Happy Book Birthday to BONE'S GIFT by Angie Smibert!


I’m delighted to wish a superb book and it's author, Angie Smibert, the very happiest of book birthdays! 

BONE'S GIFT is a supernatural historical mystery about twelve-year-old Bone, who possesses a Gift that allows her to see the stories in everyday objects. When she receives a note that says her mother's Gift killed her, Bone seeks to unravel the mysteries of her mother's death, the schisms in her family, and the Gifts themselves.

In a southern Virginia coal-mining town in 1942, Bone Phillips has just reached the age when most members of her family discover their Gift. Bone has a Gift that disturbs her; she can sense stories when she touches an object that was important to someone. She sees both sad and happy--the death of a deer in an arrowhead, the pain of a beating in a baseball cap, and the sense of joy in a fiddle. There are also stories woven into her dead mama's butter-yellow sweater--stories Bone yearns for and fears. When Bone receives a note that says her mama's Gift is what killed her, Bone tries to uncover the truth. Could Bone's Gift do the same? This beautifully resonant coming-of-age tale is about learning to trust the power of your own story.


Read on for our excellent reviews!

This mystical mystery makes good use of its World War II backdrop, with sure-fire markers of the times ranging from Pearl Harbor to Negro League Baseball. It also effectively evokes the Appalachian culture with written dialect and a cultural emphasis on storytelling that’ll snag even history-resistant readers...No worries about what’s to come for Bone and her family, though; Bone’s Gift is just the opening installment of the Ghosts of Ordinary Objects trilogy.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“[Bone’s Gift] is a middle-grade book, but it has much wider appeal than that. I loved this book. When it comes out on March 20th, I highly recommend grabbing it. The setting is beautiful, the characters rich, and the plot just windy enough to keep you interested (but not confused).” — Blogger & Librarian, Rebecca Ciota

"An intriguing blend of history and magic." — Kirkus Reviews

"This well-researched novel has a strong sense of place...The narrative includes stories from both Appalachian and Cherokee traditions, and offers complex perspectives on child labor, duty, and the effects illness and war had on rural communities."— Booklist

Please find BONE'S GIFT at your library or local bookstore. Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Angie — stop by her site, here and here, to say hello!

SUPER HAPPY Book Birthday to CRUISING FOR A SNOOZING, book #8 in the Super Happy Party Bears series!


Today is the day, folks! The day that the eighth book in the marvelous, colorful, silly and happy series, SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS, is available -- aka your lucky day!

A group of sloths arrives at the Grumpy River for a synchronized swimming competition, and the Super Happy Party Bears are thrilled. They throw a party to celebrate their team, but the sloths just...sleep.

The residents of the Grumpy Woods can't help but notice the giant pile of snoozing sloths, and Mayor Quill plots to get rid of them by shutting down the competition...until he unexpectedly gets the opportunity to show off his swimming moves.

Illustrated in full color!

Praise for Super Happy Party Bears: Knock Knock on Wood : "The pure delight of the story will easily draw youngsters in and probably turn a few grumpy frowns upside down." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)

Read all the Super Happy Party Bears adventures:
Super Happy Party Bears: Gnawing Around
Super Happy Party Bears: Knock Knock on Wood 
Super Happy Party Bears: Staying a Hive 
Super Happy Party Bears: Going Nuts 
Super Happy Party Bears: Bat to the Bone
Super Happy Party Bears: The Jitterbug
Super Happy Party Bears: Tiny Prancer




Congratulations to Marcie Colleen for these wonderful books! Stop and say hi to her at her site or on twitter!

Happy Book Birthday to A TAXONOMY OF LOVE and HOPE IN THE HOLLER!

I’m delighted to wish two marvelous books the very happiest of book birthdays! 

A TAXONOMY OF LOVE is Rachael Allen's third YA novel. It begins with the moment Spencer meets Hope, the summer before seventh grade. It’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.

Read on for our excellent reviews!

 “Readers will be on the edge of their seats wondering what the future holds...this book is groundbreaking in its demonstration of the complexity of human emotion.” -- School Library Connection, Starred Review

“Through sparkling prose (and Spencer’s clever doodles), Allen depicts how debasing unrequited love can feel, and just how consuming that connection can be when shared at long last.” -- Booklist

“A multilayered and charming novel that blends humor, romance, tragedy, and other universal coming-of-age themes.” -- School Library Journal

“Fans of John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior will appreciate the two characters’ attempts to reach each other despite everything that happens over the course of six years.” -- VOYA


Lisa Lewis Tyre's HOPE IN THE HOLLER is her second middle-grade novel: the poignant -- and funny -- story of a girl trying to be brave and find her place in the world after she's sent to live with scheming relatives.

Right before Wavie's mother died, she gave Wavie a list of instructions to help her find her way in life, including this one: Be brave, Wavie B! You got as much right to a good life as anybody, so find it! But little did Wavie's mom know that events would conspire to bring Wavie back to Conley Hollow, the Appalachian hometown her mother tried to leave behind. Now Wavie's back in the Holler -- and in the clutches of her Aunt Samantha Rose. Life with the devilish Samantha Rose and her revolting cousin Hoyt is no picnic, but there's real pleasure in sleeping in her own mother's old bed, and making friends with the funny, easygoing kids her aunt calls the "neighborhood-no-accounts." With their help, Wavie just might be able to prevent her aunt from becoming her legal guardian, and find her courage and place in the world.

