PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
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In the Spotlight
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.
70990-2.JPGHolding On to Sunshine
Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Renée Watson shares a personal essay on weathering the pandemic with kindness and hope, inviting readers to #MakeSunshine through acts of generosity. Watson says of her campaign, "I think it’s important to remind young people of what they can do. Even now, in this darkness, they can be a light in someone’s day." more more_arrow.gif
70993-1.JPGVirtual Handselling: Recommendations from 57th Street Books in Chicago
As part of our ongoing series, Colin McDonald and Franny Billingsley of 57th Street Books offer their personal picks for new and forthcoming children's and YA books. "We know that books connect us, no matter where we are," McDonald said. more more_arrow.gif
71042-1.JPGKids' Authors Go Digital
School closures and stay-at-home orders may have forced the nation's readers inside, but children's and YA authors and illustrators have stepped up in unparalleled ways. From storytimes to drawing lessons and online festivals, this is the first in an occasional column that shares some of the most interesting and inspiring author initiatives that are coming across our screens. more more_arrow.gif
71036-1.JPGAndrea Beaty Launches
Questioneers Challenge

Understanding the world begins with asking good questions, and that is just what Questioneers series author Andrea Beaty is hoping to teach children with her new Questioneers Challenge. Each week through May, Beaty will pose a different question on social media to help young readers explore their surroundings while they're sheltering in place. more more_arrow.gif
41006-1.JPGMichelle Obama Hosts Storytimes with PRH and PBS Kids
In an effort to spread cheer and promote literacy among families that are sheltering in place, Michelle Obama is teaming up with Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children's Books, and PBS Kids for a weekly read-aloud series. Running through May 11, 'Mondays with Michelle Obama' will feature the former First Lady reading live from favorite picture books on Facebook and YouTube. more more_arrow.gif
41007-1.JPGHow Kids' Lit Is Responding
To the Coronavirus

PW is tracking some of the most creative initiatives by authors and publishers on social media and across the web. Updated for today's issue, this list includes YALLFest's virtual book festival, Candlewick's Stay Home site, Highlights' e-newsletter, and more. more more_arrow.gif
In the News
70984-v1-300x.JPGTop 10 Challenged Books
Of 2019

In honor of National Library Week, April 19–25, the American Library Association released its annual report on library trends and statistics. The State of America’s Libraries 2020 summary included the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019. more more_arrow.gif
71014-2.JPG'Explor-a-Storium' Museum Issues National Challenge
The Rabbit hOle in Kansas City, an immersive museum with a mission of bringing children's literature to life, announced on Monday the national "hOle Lotta Time Exhibit Design Challenge" for children ages 5–12. Contestants are tasked with constructing models that demonstrate how they would transform their favorite story into an interactive exhibit. more more_arrow.gif
Reading Report
70989-1.JPGNoteworthy Picture Book and Graphic Novel Sequels: April 2020
Picture book and graphic novel sequels releasing this month include the return of a fourth wall-breaking French snail; the finale of a popular webcomic collection; and the new adventures of a grouchy cat. more more_arrow.gif
Book News
71001-3.JPGThe Votes Are In: 'Dork Diaries' Fans
Select New Book's Cover

Assuredly, one cannot judge a book by its cover, but Rachel Renée Russell recently asked her readers to pass judgment on two cover design options for the 15th book in her bestselling Dork Diaries series, Tales from a Not-So-Posh Paris Adventure. When the author put this question to a vote across her social media platforms, she received a resounding response from fans. more more_arrow.gif
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.


