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I’m over the moon to wish Adam Smyer’s KNUCKLEHEAD a happy book birthday!

In Knucklehead we meet Marcus Hayes, a black law student who struggles, sometimes unsuccessfully, with the impulse to confront everyday bad behavior with swift and antisocial action. The cause of this impulse is unknown to him.

When Marcus unexpectedly becomes involved with the brilliant and kind Amalia Stewart, her love and acceptance pacify his demons. But when his demons return, he is no longer inclined to contain them.

 

You can pick up your copy from the Akashic Books website or from Amazon.

Congratulations, Adam!

 

 

★“This book is bold in how it treats the reader as an insider to the reality of American blackness. It can be, in turns, lyrically poignant, cynical, hilarious, and infuriating.” —Foreword Reviews, … [more]

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 … [more]

Happy book birthday to Christina Mandelski’s THE FIRST KISS HYPOTHESIS!

She thinks love is a chemical reaction. He thinks her theory is unstable.

Nora Reid believes scientific laws control everything, even love. With her grandparents’ epic first kiss story cemented in her brain, Nora develops a hypothesis she’s determined to prove: for each person in the world, there is exactly one other person, and at first kiss, they’ll experience an immediate and intense reaction.

But after four years of zero-reaction kisses, she comes up with a new theory: maybe that pesky crush on her stunningly hot best friend Eli Costas is skewing her results.

She needs to get rid of him, and fast.

Eli Costas is an injury-prone lacrosse star with a problem—the one chance he had at winning over the girl next door resulted [more]

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 [more]

 

I’m thrilled to announce that Matt Myklusch’s (author of the Jack Blank and Seaborne series) newest middle grade series, MAJESTIC: THE MAGICIAN’S ASSISTANT, has sold to Liesa Abrams at Aladdin. It’s fun, it’s fast paced, and it’s about what happens when we allow ourselves to believe in the power of good old fashioned magic.

Joey Kopecky isn’t smartest 12-year-old in the state of New Jersey. But everyone thinks he is. So when Joey’s perfect test scores and ability to “see through tricks” get him out of summer school and qualify him to try out for a job at the Majestic Theater working for Redondo the Magnificent, he is thrilled.

Joey wants the job, but he’s not the only one applying. He will face competition from children who come from all around the world.

Joey

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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 [more]

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 [more]

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 dash of 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 [more]

Not one, not two, but three (or four, depending on how you count) Upstart clients have new books out in the world today! Happy pub day to Ruth Spiro’s newest BABY LOVES books: BABY LOVES THERMODYNAMICS and BABY LOVES QUANTUM PHYSICS; Marcie Colleen’s seventh SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS title, TINY PRANCER; and Catherine Holt’s MIDNIGHT REYNOLDS AND THE SPECTRAL TRANSFORMER! And, bonus: Sarah Lariviere’s Edgar Award nominee, THE BAD KID, is out today in paperback!

Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to all!

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I’m so happy to share that Amanda Ashby’s MG ghostly mystery novel Midnight Reynolds and the Spectral Transformer, has sold in a three book deal to Wendy McClure and Eliza Swift at Albert Whitman!

I love this cute and creepy novel — chock full of ghosts and ghost-hunting gizmos. Not to mention a twist that I promise you won’t see coming!

When twelve year-old misfit Midnight Reynolds takes a job helping out eccentric Miss Appleby in the mansion down the street, she never imagined her work would involve battling ghosts. But as it turns out, Midnight and her new employer have quite a bit in common—they were both born on Halloween and have the power to see spirits of the dead. But when Midnight learns more about the history of her town, she starts … [more]