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April 2014
The Shadow Throne: Book 3 of The Ascendance Trilogy

The Shadow Throne: Book 3 of The Ascendance Trilogy
Jennifer A. Nielsen

This has been a busy year for super-duper author Jennifer A. Nielsen. THE SHADOW THRONE, the third book in her Ascendance Trilogy, was published to great acclaim, bringing the whole series onto the New York Times Bestseller list. Her books have been the recipients of numerous awards, state lists, and nominations—and in a fun twist, her very first middle-grade series, which begins with ELLIOT AND THE GOBLIN WAR, is being re-released in a specially bound edition to be sold in Costco stores nationwide. (Wait, you haven't met Elliot yet? What are you waiting for?)

But none of that is what we're here to talk about today. No, sir! We are here today to break entirely new ground!

This is not exactly a new deal, as details have been brewing for some months now—going all the way to last summer, in fact. But as of this week, the final paperwork is squared away, the jots and tittles worked out, and we are thrilled to announce there are two NEW books on the horizon for Jennifer Nielsen fans!

Here is the official deal announcement:

Lisa Sandell has acquired two new stand-alone middle-grade novels from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen, beginning with A NIGHT DIVIDED, a story of danger and intrigue in Cold War-era East Berlin, about a girl whose family is split in half when the Berlin Wall goes up, and must find a way to deal with the consequences. The first book is scheduled for publication in Fall 2015.

If you want a sneak peek into the backstory of this book and how it came about, take a look at this post: http://www.jennielsen.com/archives/1182 ...And that does a pretty efficient job at whetting the appetite, I should say!

Let's officially start counting down to Fall 2015, shall we?

Congratulations, Jen!!

--Joan

Otherbound

Otherbound
Corinne Duyvis

Psst! Have you seen Corinne Duyvis's debut YA novel, OTHERBOUND, yet? It's entirely possible you may not have read it yet, because this spectacular novel—and recipient of two starred reviews so far—is not actually out until June 17th. So, before you go any further, the first thing you should do is go ahead preorder your copy of OTHERBOUND.

Are you back? Well, now that you're a fan, I've got some fabulous news to share: There are MORE good things ahead for Corinne. And the very best of them is that this week, we have tied up the deal for Corinne's second book, which will also be published by Amulet Books/Abrams, with the indomitable Maggie Lehrman again at the editorial helm.

ON THE EDGE OF GONE is another gripping YA novel about an autistic teenager in the near-future Netherlands, as she tries to hold her family together while weathering the impact of a devastating comet, and her struggles to find her place in the new reconfigured world. Let me tell you, this book is going to be a stunner, and you won't want to miss it!

Congratulations, Corinne! And here's to many more to come.

--Joan

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters
Laurie Ann Thompson

We're a little late but no less in love with the new cover for BE A CHANGEMAKER by Laurie Ann Thompson! We can picture the young, wonderful entrepreneurs this book will touch, all working away in the same, up-side position. It's just how it should be! Congratulations, Laurie! The cover is absolutely perfect!

You've gotta love a book that combines cats, books, and fighting with pretend swords in the back yard. And as it happens, that is just the story that Curtis Manley has written: an adorable picture book text about Nick, an enterprising young fellow, who decides one summer vacation that it is high time that his two cats learn to read. How Nick goes about getting there makes for a charming, quirky, adorable read that is bound to be a true classic.

I'm delighted to say that editor extraordinaire Sylvie Frank has fallen in love with this manuscript just as I have, and it will be published by Paula Wiseman Books at Simon & Schuster. Keep an eye out for this book, as it's one you won't want to miss!

Congratulations, Curtis!

~ Joan

Sometime last year a video went around social media--a young poet at a slam poetry competition, speaking with incredible passion about the ways young women learn to take up less space in the world, the number of times we apologize without thinking, the impact our mothers' relationships with food have on ours...so many nuanced issues that affect so many young women--women of all ages, in fact.

The poem, "Shrinking Women," really stuck with me. Every time it popped up on my feed, I'd watch it again--just three and a half minutes, and I'd feel so much, so powerfully, again. I noticed how self-assured the poet was. Lily Myers was her name, and she was a student at Wesleyan University. I started to think about how much the issues encapsulated in these few moments might be remarkable in the space of a YA novel. I started thinking about Lily's facility with language, the self-assuredness of her hand, and I just couldn't get the idea out of my mind that I should reach out to her.

This turned out to be easier said than done; right about the time Lily was becoming an internet sensation, reaching a million hits on YouTube, she had left the country for a semester abroad. She was not reachable. I put the idea aside and moved on with other things--and was happily surprised to hear from her earlier this year, right about the time she returned to the States and did an interview on NPR's "Here and Now" (which itself referenced an interview Lena Dunham did on Salon, where "Shrinking Woman" was mentioned). Her YouTube hits were rising towards 4 million. Clearly the themes in her poem that touched me so much had done the same for many, many others.

