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April 2013

We've Got a Job
Cynthia Levinson

That is not a kind of sandwich,  I promise you! It is, in fact, a pronouncement of truth: Cynthia Levinson is on a roll, as, on top of new awards showing up seemingly every week (the latest is the 2013 IRA Young Adult Nonfiction Award, but if you want to see an impressive list of notices, click here or here)...on top of that, we're now announcing a new two-book deal for her!

Here's the announcement we sent to Publishers Marketplace, but you can also see another announcement at PW Children's Bookshelf:

Author of 2013 IRA Young Adult Nonfiction Award winner WE'VE GOT A JOB Cynthia Levinson's next two nonfiction projects for ages 10-14: WATCH OUT FOR FLYING KIDS, which spotlights teens who soar over cultural, religious, and political boundaries in two partnering, nonprofit children's circuses—an urban-suburban circus in St. Louis, Missouri, and an Arab-Jewish circus in Israel; and FAULT LINES IN THE CONSTITUTION, co-written with Levinson's husband, Sanford Levinson, a leading constitutional scholar, which will look at the many flaws in the U.S. Constitution, some of the real-world consequences of those flaws, and the ways that some state constitutions offer thoughtful alternatives, to Kathy Landwehr at Peachtree Publishers, by Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency (world).

I'm so pleased that these remarkable projects will be on shelves in the future--WATCH OUT is tentatively scheduled for spring 2015--and that Cynthia is reunited with her beloved editor, Kathy Landwehr, and the fabulous team at Peachtree--for a team they are, truly.

Congratulations, Cynthia!


Kevan Atteberry's quite the accomplished illustrator. I mean, look at all these books! And the sales numbers on TICKLE MONSTER are gulp-worthy! And dude created Clippy, the MIcrosoft paper clip!

And now, he can also add AUTHOR-illustrator to his list of job titles. Hooray for Kevan! And hooray for the lovely Jill Davis of Katherine Tegen Books at HarperCollins, who has acquired Kevan's BUNNIES! and an untitled sequel, to debut winter 2015! BUNNIES! is an adorable picture book for very young children that shows the unfolding of an unlikely friendship between a big ol' monster and a pack of adorable bunnies.

Huge congratulations, Kevan! And now I shall retire my use of exclamation points for the rest of the week....


How excited am I to share this good news? SO EXCITED! There are few things I love more than announcing a debut book deal—especially for a book that is as tense and exciting as this one. THE MOTHMAN'S CURSE is set in the self-proclaimed "most haunted city in America," and mashes together a haunted camera, an ancient curse, and a couple of resourceful kids who very quickly get in way over their heads. Need I say more? Oh, yes—fabulous characters, breakneck pacing, and a whole lot of heart. I'm not exaggerating when I say that when I first sat down to read this middle-grade novel in manuscript form, I literally couldn't stop turning the pages.

Today, I'm thrilled to announce that THE MOTHMAN'S CURSE has found a home with Deirdre Langeland at Roaring Brook Press. Mark your calendars for spring 2015, 'cause this is a release date you won't want to miss!

Huge congratulations, Christine!


Deborah Underwood is a writer on fire! Well, not literally, of course, but just look at what's coming. On top of five previously announced not-yet-published picture books (with Houghton, Disney-Hyperion, Chronicle, and Dial), we've got two more books on the way! As announced in today's PW Children's Bookshelf in the Rights Report:

Jessica Garrison at Dial Books for Young Readers has acquired two picture books by Deborah Underwood (The Quiet Book). Here Comes Santa Cat is a companion to Here Comes the Easter Cat, scheduled for January 2014; both will be illustrated by Huff and Puff's Claudia Rueda, and feature a sly cat who gives some famous holiday roles his own temperamental spin. Publication for Santa Cat is set for fall 2014. The second book, Walrus 1-2-3, does not yet have an illustrator and will publish in winter 2015; it features a child who lists the good and bad things about living in a new house – particularly a new house that came with a walrus in the bathtub. Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency did world rights for both deals for Underwood; Rueda represented herself in her deal.

