Industry news and press releases

PRESS RELEASE: Penguin Workshop and iHeartMedia Release Kid’s Comedy Quiz Show, The Who Was? Podcast

March 18th, 2022 by



Based on the bestselling Who Was? non-fiction children’s book series and award-winning Netflix show


Co-hosted by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer and comedian Elliott Kalan (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and Meghan O’Neill (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)

March 16, 2022 – New York, NY – Penguin Workshop, iHeartMedia, and Radio Point are proud to release The Who Was? Podcast, a new kids’ comedy quiz show, from the team that produced the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series, The Who Was? Show and based on the #1 New York Times-bestselling Who Was? children’s history and biography series from Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. The first series, consisting of 45 weekly 30-minute episodes, premiered with its first two episodes on March 16, 2022.

Listen to the first two episodes, “Harriet Tubman & Ruth Bader Ginsburg” and “Marie Curie & Milton Hershey,” now streaming on and wherever podcasts are heard!

Co-hosted by Elliot Kalan and Meghan O’Neill, each episode of the comedy quiz show podcast features games, fun facts, and sketches about trailblazing historical figures that will keep listeners laughing and learning.  Each episode revolves around two historical figures that have been paired together for obvious, and sometimes not so obvious, reasons.  Contestants between the ages of 8-12 years old will join in a friendly competition for a chance to be rewarded with a selection of Who Was? books and a set for their school library.


“The success of The Who Was? Show on Netflix helped us realize all the different ways Who HQ could spark a curiosity for history outside of a traditional biography format,” said Francesco Sedita, President and Publisher of Penguin Workshop. “As we continue to expand our title list to include Board Books, Graphic Novels, and more, we are beyond thrilled to partner with iHeart, Radio Point, and the fantastic team behind The Who Was? Show to bring engaging history to young podcast listeners and their families.”

“Who Was?” has been an amazing kids’ franchise for years now, and we’re excited to team up with Penguin Workshop and Radio Point to bring this series into podcasting,” said Will Pearson, COO of iHeartPodcasts. “The podcast world needs a laugh-out-loud kids quiz show and we’re thrilled to give our listeners something they can enjoy with their families.”


About Episode 1: Marie Curie & Milton Hershey

Two fierce kid competitors test their knowledge of science rockstar Marie Curie and delish chocolate maker Milton Hershey! But the real winner today is our host Elliott who walks away with a brand new middle name!

About Episode 2: Harriet Tubman & Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Two kid contestants go head-to-head to see who knows more about Underground Railroad Conductor Harriet Tubman and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg! Our host Elliott sings a song about food!


Other historical figure pairings covered in The Who Was? Podcast include:

  • Frida Kahlo and Walt Disney
  • Aretha Franklin and Stan Lee
  • Michael Jordan and Amelia Earhart
  • And more!

The Who Was? book series began in 2002 with the publication of just four books. Since then, it has evolved into a brand encompassing over 300 titles across seven series lines (including Who HQ Now, Who Was? Graphic Novels, Who Was?, What Was?, Where Is?, What Is the Story Of?, and Who Was? Board Books, known collectively as Who HQ), a Podcast, and a Netflix original series. With more than 50 million books in print worldwide, it’s now the #1 nonfiction series for middle-grade readers; every 13 seconds, a Who HQ book is sold. For more information about the series, including a list of titles, visit

Co-host Elliott Kalan is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer and comedian who has done most of the following things: been Head Writer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Mystery Science Theater 3000; written the picture books Horse Meets Dog and Sharko and Hippo; contributed to the bestselling Earth: The Book; co-hosted the popular podcasts The Flop House and Presidents Are People, Too!.

Co-host and Executive Producer Meghan O’Neill is a writer, actor and director whose credits include The 40-Year-Old Version, HBO’s Animals, Billy On The Street, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The New Yorker, Odd Mom Out, SuperDeluxe, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Happy, 50 Central, Black&White, Vulture, The Hairpin, Blind Date, The Cut, Refinery 29, and Above Average. Festivals include The Sundance Film Festival, Nitehawk Shorts Fest, LES Film Festival, Ars Nova Ant Fest, Chicago Comedy Film Festival, NY Sketch Fest, Toronto Sketchfest, Charleston Comedy Festival, and The Women in Comedy Festival. Meghan is a 2020 a Sundance Institute Fellow. You can catch her weekly co-hosting the Story Pirate Podcast on Gimlet (Winner of the 2020 Webby and iHeart Radio award for Best Kids&Family Podcast.

Radio Point, iHeartMedia, Penguin Workshop, and Meghan O’Neill will serve as Executive Producers on the show. The Who Was Podcast? Is distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network.