Lily and I had a couple of lovely phone conversations, and I was fortunate enough to be in New York at the same time she was last month, so we got to sit down at dinner and have a wonderfully wide-ranging conversation, which removed any lingering worries I might have had about working with such a young writer. Clearly Lily has the perspective, the thoughtfulness, and the open, listening mind of a writer who has many stories to tell.

It turns out I wasn't the only smart cookie who had seen "Shrinking Women" and thought Lily should do a book. In addition to some adult agents and editors, Liza Kaplan of Philomel had also seen a spark she wanted to nourish into a flame. So right about the time I felt sure I wanted to sign Lily up as a client, Liza and her publisher Michael Green were sure they wanted to sign Lily up as a Philomel author. It was a remarkable and wonderful case of a whole team coming together at the same moment, seeing the possibilities, and deciding to work together to reach them.

And so I am pleased to announce not only that Lily Myers is now a client of EMLA, she is also an author under contract with Philomel, working away at her debut YA novel as she finishes up the last year-plus of her bachelor's degree. Watch this space--I think there are many, many remarkable things to come from this woman! (For example, check this tumblr she has created with a friend, chock-full of good, perspective-shifting stuff.) Congratulations, Lily!

—Erin

Talker 25

Talker 25
Joshua McCune

Happy release day to debut author Joshua McCune and his book, TALKER 25! For some fun, check out the dragon naming party on EMU's Debuts celebrating the big day. And don't forget yesterday's book giveaway and kickoff post with an interview featuring Ammi-Joan Paquette and how she came to represent Joshua and TALKER 25. Fantasy readers will want to slither, fly, and burn their way to the nearest bookstore for a copy of this one!

Otherbound

Otherbound
Corinne Duyvis

It's a SECOND starred review for Corinne Duyvis' OTHERBOUND! Publisher's Weekly loves that the "numerous plot twists drive the story along, and it's grounded in worldbuilding that creates a believable, authentic setting. Duyvis makes ingenious use of a fascinating premise." Congratulations, Corinne! We're so excited for this wonderful book to reach readers when it comes out in June!

Here Comes the Easter Cat

Here Comes the Easter Cat
Deborah Underwood

With Easter just around the corner, Deborah Underwood's HERE COMES EASTER CAT is skyrocketing through the regional bestseller lists and garnering overwhelming praise, including four stars from Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.

EASTER CAT hit seven of the eight regional bestseller lists including the NEIBA, SIBA, MPIBA, Heartland, SCIBA, NCIBA, and NAIBA!

And then here's a sampling of the long list of reviews praising this Cat's holiday domination:

The New York Times says "Underwood uses a clever narrative technique to tell her light-as-air story."

Redbook.com recommends CAT as a "smart and fun" way to put a "perfectly playful dose of sass" into Easter baskets.

Citizen-Times.com raves that it's "unlike any Easter book ever written. It is funny, sweet and subversive... Cat is the perfect new anti-hero."

The Salt Lake Tribune includes Cat in their holiday list, saying, "it's hard to keep a good cat down."

Bay Area Parent recommends it in its Easter lineup.

Grandparents.com call it one of the "10 Best Books of Spring 2014."

Examiner.com says Cat "provides an endless amount of laughter for young readers and caretakers."

And last but not least, Buzzfeed's has an adorable animated 8 reasons cat should be in charge of Easter.

With all this fame and glory, who knows what Cat has up his sleeve next--but perhaps no holiday or country is safe from his complete domination? It's a good thing he is so loveable!

Congratulations, Deborah!


And Happy Easter, Cat! Well done on your perfectly-executed Easter take-over!

Otherbound

Otherbound
Corinne Duyvis

A Kirkus STARRED review for Corinne Duyvis' OTHERBOUND! They had so many good things to say about this book, you might want to read the review (and the book) yourselves, but we love that they praised its "rich worldbuilding, convincing nonheteronormative relationships, balanced class issues, and nuanced, ethnically diverse characters." They say the "well-paced action builds toward an unexpected, thrilling conclusion that will leave readers eager for more from this promising new author." Congratulations, Corrine, the praise doesn't get better than this!

I am practically beside myself, I am so happy to share this great news. As announced in today's PW Children's Bookshelf:

Ann Kelley at Schwartz & Wade has acquired debut author Tamara Ellis Smith's middle-grade novel Marble Boys in a two-book deal at auction. The novel tells the story of two boys who have experienced great trauma and loss – one with the death of his best friend near their home in the mountains of Vermont, and one in losing his home in Hurricane Katrina – and the ways the world pushes them together to find healing. Publication is scheduled to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in August 2015. Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.

The story of MARBLE BOYS, as in, the story of how it came to be, is epic. Suffice to say that Tam has been incredibly persistent with revising and deepening this story, helped, in a backwards way, by the fact that her own home and life were greatly impacted by Hurricane Irene, giving her new insight into surviving a tragic weather event. She wrote about it in Hunger Mountain, where it was published with a MARBLE BOYS excerpt.

