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Sneak Peeks
Odds and Ends
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Awards & Recognition


December 2011

And more YA sneak peeks for spring 2012:

Robin LaFevers, April, HMH

J. Anderson Coats, April, Harcourt

And last, but definitely not least, young adult, come on down!

Cate Tiernan, January, Little Brown

Laura Resau, February, Delacorte/Random House

My Very UnFairy Tale Life

My Very UnFairy Tale Life
Anna Staniszewski

This November, readers were introduced to Jenny the Adventurer, the intrepid heroine of Anna Staniszewski’s debut middle-grade fantasy novel, MY VERY UN-FAIRY TALE LIFE. Battling manic clowns, fleeing from crazed unicorns, and rescuing imprisoned princes are just a few of the many predicaments Jenny encounters in this hilarious magical adventure. That sounds like a terrific, fly-off-the-shelves book, you say?—Well, readers have certainly agreed with you, as MY VERY UN-FAIRY TALE LIFE was rushed into a second printing just three weeks after publication!
Now I am delighted to announce some more holiday good news for Anna—and Jenny!—with an offer from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky to continue publishing Jenny’s adventures. Tentatively titled MY WAY TOO FAIRY TALE LIFE and HAPPILY FAIRY AFTER, books #2 and #3 will find Jenny journeying to yet more magical kingdoms, facing more pulse-pounding peril, and following the trail of her missing parents into what is sure to be her most dangerous mission yet.
Congratulations, Anna! (And a very happy holiday season to all.)

And Part 2!

Lynda Mullaly Hunt, May, Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin

Erin E. Moulton, May, Philomel/Penguin

And here comes middle grade!

Cynthia Levinson, February, Peachtree

Jennifer Nielsen, April, Scholastic

Joanne Rocklin, April, Amulet/Abrams

Today is our first annual Foreign Rights Fall/Winter Round-Up for EMLA authors. We are so thankful to our co-agency, Rights People, for all of their hard work on our clients’ behalf!  With a nod to the responsible individual team member, here are the titles they have placed with foreign publishers since our last round-up.

IMMORTAL BELOVED trilogy by Cate Tiernan, in Romania to Leda Editserv, thanks to Rachel Richardson.

HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy by Robin L. LaFevers, in the UK, to Andersen Press, at auction, thanks to Alex Webb.

HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy by Robin L. LaFevers, in Germany, to cbj, at auction, thanks to Alexandra Devlin.

ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET by Joanne Rocklin, in China, to Omnibook Press, thanks to Alex Webb.

WATER BALLOON by Audrey Vernick, for book clubs in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany, to Stabenfeldt, thanks to Allison Hellegers.

Thanks, too, to the sub rights teams at the following U.S. publishers for placing EMLA books with foreign houses:

MAYBELLE IN THE SOUP AND MAYBELLE GOES TO TEA by Katie Speck, in Japan, to Fukuinkan Shoten in a two-title edition (U.S.: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers).

Nathaniel Fludd titles THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, THE BASILISK’S LAIR, and THE WYVERN’S TREASURE by R. L. LaFevers, in Japan, to Asunaro Shobo (U.S.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

TOO PRINCESSY! by Jean Reidy, in Turkey to Artemis (U.S.: Bloomsbury).

We're so happy to see these titles going out around the world!




We've Got a Job
Cynthia Levinson

A star for Cynthia Levinson's WE'VE GOT A JOB from Kirkus:

Triumph and tragedy in 1963 “Bombingham,” as children and teens pick up the flagging Civil Rights movement and give it a swift kick in the pants.
Levinson builds her dramatic account around the experiences of four young arrestees—including a 9-year-old, two teenage activists trained in nonviolent methods and a high-school dropout who was anything but nonviolent. She opens by mapping out the segregated society of Birmingham and the internal conflicts and low levels of adult participation that threatened to bring the planned jail-filling marches dubbed “Project C” (for “confrontation”), and by extension the entire civil-rights campaign in the South, to a standstill. Until, that is, a mass exodus from the city’s black high schools (plainly motivated, at least at first, almost as much by the chance to get out of school as by any social cause) at the beginning of May put thousands of young people on the streets and in the way of police dogs, fire hoses and other abuses before a national audience. The author takes her inspiring tale of courage in the face of both irrational racial hatred and adult foot-dragging (on both sides) through the ensuing riots and the electrifying September bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, then brings later lives of her central participants up to date.

A moving record of young people rising at a pivotal historical moment, based on original interviews and archival research as well as published sources.

Congratulations, Cynthia!


Let's give a huzzah to the charming Liz Garton Scanlon for her latest picture book deal!

Author of Caldecott Honor ALL THE WORLD Liz Garton Scanlon's THE GOOD-PIE PARTY, in which friends decide to take a sad occasion and make it celebratory—and sweet, to Cheryl Klein at Arthur A. Levine Books, by Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency (NA).

Picture books that involve friends AND pie—what could be better? I so look forward to hearing what amazing illustrator comes on board with this project—it's going to be delicious!


And here's part 2!

Eric Pinder, Little Brown, April

Brenda Peterson and Robin Lindsey, Ottaviano/Holt, April

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks this week!

Check out our sneak peek into 2012! Let's just say we're VERY excited about next year!

To start it off, we're going total picture book and this is just part 1.