Follow The Who Was? Podcast


Children ages 8-12 have a chance to win a selection of Who Was? Books and a set for their school library on the Who Was? Podcast! Parents can email [email protected] for casting information.



Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, publishes new voices and established brands for readers ages birth-12. The imprint is home to popular and bestselling middle grade series such as Here’s Hank by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, Klawde by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth, Brian McCann’s Wannabe Farms, and Who HQ, which has more than 50 million copies in print worldwide. The imprint also publishes pioneering picture books such as Jessica Hische’s Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave.


Penguin Young Readers is one of the leading children’s book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Dial Books, Dutton, Flamingo, Kokila, Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Workshop, Philomel, Puffin, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Razorbill, Viking, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as Laurie Halse Anderson, Max Brallier, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Anna Dewdney, John Flanagan, John Green, Oliver Jeffers, Brad Meltzer, Ransom Riggs, Ruta Sepetys, Sabaa Tahir, Jacqueline Woodson, and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Madeline, Mad Libs, the Last Kids on Earth, the Rangers Apprentice, and Who HQ among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.



iHeartMedia, Inc. [Nasdaq: IHRT] is the leading audio media company in America, reaching over 90% of Americans every month. iHeart’s broadcast radio assets alone have more consumer reach in the U.S. than any other media outlet; twice the reach of the next largest broadcast radio company; and over four times the ad-enabled reach of the largest digital-only audio service. iHeart is the largest podcast publisher according to Podtrac, with more downloads than the next four podcast publishers combined and has the number one social footprint among audio players, with seven times more followers than the next audio media brand, and the only fully integrated audio ad tech solution across broadcast, streaming and podcasts.  The company continues to leverage its strong audience connection and unparalleled consumer reach to build new platforms, products and services. Visit for more company information.


Radio Point is the podcasting venture from Irony Point, veteran television producer Rich Korson, and audio producer Houston Snyder of Great City Post. Radio Point has released its first six podcasts and has numerous podcasts in various stages of production and development. Ellie and the Wave, their first scripted podcast (starring Natalie Morales, Paul Scheer, and June Diane Raphael) was released with Himalaya Media in August of 2019. They have since released various scripted and unscripted formats across genres. These projects include The Sketch Factor with Fred Armisen for Spotify, Make My Day with Josh Gondelman, Ruined with Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby, Election Profit Makers with Starlee Kine, David Rees, and Jon Kimball and A Good Cry with Michael Cruz Kayne.

Press Release: The Copernicus Legacy available on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Smartphones

February 8th, 2022 by



copernicus legacy  


The beloved children’s book series, The Copernicus Legacy by Tony Abbott comes to life with the use of voice controls!

Boden, Sweden (January 19, 2022): Wanderword, the leader in interactive audio entertainment, has signed a licensing agreement with HarperCollins Publishers to bring The Copernicus Legacy series by bestselling author Tony Abbott to a smartphone and smart speaker near you. Wanderword has managed development of this puzzle solving adventure which is soon ready for release.

“We are very excited to bring The Copernicus Legacy to the voice-controlled story market on smartphones and smart speakers. It’s an honor to be able to work alongside HarperCollins to bring this adventure to life!” said Johan Strömberg, Wanderword CEO.

The Copernicus Legacy is based on the novel written by Tony Abbott. Follow the story of a group of unlikely heroes, who are set on a world-spanning adventure to protect an ancient secret. The story begins when Wade Kaplan receives a coded message from his Uncle Henry, moments before the old man’s death. It’s revealed that he died to protect the legacy of Copernicus, which relates to a scientific device that could change both the future and the past. This sets Wade off on a world-spanning journey together with his friends Lily, Darrell, and Becca, to find the twelve historical relics that could unveil the great mystery.

Fans of the book series will be able to immerse themselves in this world from the different perspectives of their favorite characters. This will bring the world to life in a completely different way by giving the user control of the story instead of the traditional linear way of storytelling.

“Wanderword’s platform is an exciting extension of Tony Abbott’s epic tween adventure series, immersing fans in an interactive labyrinth of puzzles, riddles, and dramatic science history. Originally published in 2014 and in many languages worldwide, HarperCollins’ collaboration with Wanderword’s innovative format will introduce The Copernicus Legacy to a new generation of readers,” said Rachel Horowitz, Senior Director, Subsidiary Rights, HarperCollins Children’s Books.

The Copernicus Legacy features over 8 hours of interactive listening and is designed for kids between the ages of 8 and 13 years. The Copernicus Legacy will be released on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Smartphones on January 25th and all you will need to enjoy this audio adventure is simply your voice and your puzzle solving skills!



