Check out this teaser trailer for Sarah Tolcser's SONG OF THE CURRENT! This was created by a high school student in Australia -- how awesome is that?

Announcing a Deal: BABY LOVES SCIENCE! 5 & 6 coming next year

I'm delighted to share that the next books in the BABY LOVES SCIENCE! series by Ruth Spiro will be published next year by Charlesbridge. Topics this time are Gravity and Coding, and I can't wait to see how Ruth makes the magic happen again: her ability to explain complex scientific principles in 75 words or less never ceases to amaze and delight me! We're so lucky to have a wonderful team working on these books -- illustrator Irene Chan's sweet and colorful artwork brings the books to life, and the whole group at Charlesbridge, especially editor Alyssa Pusey, couldn't be better to work with.
Can't wait to see covers for these, and in the meantime, enjoy the first four below!

Happy Publication Day to SONG OF THE CURRENT by Sarah Tolcser!

Happy publication day to Sarah Tolcser – her thrilling, immersive new YA fantasy is out today!

SONG OF THE CURRENT is Sarah Tolcser’s debut novel. Set in a vividly imagined world, with action expertly balanced against building romantic tension, it features a fabulous heroine – Caro is fiery, headstrong, resourceful; longing to feel at home in her own skin, but determined to find happiness on her own terms.

Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. But at seventeen, Caro may be too late.

So when pirates burn ships and her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport mysterious cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name.

But when the cargo becomes more than Caro expected, she finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies. With much more than her father's life at stake, Caro must choose between the future she knows, and the one she could have never imagined.


★ “Tolcser blends the right amount of epic fantasy, sea voyage, and romance for a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Ultimately this story is one of self-discovery…All the characters are fully developed and complex…While the narrative is often action-packed, the pacing does not feel rushed and gives readers time to learn about the characters and the world they inhabit. This enticingly written tale will take readers on an adventure and leave them craving more. For fans of titles such as Heidi Heilig’s The Girl from Everywhere or Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch. Highly recommended.” – School Library Journal, starred review

“Caro’s distinctive, engaging voice plunges readers into the action and doesn’t let up… Kristin Cashore’s heroines find a worthy sister in Caro; readers will eagerly await her further adventures in the hinted-at sequel.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Adventurous and dangerous! Fate and fires, pirates and shadowmen, Song of the Current will carry you into a treacherous and fantastic world, which you will not want to leave." – Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of CARAVAL

To buy a copy, please visit:

CONGRATULATIONS to author Sarah Tolcser – you can visit her site, or say hi on twitter!

Happy publication day to JUNIPER LEMON’S HAPPINESS INDEX!

Well, May 30th – you’re a lucky day!  This is the day that Julie Israel’s debut YA novel, JUNIPER LEMON’S HAPPINESS INDEX is out in the world!

Funny, warm, and moving, Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index is a contemporary YA novel about loss, how deeply we can know others, and making our own happiness; perfect for fans of Sara Zarr and Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere.

Sixty-five days after the death of her older sister, sixteen-year-old Juniper Lemon discovers the break-up letter addressed to “You” Camilla wrote the day she died. Juni is shocked—she knew nothing of this You, and now the gaping hole in her life that was her sister feels that much bigger. She’s determined to uncover the identity of You and deliver the letter. Maybe that would help fill the hole, even if only a bit.

But what Juniper doesn’t expect is that in searching for You she will unearth other notes and secrets—and that may be just what she needs to sort out her own mess.

I knew I had to offer rep on this novel about 20 pages in.  Juniper is funny and smart with an appealing indomitability -- she grieving, and struggling through that process, sometimes swamped by it, but always trying to move forward, and go deeper; she’s considering the process of grieving while living it. It’s in her ability to be reflective that she finds the strength to move forward. This is a book that made me cry, as often as it made me cackle with laughter.

We’ve been receiving lovely reviews, including a star from School Library Journal!

