New Year, New Books, New Events

With 2018 underway, our clients are releasing new books and speaking at new events. Here’s their latest news:

BOOK RELEASES

Harper Lee's typewriter by Curious City
Harper Lee’s typewriter, created by Curious City for ALABAMA SPITFIRE

Bethany Hegedus‘ highly acclaimed picture book biography ALABAMA SPITFIRE: THE STORY OF HARPER LEE AND TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Balzer & Bray, Jan 23, 2018) is available for pre-order. When ordered through BookPeople in Austin, you’ll receive a signed copy by Bethany and illustrator Erin McGuire along with a beautiful handprinted serigraph of Harper Lee’s typewriter, handmade by Curious City. Order by Feb 10, 2018 to guarantee a signed copy.

Erica S. Perl’s middle grade novel All Three Stooges was released on Jan. 9, called “An unforgettable coming-of-age story about comedy, loss, and friendship for fans of Jennifer L. Holm and Gary D. Schmidt” by publisher Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. “Spoiler alert: This book is not about the Three Stooges. It’s about Noah and Dash, two seventh graders who are best friends and comedy junkies. That is, they were best friends, until Dash’s father died suddenly and Dash shut Noah out. Which Noah deserved, according to Noa, the girl who, annoyingly, shares both his name and his bar mitzvah day.”

Illustrator Larry Day‘s newest picture book with Kay Winters, VOICES FROM THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, released Jan. 10. From the creators of VOICES FROM THE OREGON TRAIL and COLONIAL VOICES comes an unflinching story of two young runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad, told in their voices and those who helped and hindered them

AWARDS AND HONORS

What Girls Are Made OfElana K. Arnold’s YA novel WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Fiction.

The sequel to Elana’s A BOY CALLED BAT also has been selected as a Junior Library Guild book! BAT AND THE WAITING GAME will be on shelves on March 27 and is available for pre-order.

Mitali Perkins has received a 2018 Walter Honor from We Need Diverse Books for her YA novel YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR.

APPEARANCES

Melanie Crowder spoke of the story behind her recent YA novel AN UNINTERRUPTED VIEW OF THE SKY on Colorado Public Radio on Jan. 12.

Our clients will be at Denver’s first Children’s Festival of Stories! The event, which was designed and organized by The Booking Biz Associate Agent Sarah Azibo, will bring more than 30 authors and illustrators to the city center to engage with young readers, parents, librarians and educators March 16-18. Activities include storytimes, readings, illustration demonstrations and unique creation stations for attendees. An Evening of Story will be held for librarians and educators, and a World of Workshops offered for aspiring artists and writers of all ages. Among the speakers are Melanie Crowder, Pablo Cartaya, Elaine VickersMiriam Busch, Sarah AronsonAmmi-Joan Paquette and Emily Arrow, who will be offering special rate school visits in the area March 12th-16. Visit www.denvercfos.com for more festival information and contact The Booking Biz to arrange a school visit with these presenters.

 

 

Winter Recommended Reads 2017

Happy Holidays from The Booking Biz!

No time of the year is bad for reading, but with winter weather outside and time off from work, the holidays are a great time to read new books and give books to others. Here are some of our best recommendations for wonderful holiday reading:

PICTURE BOOKS

It’s great to introduce kids to the wonder of reading early. This winter, spend time with your youngest family with these amazing books.

Penguin's Christmas WishAuthor/illustrator Salina Yoon‘s holiday board book with PENGUIN’S CHRISTMAS WISH, in which the beloved character Penguin finds Christmas magic in unlikely places.

Tis the season for kindness, and BE THE CHANGE written by Bethany Hegedus and Arun Gandhi, illustrated by Evan Turkshares the kind wisdom of the Mahatma Gandhi. Such a great thing to be thinking about this time of year. You can reflect and be the change you wish to see in the new year.

MUDDY: THE STORY OF BLUES LEGEND MUDDY WATERS written by Michael Mahin and illustrated by Evan Turk celebrates the music that would inspire rock and roll.

Elf in the House

The excitement of Christmas Eve is the subject of the GHOST IN THE HOUSE follow-up ELF IN THE HOUSE, written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Adam Record.

Story is at the heart of how we learn, grow and entertain, and in Adam Lehrhaupt‘s THIS IS A GOOD STORY, illustrated by Magali Le Huche, story is broken down so readers can build it back up.

Emily Arrow offers up kidlit tunes celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and winter in her new WINTERTIME SINGALONG CD (and kazoo!), with songs inspired by CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, THE POLAR EXPRESS and others.

