KidLit

Happy Pub Day to NO SAINTS IN KANSAS by Amy Brashear!

Guys, the book that made me want to work in publishing was Truman Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD. Years into my career I had the pleasure of reading a submission that reimagined the real-life Holcomb murders from the point-of-view of a young girl who was close to the victims.

Today, I’m so excited Amy Brashear’s beautiful and chilling NO SAINTS IN KANSAS is out from SoHo Teen!

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Here’s what others are saying…
“A gruesome murder, the clues, the investigation, the culprits, the trial—all of these are part of this riveting, fast-paced novel. But intertwined with those are, for newly arrived Carly Fleming, even harder questions. She is indefatigable in her search for the truth, but the truth she searches for is also about her place in this new town, where she is defined as an outsider, and within her own family, which is splitting apart. The unity and urgency of those two searches is searing.”
—Gary D. Schmidt, author of Newbery and Printz honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

“A very cool mix of history and fiction, of brutal true crime, and slightly less horrific high school life.”
—Steve Sheinkin, Award-winning and bestselling author of BombThe Port Chicago 50, and Most Dangerous

True-crime and thriller-lovers can order NO SAINTS IN KANSAS on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound, and check it out on Goodreads.
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Congrats to Hafsah Faizal on Her Debut Deal!

A huge congrats to Hafsah Faizal, on her amazing debut young adult, WE HUNT THE FLAME!

Hafsah’s #ownvoices fantasy just sold to Farrar, Straus, Giroux in a four-imprint auction, in a two-book deal, for six figures a book. Check out the announcement in Publisher’s Weekly:

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Hafsah was already well known to the Kid Lit community as the designer behind Icey Designs. Her evocative work has graced the sites of authors across the YA/MG community, such as New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab, Angie Thomas, and Traci Chee. It has also been featured in BuzzFeed, HuffPost, Brit+Co, and BookRiot

You can add WE HUNT THE FLAME on Goodreads, follow Hafsah on Insta and Twitter, and read about her #DVPit success story in her own words!

I am so excited and honored to be working with this incredibly talented woman, and I can’t wait for you all to read WE HUNT THE FLAME! Some folks got an early look, and this is what they’re saying:

“With fierce characters, deathly challenges, and world-building both lyrical and spellbinding, WE HUNT THE FLAME is unputdownable.” – Marieke Nijkamp, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“Hafsah Faizal’s voice is not one that simply speaks, but sings across the page. WE HUNT THE FLAME is a spellbinding tale filled with deception, political intrigue, and atmosphere that lives and breathes—I am obsessed with this story.” – Kerri Maniscalco, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“Fresh, bold storytelling populated with vibrant characters marks Hafsah Faizal as an explosive new voice in fantasy. Charged with adrenaline and romance, WE HUNT THE FLAME held me enthralled and desperate for more!” – Jessica Khoury, Author of the Corpus Trilogy and THE FORBIDDEN WISH.

“I adore Hafsah’s writing; she has such a beautiful way with words.” – Beth Revis, New York Times Bestselling Author of A WORLD WITHOUT YOU

“This promises to be a very successful debut and an authentic #ownvoices book we really need in the world. Hafsah Faizal has a strong, clear, original voice. Authentic use of Arabic phrases and the pitch perfect prose style matches the terse, action-packed narrative. This is an assured debut that will stand alongside the best YA fantasy adventure novels.” – Ashok Banker, international bestselling fantasy author.

Congrats Hafsah!

 

 

Congrats to Joan He on her Debut Deal!

A huge congrats to Joan He, whose debut young adult deal was announced on her twenty-first birthday!

From Publishers Weekly:

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CRANE is such a gorgeous, detailed, intricately-plotted fantasy mystery, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it! Way to go Joan!

RELATIVE STRANGERS Cover Reveal!

Paula Garner’s second YA RELATIVE STRANGERS is coming from Candlewick Press this April– check out the gorgeous cover!

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Why is there a gap in Jules’s baby album? A wry and poignant coming-of-age novel about finding the truth in lies, salvaging hope in heartbreak, and making peace with missing pieces.