Jean Reidy
, Bloomsbury, January

Audrey Vernick, Walker/Bloomsbury, February

Audrey Vernick, Clarion/HMH, April

I am very pleased to tell you that Deborah Underwood has a new picture book underway with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, publisher of her wonderful books THE QUIET BOOK, THE LOUD BOOK, and the forthcoming THE CHRISTMAS QUIET BOOK. (And goodness, have you seen the cuddly plush toys based on the Renata Liwska illustrations that have just become available? So adorable!)

Kate O'Sullivan acquired world rights to Deborah's text BAD BYE, about a journey that begins with a grouchy ending and ends with a happy beginning, and signed the incredibly talented Jonathan Bean (represented by Anna Webman of Curtis Brown) to illustrate it; Kate had Jonathan's style in THE APPLE PIE THAT PAPA BAKED in mind. It is scheduled to release in spring 2014. I can't wait to see this book come together! Congratulations, Deborah!



Our own Ammi-Joan Paquette, who is known by some of her readers as A. J. Paquette, has yet another book on the way! Fresh on the heels of NOWHERE GIRL, she's signed the delightful DAHLIA'S RULES FOR GHOSTING with Walker/Bloomsbury. The middle-grade novel focuses on a young ghost learning her limits and powers as she tries to solve the mystery of her own death. She is joined by a living boy whose family has recently moved into the house she haunts, and together they fend of an unscrupulous ghosthunter. Dahlia is the most wonderful, bubbly, sympathetic character you can imagine, and as you might expect, Joan's writing just sparkles!

Joan's Walker editor has been Stacy Cantor Abrams, who recently had big news of her own. Now that Stacy is moving to Entangled, Joan will be in the very capable hands of the wonderful Mary Kate Castellani.

Congratulations, Joan!


Shattered Souls

Shattered Souls

Welcome to our December title, and we've been waiting with breathless anticipation for this one. After almost an entire year of building to this moment, Mary's wonderful YA novel is poised to mesmerize us all. Need a good holiday read that will make you forget about shopping? This is the one.

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey is a magnetic YA about a girl torn between two worlds all while trying to choose true love, published by Philomel.

We wish this book into reader's hearts!

—Erin and Joan



STARS by Mary Lyn Ray (illustrated by Marla Frazee) gets another star, its fourth, from The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. We are thrilled!

Childish wonder is an amazing thing, an approach to the world unfettered by convention and yet grounded in the specific, an easy bridge between “this is” and “what if?” that scientists try to recapture. Too often, though, books for children miss the mark in attempts to convey it, instead depicting adorable childish ignorance about adult-understandable facts. Mary Lyn Ray’s Stars, however, splendidly treats its subject with the matter-of-fact openness of childhood reminiscent of classics such as A Hole Is to Dig, applying it to a large and surprisingly intricate subject.
It’s not the astronomical science of stars that Ray focuses on; it’s what they mean to us on the ground both in their literal and symbolic incarnations, whether twinkling overhead, decorating our lives with shiny shapes, or metaphorically lighting our way, that this sweetly thoughtful picture book celebrates. That’s a big and abstract topic for a subject, but the text handles it with stylish aplomb by keeping the focus squarely on the recognizable reality. On the manifest level, the text wanders amiably from sky-watching (“As soon as you see one, there’s another, and another”) to garden observations (”Yellow stars on pumpkin vines become October pumpkins”) to household details (“There might be a star on the calendar to mark a special day”), with stops along the way for the fanciful (“Moss where you might see fairies is made of green stars”). The intimate direct address, plain language, and gentle rhythm (“If you hold a wand the right way, you might see a wish come true. Not always. Only sometimes”) turn what could be a twee indulgence into a charming kid-level inquiry. Underneath the delicate catalogue of starry implications, however, is a quiet, often subtextual reassurance about feeling secure in a sometimes trying world, with the stars ensuring that “the dark that comes doesn’t feel so dark” and the stars at the end offering a benediction that doesn’t depend on visibility (“If sometimes you can’t see them,” the text notes accurately, “they’re still there”).
Physically, the book is a thing of understated beauty: it’s got a tall reaching-for-the-sky portrait-style orientation and an unobtrusive artistry in the backgrounds and endpapers that start the book with cerulean open air and head through smoky blue twilight to finish with glimmering nighttime inky black. The pencil-soft text has variety that suggests genuine neat hand printing in a style that perfectly captures the homey, confiding tone of the narrative voice. As she did in Scanlon’s All the World (BCCB 10/09), Frazee makes effective and appropriate use of the horizon line throughout her many landscape scenes, placing her young characters in relief against the wide skies; there’s a nice longitudinal shape to the compositions as they move between personable spot-art sequences and double-page-spread full-bleed embraces of the world, with a few intermediate steps in between. The artist peoples the starry pages with a small multicultural group of children, so viewers can follow their favorites throughout. Her Shirley Hughes–like talent for depicting kids who are cute but realistic and individual is on full display here: her subjects have all the variety and energy of good candid photography, and she’s particularly gifted in capturing the nuance of pose, the details of a kid’s belly pooching out, or cowlick springing up, or tongue sticking out in concentration.
This is the kind of bigger-than-it-seems book that exemplifies picture books at their finest. Young dreamers in particular will appreciate the imaginative approach, and they’ll especially enjoy experiencing this fanciful rhapsody as a bedtime book—especially if shared by flashlight in the warmth of a summer night under the stars.
STARS also received starred reviews in the following publications:
Publishers Weekly, 8/15/2011, *STAR
School Library Journal, 10/1/2011, *STAR
Booklist, 10/15/2011, *STAR

Congratulations, Mary Lyn!