★ “Themes of loss and emotional growth resonate throughout this novel. Told from Juniper’s point of view, the book … is peppered with lists, poems, notes, and letters…Israel brings together a diverse cast of characters with problems to which many readers can relate…This heartwarming work will appeal to fans of Cori McCarthy’s You Were Here. A well-told story of teen struggles and grief that will resonate with readers.” – School Library Journal, starred review

“Israel’s debut novel sensitively examines loss, survivor’s guilt, and how one girl attempts to rebuild her life…handles the long, painful process of negotiating grief gently and realistically while cleverly interweaving the light mystery of “you’s” identity throughout, keeping readers guessing as Juni steps closer to finding closure.” – Publishers Weekly


Find Julie here and here – give her a shout hello!


Some big news, folks—I've landed in a new nest: Upstart Crow Literary! I’m delighted to join the very fine group at Upstart, and thrilled about this move.

As I did over on the UC blog (please visit the site if you haven't been: Upstart Crow), I'd like to share a bit about what I'm hoping to find in my query inbox this year.  You can find more general information under the Wishlist and Query tabs, but here's a detailed list:

For YA, I’m interested in:
• Family stories, sister and sibling stories, and mother-daughter stories. In many YA novels, the main character’s relationship with their mother is troubled, and the mother is toxic in some way.  I’d love to see a book with a strong—albeit complex—mother-daughter (or son) relationship.
• Fantasy - I want rich, big world-building and gutsy, smart characters, especially historical fantasy that takes inspiration from folklore of a non-Western tradition.
• Science fiction that deals with changes we might see in our lifetime—more cutting edge science, less space opera (though I’m open to a juicy space opera too).
• Epistolary novels; a novel-within-a-novel; a journal format; secret letters; found documents— I’m interested in stories that use these kinds of elements.
• A sharp, irresistible, crush-worthy but unreliable narrator.
• A word about romance. I enjoy a good, swoony romance, but probably not by itself. Romance as a part of a larger story? Yes, please!
• Some of my favorite non-client YAs of late: The Spectacular Now, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Fangirl, What I Saw and How I Lied, The Seeds of America trilogy, The Montmaray Journals series, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Grasshopper Jungle.

For MG:
• Mystery! I’d love, love, love to see something that makes me think of Agatha Christie, but set in the US.
• Edgy, dark MG that pushes the boundaries of “upper MG.”
• Contemporary stories with a female main character who is passionate about science, math, engineering, ie. STEM. (For YA too!)
• I love historical fiction, and want projects that feel vital and alive, that balance history against characters who are accessible, yet believably of the past.
• All the above in YA Fantasy is true for MG too. In addition, I’d also like to see fantasy that’s based on American folklore—think Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, John Henry, Sally Ann Thunder, etc.
• Some favorite non-client MGs: The War that Saved My Life, Wolf Hollow, El Deafo, When You Reach Me, One Crazy Summer, Cuckoo Song, The Riverman, Breadcrumbs, The Wednesday Wars.

For Picture books:
• Texts that just get it when it comes to childhood, like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse; or More More More Said the Baby.
• Conceptual texts like Duck, Rabbit or Not a Box.
• Character-driven stories that introduce me to someone as indelible as Olivia, George and Martha, the Pigeon, or Miss Nelson.
• The pairing of informational text with lyrical voice, such as in Over and Under the Snow.
• Illustrators whose work is bold and full of emotion. I’m a fan of Sophie Blackall, Zachariah OHora, Frann Preston-Grann, Simona Ciraolo, Emily Hughes, Gabi Swiatkowska (and many more!).
• Some favorite non-client picture books: The Dark, Sophie’s Squash, The Princess and the Pony, A Home for Bird, This is Not a Picture Book!, Me…Jane, Flora and the Flamingo, Home by Carson Ellis, Boss Baby, Leo: A Ghost Story.
I’m an editorial agent, and passionate about my clients and their projects. The lists above are a grab-bag of interests and ideas, but please try me, even if you’re not sure if your project is described above—I love to be surprised!

Happy Publication to FALLING FOR THE BEST MAN by Amanda Ashby!