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

Rights Report
41017-v1-300x.JPG Natashya Wilson at Inkyard Press has acquired All Signs Point to Yes, a YA anthology of love stories for each of the star signs that will showcase BIPOC characters and celebrate the myriad facets of love, from meet-cutes to the lesser-explored love expressed by aromantic people, edited by author Candice Montgomery (l.), cara davis-araux (c.), and Adrianne Russell (r.), featuring 12 bestselling and award-winning BIPOC authors. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
41018-1.JPG Vicki Lame at Wednesday Books has bought, in a six-figure preempt, Emily Thiede's debut YA fantasy, The Last Finestra, in which a divine savior, "blessed" with the power to magnify a partner's magic, kills every suitor she touches. Facing assassination herself, she hires a cynical outcast marked as a killer to become her personal guard, but will he help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all? Publication is set for summer 2022, with a second book to follow in summer 2023; Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary did the two-book deal for North American rights.
41019-1.JPG Kiara Valdez at First Second has acquired, in a 10-house auction, Hannah Blumereich's graphic novel Full-Court Crush and a second untitled YA graphic novel. Full-Court Crush is about Marcy, a basketball player whose team is being shut down, and her bookish girlfriend Althea, who is struggling alone with her chronically depressed mother. Together, they learn how to navigate the troubles of life and 11th grade. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.
41021-1.JPG Polo Orozco at Random House has bought Nate Plus One by Kevin van Whye (Date Me, Bryson Keller). High school senior Nate Hargreaves is not looking forward to his wealthy aunt's wedding retreat in South Africa—until his crush Jai Patel, an indie rock musician, volunteers to be his plus-one. This gay love story, pitched as What if It's Us meets Crazy Rich Asians, is set in the author's home country of South Africa. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Robert Guinsler at Sterling Lord Literistic negotiated the deal for world English rights.
41022-1.JPG Jennifer Ung at Simon Pulse has acquired Aaron H. Aceves' YA debut, This Is Why They Hate Us. The novel follows Enrique, a Latino teen from East L.A., who is determined to get over his crush on his best friend by summer's end and winds up discovering heartfelt truths about friendship, family, and himself. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Tina Dubois at ICM Partners handled the deal for North American rights.
41023-v1-300x.JPG Jenny Blenk at Dark Horse has bought world rights to Renegade Rule by Ben Kahn (l.) and Rachel Silverstein (c.), illustrated by Sam Beck (r.). Four queer female friends have beaten the odds to land themselves in the national championships for Renegade Rule, one of the hottest virtual reality games. But they're in for competition fiercer than they ever imagined, and must overcome self-doubt, infighting, romantic distraction, and a slew of other world-class teams if they hope to become champions. Publication is set for spring 2021; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds brokered the deal.
41024-1.JPG Ashley Hearn at Page Street has acquired The Lost Girls, a paranormal YA romance by Sonia Hartl (Have a Little Faith in Me). When the vampire who turned Holly into the undead in 1987 (leaving her as a 16-year-old with badly crimped hair for all eternity) breaks up with her, she's approached by two girls he also claimed to love, turned, then ditched. But their plan to kill him before he can strike again grows complicated when Holly starts to fall for the mortal girl they're trying to protect. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
41025-1.JPG Michelle Nagler at Random House has bought bestselling author Jennifer L. Holm's new novel The Lion of Mars. The book follows 11-year-old Bell, who lives in the American Settlement on Mars with six adults, four kids, and one cat. When a routine supply ship brings unexpected danger to Bell's isolated home, he must seek help from the foreign settlements, and in doing so discovers that friendship is more powerful than fear. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management brokered the deal for North American rights.
41026-1.JPG Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to Anna Crowley Redding's middle-grade nonfiction Black Hole Chasers, following a team of scientists who forge an unprecedented global collaboration to see a black hole for the first time in history. Exclusive access and reporting showcase how the team's persistence, problem-solving, and tolerance for repeated failure led to one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of our time. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
41027-1.JPG Renee Kelly at Penguin Workshop has bought author-illustrator Rick Chrustowski's Dino-Zombies!, in which a creepy crew of dino-zombies take to the streets to chomp all the Halloween treats. Publication is set for summer 2021; Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
41028-1.JPG Jennifer Greene at Clarion has acquired, at auction, Jonathan McKee's author-illustrator debut, Oh Look, A Cake!, a picture book about a sloth, a lemur, and a giant cake, and what happens when you don't share. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Lindsay Auld at Writers House did the two-book deal for world rights.
41029-1.JPG Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins has bought, in a preempt, world rights for debut author-illustrator Breanna Carzoo's picture book Lou, about a fire hydrant who has grown weary of being the neighborhood toilet but when a fire breaks out nearby, he discovers he might be meant for more. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management brokered the two-book deal.
41030-1.JPG Anne Schwartz at Random House/Schwartz has acquired world rights to The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation by Alice McGinty (The Girl Who Named Pluto and A Story for Small Bear) and illustrated by Navajo artist Shonto Begay. The picture book tells the true story of a Navajo woman who brings water to her people desperately in need of it, including a boy named Cody and his family. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
41031-1.JPG Liza Kaplan at Philomel has bought world rights to Oceans of Love, written by Janet Lawler (l.). In this mother's love poem, Minnow searches for the perfect school for her little swimmers, and Barnacle assures her young that "it's quite all right to cling." Holly Clifton-Brown will illustrate; publication is set for 2022. Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at T2 Agency represented the illustrator.
41032-1.JPG Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has acquired world rights to Kristen Schroeder's (l.) So Much Snow, a picture book about animals caught—literally up to their ears and antlers—in a snowstorm. Sarah Jacoby will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2022. Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
41033-1.JPG Barbara Herndon at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Literary Critters and a second book in the Pugtato series by Sophie Corrigan. Literary Critters introduces literary icons like William Shakesbear, J.K. Owling, Bark Twain, and Crane Austen, who share their secrets with readers about the amazing things one can find in books. Pugtato Babysits the Snouts finds the spud in over his head as he takes on the task of babysitting the rambunctious Brussels Snouts. Publication is slated for February 2022 and August 2021, respectively; Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group represented the author.
To see all of this week's deals, click here. more_arrow.gif


Kenny Brechner
Two Twos

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.

more »

Elizabeth Bluemle
Publishers: Think Like a Kid

Pushing books back several months affects children differently from adults.

more »

Elizabeth Bluemle
Stars and Stares

Kind acts and thoughtful generosity shine through the darker moments of this crisis.

more »

Meghan Dietsche Goel
Reaching Readers Where They Are: At Home!

