PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Allies by Alan Gratz
In the Spotlight
37143-1.JPGTaking Middle Grade
To Market

The middle grade category keeps on trucking, enjoying its latest golden era of strong sales. With an increasing number of books for that age group in the pipeline, publishers spoke with us about how they help readers, and the people who buy books for them, discover new titles. more more_arrow.gif
In the News
37144-2.JPGNBA Longlist for Young People’s Literature Announced
The National Book Foundation has revealed the 2019 National Book Award longlist for Young People’s Literature. The five finalists will be named on October 8, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony and benefit dinner in New York City on November 20. more more_arrow.gif
It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear
Book News
65464-1.JPGA Bounty of Picture Books from Oliver Jeffers
A look at Penguin Young Readers’ fall roster shows the creativity and versatility of author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers. The publisher has four titles by Jeffers scheduled for release: The Fate of Fausto: A Painted Fable this month and The Boy: His Stories and How They Came to Be in October, when The Crayons’ Christmas by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Jeffers, is also due. And in December, the collaborators return with Love from the Crayons. We spoke with Jeffers about all of his forthcoming projects. more more_arrow.gif
On the Scene
65431-1.JPGCelebrando Las Ámericas
Festival in Photos

On August 31, Casa Camino Real Bookstore and the Border Servant Corps hosted an event dedicated to books and culture, Celebrando Las Ámericas: A Family Fiesta, in Las Cruces, N.M. Proceeds from the fundraiser benefited the work of the Border Servant Corps, including Libros Para el Viaje/Books for the Journey, which provides free books for refugee families. Click through to see our selection of photos from the event. more more_arrow.gif
YA Titles from Cinco Puntos Press
Reading Report
65443-1.JPGNoteworthy Novel Sequels: October 2019
Fiction sequels hitting shelves in October include the showdown between an evil alien warlord cat and a justice-seeking dog, a dystopian series finale, the adventure of an imaginative young heroine, and more. more more_arrow.gif
Q & A
65439-1.JPGMaulik Pancholy
Maulik Pancholy is best known for his acting roles in such shows as 30 Rock and Phineas and Ferb. Pancholy's debut middle grade novel, The Best at It, stars 12-year-old Rahul Kapoor, who is beginning to think he might be gay and, as an Indian American who already feels “different,” that thought worries him. We spoke with Pancholy about writing, acting, and his own childhood.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to write a book, and that it was going to be a book for kids?

A: As an actor, I’d been around young people and got to see how much storytelling mattered to them. And when I served on the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under Obama, a large part of the work I did there was interacting with kids. It just felt like a natural fit, to start writing a story for young people. more more_arrow.gif

PW KidsCast: Listen Now
Brittney Morris, Kwame Alexander, Steve Sheinkin, Tomi Adeyemi, Jonathan Auxier, Hafsah Faizal, Carlos Hernandez, Wendy Mass, Christopher Myers, 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.