  • Pick your path, users will be able to make decisions to change the course of the story. This provides greater replay value to the user.
  • You choose what parts of the puzzle you want to interact with as you search for clues.
  • You can at any time switch between listening as Lily, Becca Wade, or Darrell. Each character has a unique perspective through which they experience the story and offer new ways to handle different situations.
  • With over 8 hours of content this interactive adventure will have you cracking ciphers, solving mysteries, and searching for clues to the great mystery.

Visit to sign up and be the first to enjoy this adventure!


Email: [email protected]


About Wanderword

Wanderword is defining the Interactive Audio Entertainment Industry. With our tech platform Fabella, we are enabling storytellers to create their own interactive audio stories, Polar Night Studio is pushing the boundaries with

cutting-edge productions, & our inspiration hub is guiding the active listeners to best practices and unique experiences.



HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s and teen books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many timeless treasures and bestsellers such as Charlotte’s Web, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Hate U Give; series including The Chronicles of Narnia, Ramona, Warriors, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Divergent, and Red Queen; and graphic and illustrated novels such as Nimona, Invisible Emmie, and New Kid. Consistently at the forefront of digital innovation, HarperCollins Children’s Books delights readers through engaging storytelling across a variety of formats and platforms, including the largest young adult (YA) book community, Epic Reads. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, which is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, has operations in 17 countries, and is a subsidiary of News Corp. You can visit HarperCollins Children’s Books at and and HarperCollins Publishers at

Press Release: Literary Community Mourns the Loss of Young Adult Author Lani Forbes

February 4th, 2022 by


Literary Community Mourns the Loss of Young Adult Author Lani Forbes 


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Ashland, Oregon, February 4, 2022—Young adult author Lani Forbes, whose critically acclaimed Age of the Seventh Sun series won multiple Realm Awards, died on February 3, 2022, in Boise, Idaho, after a nine-month battle with neuroendocrine cancer. She was 35.

Lani Forbes was the daughter of a librarian and a surfer, which explained her passionate love of the ocean and books. Forbes was born May 6, 1987, in Huntington Beach, California. She grew up in California, and attended high school at Huntington Beach High School. In 2009, Forbes received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hope International University. She then received her teaching credentials from Cal State University. After 10 years of teaching, Forbes went on to become a trauma counselor, serving women who had been abused by their spouses through addiction.

Her young adult book series, the Age of the Seventh Sun, premiered in 2020 with the release of The Seventh Sun, followed by The Jade Bones in 2021 and The Obsidian Butterfly in 2022. The Seventh Sun was a finalist for the Realm Awards Book of the Year and won Best Debut, Best Young Adult, and Best Epic Fantasy. Forbes’s passion was showing readers the transformative and encouraging power of story on the human experience.

Josh Stanton, president & CEO of Blackstone Publishing, said, “We are devastated by Lani’s passing, and we deeply mourn the loss of this exceptionally talented young writer, who gave so much to her readers. We are committed to keeping Lani’s incredible legacy alive. Her powerful, captivating young adult novels will live on to be enjoyed and beloved by readers for generations to come.”

Despite her diagnosis, Forbes continued to write—and encourage others to create—through hard times. In a November 2021 essay from Publishers Weekly, Forbes said, “The reality is, we cannot control what happens to us in life. Sometimes things happen that seem incredibly unfair. But no matter what happens to us, no matter what is taken from us or forced upon us, the one thing we always have power over is how we choose to respond. We get to choose how we will handle those crises. We can choose cowardice, we can choose to give up, stop trying, to give into despair. Or, we can choose joy, perseverance, and yes, even happiness despite our circumstances.”

Forbes’s conclusion to her Age of the Seventh Sun series, The Obsidian Butterfly, publishes on February 15, 2022. Blackstone Publishing has also recently acquired a new YA project from Forbes, which will be published posthumously.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to benefit Forbes’s family and help cover medical expenses. Donations can be made at GoFund.Me/308e6b84

Forbes is survived by her husband, Kevin Forbes, and her three children.

Contact: Samantha Benson, [email protected]



Lani’s Books:

The Seventh Sun (The Age of the Seventh Sun, #1)

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Thrust into leadership upon the death of his emperor father, young Prince Ahkin feels completely unready for his new position. Though his royal blood controls the power of the sun, he’s now responsible for the lives of all the Chicome people. And despite all Ahkin’s efforts, the sun is fading–and the end of the world may be at hand.

For Mayana, the only daughter of the Chicome family whose blood controls the power of water, the old emperor’s death may mean that she is next. Prince Ahkin must be married before he can ascend the throne, and Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods.