We're getting great attention for HOPE already:

Top Pick, Winter 2017-2018 Kids’ Indie Next List 

Amazon’s Best Books of the Month for January

 “A moving and richly engaging tale of despair and redemption.” -- Kirkus, Starred Review

“Those who read this will find hope in the most desperate times, even if it means struggling through the deepest troubles.” -- Denver Post

Please find these books at your library or local bookstore – they are both utterly delightful! Not to mention these gorgeous covers, no?

Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Rachael and Lisa -- stop by their sites to say hello. You'll find Rachael here and Lisa here.


Announcing a deal! A STITCH IN TIME by Daphne Kalmar

I'm so happy to share that Daphne Kalmar's debut MG novel, A STITCH IN TIME, has sold to Jean Feiwel and Anna Roberto at Feiwel & Friends!

Donut is an eleven-year old geography buff who keeps her taxidermied mice hidden in her late mother’s hope chest.  Her pops died eight weeks ago, leaving her an orphan.  Aunt Agnes has moved in, bringing along her lumpy oatmeal, her knitting and a plan to drag Donut off to Boston forever.

Donut stands to lose everything: her friends, her Vermont village, her home, the woods and walks where the memories of her pops are stored up like the bread and butter pickles in canning jars on the shelf.  While Donut dodges the hurt of missing her pops, she and her best friend Tiny plan how to keep her right where she belongs.  When Aunt Agnes is not persuaded, Donut paddles away in her pops’ last invention, a folding tin boat.  Holed up in a cabin on Dog Pond, Donut hopes Aunt Agnes will throw in the towel and leave Vermont without her.  But Donut isn’t counting on a bear, a leaky boat, or an ache that won’t go away.

A STITCH IN TIME is shot through with gorgeous, evocative language, and gets right to Donut’s heart – her hurt, her strength, her struggle to make sense of loss.  She’s buoyed by her sense of humor, and this is a book that made me both cry and cackle with laughter.  But perhaps what I love about it most is that it’s not just about loss, it’s about renewal.

You'll find it in bookstores next June -- congratulations to Daphne!


Happy Book Birthday to LAURA INGALLS IN RUINING MY LIFE by Shelley Tougas!

Happiest of book birthdays to Shelley Tougas's LAURA INGALLS IS RUINING MY LIFE!

A life on the prairie is not all its cracked up to be for one girl whose mom takes her love of the Little House series just a bit too far.

Charlotte’s mom has just moved the family across the country to live in Walnut Grove, “childhood home of pioneer author Laura Ingalls Wilder.” Mom’s idea is that the spirit of Laura Ingalls will help her write a bestselling book. But Charlotte knows better: Walnut Grove is just another town where Mom can avoid responsibility. And this place is worse than everywhere else the family has lived―it’s freezing in the winter, it’s small with nothing to do, and the people talk about Laura Ingalls all the time. Charlotte’s convinced her family will not be able to make a life on the prairie―until the spirit of Laura Ingalls starts getting to her, too.

"Strong characters and fast plotting propel readers to a sweet, realistic end that provides hope and a sense of stability...Lovely." – Kirkus Reviews

"This sharp and quirky story winningly portrays a girl who, in finding herself, finds family, friends, and a place to belong." – School Library Journal

Please look for this book at your library or local bookstore!

Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Shelley Tougas -- stop by her site to say hello. You'll find her here and here.

Happy Book Birthday, LOVE, TRIANGLE!

I’m so happy to wish LOVE, TRIANGLE by Marcie Colleen and Bob Shea the very happiest of book birthdays! LOVE, TRIANGLE was a special project right from the start – when Marcie and I first met to discuss representation, we talked over a number of her manuscripts. She mentioned a story she had brewing – nothing to share yet – about a Circle and a Square who have been friends forever…

…Circle and Square just fit, the way best friends do. Then someone new comes along: Triangle. Triangle is different, bold, inspiring. A wedge develops between Circle and Square and before long, they find they no longer fit the way they used to. Can this friendship for two grow to become one for three?

The genius of LOVE, TRIANGLE is its geometry-inspired wordplay, but the story will resonate with even the youngest readers – after all, you don’t have to understand the Pythagorean Theorem to know what it’s like when a friendship gets bent out of shape, and needs to be put back together again.

Well, of course I was intrigued! Marcie sent me the text a year after we began working together. We were both thrilled when it found a happy home at Balzer + Bray, and Bob Shea was able to create the charming, clever illustrations.

Please find this book at your library or local bookstore – it is a real delight!

Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Marcie Colleen and Bob Shea -- stop by their sites to say hello. You'll find Marcie here and here.

Announcing a deal! CONFUSION IS NOTHING NEW by Paul Acampora

I'm so happy to share that Paul Acampora's new MG novel, CONFUSION IS NOTHING NEW, has sold to Nancy Mercado at Scholastic!

This book is a true gem. Generous in spirit, funny and a real pleasure -- or, as Paul says, it's fueled by bighearted 80s rock&roll, a touch of the Goonies, and large doses of Cyndi Lauper's girl-power joy.

Ellie Magari is figuring out what it means to be a girl in the world today, especially when the one role model she could have had (her mother) was never around and she was raised by her hardworking single father who didn't exactly keep the lines of communication open. Exactly who was Ellie's mom? And now that she's gone for good, what does that mean for Ellie?

Fueled by the bighearted sounds of '80s rock and roll, plus a dash of The Goonies and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and large doses of Cyndi Lauper's girl-power joy, is a coming of age story as well as a drama and comedy about friendship, girls, and the tension between fathers and daughters. It's also a story about girls who understand that it's good to make things, but breaking things is okay too.

In fact, sometimes breaking things is required.