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February 2011

I am so pleased to announce that we have a new member joining the EMLA team: agent intern and social media strategist Tricia Lawrence, who has been blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and advising publishers and authors about social media for years through her company Real Brilliant.

I am looking forward to having help with the EMLA online presence, and Joan and I are so happy to have someone bringing new energy to the agenting side of things, too, shadowing us to learn the ropes of being a literary agent. She will be working from her home office in the Seattle area.

Welcome, Tricia!



Words in the Dust

Words in the Dust
Trent Reedy

What a lovely amount of attention has fallen on Trent Reedy's Words in the Dust, which just hit shelves last month! Yesterday, USA Today shone a lovely spotlight on the book (as the L.A. Times had done late last month):

"Before he was an soldier in Afghanistan, Trent Reedy was an English teacher in Riverside, Iowa, who dreamed of becoming a writer. But it wasn't until he went to war that he found a story to tell."

The reviews have been lovely:

“Reedy's narrative offers hope and will go a long way toward helping readers understand the people behind the headlines.”—Publishers Weekly

“Readers will readily find themselves rooting for Zulaikha in this simply told yet thoughtful story.”The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“…full of hard truths, beautiful human interaction, and the promise of possibility.”School Library Journal

“An inside look at an ordinary Afghanistan family trying to survive in extraordinary times, it is both heart-wrenching and timely.”Kirkus

“…a beautifully written novel that introduces young readers to a fascinating culture. Zulaikha’s strength of character helps to bridge the cultural gap and encourages readers to embrace and understand new and unfamiliar customs.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“…a cultural eye-opener…Zulaikha’s strong character begs for a sequel.”—Sacramento Bee

Congratulations, Trent! (And thanks to Cheryl Klein and Scholastic for putting together such a lovely roundup of review quotes!)
Eighth-Grade Superzero

Eighth-Grade Superzero

We go into Valentine's Weekend with some "love"-ly news: Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich's novel Eighth-Grade Superzero has been chosen by the International Reading Association as one of 25 "Notable Children's Books for a Global Society!

I can't help but think this recognition was tailor-made for this particular book. As PW said in its starred review last year, "Messages of social justice -- whether through church projects, parental discussions, or recognition of racial biases among his friends -- complement the story and characters, rather than upstage them."

The complete list of 25 titles will be presented at the IRA Convention in May, 2011, and published in the spring issue of the IRA professional journal The Dragon Lode.
Congratulations, Gbemi!

Maybelle in the Soup

Maybelle in the Soup
Katie Speck

We are so pleased to announce a new deal!

Katie Speck's chapter book Maybelle in the Soup introduced the world to a spunky cockroach with a gastronomic obsession, who lives in the home of the fussy Peabodys, who like everything Just So, who have a cat named Ramona, who makes less-than-fine-dining for Maybelle's best friend, Henry the flea. Maybelle's home under the refrigerator gives her a great view of the food that tempts her out into the light, setting off her adventures, which continued in Maybelle Goes to Tea.

Katie has written a new installment, Maybelle and the Haunted Cupcake, which will join Maybelle at the Fair on the upcoming roster at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, under the guidance of editor Sally Doherty (who again acquired world rights), and again to be illustrated by Paul Ratz de Tagyos.

The two Maybelle books on the market so far have garned lots of rave reviews. They were both Junior Library Guild selections; Maybelle in the Soup was named one of six best new books for early readers by Scholastic Instructor magazine; and Maybelle Goes to Tea was on the New York Public Library's list of Best 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. The review praise included "a sure-fire hit," "giggle-worthy," and "a lot of fun, especially for reading aloud." But perhaps most gratifyingly, schools have fallen in love with this cockroach! Katie has just heard about a school district in McKinney, Texas, where the teachers and students have created a Maybelle wiki, distributed plastic cockroaches, and in May will be hosting a 1st Annual Adventures with Maybelle Festival!

Congratulations, Katie!



Susan (S R) Vaught

We are so pleased that Susan Vaught's award-winning YA novel Trigger has gotten interest from the film community! It has now been optioned by Met Film Production, which produced the hilarious movie The Infidel starring Omid Djalili and Richard Schiff, as well as Little Ashes, starring Robert Pattinson, French Film, starring Hugh Bonneville, Wondrous Oblivion starring Delroy Lindo, and the Oscar-nominatedSolomon and Gaenor. Met Films has attached screenwriter Lindsey Shapero, whose most recent success (of many!) was the script for the award-winning film Enid, starring Helena Bonham Carter.

Trigger focuses on a teenager who tried to kill himself a year before the story opens. He's broken in body and brain and has to relearn many things about how to live, and about his own life--including why he pulled the trigger in the first place. It was published by Bloomsbury USA in 2006 and received two starred reviews and many accolades, including being listed on YALSA's Best Books for Young Adults list, the NYPL Books for the Teen Age, and the Texas Tayshas reading list. From the moment I first read this novel, the protagonist's hilarious and endearing voice was in my head; I am so eager to see Jersey Hatch on the big screen!

Many thanks to Rebecca Mancini at Bloomsbury and the wonderful agents at The Gotham Group for brokering this deal. Congratulations, Susan!


The Queen of Water

The Queen of Water
Laura Resau
María Virginia Farinango

The praise keeps rolling in for Laura Resau and Maria-Virginia Farinango's The Queen of Water! (See this recent post for more about the novel and its last starred review.) In a forthcoming review, Booklist will bestow a second star on the book: "[I]t dramatizes the classic search for home with rare complexity and no sentimentality or easy resolutions....A moving, lyrical novel that will particularly resonate with teens caught between cultures."

Congratulations, Laura and Virginia!


The Wyverns

The Wyverns' Treasure (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book 3)
Robin (R. L.) LaFevers

Today, a fun new website went live:, which not only compiles all the information about this wonderful chapter book series in one place, it also gives readers tons of great extras, like Nate's sketchbook, excerpts from the Book of Beastsa place for readers to submit their own artwork, and more!.

Congratulations to R. L. LaFevers, author of the series—and many thanks to illustrator Kelly Murphy and her husband Antoine Revoy, who came up with the idea for the site and put tireless work into bringing it together.