Only one girl can become Ahkin’s bride. Mayana and Ahkin feel an immediate connection, but the gods themselves may be against them. Both recognize that the ancient rites of blood that keep the gods appeased may be harming the Chicome more than they help. As a bloodred comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world.

Rich in imagination and romance, and based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Maya people, The Seventh Sun brings to vivid life a world on the edge of apocalyptic disaster.

Amazon * B & N * Indiebound



The Jade Bones (The Age of the Seventh Sun #2)


Cast into the underworld after an act of shattering betrayal, Mayana and Ahkin must overcome unimaginable odds if they are to return home and reclaim the throne of the Chicome. A river of blood and demons disguised as children are only two of the challenges standing in their way. Fortunately, they are not unequipped. Mayana’s royal blood controls the power of water, and Prince Ahkin wields the power of the sun itself. Ometeotl, the Mother goddess, provides them with other gifts—and an ominous warning that one of them may not survive. But can the goddess be trusted?

Back in the lands above, Mayana’s best friend, Yemania, has survived the empress selection ritual—but her next challenge may be more than she can bear. The new empress of the Chicome Empire demands she become High Healer. Yemania has no interest in serving in the palace; she wants to use her healing ability to help the common people. More than that, her heart is no longer her own. She has met an enchanting stranger—Ochix, one of the feared Miquitz people who are ancient enemies of the Chicome.

As Mayana and Ahkin move ever closer to confronting the lords of the dead, Yemania and Ochix must hide their forbidden romance or face the wrath of both their empires. Meanwhile, the new empress has made a dangerous alliance that might destroy everything they hold dear.

Four young people risk their lives to save the world from a looming apocalypse in this captivating sequel to The Seventh Sun. Based on ancient Mesoamerican legends and mythology, The Jade Bones is a compelling and romantic adventure that builds to a heart-stopping climax.


Amazon * B & N * Indiebound



The Obsidian Butterfly (The Age of the Seventh Sun #3)

Releases February 15, 2022


To the Chicome people, an eclipse is a time of terror. When darkness falls, the barrier separating the heavens and the earth becomes unstable. Then come the ravening Tzitzimime–the star demons who thirst for human blood. Mayana and Ahkin know the full extent of the coming danger, but they must gather support or the Chicome Empire is doomed.

As the eclipse nears, many maneuver for power in this deadly game of worlds ending.

Metzi, Ahkin’s treacherous sister, has seized control of the empire with the aid of the malevolent goddess known as the Obsidian Butterfly. But Metzi has no idea what the goddess has in store…

Yemania and Ochix face the wrath of both their peoples. Their forbidden liaison may draw ancient enemies together… or rip the young lovers apart forever.

And the princesses who battled fiercely for Ahkin’s heart in The Seventh Sun meet again–but this time, they must join forces in order to survive.

As for Ahkin and Mayana, the entire empire seems to want to keep them apart. Can their love endure the end of the world?


Amazon * B & N * Indiebound




Movie Trailer Reveal for Birds Of Paradise + Giveaway! ~ (US Only)

October 1st, 2021 by


YABC is excited to share the movie trailer reveal for

Birds of Paradise!


Keep reading to learn more about the Birds of Paradise movie  

that is based on the phenomenal best-selling book,

Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small!





In 2019, renowned writer and former professional dancer A.K. Small captivated the YA world with her debut novel, BRIGHT BURNING STARS [], which Entertainment Weekly called “YA catnip.” Praised as an “otherworldly…cerebral debut” by Booklist and “addictive, angst-y, and heartfelt,” by Kirkus Reviews, Small weaves an authentic, page-turning story of female friendship in which two dancers fight for center stage and a spot in the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. It is no surprise that this dazzling debut stole the spotlight and captured the attention of Amazon Studios.


And now, Algonquin is proud to share the news that BRIGHT BURNING STARS will be released on September 24th as a major motion picture starring Kristine Froseth (Looking for Alaska and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser), Diana Silvers (Ava), and Jacqueline Bisset (Murder on the Orient Express).





Check out this stunning preview that has already garnered over 2 million views (and counting!) on YouTube

and another 285,000 views on starring actress Kristine Froseth’s Instagram,

where she has been drumming up excitement among her 1.1 million Instagram followers.


Fans of the hit Netflix series Tiny Pretty Things or favorites like Black Swan and Bunheads are sure to love this!








Meet Birds of Paradise!


Kate is an aspiring ballerina who is given a scholarship to attend a prestigious ballet school in Paris. Upon arrival her confidence is tested by a fellow dancer, Marine who recently lost her brother. While confrontational at first, their relationship evolves into an emotionally charged, competitive union beset by lies and sexual awakening as they risk it all to join the Opéra national de Paris.
Sarah Adina Smith
Diana SilversKristine FrosethJacqueline Bisset
DramaYoung Adult Audience



Click HERE to watch Birds of Paradise on Amazon Prime (with subscription)!