Hip-hip-hooray, Deborah!


In October 2007, I met Audrey Vernick at a New Jersey SCBWI conference in Princeton. We hit it off immediately, and I fell in love with the part of her middle-grade novel, SCREAMING AT THE UMP, that I critiqued that day. A few weeks later I signed her up and we were off and running.

Funny thing, though: UMP didn't land anywhere. It eventually went into the drawer, but over the first five and a half years of our partnership, Audrey and I sold nine other books.

Things have a way of coming around when the time is right. Audrey pulled UMP back out of the drawer, workshopped it over a couple of years, and finished putting a polish on it earlier this year. And sure enough, the manuscript I signed her for is now going to be on bookshelves!

SCREAMING AT THE UMP is the story of a boy named Casey and his sometimes-annoying, always-loyal best friend Zeke, and the way they feel totally at home at the third-best umpire school in the country, which Casey's dad and grandpa run (with quite a bit of help from Casey and Zeke). Crashing together in the pages of the story are Casey's ambitions to be a sports writer, Zeke's ambitions to get onto reality TV, the suspicion that one of the aspiring umpires attending the school is really a fallen baseball legend, and the school's annual You Suck, Ump Day, when local townspeople come out to make as much noise as possible to see if the wannabe umpires can keep their cool when the pressure is on.

UMP is scheduled for release in almost exactly a year--April 1, 2014, no foolin'! The wonderful Jennifer Greene at Clarion Books is the acquiring editor. She also edited Audrey's first novel, WATER BALLOON, as well as her picture book BROTHERS AT BAT and the forthcoming picture books EDGAR'S SECOND WORD and FIRST-GRADE DROPOUT.

Congratulations, Audrey!



Sophie's Squash
Pat Zietlow Miller

Who here is counting down the days until the delightful picture book SOPHIE'S SQUASH hits the shelves? If you're with me on this, then let me first say that the fun is set to happen on August 6th, 2013. And to tide us over the slow-moving months until then, I'm delighted to share some excellent news—a new deal for Pat Zietlow Miller!

THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE is the story of a little girl in 1960s Clarkesville, TN, who dreams of being the fastest girl in the world—just like her hero, African-American sprinter Wilma Rudolph, who made history as the first woman from the United States to win three gold medals at the same Olympics.

This lyrical story was sold to Tamra Tuller at Chronicle, for publication in Fall 2015. Huge congratulations to you, Pat!


The Runaway King

The Runaway King
Jennifer A. Nielsen

A star for Jennifer A. Nielsen's THE RUNAWAY KING from Shelf Awareness!

The newly installed King Jaron, tired of all the politicking going on in the guise of honoring his family at their funeral, steps into the courtyard and climbs a tree. He spies a suspicious character below who turns out to be Roden ("Once my friend. Then my enemy. Now my assassin"), one of four orphans who vied for the throne. Roden has joined the Avenian pirates who were commissioned to kill Jaron four years ago. He delivers this message: Jaron must surrender to Roden and the pirates in 10 days. If he does, the pirates will leave the kingdom of Carthya "untouched." But if Jaron refuses, the pirates will destroy Carthya to get to him. Jaron suspects that Avenia's King Vargan is also involved--since the pirates' plot requires the aid of the Avenian Army. Carthya's regents want to avoid war by placing Jaron in hiding. Jaron suspects his regents will betray him, so he takes matters into his own hands.

Nielsen ups the ante, as Jaron sees no other way to convince his kingdom he's fit to reign than to come face to face with the pirate king who planned to kill him four years before. Her skill for plotting and characterization lives up to the high standards she set with The False Prince. Readers will want to read straight through without interruption. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Congratulations, Jen!


Welcome to April! The EMLA team is back from the Bologna Children's Book Fair and excited about opportunities for all of our clients, but we're very excited about this month's long-awaited release.

DARK TRIUMPH, by Robin LaFevers, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, delivers the next heart-pounding (and swoony) installment of the His Fair Assassins series, following Sybella as she does her work for the God of Death.