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May 2022

There are a few things you can always count on when you pick up a novel by J. Anderson Coats: You will have headstrong, active characters. You will have an exciting, page-turning story. And you will always—always!—have an immersive historical time period which you probably knew nothing about going into, but which upon turning that last page, you feel as though you’ve now lived part of a life inside.

That’s quite a gift, isn’t it? And to lean on an old cliché, it is most certainly the gift that keeps on giving—to us, her readers. Here is the write-up for Jillian’s newest forthcoming title:

Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has acquired J. Anderson Coats’s next historical middle-grade novel, A Season Most Unfair, about a girl in medieval England who is banned from her father’s candlemaking workshop when he takes on a proper apprentice; she is determined to prove herself as good as any boy, even if it means doing all the work on the sly. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal for World rights, for publication in summer 2023.

 I couldn’t be more excited for this amazing book to be out in the world. You definitely won’t want to miss it 

Congratulations, Jillian!

- Joan

I'm so excited to bringing the news of a debut deal today! Kelly Rice Schmitt has written a truly beautiful, lyrical picture book text - and from the perspective of a container ship, no less. From the moment I read it I fell head over heels, and I'm so delighted she's been matched with editor extraordinaire Carol Hinz, who has signed up the talented Jam Dong to illustrate! Here's the deal announcement that went out:

Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook has acquired world rights to I, Ship by debut author Kelly Rice Schmitt (l.), illustrated by Jam Dong. Narrated by a container ship, this picture book takes readers on a journey across the seas while introducing key concepts related to international shipping and trade. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Tara Gonzalez at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Shadra Strickland at Painted Words represented the illustrator.

We can't wait for I, SHIP to set sail in Fall 2023!


If we could pinpoint one topic that is likely to be on a vast majority of the global population’s mind these days, that topic would be viruses. I mean, am I right here? But of course, viruses have been around as long as history. And not only viruses, but: scary viruses, too.

This train of thought was the impetus behind Amy Cherrix’s in-depth new work of middle-grade non-fiction. Read more in the exciting deal announcement here below:

Kristin Rens at Balzer + Bray has acquired Amy Cherrix’s Virus Hunters: The Quest to Protect People from Deadly Outbreaks and Pandemic. This work of MG non-fiction spotlights history’s most notorious viral hot zones, introducing readers to the virus hunters and elite investigators of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service as they combine state-of-the-art science with boots-on-the-ground detective work to investigate these deadly outbreaks and save lives. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the deal for World rights. Publication will be in spring 2024.

This huge and sweeping project is marked with impeccable researching and suspenseful pacing for a read that will be impossible to put down. I for one can’t wait to read the finished result! 

Huge congratulations, Amy!