Meet Bright Burning Stars!


“A compulsively readable story. I was breathless and battling tears up until the very last stunning turns onstage and beyond. A dazzling, heart-wrenching debut.” —Nova Ren Suma, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Walls Around Us

Would you die for the Prize?

Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained since childhood at the Paris Opera Ballet School, where they’ve forged an inseparable bond through shared stories of family tragedies and a powerful love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves how far they would go for the ultimate prize: to be named the one girl who will join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic will make them shine, too? Would they risk death for it? Neither girl is sure.
But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the Prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

Bright Burning Stars is a stunning, propulsive story about girls at their physical and emotional extremes, the gutting power of first love, and what it means to fight for your dreams.


  Amazon * B & N * Indiebound






Meet A.K. Small!

A. K. Small was born in Paris, France. At five years old, she began studying classical dance with the legendary Max Bozzoni, then later with Daniel Franck and Monique Arabian at the famous Académie Chaptal. At thirteen, she moved to the United States, where she danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet for one summer and with the Richmond Ballet Student Company for several years. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has an MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband, her puppy, and her three daughters, and practices yoga. Bright Burning Stars is her first novel.




 ~ Praise for Bright Burning Stars ~


“A.K. Small’s debut novel, Bright Burning Stars, is basically YA catnip…Small’s attention to detail — the minutiae of Marine and Kate’s lives in the academy — is beautifully written, and both the propulsion of the drama between Marine and Kate and their own demons make this book compulsively readable. Small only leaves you wanting more from her ballet focused world.”

Entertainment Weekly ~



“Cutthroat ballerinas duking it out really never gets old.”

~ Cosmopolitan ~








Three winners will receive a copy of Bright Burning Stars (A.K. Small) ~ (US Only)



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Press Release: Unpublished Mark Twain Story To Be Released

January 23rd, 2017 by



The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine to release September 26, 2017, with a 250,000-copy first printing

New York, NY, January 20, 2017Doubleday Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, has acquired a never-before-published Mark Twain children’s story, it was announced today by Mallory Loehr, Senior Vice President & Publisher of the Random House/Golden Books, Doubleday, and Crown Books for Young Readers Group. The story, a fairy tale left unfinished by Twain, will be brought to life by author Philip Stead and illustrator Erin Stead, the creators of the Caldecott Medalwinning A Sick Day for Amos McGee. The book, THE PURLOINING OF PRINCE OLEOMARGARINE, was acquired and edited by Frances Gilbert, Associate Publishing Director, Random House Books for Young Readers, from Tina Wexler at ICM, representing the Mark Twain House & Museum, and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr., representing the author/illustrator team.

THE PURLOINING OF PRINCE OLEOMARGARINE, an eleven-chapter, 152-page illustrated storybook for all ages, will be published on September 26, 2017, with a first printing of 250,000 copies.

The basis of this new work is sixteen pages of Twain’s handwritten notes after telling his young daughters a fairy tale one night in 1879 while the family was staying in Paris, an event he documented in his journal. In 2011, a visiting scholar at the Mark Twain Papers & Project at the University of California at Berkeley spotted the notes in the archives while conducting his own research and recognized their significance. Although Twain told his young daughters countless bedtime stories, made up on the spot as they requested them, these notes are believed to be the only ones he ever jotted down from those sessions.

Dr. John Bird, noted Twain scholar and author of Mark Twain and Metaphor, brought the text to our attention,explained Cindy Lovell, executive director at the Mark Twain House & Museum. “He’d been researching another project when he came across this partial story written by Twain for his daughters. We are thrilled to have the Steads joining us to further bring this treasure to life.

To publish a new Twain story is an incredible literary event,” says Gilbert. “When I first got the chance to read this unpublished Twain story, I couldn’t believe what I was holding. I’ve admired Erin and Philip Stead’s work since their first book and couldn’t think of a more ideal match for this project. It’s an American dream team.”

THE PURLOINING OF PRINCE OLEOMARGARINE follows a young boy who eats the flower sprouted by a magical seed and gains the ability to talk to animals. From there, the boy and his new animal friends go off on a wild adventure to rescue a kidnapped prince. Though the story was left in fragments and never completed by Twain, it bears many of the hallmarks of his beloved style, in the humor and playfulness and in the quest of a young boy off on his own navigating the adult world.

