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November 2012

From the first time I read Dana Walrath's marvelous novel-in-verse, STONE PILLOW, I knew that it was something special. By turns lyrical, and gritty, and extraordinarily moving, the book tells the story of three siblings who survive the Armenian genocide of 1915 by escaping alone over the mountains. Inspired by the true experience of her own grandmother, Dana's novel is a gorgeous tribute to an underrepresented historical event, as well as a truly masterful piece of writing.

Even better, I was not the only one to think so: Just hours after the manuscript went out on submission, I received an enthusiastic early response from an editor. Some days later we were able to bring the book to auction, with the final exciting result of accepting a publication offer from Michelle Poploff and Random House Books for Young Readers. Look for STONE PILLOW on shelves everywhere in fall 2014!

Huge congratulations, Dana!

—Joan

Do you know author-illustrator Mark Crilley? Maybe you've read his adventurous AKIKO series, or the manga MIKI FALLS books, or his latest ongoing saga of BRODY'S GHOST. Or maybe you're a fan of his How-to-Draw art channel on YouTube, which has garnered over 130 million views to date. Whatever way you cut it, Mark Crilley is a terrific and imaginative artist and storyteller, and I'm thrilled today to be able to announce not one but two new deals for him!

The first book is a follow-up to his wildly popular title MASTERING MANGA, and will be called, fittingly, MASTERING MANGA: LEVEL UP! This book was sold to Pam Wissman and the dynamic team at Impact Books, and will be on shelves in early 2014.

But there's more! Hot on the heels of this project, Mark has signed a three-book deal with publisher Watson Guptill for three new art instruction books, covering not only manga but realism and other aspects of the craft. Leila Porteous is the acquiring editor.

Many congratulations, Mark!

—Joan

Publishers Weekly gives a starred review for Liz Garton Scanlon's HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUNNY, due out in January 2013.

While the title isn't especially distinctive, this is as memorable and heartfelt as a birthday book gets. Scanlon (All the World) presents the special day through a series of questions. "What are these and what are those?" the young birthday bunny asks, pointing to clothing held up by her mother and a polo-shirted older sibling. "Fancy shoes and party clothes!" they reply, as the girl holds her skirt out while they applaud. Graegin's (Don't Feed the Boy) pencil and ink wash spreads show the bunny's family and friends—foxes, owls, raccoons, and more—crowded together in one room, the children chasing after each other, the grownups looking on. "What do you mean that time just flies?" the birthday girl asks the adults curled up on the sofa with photo albums. "You're growing up before our eyes," they tell her, while Graegin's faux photos show her as a swaddled infant and a just-walking toddler. This isn't about irony; it's pure celebration, and readers will share wholeheartedly in the pleasure. Ages 2–5.

--Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2012, *STAR

Congratulations, Liz!

—Erin

Another picture book deal just rolled in--and this one makes me pause and take a deep, comfortable breath, because the text of Mary Lyn Ray's WHEN THE DAY ENDS is like that: a breath of fresh country air, of shadows tucking in houses, and rabbits snuggling in sleepy heaps, and woolly sheep in the barn. I'm especially happy to match Mary Lyn with the incomparable Ann Rider of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who is an equally country-minded soul and a great shepherd for this text. I can't wait to hear who will illustrate!

Congratulations, Mary Lyn!

—Erin

We love this "best books of the year" season, because the good news just keeps coming! The latest: Amazon posted its lists, and we're happy to see two EMLA folks on there! First, on the middle-grade list, RETURN TO THE WILLOWS, illustrated by our own Clint Young (and written by Newbery honoree Jacqueline Kelly, who suggested fellow Austin resident Clint for the job); and then on the YA list, Robin LaFevers and GRAVE MERCY!

Big happy claps on the back to all involved!

—Erin

We're on a roll with the picture book deals here, people! And the latest is exciting indeed:

Chris Barton brings the competitive spirit he showed in the NYT-bestselling SHARK VS. TRAIN to an untitled new project in which a hawk's attempts to catch a not-so-helpless bunny are thwarted again and again. The picture book text was just acquired by Kevin Lewis at Disney-Hyperion. Chris and Kevin have been wanting to work together for quite some time, so it's a thrill to finally have something come together! And Kevin's vision for this project is so very fun.

Congratulations, Chris!

--Erin

And EMLA is represented very well!

In the children's fiction category: GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers and THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen
In the children's nonfiction category: WE'VE GOT A JOB by Cynthia Levinson

This is such an honor and we're so proud of Robin, Jennifer, and Cynthia. So much hard work went into their books and we are very glad to see that work so richly rewarded.


Congratulations!

—Erin and Joan

November is here and it seems we all have gone through so much in a few short days. Our hearts continue to think of and send good thoughts to those on the East Coast affected by Sandy.

We've got one book for this month, the last in a wildly popular trilogy by Cate Tiernan, Eternally Yours, published by Poppy/Little, Brown. This final book reveals new information about the world of the immortals and ties up loose ends; Nastasya's experiences have changed her, perhaps for the better?

We wish this book into readers' hearts!

—Erin