I have such a good feeling about this book reaching readers, and connecting readers across geography, as the characters Henry and Zavion are connected in the novel. I know Tam has plans stirring in that direction. There is so much more good to come--but for now, Tam, HUGE congratulations!

--Erin

Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly

Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly
Conrad Wesselhoeft

A happy, happy release day to Conrad Wesselhoeft and DIRT BIKES, DRONES, and OTHER WAYS TO FLY! May this book soar into reader's hands!

Sophie

Sophie's Squash
Pat Zietlow Miller

We've all been hearing a lot about SOPHIE'S SQUASH over the past months, culminating most recently in that delightful picture book manuscript winning a 2014 Golden Kite Award from SCBWI. Today, however, we are here to take out Pat Zietlow Miller talk in an entirely different direction.

Let me tell you a story about a duck.

No, back up a minute. The real story is about Elmore Jennings, detective-at-large. There is a mystery afoot in young Elmore's life—that "baby" his parents brought home from the hospital? Very suspicious. In fact, Elmore is pretty sure it's not a baby at all... but a duck.

MY BROTHER THE DUCK is hilariously quirky, "preschool noir" picture book mystery that is sure to have readers in stitches. We can't wait to see it illustrated, because it's going to be a stunner! I'm thrilled to announce today that MY BROTHER THE DUCK was acquired by Tamra Tuller at Chronicle. Keep a lookout for it in spring 2017 (!).

Hooray, Pat!

~ Joan

Tap Tap Boom Boom

Tap Tap Boom Boom
Elizabeth Bluemle

Elizabeth Bluemle's TAP TAP BOOM BOOM is such a fun, jazzy picture book and we're so glad Shelf Awareness agrees! They gave it a starred review, calling it "a rainy day delight" with characters "children will embrace."

Congratulations, Elizabeth! We're so glad others love this book like we do!

Rhyme Schemer

Rhyme Schemer
K.A. Holt

That K.A. Holt sure knows how to keep busy! Her middle-grade novel in verse, RHYME SCHEMER, is coming out this fall from Chronicle Books, and she is busily polishing up a second novel for release in fall 2015, entitled HOUSE ARREST. In addition to these poignant journeys, however, it turns out that our own Kari has been harboring a dark secret.

Sometimes, very late at night when there's no one around to see... she writes about aliens.

Well, the cat's out of the bag now! I'm delighted to introduce to you RED MOON RISING: a sweeping, fast-paced, upper-MG science fiction adventure that can be best described as Firefly meets Little House on the Prairie. The space epic follows the fortunes of a feisty thirteen-year-old girl who becomes an unwitting pawn in the standoff between her struggling colony and the enclave of aliens who may be something quite different than they seem.

This week, we closed the deal for this stunning manuscript, which sold to Karen Wojtyla at Margaret K. McElderry Books. Hooray, and congratulations Kari!

The full announcement on Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf: "Karen Wojtyla at Margaret K. McElderry Books has acquired K.A. Holt's Red Moon Rising, pitched as Firefly meets Little House on the Prairie. In the novel, a feisty 13-year-old becomes an unwitting pawn in the standoff between her struggling colony and the enclave of aliens who may be something quite different than they seem. The book is slated for early 2016 publication. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights."

--Joan

Adrenaline Crush

Adrenaline Crush
Laurie Boyle Crompton

We are excited to reveal the new cover for Laurie Boyle Crompton's ADRENALINE CRUSH. Isn't it beautiful? We love the colors and who can resist wanting to jump themselves when they see someone else leaping for joy? Congratulations, Laurie! We're so happy for you!

What's better than working with Liz Garton Scanlon and with Audrey Vernick? Working with Liz Garton Scanlon AND Audrey Vernick!

These two dynamos are long-distance writing buddies, and not so long ago, I forwarded them both an review of a recently released book, saying that if the two of them had a book baby, it might look something like that.

Liz responded that perhaps they WOULD write a book together, and Audrey responded "Aben," which was, she said, what "Amen" sounded like with a nasty cold.

Five months later, we are pleased to announce that Kevin Lewis at Disney-Hyperion has signed their co-written text, BOB, NOT BOB, about a boy who is not feeling well and whose stuffy nose makes it difficult to call Mom—not Bob, who happens to be the family dog. We're hearing exciting things about the illustrator Kevin has in mind, but can't share that news yet. While we wait, though, let's cheer for book babies and for Liz and Audrey!

—Erin

The PW Children's Bookshelf announcement: Kevin Lewis at Disney-Hyperion has bought world rights to Bob, Not Bob, a picture book text co-written by Liz Garton Scanlon (All the World) and Audrey Vernick (Brothers at Bat), about a boy who is not feeling well and whose stuffy nose means when he tries to call for Mom, he gets Bob – the family dog. Publication is tentatively scheduled for spring 2016. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented both authors.

Bad Bye, Good Bye

Bad Bye, Good Bye
Deborah Underwood

A happy, happy book birthday to Deborah Underwood and BAD BYE, GOOD BYE! This book has already garnered starred reviews and high praise. We can't wait to see all the readers this wonderful book will find!