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Penguin Young Readers Group To Publish Children’s Book Series By 13-Year-Old Debut Novelist Jake Marcionette


13-year-old Jake Marcionette will publish his debut middle grade series, JUST JAKE with Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. JUST JAKE introduces readers to sixth-grader Jake Ali Mathews, whose life is turned upside down when his family moves from Florida to Maryland. Jake has to adapt to a new school and make friends while staying under the radar of the school bully. The full-color novel is filled with doodles and illustrations. The deal for two books, with an option for more, was brokered by Francesco Sedita, President and Publisher, Grosset & Dunlap and Dan Lazar, Writers House. Penguin has North American rights. The first novel will be published in February 2014 with the second following a year later.

Francesco Sedita said, “I was blown away when I learned that Jake Marcionette was only 12 years old when he wrote JUST JAKE.  This book reminded me of what it felt like to worry about finding the right classrooms, take impossible pop quizzes, and figure out the rules of popularity . . . and made me laugh the whole way through.  I’m certain that Just Jake will become a favorite among young readers looking for an authentic voice that captures this moment their lives.”

Jake Marcionette commented “School can be scary and challenging in so many ways, but it can also be really funny. Whether in school, at home, or on the lacrosse field, I try to find the “funny” in my daily experiences. This book began as a collection of doodles and sketches of my classmates, and it has developed into a truly AWESOME book. I hope kids enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.”

About the book:

Jake has always ranked the kids at school using his hand-made, humorous “Kid Cards,” and when he arrives at his new school, Jake starts building a new collection.  But what happens when the school bully decides Jake’s next in line for annihilation and his Kid Cards get into the wrong hands?!! JUST JAKE is a genuine—and as Jake himself would say, AWESOME!—world of school, family, friends, and teachers; it’s the product of a writer talented well beyond his years.

Jake Marcionette was just 12 years old when he wrote JUST JAKE. He’s now in seventh grade and lives with his mom, dad, and sister in Florida.   In addition to writing and being AWESOME Jake loves playing lacrosse and annoying his big sister, Alexis.

Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, creates high-quality books at affordable prices for readers ages 0-12.  The imprint focuses on original series like Giada De Laurentiis’s Recipe for Adventure, Ann Hood’s The Treasure Chest, Henry Winkler’s Hank Zipzer, Nancy Krulik’s George Brown, as well as strong licensed properties.  The imprint continues to cultivate successful in-house brands such as The Little Engine That Could, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.  Grosset’s many lines include the Penguin Young Readers series of leveled paperback readers, 8x8s, and sticker storybooks that create a well-balanced portfolio of brands, licenses, authors, and illustrators.

Penguin Young Readers Group is one of the leading children’s book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Puffin, Speak, Firebird, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Viking, Razorbill, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Anna Dewdney, John Green, Anthony Horowitz, John Flanagan, Mike Lupica, Richelle Mead, Richard Peck, Patricia Polacco, and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Strega Nona, Madeline, Mad Libs, Alex Rider, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Flower Fairies, and Pippi Longstocking, among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Group (USA), the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group, one of the largest English-language trade book publishers in the world. The Penguin Group is owned by Pearson plc, the international media group.

Media contact:
Shanta Newlin
Director of Publicity

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