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October 2012

You know those most-embarrassing moments, the stories that still make your face turn hot when you remember them years later? Well, Audrey Vernick has written a terrific and funny picture book text about one of those moments. (You thought I was going to say Audrey HAD one of those moments, didn't you? Fooled you!)

FIRST-GRADE DROPOUT's main character has just done something unimaginably embarrassing, one that can't possibly be survived unless he just doesn't go back to school. So that's just what he plans to do. Fortunately for him, he's got some great friends who will keep him company.

The editor acquiring this text is Jennifer Greene of Clarion Books, who is also fabulous person-behind-the-scenes on Audrey's BROTHERS AT BAT, WATER BALLOON, and the forthcoming EDGAR'S SECOND WORD. Huzzah for Jennifer and Audrey!

—Erin

What is better than a rhymed-and-metered picture book that really scans? Why, one that breaks stereotypes and shouts GIRL POWER, that's what! And that is exactly what Deborah Underwood's INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA does. Deborah's Cinderella is mechanically inclined, and when she finds the wrench she lost at the space parade, she uses it to fix the prince's damaged spaceship and decides maybe his resulting offer of marriage isn't right for her. (And she's got a cute robot mouse sidekick, too.)

We're very happy that Melissa Manlove at Chronicle has just acquired this picture book—EMLA's first picture book on the Chronicle list!

Huge congratulations, Deborah!

—Erin

My Very UnFairy Tale Life

My Very UnFairy Tale Life
Anna Staniszewski

While the book-reading world is enjoying Anna Staniszewski's debut novel, MY VERY UN-FAIRY TALE LIFE, and getting ready for the March 1, 2013 release of the sequel, MY EPIC FAIRY TALE FAIL, Anna herself has been keeping very busy in other ways: writing a new series.

Yes, you read right! Anna has just accepted an offer from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, with the lovely Aubrey Poole once again at the helm, to publish THE DIRT DIARY, the story of fourteen-year-old Rachel who sees her mom's new house-cleaning business as a way for her to earn herself some much-needed extra cash. Little does she realize that she will end up cleaning the homes of some of the most popular kids in school, giving her unexpected access to all kinds of secrets—and leaving her to wonder what she is willing to do with this newfound information.

Intrigued? THE DIRT DIARY is tentatively scheduled for early 2014, and a sequel, THE DIRT WAR, also signed up for later release. Congratulations, Anna, on another two-book deal!

Read more about it from Anna herself on her blog.

—Joan

We've got a very recent addition to the EMLA team, twenty-three-year-old Corinne Duyvis, and today I am thrilled to announce a book deal for her debut YA novel!

OTHERBOUND is the fascinating story of a boy named Nolan who finds that whenever he closes his eyes—even just to blink—he is transported into the body of a mute servant girl from another world named Amara. Over the years, Nolan has adapted to this strange way of living, but one day Nolan learns that he might be able to have more effect upon this other world than just being an observer. And the more he becomes caught up in Amara's world, the more he becomes convinced that something is at work that is much deeper and more sinister than he had ever suspected.

This fast-paced novel will keep you guessing and keep your heart pounding right to the finish line. I'm thrilled to say that OTHERBOUND will be published by Amulet Books, with the lovely Maggie Lehrman editing.

Congratulations to Corinne, and welcome to EMLA!

—Joan

Freaks Like Us

Freaks Like Us
Susan (S R) Vaught

We're so pleased that our audio co-agent, Rebecca Mancini of RightsMix, has brokered a deal with Audible for the audio edition of Susan Vaught's FREAKS LIKE US! The main character of this YA novel is schizophrenic, and after his best friend disappears, he decides to not take his meds because the first 24 hours after a disappearance are crucial, and his medication makes him sleepy—so the voices in his mind get louder and more insistent. I'm so eager to hear how this is portrayed in an audio edition!

FREAKS LIKE US pubbed in September with Bloomsbury in the U.S., and will be available in the U.K. from the same publisher in January—and now on audio very, very soon.

Congratulations, Susan!

—Erin

Happy October! It's fall harvest month—we've got four middle grade novels (three are debut authors and one is a debut illustrator!) and a YA (also a debut!)—from five of our fabulous author/illustrators.

Geek, Girls, and Secret Identities by Mike Jung is the story of ordinary superheroes who are anything but ordinary, and Vincent Wu, desperate to find out if the girl he pines for likes him back, published by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic.

Stealing Air by Trent Reedy is the story of three boys determined to fly, even when life conspires every day to keep them grounded, published by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic.

League of Strays by L.B. Schulman is the story of the decision students face more often than we think: is revenge the only way or can there be another way, published by Abrams/Amulet.

Fall to Pieces by Vahini Naidoo is the story of Ella, drawn into a dangerous game, and how she finally learns the truth about what happened the night her friend died, published by Marshall Cavendish/Amazon.

Return to the Willows by Jacqueline Kelly and illustrated by Clint Young is the long-awaited sequel to The Wind in the Willows, only this time Toad's not interested in motor cars or boats, but anything mechanical that flies in the air, published by Holt/Macmillan.

We wish these books into readers' hearts!

—Erin and Joan