Eighteen-year-old Jules has always wished for a close-knit family. She never knew her father, and her ex-addict mother has always seemed more interested in artistic endeavors than in bonding with her only daughter. Jules’s life and future look as flat and unchanging as her small Illinois town. Then a simple quest to find a baby picture for the senior yearbook leads to an earth-shattering discovery: for most of the first two years of her life, Jules lived in foster care. Reeling from feelings of betrayal and with only the flimsiest of clues, Jules sets out to learn the truth about her past. What she finds is a wonderful family who loved her as their own and hoped to adopt her — including a now-adult foster brother who is overjoyed to see his sister again. But as her feelings for him spiral into a devastating, catastrophic crush — and the divide between Jules and her mother widens — Jules finds herself on the brink of losing everything.

You can check out RELATIVE STRANGERS on Goodreads, and order Paula’s debut PHANTOM LIMBS on Amazon, B&N, and Indie Bound!

Congrats to Jordan Reeves on Her Book Deal!

I am so excited to be working with the phenomenal Jordan Reeves. At eleven, she’s more poised and mature than I’ll ever be– not to mention a brilliant designer and total firecracker. She built her own glitter-shooting prosthetic attachment called Project Unicorn, she, advocates for science, education, awareness, and gives back to her community. ALSO, she’s appeared on Shark Tank, the Rachel Ray Show, done her own TED talks, and been written about everywhere from CNN to The Nerdist.

Today she adds another entry to her list of accomplishments– published author! I’m so pleased to share the news of her book deal with Aladdin / Jeter Publishing. BORN JUST RIGHT is going to be such an important read, and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

From Publishers Weekly:

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Congrats to Jordan and her amazing mom, Jen!

Congrats to David Spencer on His Debut Picture Book Deal!

I’m so excited that the phenomenally talented David Spencer will be illustrating the new picture book by Drew Daywalt (who also wrote the The Day the Crayon’s Quit).

From Publishers Weekly:

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This a rockstar pair-up, and I can’t wait to see this one on bookshelves. Congrats Drew and David!

Check out more of David Spencer’s art here: http://mischief-factory.com

 

 

Happy Book Birthday to JENNY AND THE ALIENS!

A huge and happy Book Birthday to Ryan Gebhart and OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS!

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When boy meets girl meets alien, the angst of first love gets an extraterrestrial intervention in a tale both outrageously funny and full of heart.

Ten years after Earth sent messages out into deep space, there has been an answer. Music from a distant planet has reached our radios. Are aliens about to invade? No one knows, and almost-eighteen-year-old Derek doesn’t really care, because at a wild end-of-the-world party, Jennifer Novak invites him to play beer pong. And things . . . progress from there. Derek is in love. Deeply, hopelessly in love. He wants it all—marriage, kids, growing old on a beach in Costa Rica. Jenny is The One.

But Jenny has other plans, and they may or may not include Derek. He’ll try anything to win her—even soliciting advice from the alien who shows up in his hometown. This alien might just be the answer to Derek’s problem. But is Derek willing to risk starting an interstellar war just to get the girl? And just how far will he travel to discover the mysteries of the universe—and love?

This perfectly off-kilter love story is ideal for jaded, philosophically minded teens as well as those who would appreciate the madcap genius of stealing shopping carts to turn them into gaming chairs.
—Booklist (starred review)

Original and witty.
—Kirkus Reviews

Find JENNY on Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, and Goodreads.

You can also check out Ryan’s incredibly funny middle-grade THERE WILL BE BEARS, and find Ryan on twitter.

Congrats Ryan!

Happy Pub Day to Ann Dee Ellis and YOU MAY ALREADY BE A WINNER!

Happy Pub Day Ann Dee!

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Have I told you how much I love Ann Dee’s writing? I was a super fan long before we started working together, and now I’m so excited about her latest middle-grade, YOU MAY ALREADY BE A WINNER.

Here’s what people are saying about it:

“When I closed the last page I wanted to jump on Olivia’s tramp, just to celebrate her resounding resilience. This book is a love story for all those kids who have had to grow up way too soon, but who also face life with commitment, fortitude and above all, dedication.”—KATHI APPELT, author of the Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist THE UNDERNEATH

“Olivia’s voice captured me from the first line, but it was her bravery and devotion to her family that kept me reading to the end. The only thing stronger than her imagination is her heart, and my own broke for her as I read. Unforgettable.”—CASSIE BEASLEY, author of the New York Times bestseller CIRCUS MIRANDUS