Offering a big thank you to BookShop and Ingram Direct-to-Home.

more »

40999-1.JPGstar.gifDesert Girl, Monsoon Boy
Tara Dairman, illus. by Archana Sreenivasan. Putnam, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-51806-8

Beginning with “White sand./ Green field,” side-by-side spreads and horizontally split pages compare the lives of two children in northwest India—one from Gujarat, one from Rajasthan. A girl lives amid desert tents, gathering wood and water, while a boy lives in a lowland village and attends school. Introducing the diversity of the Indian subcontinent through thoughtful juxtaposition, this collaboration also confronts the threats that extreme weather poses to various ways of life. more more_arrow.gif


41000-1.JPGstar.gifThe Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter
Aaron Reynolds. Little, Brown, $13.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-368-05183-5

When avid dog lover Rex Dexter, a sixth grader, begs for one for his birthday, he doesn’t expect his parents to get him a chicken as a “practice pet.” Nor does he expect said chicken to be promptly run over by a steamroller. Nor the chicken’s ghost to turn up in his bedroom calling him “bestie.” In this entertainingly spooky romp, Reynolds tempers his morbid premise with the absurdity of Rex’s situation. more more_arrow.gif


41001-1.JPGstar.gifPoisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation
Candy J. Cooper with Marc Aronson. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0232-2

Effectively chronicling the Flint water crisis, investigative reporter Cooper and author Aronson unearth the complex underpinnings of this tragedy. Placing later events in context with a history of Flint’s rise from a trading village established in 1819 to a booming GM factory town in the 1930s, the authors relate how Flint became one of the most segregated cities in America. This hard-hitting journalistic account both explains the water crisis and cautions about how future catastrophes might occur. more more_arrow.gif


41002-1.JPGstar.gifThe Self-Love Revolution: Radical Beauty Positivity for Girls of Color
Virgie Tovar. Instant Help, $16.95 paper (184p) ISBN 978-1-68403-411-6

In this important guide to self-acceptance written specifically for girls of color, Tovar skillfully blends calls to action, relatable personal anecdotes, and clear explanations of the forces that shape individuals’ understanding of themselves. Tovar’s goal of guiding readers to recognize “the sacred gift in every person,” regardless of size, ability, gender identity, socioeconomic status, sexuality, or belief system, feels possible with her steady guidance on embracing and appreciating one’s body. more more_arrow.gif


41003-1.JPGstar.gifThe Black Flamingo
Dean Atta. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-299029-7

In this coming-of-age novel told in accessible verse, Atta chronicles the growth and glory of Michael Angeli, a mixed-race kid from London, as he matures from a child to a man. Navigating cultural identity as Cypriot and Jamaican as well as his emerging sexuality, Michael sheds the painful baggage of his absent father by taking his mother’s name. Atta’s story uplifts as it informs and entertains as it affirms; in Michael’s words, “It’s about being free.” more more_arrow.gif

April 21, 2020
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Will You Be My Friend?
The Voting Booth
Andie Krawczyk has joined Chronicle Books as children's marketing director; previously she was director of library marketing at Candlewick Press.
Hannah Allaman has joined Delacorte Press as associate editor. She was previously assistant editor at Disney-Hyperion.

Now more than ever, books are essential to the well-being, education, and entertainment of our society and culture. Support the industry that makes books possible by taking a selfie in imitation of this week’s PW cover, tagging us on Twitter or Instagram (@PWKidsBookshelf), and using #BooksAreEssential. For more information on PW's campaign, click here.
In the Winners' Circle

The Los Angeles Times revealed the winners of its 40th annual book prizes on April 17. In the Young Adult Literature category, Malla Nunnj won for her novel When the Ground Is Hard (Putnam). Nonprofit organization WriteGirl received the annual Innovator’s Award for its campaign to promote girls’ literacy and creativity. For the complete list of winners, click here.
40390-1.JPGChildren's Frontlist Fiction
#1 Fetch-22 (Dog Man #8) by Dav Pilkey. Click here more_arrow.gif
40993-1.JPGPicture Books
#1 Llama Llama Easter Egg by Anna Dewdney. Click here more_arrow.gif
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