I'm so happy to say that Amanda Ashby's next novel is available!

FALLING FOR THE BEST MAN is the first book in Amanda's new series, the Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm, and is perfect for fans of TV’s Gilmore Girls and Hart of Dixie.

He's the best man and her secret fling -- who said being a wedding planner was easy?

What's worse than running into your ex-hookup at the airport? When said 'hookup" is the best man for the most important wedding of your career, and he's on the hunt for a fake girlfriend. Between a hysterical bride and a wedding party gone wild, wedding planner Emmy Watson can’t afford any more disasters if she wants to save her beloved Wishing Bridge Farm. Which is why she puts the best man on lockdown. Unfortunately, he also happens to be the one guy who can make her forget everything except the way his kisses make her feel.

All Christopher Henderson needs is a fake girlfriend to convince his bosses that his bad boy reputation is a thing of the pastso he can land his dream job. What better place to find said companion than at a wholesome vintage wedding. The only thing he didn't count on was seeing Emmy, the woman who dumped him. The one he hasn’t been able to get off his mind.

There's no denying the spark between them, but he’s a globetrotter and she’s a homebody, and falling in love is something neither of them has in their plans.

Click here to buy a copy, or to read an an excerpt! 


Praise for BABY LOVES!

This fall was the debut for two wonderful picture books from a new series, BABY LOVES SCIENCE.  BABY LOVES THERMODYNAMICS and BABY LOVES QUARKS are utterly charming (I'm biased of course, but really -- who could resist these books?!).  The text, by my client Ruth Spiro, is smart, funny, and rock solid science.  Now I finally understand what quarks are!  The illustrations that accompany the text are colorful and sweet, featuring two of the most irresistible kids you could hope to meet in the pages of a book.  These truly are perfect books for the toddler set.  And I'm not the only one who thinks so -- here's a list of the praise that we've received so far!

Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!

ILLINOIS READS 2017 selection for Birth – 4 Years  (Baby Loves Quarks!)
Under the auspices of the Illinois Reading Council, ILLINOIS READS is a yearly statewide project to promote reading for all Illinois citizens. Beginning with read aloud books for babies, 6 books will be selected for each additional age band through adult readers.
LA Times HolidayBooks Gift Guide: The hottest books for young adults, middle-graders and gorgeous new picture books (2016)
There’s plenty to engage young children in these simple books (part of the Baby Loves series) that introduce basic science ideas and science vocabulary. The book titles are probably more for the adults than the young children for whom these board books are intended!
SLJ/Fuse #8 by Betsy Bird
"Okay now.  Before you start with the eye rolling, hear me out.  Have you ever actually read these books?  I know they look like a science-y version of Cozy Classics or other adult concepts siphoned down to board book formats.  Go into them, though, and they’re clever.  Just big concepts made palatable.  The titles may have a shock effect, but the contents are worth considering.  Plus we don’t have much in the way of science-related board books AT ALL these days."
American Scientist
STEM Books for Young Children
"I applaud this series of board books for attempting to bring some complicated topics down to a very introductory level.  Using cute and colorful illustrations, these books rely on the familiar to explain the unfamiliar....if you're looking for baby books that at least bring up the subject of physics and engineering as normal aspects of everyday life, these are a great place to start!"

The Planetary Society
(Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!)
"It's a relief to have one baby space book to recommend that does not just list all the planets. This adorable baby board book talks about how Bird can fly, then asks if airplanes fly like birds? (No!) But at least Bird can commiserate with the airplane that neither can go to space. In the end, the bird gets to take a rocket into space. Have fun, bird!"

The Blade (Toledo)
"Part of the Baby Loves Science series, these are “little books about big ideas.” In Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering, Baby learns the dynamics of flight by watching a bird fly, and discovers how engines and fuel make flight possible for planes and rockets. In Baby Loves Quarks, Baby learns that quarks are the building blocks of nature, that atoms and molecules compose the world, including Baby! These colorful board books are an inviting introduction to all things science and math."
"I don't know that I've ever been as impressed with a board book as I am with this one. No, it doesn't quite appeal to my normal cheesy humor nor am I totally blown away by the illustrations (the usual positive reviews I include in my favorite board books), but MAN does it explain nuclear physics on the perfect level for young toddlers! ...Or, you know, man, does it explain physics for the regular layman such as myself (blush).