Philip and Erin Stead, two of today’s most notable names in children’s literature, have completed the text and illustrated the book, framing the narrative as a story “told to me by my friend, Mr. Mark Twain,” and even including occasional interruptions by an imagined meeting over tea between Philip and Twain.

Said Erin of taking on the project, “As an illustrator, not a writer, I can often use the excuse that I can’t find the right words to describe how I am feeling (stunned and honored being the closest and most generic). Luckily I can now turn to Twain, who is quite quotable, to provide a little context and inspiration: ‘I’m not the declining sort. I would take charge of the constellations if I were asked to do it. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence: then success is sure.’”

Added Philip: Of course any person in their right mind would be terrified of this project. But having the support of the Twain house allayed some fears…and then I had a good long walk-and-talk with my dog about it, and she assured me I had her full support, and that I was the right man for the jobprovided it did not cut into our twice-daily ambles through the

neighborhood, mealtimes, or the hours set aside each day for lying on our backs with our bellies in the air.”

Exploring themes of charity, kindness, and bravery in the face of tyranny, with sharply drawn satire and tear-inducing pathos, this extraordinary combination of talent both classic and contemporary reaches its full potential as an old-fashionedyet thoroughly modernfully illustrated storybook that readers of every age will treasure. A monumental event not only in the world of children’s literature, but for literature overall, the publication of THE PURLOINING OF PRINCE OLEOMARGARINE will take place during the 150th anniversary of Mark Twain’s very first book, a collection of twenty-seven previously published stories titled The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches.

ERIN STEAD is the Caldecott Medalwinning illustrator of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year and a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year (A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, 2010). She and her husband, author and artist Philip Stead, with whom she co-created A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Bear Has a Story to Tell, and Lenny & Lucy, live in northern Michigan. Erin also illustrated And Then It’s Spring, written by Julie Fogliano and named a Boston GlobeHorn Book Honor Book and a Best Children’s Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly. Her 2016 book The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, written by Michelle Cuevas, was named a best book of the year by Time, People, the Boston Globe, and School Library Journal.

PHILIP C. STEAD is the author of the Caldecott Medalwinning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year and a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year, illustrated by his wife, Erin Stead. Together with Erin, he also created Bear Has a Story to Tell, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Award honor
book. Philip, also an artist, has written and illustrated several of his own books, including
Samson in the Snow; Hello, My Name Is Ruby; and A Home for Bird. Philip and Erin live in northern Michigan.

Visit Erin and Phillip online at and

Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest Englishlanguage children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world- famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company’s website, Kids @ Random (, offers an array of activities, games, and resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Doubleday Books for Young Readers is an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Both the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Mark Twain Papers & Project at the University of California at Berkeley work to foster an appreciation of Mark Twain as one of our nation’s defining cultural figures and to demonstrate the continuing relevance of his work, life, and times.

The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author’s Hartford, Connecticut, home, where the family lived from 1874 to 1891.Twain wrote his most important works, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court, during the years he lived there. In addition to offering tours of Twains restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution provides activities and educational programs that illuminate Twains literary legacy and share information about his life and times.

The house and museum at 351 Farmington Avenue are open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 860-247-0998, or visit Programs at the Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the Greater Hartford Arts Councils United Arts Campaign.

The Mark Twain Papers in the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, is curated by Robert H. Hirst, who is also general editor of The Mark Twain Project, which is the comprehensive scholarly edition being produced at the archive. The Papers are Mark Twain’s private archive, which came to UC Berkeley in 1949 and became a permanent part of the library in 1962 (when Twain’s last surviving daughter, Clara, died). The Project was started in Iowa City, IA, and Berkeley,

CA, before becoming a single project in 1980, editing everything of significance written by Mark Twain. It has been supported for half a century by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at library/mark-twain-papers.

Learn more about the book at philip-c-stead 


January 15th, 2017 by




Winners of the annual Sydney Taylor Book Award were announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries today. Named in memory of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series, the award recognizes books for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.




I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy with illustrations by Elizabeth Baddeley, published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers category. This delightful biography of the Supreme Court Justice teaches children that dissent does not make a person disagreeable, and can even help change the world. The grab-your-attention illustrations help explain the text.


I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark


The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly, published by Dutton Children’s Books/Penguin Random House, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers category.  Part fantasy and part adventure, this is the tale of strangers who become friends while on a quest to save thousands of volumes of Talmud. The beautiful illuminations reflect the medieval flavor of the book.


The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog


Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, published by Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers category. Anna is left alone in 1939 Krakow when the Nazis take her father away.  She meets the mysterious Swallow Man who is able to speak “bird,” and travels with him in the forests of Poland, where they spend four years hiding and eluding capture.  This is a haunting story that may be allegory or folktale or perhaps both.


