Month: September 2016
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches GO Math! GO, the Fun Math App for Young Learners At Home and On the Move
BOSTON, MA – Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the launch of GO Math! GO, a new playful learning app available for iPhone and iPad that offers …
First Book and NEA Foundation to Bring Thousands of Diverse Books and Resources for Children in Need
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The NEA Foundation and publisher Lee & Low Books have joined forces with First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise, to expand the Stories for All Project™, First …
Diversity in the News: September 2016
The newsletter is a valuable resource for librarians, teachers, booksellers, parents and caregivers, publishing professionals, and children’s literature lovers. Find thought-provoking articles, diverse new releases, and more in this month’s issue and sign …
Children in TX, FL, LA, PA, and GA Logged the Most Reading Minutes in the 2016 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
NEW YORK, NY – This summer, nearly 250,000 children from across all 50 states and 25 countries read 204,594,918 million minutes in the annual Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. The top …
Library of Congress Selects Early Elementary Teacher-in-Residence
Teresa St. Angelo, a kindergarten teacher from Manalapan, New Jersey, has been selected to serve as the 2016-2017 Teacher-in-Residence at the Library of Congress. Since 2000, the Library has recruited …
Debuts on the NYT Children’s Best Sellers Lists
The following books made the list: Middle Grade Hardcover: Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic) Gravity Falls: Journal 3 by Rob Renzetti (Disney Press) The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion) The …
How I Got into Publishing: Luana Horry, Editorial Assistant at HarperCollins Children’s Books
“Child, what are you going to do with that degree?”
I was full of pride on the day I graduated college—until Grandma Lynell asked me that simple question. You would think that someone with a nearly perfect GPA and two graduate school acceptance letters would know exactly how to respond. My goal was to become a professor of African-American literature and black feminist thought. But I hung my head low because I felt that I had not only tricked myself into thinking I was completely sure of my life’s goal, but that I had also duped those women and men who sacrificed so much for me to be able to walk across the stage that day.
I laughed it off and went about celebrating, but Granny’s question hit me—hard.
I love the world of academia and the learning process; however, I didn’t have the spiritual energy or the financial freedom to pursue a doctorate. So during that post-graduation summer, it was the Beyoncé music that I listened to, the Jamaican food that I ate, and the books that I read that kept my spirits up.
In the fall though, I got serious about my life and started applying for any and every job I could. I turned the music down and put the food down—but could never put the books down. In Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks about his reawakening during and after college. It reminded me of the one thing in life that has never failed me: my passion for reading great stories and telling stories of my own. Working with books became a mission for me.
I soon landed an interview with Editor Benjamin Woodward at a small nonprofit publisher, The New Press. He asked me what I was reading and I immediately launched into critiques of and praise for W.E.B. DuBois’ Black Reconstruction. Like a true book nerd. He hired me as an intern the next week.
The New Press will forever have a special place in my heart because it introduced me to a reality that I never knew existed—one in which you could build your career around reading, cultivating, and loving literature. I was there for just a few months when I realized that the books that stayed with me the most were actually children’s books.
When I was a kid, books about little black girls with afro puffs and little brown boys with wide brown eyes were not easy to find. I vaguely remember some, but they were always presented to us as separate and different and were read only during Black History Month. Why, I wondered, were stories about me worthy of only momentary and fleeting celebration? Of course, now I think differences in identity are wonderful, but when I was young I felt ostracized, so much so that I shied away from books about African Americans.
It felt important to me to build a career in an industry where I could make a difference in the lives of children like my niece, who deserve better than a peripheral reading and cultural experience. She deserves abundant, honest stories about black and brown people all year long. So I found another internship, this time at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, before being hired as editorial assistant at HarperCollins.
My happiness was boundless when my manager hired me at Harper—and it remains that way. I have the opportunity to help diversify the workplace, but also to diversify the list using both of my degrees (I hope Granny is proud). My new goal is to work hard and to one day acquire books that include a variety of cultural values, sexual and gender orientations, racial identities, and socioeconomic/political perspectives. It truly is an exciting time to be in publishing!
Luana Horry—I graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 2015 with a double bachelors in English and Black Studies, and am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Africana Studies, with a focus in literature. I am an editorial assistant at HarperCollins Children’s Books. I live in Queens, New York and my favorite thing to do besides reading is trying new recipes.
Scientific Fact: ‘Ada Twist, Scientist’ is the Fastest Selling Picture Book of the Year
New York, NY — Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS, announced today that Ada Twist, Scientist is the fastest selling picture book release of the year. The …
Klutz Teams Up With World’s Largest Restaurant Chain Subway For Activity-Based Kids’ Meal Promotion This Fall
NEW YORK, NY — Klutz® announced today a promotion in which more than 30,000 Subway® restaurants across the United States, Canada, Aruba, and the Bahamas will be offering four exclusive …
Library of Congress Literacy Award Winners Announced
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the winners of the 2016 Library of Congress Literacy Awards today at the Library of Congress National Book Festival gala. The winners are WETA …
Sony’s Columbia Pictures Teams Up With Frederick Warne & Co., Part of Penguin Random House UK, For Peter Rabbit™
CULVER CITY, CA and LONDON, UK – Columbia Pictures has teamed up with Frederick Warne & Co., part of Penguin Random House UK, for Peter Rabbit™, a new live-action/CG motion picture …
Four Debuts on the Indie Bestsellers List
The following books have made the list for the second consecutive week: Children’s Illustrated: Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illus. by David Roberts (Abrams Books for Young Readers) Eek! Halloween! by …
Submit for the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award
Publishers are invited to submit books for consideration before December 15, 2016. Click here for more information on the awards program, including submission guidelines. # Contacts:Ellen Ruffin, Curatorde Grummond Children’s …
Pottermore launches unique online experience from J.K. Rowling, enabling users to discover their Patronus
London, England, 22 September, 2016 – One of the most famous magical elements in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World becomes accessible to all for the first time today, as Pottermore launches …
Scholastic Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2017 Results
Solid Revenue Gains in all Segments, Led by Children’s Books on Strong Harry Potter Sales New York – September 22, 2016 – Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, …
Creator of #1000BlackGirlBooks Launches ‘Marley Mag’
In her new publishing venture, Dias interviews such icons as ballerina Misty Copeland and director Ava DuVernay. I want to change the way we imagine black girls in books and in culture …
National Book Festival Summer Writing Contest Winners Announced
The Library of Congress today announced the winners of its “A Book That Shaped Me” Summer Writing Contest, a program that asks rising fifth- and sixth-graders to reflect on a …
National Ambassador Gene Luen Yang’s Reading Without Walls Podcast: Episode 6 with Thien Pham
Through his platform, “Reading Without Walls,” Yang hopes to inspire readers of all ages to pick up a book outside their comfort zone. In episode six of his podcast, Yang …
National Ambassador Gene Luen Yang Awarded a MacArthur Fellowship
Yang, who is currently on tour for the second book in his Secret Coders series, hopes to put the grant towards his work as a comics creator and as National …
Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award
The inaugural prize will be judged by Caldecott Medalist and Caldecott Honor artist Jerry Pinkney along with members of the Little, Brown editorial team. Diversity is, in fact, the keynote of the initiative. …