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March 2013

It's a happy day that begins with a picture book sale announcement, and I've got a wonderful one to share today: Nancy Tupper Ling's THE DOUBLE HAPPINESS BOX tells the story of two siblings who are moving with their parents across the country, away from the home they've grown up in, away from their other family members, away from everything they've known.  To help with the transition, they start gathering up small treasures to put into a Happiness Box, so they can bring their joy with them no matter where they go.

This gorgeous picture book is told in a series of poems from two points of view, and I can tell you it's going to be an amazingly realized book—especially in the hands of acquiring editor Tamra Tuller and the wonderful Chronicle design and publishing team.

I'm thrilled to congratulate Nancy on her first EMLA sale, and here's to many more to come!

—Joan

Some projects just feel like they are touched by kismet. Such is the case with Chris Barton's nonfiction picture book text PIONEERS AND PIROUETTES.

Chris has had the idea of doing a picture book about the Christensen brothers, three guys from small-town Utah who are responsible for the Christmas tradition of performances of THE NUTCRACKER, for quite some time. As he dug deeper, he found the guys were pretty fascinating—their lives covered vaudeville, serving in WWII, living all over the country, writing original stage performances, championing ballet as an American art form—and always, always, a love of dance in all forms.

Enter Carol Hinz of Millbrook, who not only confessed to being a fan of Chris Barton's writing, but to having a lifelong love of ballet herself, from her first lessons at age 7 through her present-day classes. It turns out Carol wasn't the only Millbrook staffer to be currently taking classes in ballet, either.

A match made in heaven! Now Carol and Millbrook will bring PIONEERS AND PIROUETTES to bookshelves in fall 2015—just in time for Christmas. Of course.

Congratulations, Chris!

—Erin

Oh, you know how we love these sophomore book deals at EMLA. Today we are pleased to share the word that Conrad Wesselhoeft, whose ADIOS NIRVANA was published by Houghton, is on his way to book #2!

DRONE PILOT, also to be published by Houghton and shepherded, once again, by editor extraordinaire Kate O'Sullivan, is about a dirt-bike-riding daredevil of a teen who catches the eye of the U.S. military with his 1st-place ranking on a video game featuring drone warfare. Since the teen's own family has been broken by recent violence, reconciling what the military wants him to do (and all the good he could do with the money they would pay him to do it) makes for some heartbreaking dilemmas. The novel is set in the sweeping high desert of New Mexico and features Conrad's wonderfully lyrical writing; like Jonathan in ADIOS NIRVANA, Arlo in DRONE PILOT is, in his way, a poet.

This one is slated for a spring 2014 release, so we don't have to wait too long to see it on the shelves. Huge congratulations, Conrad!

—Erin

Henry Franks

Henry Franks
Peter A. Salomon

Booklist called Peter A. Salomon's debut thriller HENRY FRANKS "the thinking teen's horror choice of the year." Well, all of you thinking teens—and adults—out there won't have to wait too much longer to get your next shot of smart, thoughtful, creepy fiction. As of this week, Peter has accepted a publication offer for his second novel, GHOSTLY, which was sold again to Brian Farrey at Flux.

GHOSTLY tells the story of Richard, a sixteen-year-old who is hiding a dark secret. Ten years ago, his best friend Melanie disappeared, and was presumed dead. That same night, a burning ghostly shadow entered his room, and Richard's life would never be the same. Only now, a new girl has moved to town. And her name is Melanie.

Mark your calendars, people—GHOSTLY is tentatively scheduled for publication in Fall 2014. Congratulations, Peter!

—Joan

Quick show of hands: Who here has ever dreamed of changing the world? Okay, now one more: Who's actually sat down and put together a specific plan for changing the world, complete with guidelines, practical tips, and hands-on experience from those who have gone before and actually done it?

Let me introduce you to Laurie Thompson. Last year, Laurie's first picture book was signed on by Schwartz & Wade. This week, Laurie has accepted a publication offer for her newest book, a non-fiction manual for teens and preteens, tentatively titled CHANGEMAKERS. Focusing on the experiences of teens and young people who have made a concrete difference in their own neighborhoods, countries, and across the world, CHANGEMAKERS will be the definitive guide for kids who want to make a difference but don't know how to get started. And I have a feeling the rest of us non-kids will enjoy it too!

This book was enthusiastically signed on by Nicole Geiger at Beyond Words Publishing/Simon Pulse, and is slated for publication in Fall 2014. Huge congratulations, Laurie!

Happy March! We're hoping spring blooms sooner than later!

ALL THROUGH MY TOWN, by Jean Reidy, published by Bloomsbury, is a colorful and lyrical romp through town, perfect for a read-aloud.

PART-TIME PRINCESS, by Deborah Underwood, published by Disney/Hyperion, highlights how princesses manage both their kingdoms and math tests.

THE RUNAWAY KING, by Jennifer A. Nielsen, published by Scholastic, is the second title in the popular THE FALSE PRINCE trilogy and raises the stakes significantly, just what readers hope for.

TAKE ME TO YOUR BBQ by Kathy Duval, published by Disney/Hyperion, chronicles what happens when aliens show up for dinner . . . in Texas!

MY EPIC FAIRY TALE FAIL by Anna Staniszewski, published by Sourcebooks, finds Jenny still in fairyland, with more challenges to overcome.

We wish these books into readers' hearts!

—Erin and Joan