Anna and the Swallow Man




Four Sydney Taylor Honor Books were also recognized. For Younger Readers, the Honor Books are Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson with illustrations by Edel Rodriguez, published by Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House, and A Hat For Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love written by Michelle Edwards with illustrations by G. Brian Karas, published by Schwartz and Wade Books/Penguin Random House.


Dreidels on the Brain written by Joel Ben Izzy and published by Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House, and A Poem For Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney with illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, published by Viking Children’s Books/Penguin Random House, are the Honor books in the Older Readers Category.


In addition to the medal winners, the Award Committee designated ten Notable Books of Jewish Content for 2017.  More information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award and a complete listing of the award winners and notables can be found at www.SydneyTaylorBookAward.orgWinning authors and illustrators will receive their awards at the Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries, to be held in New York City in June. Gold and silver recipients will also participate in a blog tour during February.  For more information about the blog tour please visit





The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

by Debbie Levy with illustrations by Elizabeth Baddeley

(Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers)


I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark


The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz

with illustrations by Hatem Aly

(Dutton Children’s Books/Penguin Random House)


The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog


The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Teen Readers

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

(Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House)


Anna and the Swallow Man


Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Younger Readers

Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy

by Richard Michelson with illustrations by Edel Rodriguez

(Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House)


Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy


A Hat For Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love

by Michelle Edwards with illustrations by G. Brian Karas

(Schwartz and Wade Books/ Penguin Random House)


A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love


Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Older Readers

Dreidels on the Brain by Joel Ben Izzy

(Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House)


Dreidels on the Brain


A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of the Snowy Day

by Andrea Davis Pinkney with illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

(Viking Children’s Books/Penguin Random House)

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day


Notable Books for Younger Readers

Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup by Pamela Mayer with illustrations by Deborah Melmon

(Kar-Ben Publishing)


Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup


Gabriel’s Horn by Eric Kimmel with illustrations by Maria Surducan

(Kar-Ben Publishing)


Gabriel's Horn


Not This Turkey by Jessica Steinberg with illustrations by Amanda Pike

(Albert Whitman & Company)


Not This Turkey!


On One Foot by Linda Glaser with illustrations by Nuria Balaguer

(Kar-Ben Publishing)


On One Foot


The Sundown Kid: A Southwestern Shabbat by Barbara Bietz with illustrations by John Kanzler

(August House)


The Sundown Kid: A Southwestern Shabbat


The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window

by Jeff Gottesfeld with illustrations by Peter McCarty

(Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House)


The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window



Notable Books for Older Readers

The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough

(Scholastic Books)


The Bicycle Spy


Irena’s Children: Young Readers Edition: A True Story of Courage

by Tilar J. Mazzeo and adapted by Mary Cronk Farrell

(Margaret McElderry Books/Simon and Schuster)


Irena's Children: Young Readers Edition; A True Story of Courage


The Ship to Nowhere by Rona Arato

(Second Story Press)


The Ship to Nowhere


Skating with the Statue of Liberty by Susan Lynn Meyer

(Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House)


Skating with the Statue of Liberty (Black Radishes, #2)

No Honor or Notable Books were designated for Teen Readers in 2017.






For more information contact:

Ellen Tilman, Chair

Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee

Association of Jewish Libraries

[email protected]g

Press Release: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers signs up two additional Diabolic Novels by S. J. Kincaid

December 15th, 2016 by



With 100,000 Books in Print, Publisher Moves to Satisfy Reader and Bookseller Demand

New York, New York, December 13—Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, announced today that it will publish two more books in the galactic YA Diabolic series by S. J. Kincaid, based on domestic and international sales and an incredible reaction from readers. The second book in the Diabolic series will publish in Fall 2017, followed by book three in Fall 2018. 

A New York Times bestseller, The Diabolic has 100,000 books in print in North America and will be published in twenty-two foreign territories. Sony Pictures owns The Diabolic movie rights and Matt Tolmach will produce (see

“Originally, I wrote The Diabolic as a stand-alone book,” said Kincaid. “But so many ideas about what might follow the events of that book kept rushing into my head. It was wonderful to see so many readers who also wanted more of my characters, so I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Simon & Schuster for two more Diabolic novels!”

“Nearly every review for The Diabolic expressed the need for more books,” said Justin Chanda, Vice President, Publisher of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. “When I posed the question to S. J., I was thrilled to learn that she had the perfect idea for how the story could and should continue. I can’t wait to dive back in!”