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

Rights Report
37159-1.JPG Kate Prosswimmer at S&S/McElderry has acquired Laura Silverman's Recommended for You. Pitched as The Office meets 10 Things I Hate About You, the YA workplace romcom focuses on teen bookseller Shoshanna Greenberg as she battles the holiday rush, fighting parents at home, and love/hate feelings for Jake Kaplan, her new coworker who doesn't even read books. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
37160-1.JPG Connolly Bottum at Inkyard Press has bought, at auction, These Feathered Flames and the sequel by Alexandra Overy, a fantasy retelling of the Firebird folktale with a female/female romance. In the land of Tourin, twin princesses are separated, one to rule the land and one to ensure the price of magic is paid. But after the queen dies mysteriously, the two sisters must navigate the court and discover who they can trust, who they can love, and who murdered their mother. Publication is set for winter 2021; Natascha Morris at Bookends Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
37161-1.JPG Alyson Day at HarperCollins has acquired, in an exclusive submission, two books by Ellen Oh including The Junie Kim Chronicles, about Korean-American Junie's journey from cultural apathy to proud self-identity while dealing with racist vandalism in her middle school and taking on an oral history project about her grandparents experiences as lost children during the Korean War. Publication is planned for winter 2021; Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency represented the author for world English rights.
37162-1.JPG Samantha Gentry at Little, Brown has bought North American rights, in a preempt, to Dwayne Reed's middle grade novel Simon B. Rhymin', about a 10-year-old boy who uses rap to overcome his fears and to bring people together, and a second untitled Simon book. Initial publication is slated for spring 2021; Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic did the deal.
37163-1.JPG Erica Sussman at HarperCollins has acquired Brave Like That plus one untitled standalone middle-grade novel by Lindsey Stoddard, author of Just Like Jackie and Right as Rain. In Brave Like That, 11-year-old Cyrus Olson, the adopted son of a Minnesota firefighter and local football legend, who is struggling with the realization that he's not brave like Dad, must find another kind of courage to take on some of the other issues in his life. Publication is set for spring 2020; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management negotiated the deal for North American rights on behalf of Stoddard.
37164-1.JPG Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers has bought Nicky & Vera, a nonfiction picture book by three-time Caldecott Honoree and Andersen Medalist Peter Sís. Focusing on a single child, Vera, the book explores the story of Sir Nicholas George Winton, MBE, who oversaw the evacuation of more than 600 Jewish children from Prague to the U.K. on the eve of World War II. The book is scheduled for fall 2021; Brenda Bowen brokered the deal for world English rights in her first deal for the Book Group.
37165-1.JPG Kait Feldmann at Orchard has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to debut author-illustrator Junyi Wu's Corgi Can and Corgi Loves, two board books about a corgi who can do lots of things and has a big heart. Publication is planned for fall 2021 and spring 2022, respectively; Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the author-illustrator.
37166-1.JPG Courtney Code at Abrams has bought Milo's Christmas Wish by author-illustrator Jennie Palmer. The story is about an industrious opossum with a big dream to be in a Christmas parade. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
37167-1.JPG Barb McNally at Sleeping Bear Press has acquired world rights to Jennifer Sattler's When There's a Bump in the Road, the story of a little vole who sets out on a well-planned adventure only to find a giant rock in her way. Anger, begging, and reason won't move it, but the rock turns out to be everything the vole needs. Publication is set for spring 2021; Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented the author-illustrator.
37168-1.JPG Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick has preempted world rights to Malaprop's bookseller Amy Cherrix's (l.) picture book Goodnight, Little Bookstore, illustrated by former Curious George Store bookseller E.B. Goodale, a bedtime tour around a bookshop, where many friends are being tucked into their shelves for the night. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
37169-2.JPG Liza Kaplan at Philomel has bought world rights to former Knopf Books for Young Readers senior editor Allison Wortche's picture book, Oliver's Lollipop, about a boy who just wants a sweet treat and almost misses out on a fun day at the zoo—and the beauty of the world around him—until a pesky giraffe and his little brother help remind him what's really important. Andrés Landazabal will illustrate; publication is planned for summer 2021. Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
37170-1.JPG Erika Turner at HMH/Versify has acquired North American English rights to two picture books by debut author Van G. Garrett (l.). Kicks is a love letter to the flyest shoes and the kids who wear them, illustrated by debut artist Reggie Brown. The book is slated for fall 2021 publication, and Specs, a similar ode to the latest and wildest in eyewear, will follow in fall 2022. Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt Agency represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
37172-1.JPG Tara Walker at Tundra has bought world rights to Linda Bailey's (l.) Princesses Versus Dinosaurs, a metafictional picture book in which a group of sparkly princesses and a bunch of roaring dinosaurs argue over whether they're in a book about princesses or dinosaurs. Joy Ang will illustrate; publication is set for fall 2020. Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
37173-1.JPG Cheryl Eissing at Philomel has acquired world rights to debut author Becky Scharnhorst's (l.) P.S. Wildwood Elementary Stinks, told through journal entries about a boy's unbelievable first week of school after he is mistakenly dropped off at a school for animals. Julia Patton will illustrate; publication is scheduled for summer 2021. James McGowan at BookEnds represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
37174-1.JPG Jonah Heller at Peachtree has bought world rights to JaNay Brown-Wood's (l.) Where in the Garden, a four-book series following toddler Amara and each of her friends as they explore their individual warm- and cool-weather gardens. Each toddler hunts for the perfect produce to complete a festive celebration and compares and contrasts what they know against a variety of fruits and vegetables found along the way. Samara Hardy will illustrate; publication of the first two books is tentatively set for 2021, and the following pair in 2022. Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Bethany Sparks at Plum Pudding Illustration represented the illustrator.
37175-1.JPG Anne Hoppe at Clarion has acquired world rights to Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Revolutionary Marine Scientist Jeanne Power, written by Evan Griffith and illustrated by Joanie Stone. The picture book biography celebrates the curiosity, drive, and perseverance of the 19th-century woman scientist who pioneered the use of aquariums to study ocean life. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the artist.
37178-1.JPG Heidi Kilgras at Random House has acquired Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha Brenner (l.), illustrated by Brooke Smart, a picture book biography of Abraham Lincoln, adapted from—and expanding upon—a Step into Reading book of the same name. Publication is expected in fall 2021; Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary brokered the deal for world rights, all languages.
37176-2.JPG Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook has bought world rights to The Floating Field by Scott Riley (l.), a nonfiction picture book about a group of soccer-loving boys from a Thai fishing village built on stilts who construct their own floating field and form the Koh Panyee Football Club. Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien will illustrate; publication is set for spring 2021. Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the author, and Doreen Thorogood at Good Illustration Agency represented the illustrators.
To see all of this week's deals, click here. more_arrow.gif


Meghan Dietsche Goel
Taking a Turn Behind the Circulation Desk

From cool technology to book clubs to a tricky round of Jeopardy, a bookseller plays librarian for a day.

more »

Kenny Brechner
When Tragedy Comes to Town

The loss, injury, sacrifice, and bravery resulting from a local tragedy alters the nature of community.

more »

