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Amulet | May 29, 2014

By Morgan Dubin (Children's Publicist and Marketing Associate, Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books)


Back in 2004, when we launched our first Amulet list, Abrams had never published novels before. As the country’s preeminent publisher of books about art and photography, Abrams had, in fact, rarely published a book without illustrations. Company lore has it that our contract terms once required artists to donate an original piece to the corporate collection. Certainly, our hallways are hung with extraordinary paintings, prints, and photographs. So when Susan Van Metre, Senior Vice President and Publisher, arrived more than a decade ago to help start a fiction imprint, she felt at times like a stranger in a strange land. The first pass of the first novel to come out of design had no folios. There was no budget for copyediting or ARCs. But no one blinked an eye when she requested pricing for a three-hundred-page novel — in two colors!

If Amulet changed the place, the place also shaped Amulet and, arguably, children’s literature. Pictures snuck in. Emoticons in our first bestseller, Lauren Myracle’s ttyl; twisted fairy-tale portraits in Michael Buckley’s Sisters Grimm books; reproductions of nineteenth-century art in Margi Preus’s Heart of a Samurai; cartoons in Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. In retrospect, it’s no coincidence that among Amulet’s most successful novels are illustrated ones like Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Amy Ignatow’s The Popularity Papers, and Tom Angleberger’s The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.

Now, ten years and 250 titles later, Amulet lives at the corner of words and art. We publish middle-grade and teen books that are as satisfying to look at as they are to read. And we feel grateful to those artists of Abrams’ past whose works hang in our hallways, for inspiring us, just as we feel grateful to you for embracing us and, we hope, finding inspiration in our list.

One exciting upcoming title:

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs        

Science meets science fiction in this smart and silly new middle-grade series!
Published in August 2014.

One classic title:

ttyl (talk to you later) by Lauren Myracle (now available: 10th Anniversary update and reissue!)

It’s time for a new generation of readers to discover the phenomenally bestselling and beloved series, told entirely in messages and texts. With a fresh look and updated cultural references, the notorious list-topping series is ready for the iPhone generation.
Published in February 2014.


One series you may not have heard about: 
In the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, author Nathan Hale channels his namesake to present history’s roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format. “An innovative approach to history that will have young people reading with pleasure,” says Kirkus Reviews.
First title published in August 2012.


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