Foreign rights editions of The Diabolic include Bulgarian rights to Alma 90, Czech rights to Albatros Media, Danish to Forlaget Carlsen, Dutch to Uitgeverij Leopold, Estonian to Paikese Kirjastus, French to Bayard Editions, German to Arena Verlag, Hebrew to Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, Hungarian to Twister Media, Italian to Mondadori Libri, Polish to Wydawnictwo Otwarte, Portuguese (Brazil) to Editora Rocco, Portuguese (Portugal) to Editorial Presença, Russian to Eksmo Publishers, Romanian to Editura Art, Serbian to Vulkan Izdavastvo, Spanish to Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, Spanish Book Club rights to Circulo de Lectores, Swedish to B. Wahlströms Bokforlag, Thai to Amarin Printing & Publishing, Turkish to Pegasus Yayincilik, and British Commonwealth to Simon & Schuster UK.

Shortly after the events of book one, a new Emperor has ascended to power. Nemesis, the Diabolic, has a new mission. She must save the one she loves from the most dangerous people in their galaxy—or face saving the galaxy from its own emperor.

S. J. Kincaid’s previous publications include the 2012 YA sci-fi book Insignia, its 2013 sequel Vortex, and the 2014 Catalyst. Insignia won the Alabama Young Adult Fiction Award, was short-listed for the Waterstones Prize, was a selection for the Texas Lone Star Reading List, and was featured on the 2013 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list. S. J. was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and now lives outside of San Francisco. 

Chanda, who will edit the books, acquired world rights to the two novels from Holly Root of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency.




Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and bestselling books for children of all ages. In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Henry & Mudge®, The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, the Dork Diaries series, the Mortal Instruments series, Mike the Knight, and the original Cupcake Diaries and Creepover series. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, visit our website at

Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at




A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.





Press Release: Book Trailer for Air

December 2nd, 2016 by


The wide release of the captivating and timely novel “AIR” by Ryan Gattis hits shelves on December 6th and next year there will be a feature film adaption of the book in production which musician John Legend has signed on to produce.


The story is a fascinating look at a young kid, Grey, in inner-city Baltimore who turns to BMX biking as a form of social activism.  Grey and his friends challenge police corruption and prejudice with their death-defying stunts, posting videos to YouTube.  It’s a fictionalized take on the real #blacklivesmatter movement.



Written By: Ryan Gattis

Release Date: December 6, 2016

Genre: YA Contemporary


Synopsis: When 17-year-old Grey witnesses the tragic death of his mother in Colorado, he is shipped off to live with his aunt in inner-city Baltimore. Grey struggles to fit in to his new school and environment until his new friend, Akil, introduces him to the enigmatic Kurtis, the leader of a group that uses high-octane sports as a form of social activism. By challenging the police with death-defying stunts and then posting videos of them online, Kurtis, Grey, and their group become unlikely heroes in the fight against the prejudice that surrounds them.

As Kurtis takes Grey under his wing, they come up with a name, an insignia and attract more and more followers to their extreme acts. The lines between social activism and criminal behavior blur and their escalating stunts become a rallying point for the underprivileged and disenfranchised around the country, spreading like wildfire across the Internet. How far will Grey and Kurtis go to push their message, and can their fragile alliance withstand their growing power?




Press Release: Top 100 Book Review Blogs

November 9th, 2016 by


Today we’re excited to announce that Young Adult Books Central has made Feedspot’s list of Top 100 Book Review Blogs! This is just as much of a landmark for us as it is for our readers and supporters of this blog so thank you, thank you, thank you!!


This list is one of the most comprehensive out there, and we are so honored to be recognized for our love of books! We strive to bring the best information, giveaways, and reviews to our readers, and will continue to do so into the new year. So stay tuned! You can find the Top 100 Book Review Blogs HERE!




Press Release & Giveaway: The Broken Ones (Danielle L Jensen)

November 9th, 2016 by


Angry Robot is excited to announce we will be releasing a new novel by Danielle L. Jensen titled The Broken Ones in June of 2017. A prequel to the USA Today bestseller Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy), The Broken Ones chronicles the ill-fated love affair between Marc and Pénélope as they struggle to navigate the complex political world of Trollus, where powers on all sides are intent on using them as pawns. Tamar Rydzinski at the Laura Dail Literary Agency negotiated the deal for World English rights.


 Meet Danielle Jensen!

USA Today bestselling author Danielle L. Jensen was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous, and it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination. 


Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram





Meet The Broken Ones!

From Stolen Songbird: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realizes that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse 

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…





Amazon * Amazon * Amazon






The Broken Ones 

By: Danielle L Jensen

Publisher: Angry Robot

Release Date: June 2017






Three winners will each receive a signed set of The Malediction Trilogy (Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress, and Warrior Witch) + bookmarks

~ (International) ~

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