teen girls who were brought together and torn apart by their physical differences as one recovers from a major surgery and becomes increasingly dependent on pain medication. Publication is set for spring 2021; Kerry Sparks at Levine Greenberg Rostan brokered the deal for world rights.
Shana Corey at Random House has bought the first two books in The Mighty, the first graphic novel series in a new superhero universe created by Judd Winick, creator of the bestselling Hilo series. The Mighty tells the story of Miranda Luna (aka The Mighty!), a 13-year-old everygirl who discovers how to be the hero her world needs now and the hero she was born to be. Publication will begin in summer 2022; Jodi Reamer at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has acquired, in a five-house auction, Lisa Stringfellow's debut #OwnVoices middle grade novel, Dark Tide. When Kela salvages a mysterious, sea-worn box, she unknowingly opens a connection to a dangerous mermaid, Ophidia, who will stop at nothing to retrieve what is hers. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Lindsay Davis Auld at Writers House handled the two-book deal for world English rights.
Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers has bought world English rights to four books in a new series by Dan Gutman (My Weird School, The Genius Files, and Flashback Four series). The latest series features biographies with a twist: a brother and sister duo, Paige and Turner, present hundreds of facts about figures such as Albert Einstein, Muhammad Ali, Amelia Earhart, and Teddy Roosevelt. Allison Steinfeld will illustrate; publication for the first two books is slated for spring 2021. Liza Pulitzer Voges at Eden Street represented the author, and the artist represented herself.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has acquired Summer of June and Schooled, middle grade novels by Jamie Sumner (Roll with It and the forthcoming Tune It Out). Summer of June stars a 12-year-old girl with anxiety who starts a secret library garden and hatches a plan to set her mother up with a new man. Schooled follows a boy who attempts to sabotage the experimental middle school he's forced to attend on the college campus where his father teaches. Publication is set for summer 2022 and spring 2023, respectively; Keely Boeving at WordServe Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Chris Krones at HMH has bought, in a two-book deal, world rights to Code to Be Cool by Deirdre Langeland (l.) and illustrated by Sarah Mai. The slice-of-life middle grade graphic novel series features a nerdy 12-year-old homeschooled fashionista with an affinity for coding. The first book is scheduled for fall 2022, with book two to follow in fall 2023; the author represented herself, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Julie Rosenberg at Razorbill has acquired Sylvia Liu's debut middle grade novel, Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation. A 12-year-old girl must save her classmates from a corporate plot that threatens their ability to connect to the multiweb through neural implants, only to discover that her scientist mother may also be involved in the conspiracy. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
David Linker at HarperCollins has bought, at auction, world rights to The Unforgettable Logan Foster, a middle-grade novel by debut author Shawn Peters. Logan, a boy with an eidetic memory, discovers his adoptive parents are actually superheroes in grave danger, danger that only his highly logical mind can rescue them from. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Rick Richter at Aevitas Creative Management brokered the two-book deal.
Chris Schoebinger at Shadow Mountain has acquired Hob and Bogie's Champions Quest by Frank L. Cole. Pitched as Jumanji meets Dungeons and Dragons, this middle grade fantasy follows a foster child who finds new friends and more adventure than he bargained for at a mysterious gaming store, where a role-playing game, and its many challenges, comes to life. Publication is scheduled for 2021; Shannon Hassan at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has bought, at auction, world rights to My Two Border Towns by David Bowles, one of the founders of #DignidadLiteraria. This debut picture book reveals a boy's vibrant life as a border kid, visiting the market across the border with his father and spending time with family and friends, while also shining light on what some immigrant families face at border crossings. Erika Meza will illustrate; publication is set for summer 2021 in simultaneous English and Spanish editions. Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Claire Cartey at Holroyde Cartey represented the illustrator.
