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March 2010

I'm so pleased to announce Trent Reedy's debut novel, forthcoming with Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic: Words in the Dust. This middle-grade novel tells the story of an Afghan girl struggling with the effects of decades of war, and is based on Trent's experiences in Afghanistan while serving in the National Guard.

Faced with the American offer of corrective surgery for her cleft lip, thirteen-year-old Zulaikha thinks that looking normal or even pretty like her fifteen-year-old sister Zeynab will fix her problems. But when Zeynab is unexpectedly married off, Zulaikha realizes that there has to be something else, something more, to offer hope for a good life in a new Afghanistan. This beautiful and moving story is one you won’t want to miss!

Although the offer was made and accepted last fall, we have just now put the finishing touches on the paperwork, and are so pleased to be able to make this deal public. The acquiring editor was Cheryl Klein, and the book is slotted for publication in January 2011.


Congratulations to Lynda Mullaly Hunt, whose middle-grade novel One for the Murphys has a publishing home and will be published in September 2012—Lynda's book publishing debut! The lucky editor is Nancy Paulsen, who is stepping down as head of G.P. Putnam's Sons at Penguin to start her own imprint, Nancy Paulsen Books, also at Penguin. One for the Murphys will publish in the new imprint's second season.

In One for the Murphys, street-smart thirteen-year-old Carley Connors is only afraid of one thing--love. After entering the foster care system, she is folded into a family that shows her a side of life she didn't think existed, breaking down her walls and teaching her that not only can she love other people, she can let them love her, too. I think I've read this novel four or five times, but it still makes me cry on every reading, it's so powerful! (And I promise the name of the family, the Murphys, has nothing whatsoever to do with me, although it's a happy coincidence!)


It's a busy spring at EMLA! We are so pleased to be welcoming wonderful new books to the world. March has seen three new books from EMLA authors hit the shelves, with one more on the way before month's end:

March 9—A Star in the Forest (Delacorte), a middle-grade novel by Laura Resau

March 16—Abigail Iris: The Pet Project (Walker), sequel to Abigail Iris: The One and Only, a young middle-grade novel by Lisa Glatt and Suzanne Greenberg

March 18—Your Daddy Was Just Like You (Putnam), a picture book written by Kelly Bennett

March 30—Toads and Diamonds (Holt), a young adult novel by Heather Tomlinson

As always, we wish these books into readers' hearts!


Shark Vs. Train

Shark Vs. Train

Shark vs. Train, by Chris Barton, has gotten three trade reviews—and three stars!

The latest to heap on the praise is School Library Journal: "When a boy with a toy shark faces a train-wielding companion, it sets off a series of imaginative and very funny contests between fish and machine....This inspired pairing, executed with ingenuity and packed with action and humor, is a sure winner."

For a really fun look into the process Chris and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld went through to bring this book into being, see Monday's entry on the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, complete with peeks at some rejected scenes.

Although the book, published by Little, Brown, has a pub date of April 1, I hear it's been spotted on bookstore shelves this week. Run out and see it for yourself!


How NOT To Be Popular

How NOT To Be Popular
Jennifer Ziegler

Jennifer Ziegler's How NOT to Be Popular has been garnering praise left and right since its release in summer 2008, and now that it's hitting the shelves in a trade paperback edition, we hope it will reach a whole bunch of happy new readers. If this great new review at Stiletto Storytime is any indicator, it surely will, for it is a "hilariously real novel about not just what makes you popular but what makes you you" that is "funny, honest and oh so relatable" and "a must read book for teen girls or for that special someone who ever so barely remember[s] what it's like to be one." Very nice!

The original hardcover release of the book debuted to very nice reviews all the way around and was a pick for the 2009 Texas Lone Star List. It's in its tenth (!) hardcover printing.

Here's a peek at the book's wonderful opening:

Tip: Popular girls never go anywhere by themselves. Thus, it must also stand to reason that the unpopular are always alone.

First days of school always make me feel extra alive. My senses just seem magically improved. It’s like I can fully live in the moment and simultaneously float along beside myself, carefully recording everything for later viewing. And this, I know, will become a treasured memory. The kind that replays in full color and digital surround sound, with credits rolling at the end. This will be the day I finally figure out my life. The day I overcome the burden of being a Traveling Dempsey. Today I begin Operation Avoid Friends (OAF?).


Shark Vs. Train

Shark Vs. Train

Chris Barton's Shark vs. Train has garnered two stars!

Publishers Weekly says, "This is a genius concept—the kids' equivalent of a classic guy bull session" and remarks on the "snappy dialogue"; Kirkus chimes in, "With two boys at a toy chest, one clutching a shark and the other a train, thus begins the most unlikeliest of competitions....The combatants’ expressions are priceless when they lose. A glum train in smoky dejection, or a bewildered, crestfallen shark? It’s hard to choose; both are winners."

The book, published by Little, Brown, hits shelves April 1. Congratulations, Chris!


We are very pleased to announce that Mary Lindsey’s debut, a YA novel, will be published by Penguin! Jill Santopolo of Philomel signed world rights for SHATTERED SOULS, a dark and dangerous forbidden love story about a Speaker who helps lingering ghosts pass to the spirit world and the Protector who has pledged to serve her, last week. Ammi-Joan Paquette did the deal. Congratulations, Mary and Joan!