CHAPTER BOOKS AND MIDDLE GRADE

Here are some of our winter favorites for kids of every age … including adults.

The WIsh List Book TwoEveryone wants wishes to come true, and Sarah Aronson‘s THE WISH LIST series from Scholastic is just that.

For an inspirational story encouraging girl empowerment, we love STEP UP TO THE PLATE, MARIA SINGH by Uma Krishnaswami.

Reading is fun during dark, spooky nights, and Janet Fox‘s THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE is an historical fiction adventure with ghosts and creepy characters.

Written by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee, MAYBE A FOX tells a beautiful, heart-warming tale that’s a great read by a roaring fire.

The Epic Fail of Arturo ZamoraPablo Cartaya‘s THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA is filled with familia, comida y amor!

Family and friendship come in all different configurations in Elaine Vickers‘ PAPER CHAINS and Melanie Crowder‘s THREE PENNIES.

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: IT’S ALIVE! by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson will keep budding scientists and nature lovers learning over the holiday.

Pet lovers will want to read Elana K. Arnold‘s A BOY CALLED BAT to review all that is involved with making a new friend.

If you’re hoping for good fortune in the new year, JASPER AND THE RIDDLE OF RILEY’S MINE by Caroline Starr Rose is a golden pick!

And for help keeping your New Year’s resolution, Molly B. Burnham‘s TEDDY MARS ALMOST A WORLD RECORD BREAKER gives readers the never-give-up attitude.

YOUNG ADULT 

Winter is always a good time to reflect on the world and our place in it, and how better than to read amazing YA books…

OverturnedThere’s nothing like a good thriller to keep your mind off the cold weather outside, and Lamar Giles‘ new book OVERTURNED is just that.

National Book Award finalist WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF by Elana K. Arnold is especially poignant right now as women speak up.

The highly acclaimed YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR by Miltali Perkins is on many best-of lists for a reason. It’s is currently on agent Sarah Ahzibo’s TBR list for the holidays.

Plus, a treat for the ears, the audiobook version of Kwame Alexander‘s SOLO includes the music created for the book by Randy Preston! What’s not to love?

Check out more books by our speakers.

Best Books & Cover Reveals

With end-of-year book celebrations being announced, our clients are getting lots of love for their books. And we’re got new books to look forward to.

LISTS AND AWARDS

Chicken In MittensFour books by our clients are on the Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2017 list! Congratulations to CHICKEN IN MITTENS written by Adam Lehrhaupt, BOB, NOT BOB written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA by Pablo Cartaya, and WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF by Elana K. Arnold. The Best of the Best lists represent their choices for the year’s most outstanding titles, books of exceptional quality for a diverse, city-wide readership.

Elana K. Arnold’s WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF and Mitali Perkins’ YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR are on the New York Public Library “Best Books for Teens” list!

Melanie Crowder’s THREE PENNIES and Pablo Cartaya’s THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA are on New York Public Library’s “Best Books for Kids” list!

MUDDY: THE STORY OF BLUES LEGEND MUDDY WATERS, written by Michael Mahin and illustrated by Evan Turk is on the Best Books of 2017 Lists for the New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. It also received a Parents’ Choice Gold Award for 2017.

Teddy Mars Almost a World Record BreakerMolly B. Burnham’s TEDDY MARS: ALMOST A WORLD RECORD BREAKER and Elana K. Arnold’s A BOY CALLED BAT have been nominated for the 2019 Grand Canyon Reader Award through the Arizona Library Association!

COVER REVEALS

The popular blog Mr. Schu Reads has showcased the covers of a number of new books coming from our clients.

Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick wrote a guest post for the cover reveal of their new picture book DEAR SUBSTITUTE, which honors “the unsung of the unsung.”

For the cover reveal of TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: HISTORIES AND MYSTERIESAmmi-Joan Paquette, who  co-authored book with Laurie Ann Thompson, finished Mr. Schu’s sentences, like:

The cover for Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries took my breath away! The whole Walden team have outdone themselves, and I love the perfect mix of factual, mysterious, and just plain silly…”

 

Kudos to Our Clients

What Girls Are Made OfWe’re honored to represent TWO authors recognized in the National Book AwardsElana K. Arnold‘s WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF was a finalist for Young People’s Literature and Mitali Perkins‘ YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR was on the longlist. They’ve both been busy getting lots of other awards attention—along with our other clients. Continue reading “Kudos to Our Clients”

Interview: Pablo Cartaya on Jobs, Manatees & Musicals

Pablo Cartaya
Pablo Cartaya

Middle-grade author Pablo Cartaya isn’t just one thing: He’s an author, speaker, educator and actor. And in our interview, we discovered he’s got plenty of other sides too.