Cynthia Compton
A Bookseller Field Trip

Visiting an author’s book launch at a colleague’s bookstore is a delightful adventure.

more »

Elizabeth Bluemle
It Takes Guts

The book business is not for the faint of heart—or stomach.

more »

Juan Felipe Herrera, illus. by Blanca Gómez. Candlewick, $7.99 (14p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9063-2

This bilingual board book builds language skills while introducing readers to concepts of spatial awareness. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Herrera engages with the idea of distance in simple, elegant sentences in both Spanish and English as Gómez’s restrained digital illustrations suitably mimic the text. Slow page turns encourage pondering everything, near and far, under the sun. more more_arrow.gif


37150-1.JPGThe Rabbits’ Rebellion
Ariel Dorfman, illus. by Chris Riddell. Triangle Square, $12.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-60980-937-9

Argentine-Chilean-American novelist Dorfman’s only children’s book, which was written in the 1970s and published in the U.K. in 2001, makes its uncannily timed arrival on U.S. shores. After wolves conquer the land of the rabbits, their pompous leader proclaims himself King of the Wolves and decrees that rabbits have “ceased to exist,” going so far as to eradicate them from literature. Dorfman’s eerily prescient allegorical gem shapes a resounding portrait of power abused and censorship foiled. more more_arrow.gif


37151-1.JPGThe ABCS of AOC: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from A to Z
Jamia Wilson, illus. by Krystal Quiles. Little, Brown, $13.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-49514-1

In Wilson’s introduction to this alphabetical paean, she explains that present-day politician and activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“AOC”), “may just be changing the rules of politics” for future leaders. The book succeeds mainly as a presentation of terms associated with civic engagement. The message, about “plant[ing] the seeds of change” for the future, is a strong one. more more_arrow.gif


37152-1.JPGstar.gifThe Fowl Twins
Eoin Colfer. Disney-Hyperion, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-368-04375-5

Colfer’s clever spin-off of the Artemis Fowl series focuses on Artemis Fowl’s twin younger brothers—hyperintelligent Myles and near-feral Beckett, both 11. With their older sibling on Mars, the fraternal twins are dragged into a madcap adventure when they’re kidnapped by Lord Teddy Bleedham-Drye, a 150-year-old duke seeking the secret to immortality. Colfer’s trademark tongue-in-cheek narrative voice is on full display. more more_arrow.gif


37153-1.JPGstar.gifCall Down the Hawk (the Dreamer Trilogy #1)
Maggie Stiefvater. Scholastic Press, $19.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-338-18832-5

Book one of Stiefvater’s Dreamer Trilogy, spun off from the Raven Cycle, centers on orphaned high school dropout Ronan Lynch. Ronan yearns to follow his boyfriend, Harvard student Adam Parrish, to Massachusetts, but until he can better control his propensity for manifesting elements of his dreams, he’s stuck living on his family’s Virginia farm. Stiefvater delivers a dazzling fantasy, at once epic and intricate, from which readers will be loath to wake. more more_arrow.gif

September 19, 2019
E-mail not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Allies by Alan Gratz
Allies by Alan Gratz
PW KidsCast: A Conversation with Julia Drake
At Simon & Schuster Children'a Publishing, Justin Chanda has been promoted to senior v-p and publisher for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Salaam Reads, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, and Denene Millner Books; he was formerly v-p and publisher.
Carmela Iaria has been promoted to v-p, executive director of school and library marketing/creative marketing director at Penguin Young Readers. She was previously v-p, executive director of school and library marketing.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has one promotion and two new hires. Karina Granda has been promoted to art director, from associate art director. Jenny Kimura has been named junior designer; she was formerly design manager at Ooligan Press. Esther Cajahuaringa has been named assistant editor; previously she was an editorial assistant at Disney Hyperion.
Mark Your Calendar
Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., is hosting “The Story of Owl Moon,” a panel commemorating the 1988 Caldecott-winning classic written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by the late John Schoenherr. During the event, Yolen; her editor Patricia Lee Gauch; Yolen’s daughter Heidi, who stars as the book’s unnamed protagonist; Schoenherr’s wife, Judy Schoenherr; and art director Nanette Stevenson will discuss the picture book’s journey to publication. A read aloud by Yolen will follow. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, contact Linda Putorti at or (914) 323-3153.
36985-v1-150x.JPGChildren's Frontlist Fiction
#1 For Whom the Ball Rolls (Dog Man #7) by Dav Pilkey. Click here more_arrow.gif
37131-2.JPGPicture Books
#1 Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum by Dr. Seuss, illus. by Andrew Joyner. Click here more_arrow.gif
Sneak Previews
Take a look ahead at some of the big titles for children and teens due out in spring 2020, from picture books to YA novels, in our exclusive roundup. more more_arrow.gif
Follow Us
Children's Bookshelf is on Instagram! Please follow us @pwkidsbookshelf.
Bookshelf Archives
Looking for a previous issue of Children's Bookshelf? Click here to see our archives page!
Have a comment or
suggestion? We'd love
to hear from you.
Click here to drop us a note.
Follow PWKidsBookshelf on Twitter