"Okay, but really, it's a perfectly short, concise explanation of the building blocks of nature, while working in the perfectly relatable story of a baby building with blocks. My own daughter LOVES building blocks and knocking them down so I really think this book connects with its target audience well and provides subtle (and super awesome) education at the same time. And don't get me wrong, the illustrations are still cute and help explain the science. Overall, awesome book, and I'm looking forward to reading Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering next!"
"No one is too young to experience S.T.E.M.  Babies and toddlers have a natural curiosity that leads them to taste, touch, explore and experiment with everything around them.  While this can make childcare a little hectic, parents can easily encourage children by asking and answering questions, describing things to increase vocabulary, and allowing children to play safely with a variety of household items.  A new board book series called “Baby Loves” by Ruth Spiro captures the enthusiasm for S.T.E.M. In Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering, simple sentences and colorful, bright illustrations present questions and answers about things that fly – birds, airplanes, and a rocket. Andrea Beatty’s picture books — Ada Twist, Scientist, Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect – are also good introductions for younger listeners."

The Library Voice – Shannon Miller
"I love how Ruth takes our young readers on an adventure in science through these adorable board books.They will relate to them with the sweet illustrations and be engaged while... learning about so many important STEM topics.  These will be a BIG hit in learning and reading at school and home."
"If you think about it, most things we do on a daily basis can be turned into science, especially when coupled with an explanation.  From pouring water from one cup to another (different sized cups are great for volume), laundry (physics of the spinning clothes), baking (chemistry), bubbles (surface tension), our bodies (biology), and the environment, we can always find something scientific to engage the kids in even when they are babies.

"It is never too early to become an engineer or chemist!  With these adorable board books, babies will love learning the basics of flight and particle physics and chemistry giving them the head start they need.  Featuring friendly, simple text, cheerful illustrations and facts, these books are the perfect fun introduction to chemistry, physics and engineering.

"My kids and I adore this Baby Loves Science series of books.  There are currently two books in the series and a new one is coming out in the coming months called Baby Loves Quantum Physics.

"As the author of the  Baby Loves Science series of board books, Ruth Spiro’s goal has been to learn as much as she can about science, and also about how parents and caregivers can turn everyday experiences into fun, informal learning opportunities for their little ones.  Check these out for your STEM loving, curious little readers!"

"The books are well-crafted for their young audience, with bright colors, adorable illustrations of babies and subject matter that is tailor-made to young children's interests. In "Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!" (Don't laugh too much at the title -- it's actually pretty fun!), a baby notices a bird, and, in short, simple sentences, concepts of aeronautics are taught: "The top of her wing is curved. The bottom of her wing is flat." These concepts are then expanded upon as the baby plays with a toy airplane and learns about rockets.

"Baby Loves Quarks" is even more fun, as the concept of atoms being the building blocks of matter is compared to, what else, but actual building blocks. Little children will love the adorable illustrations of protons and neutrons holding hands as they unify to create an atom, and they'll love the concept of scientists smashing a nucleus as the baby smashing his block tower is shown!

"These books are a fun way to introduce little ones to scientific concepts."
"How does a bird relate to an airplane or a rocket?  How does baby’s blocks relate to quarks and molecules? Using very simple words and illustrations, Spiro cuts to the heart of these similarities in a board book of all things.  I showed these books to my 8th grade science teachers and they went gaga over them!  This was exactly what they were looking for to demonstrate these concepts to their students.  Now they are eagerly waiting for me to buy copies for them and catalog them so that they can have them to use in their classrooms.  So they are worth a look almost any science classroom."

Equal Goods HolidayGift Guide
Children’s Gifts Free From Gender Stereotypes

Anastasia Suen