Christy Ottaviano at Macmillan/Ottaviano has acquired world rights to The Good Dream Dragon by Jacky Davis (l.) (Ladybug Girl), illustrated by Courtney Dawson. This bedtime picture book explores the power of imagination to overcome anxiety. Publication is planned for 2022; Doug Stewart at Sterling Lord Literistic represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the artist.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has bought world rights to Alton Yates' Movement Forward by Chris Barton (What Do You with a Voice Like That?), illustrated by Steffi Walthall. From space flight experiments in the New Mexico desert to civil rights activism in Florida, the nonfiction picture book explores scientific and social progress through the experiences of one Air Force enlistee. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has acquired, at auction, world rights to Melissa Stewart's (l.) Tree Hole Home, a nonfiction picture book about various tree holes and the animals that inhabit them. Amy Hevron will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2022. Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Madison Moore at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to Shaped by Her Hands: Potter Maria Martinez by Anna Harber Freeman (l.) and Barbara Gonzales (c.), who is Maria's great-granddaughter. The picture book, which is illustrated by Aphelandra (r.), follows Maria's path as a Native American Indian artist, from learning pottery with her aunt in their home in San Ildefonso Pueblo to exhibiting her groundbreaking black-on-black pots at fairs across the country. Publication is set for spring 2021; the authors and illustrator represented themselves.
To see all of this week's deals, click here.
When the Mail Makes You Cry Happy
The best batch of mail we’ve ever had.
Two things I’m pretty sure are true and two things we’re doing at DDG to work around the closure of our selling floor.
Publishers: Think Like a Kid
Pushing books back several months affects children differently from adults.
Stars and Stares
Kind acts and thoughtful generosity shine through the darker moments of this crisis.
Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale
Sam Wedelich. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-35901-5
Whimsy reigns in Wedelich’s debut picture book, a reimagining of the classic doomsday story. The confident chick insists that she is “not little! I am petite!... and I’m not afraid of anything!” She’s rattled after an unidentified object drops from above but insists that there must be a reasonable explanation: “It’s not like the sky is falling.... Or is it?” more
The Big Book of Soccer
Mundial, illus. by Damien Weighill. Wide Eyed, $30 (112p) ISBN 978-0-7112-4910-3
Mundial, an international soccer magazine, compiles five comprehensive sections about footie in this oversize illustrated compendium. Opening with a handy glossary, the book continues with a history of soccer and the evolution of its boots, balls, and notable players. An entertaining resource to pass to both readers well versed in soccer and those seeking to be. more
Chad Sell. Knopf, $20.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-9848-9471-7
Nine-year-old Drew’s primary companions, a friendly-looking crew of living Doodles that live in paper town Doodleville, are known to escape into the human world, where they can alter art. Even so, Drew takes them on an art club trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, where they run amok through classic paintings. But when her peers don’t understand her art, Drew’s anxiety manifests, turning one creation into a monstrous, art-destroying creature that the club must band together to handle. more
A Place at the Table
Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan. Clarion, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-358-11668-4
When 11-year-olds Elizabeth and Sara meet in an after-school cooking class, they don’t immediately hit it off. Pakistani-American Sara is anxious about her family’s finances and starting at a big public school, while Elizabeth, who is Jewish, worries about her British mother’s depression and her best friend replacing her. When the girls become cooking partners, though, they embark on a cautious friendship. Told in alternating voices, Faruqi and Shovan’s nuanced tale about the thrill of budding friendship is relatable without sacrificing challenging topics. more
The State of US
Shaun David Hutchinson. HarperTeen, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-295031-4
Andre “Dre” Rosario and Dean Arnault have one big thing in common—a parent running for U.S. president—but, at first glance, little else. Hutchinson creates two likable characters in a love-against-the-odds story that effectively takes up the well-timed issue of how to love people whose beliefs one doesn’t share. more
April 30, 2020
Eye on Middle Grade: Spring 2020
Bologna Virtual Fair Releases Schedule, Opens Registrations
Children's Staffers on Working from Home
Renée Watson on Holding On to Sunshine
MacKids Streaming Schoolhouse to Offer Author-Led Classes
Kids' Authors Go Digital
Take a look ahead at some of the big titles for children and teens due out in fall 2020, in our exclusive roundup. CLICK HERE
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