“I felt like I hit the jackpot when I read this book. Olivia’s story is lively, full of heart, and a must-read for anyone who knows what it feels like to hope and dream big.”—ALLY CONDIE, author of New York Times bestseller MATCHED and SUMMERLOST

“Distinct, colorful, richly imaginative, thoroughly authentic, often hilarious, and frequently heartbreaking…Readers of this memorable novel will feel like winners, too.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Olivia’s first-person narrative fills brief,expressive chapters where she mixes fantasy and real life at will, all in a lyrical, poetic voice. Ellisrealistically taps into the kind of magical thinking so typical of kids trying to solve big problems, andplenty of readers might recognize themselves in the appealingly optimistic, daydreaming Olivia.”—Booklist

For fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Katherine Applegate’s Crenshawcomes the humorous and heart aching story of one girl’s struggle to keep hope alive for her and her younger sister in Sunny Pines Trailer Park.

I highly recommend you order this book immediately. 

You can also find Ann Dee on her website (where she does awesome writer prompts) and twitter.

 

Congrats to Ashok Banker on Y.A. Deal with Delacorte!

In case you missed it on twitter last week, we are popping all the champagne over here for Ashok Banker and THE RISE TRILOGY.

Check out the announcement from Publishers Weekly:

Ashok Banker picKrista Marino at Delacorte has acquired, in a seven-figure preempt, author Ashok Banker‘s The Rise Trilogy, pitched as Six of Crows meets An Ember in the Ashes, with a cast featuring LGBTQIA, PoC, and differently abled protagonists. The #ownvoices series follows a young thief and her gang as they battle to overthrow a brutal tyrant and stay a demon invasion. Publication of the first book is planned for fall 2018; John Cusick at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management brokered the deal for North American English rights.

Ashok reached out to me earlier this year, and I was immediately grabbed by this strange and wonderful universe he’d created. I don’t want to give too much away, but right there in the first chapters I found monsters rising up out of the floor to eat someone’s mother, a multi-faceted heist, and a roof top chase involving magic and flying police wagons. It was weird and wonderful and breathtaking, and I can’t wait for you all to read it. We found the perfect editor in Krista, who edits so many star fantasy writers and loved RISE as much as we do.

I knew I wanted to represent this story, but it wasn’t until Ashok and I got on the phone that I discovered what a warm, wise, and engaged person he is. Ashok is also incredibly humble, which is amazing given how much he’s achieved.

Ashok’s 54 books have sold over 3 million copies, been translated in eighteen languages, and sold in fifty-eight countries. If that weren’t enough, he’s also the pioneer of genre fiction in India; his internationally acclaimed Ramayana Series revolutionized Indian publishing, creating a genre called “Mytho”, now the biggest in the country. He is also the creator and screenwriter of the first Indian TV series in English, and co-creator and screenwriter of the first Malaysian TV series in English, the most watched “Mytho” TV series in India.

 

So yeah, the guy basically invented a genre.

You should follow Ashok on twitter for book news, and also his passionate advocacy for social justice and diversity in publishing: https://twitter.com/ashokkbanker

And more RISE news to come! Congrats Ashok!

S.K. Ali Talks Family, Togetherness, and Ramadan at NBC News

So cool to see SAINTS AND MISFITS author S.K. Ali talking about blended families, togetherness, and Ramadan with NBC News.

With my remarriage nine years ago, my single-parented family of three gained two appetite additions: the nuanced one of my gourmand husband and, for two to three months of the year, that of my teen stepson, Jochua, solidly rooted in good ol’ southern American fare.

Which, for him, being brought up as a Christian, includes bacon. (Thank Allah for quality halal beef bacon ready to do fill-in duty!)

You could say my son Hamza is also a meat ‘n potatoes kind of guy. Halal meat and turmeric-laced potatoes that is. My mother, an amazing cook, has nurtured his taste for good ol’ southern Indian fare.

And then my daughter, Bilqis, turned vegetarian four years ago. The kind of vegetarian who thrives on the sameness of her favorite foods, like veggie sushi rolls, with drizzled spicy sauce on top (i.e. she’ll eat it every day if she could).”

See the full article here.

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Check out SAINTS AND MISFITS (which has garnered three starred reviews!) on Goodreads, and pre-order on Amazon, B&N, and Indiebound.

Follow S.K. Ali on twitter at @sajidahwrites,