Booking Biz: What does your average day look like?

Pablo: My average day consists of looking for manatees in Biscayne Bay while the Miami skyline gleams in the humid sun. My afternoons consist of hanging with my six-year-old Marine Biologist son and ten-year-old dancer, actor, director, writer, producer, choreographer, fashion designer, president daughter. Most days we’re at the library. Some days we’re eating ice cream. Everyday we’re being awesome. The rest of the time I’m writing. Unless I’m travelling. Then my day is totally different. But that will require a much longer answer. NOTE: None of this happens without my morning cup(s) of coffee.

Booking Biz: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do best?

Pablo: See above. Other than that, I love to travel and really dig going on adventures/vacations with my kids. I’m a sports buff so I like to play and watch basketball and soccer. I also love the theater. Like, I’m a secret musical theater nerd. So now it’s not a secret anymore. Les Miserables is prob my fav. “One day more!” (Pablo stands on chair waving the French flag from side to side for the duration of this question.)

Booking Biz: Where do you get the inspiration for your books?

The Epic Fail of Arturo ZamoraPablo: I think of character first. Then I focus on what that character is trying to tell me about his or her world. From there a story plays out and I go from being an observer of this character’s world to an active participant in discovering the events that shape that character’s worldview. In The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, I looked at a character that was deeply connected to his family, specifically his grandmother. His Abuela. From there I built a narrative that showed the deep connection he has for her and the fear he has of losing her. In Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, Marcus isn’t defined by what he has but rather who he is. A brother. A son. A good kid (even though people don’t always see that). Ultimately, the characters that speak to me when I’m first putting pen to page inspire my stories.

Booking Biz: Did you always want to write books for children, or was there another career you wished for as a child?

Pablo: In Kindergarten I wanted to be president of the United States. In middle school I wanted to be a pediatric surgeon because I liked taking care of my brother when he was sick. I once tried to stitch his head when he got a laceration on his temple and, um, it did not go well. Throughout high school and college I found myself around the theater so I decided I would move to Los Angeles for college and become an actor. I was cast in plays and television shows and commercials. But I really didn’t love it. I had to change too much of my personality to fit what made me “sellable”. So after finishing college with a degree in English I decided to figure out what I really wanted to do in my life. After stints as a catering chef, busboy, server, bartender, general manager (not necessarily in that order), and many other jobs in and out of the food industry, I realized one constant: I was always writing stories. So I decided to go to graduate school to pursue one of the most secure jobs in the world. I decided to become a writer! 🙂

What I have learned is no matter what you set out to do–whether to be come president, a doctor, actor, or writer–do it with the full force of your determination and hard work. Go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning knowing what you want to do in this world. The journey then, no matter how hard or long, becomes totally worthwhile. There’s no point in doing something that doesn’t fulfill you in some meaningful way. Writing was the one thing I knew I could never live without. So I dove into it with every ounce of my soul.

Booking Biz: If you ruled the world, what would it look like?

Pablo: It would be a place where people could spontaneously burst into a musical number and anyone in the surrounding area would know the choreography and dance along with them. They wouldn’t mind because they’re singing and dancing together and that’s what happiness looks like. Conflicts would have deep resonant musical scores with the players walking towards each other singing angrily at one another but after the musical battle was over, they would hold hands and bow together knowing it’s just a musical theater battle and in the end they’re all just part of the same cast. There’s more I can say but I’ve got a manatee sighting and an ice cream date to attend. Thanks for the questions! Hasta luego, P 🙂

Booking Biz: All hail Jean Valjean!

Learn more about Pablo Cartaya on his speaker page.

5 Steps to Find Your Best Conference or Festival Speaker

Whether you’re organizing a conference or festival, you want attendees to leave with great memories. And for that, they need to emotionally connect with the speakers you present.

How to choose the right speakers isn’t as easy as looking up a list of “great speakers.” Your conference or festival needs the RIGHT speakers, and there’s an art to finding yours. Continue reading “5 Steps to Find Your Best Conference or Festival Speaker”

2017 Summer Reading List

The sun is shining, birds are singing, and summer is almost here. So there’s only one question we’re trying answer: What are we going to read?

We at The Booking Biz are always looking for new books to read and recommend. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the books we’re most excited about this summer. Continue reading “2017 Summer Reading List”