The Children's Book Council's Early Career Committee (ECC) is dedicated to enriching the careers of those in their first five years in the children’s publishing industry, contributing to the vitality of the industry as a whole, and fostering literacy. Learn more

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Asked and Answered | January 25, 2017


What is your most anticipated Children’s or YA book of 2017? Answered by the 2017 ECC Board!

“I’ve been following @GuyInYourMFA (whose alter-ego is Dana Schwartz) for a long time now and after being consistently amused by her topical and sharply self-deprecating commentary, I was jazzed to hear about her forthcoming YA novel, AND WE’RE OFF (Razorbill). Moreover, in a time of Gilmore Girls renaissance, it’s a safe bet that I’ll be first in line for a story pitched as ‘Gilmore Girls meets Anything Else.'”

Jessica Anderson, Assistant Editor, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

“In particular, I’m really looking forward to two titles this year: CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber (Flatiron Books) — gotta love an amazingly atmospheric magical circus — and THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins), which couldn’t be more timely. I’m always interested in reading YA takes on current events.”

Hillary Doyle, International Rights Associate, Scholastic (ECC Chair)

“This year, I’m super excited for THE SOMEDAY BIRDS by Sally J. Pla, from HarperCollins. I’m a middle grade reader through and through, and there’s little I like more than a 12 (or so) year old boy trying to find his place in a torn up world. Throw in some overbearing, over-the-top siblings and an unexpected role model, and I’m hooked. This book sounds sweet and touching but with some serious spunk, bringing me back to all things adolescence (and trying to get through it).”

Stevie Durocher, Publishing Assistant, Random House Children’s Books

“I’m really looking forward to reading SPINNING by Tillie Walden, scheduled to be published by First Second in September. It’s a graphic memoir chronicling her troubled adolescence in the world of competitive figure skating. Walden’s webcomic, ON A SUNBEAM, is wonderful and dreamy, and I’m so excited to have 400(!) pages of her work to physically hold in my hands and probably never let go of.”

Alexa Frank, Special Projects Coordinator, The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader (CBC Liaison)

“I’m extremely excited for NOW I RISE, the sequel to AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White (published by Delacourte). I just can’t get enough of Lada’s ruthless, grasping fury. She is like no other female character I’ve read before.”

Amalia Frick, Editorial Assistant, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Penguin Young Readers

“My most anticipated book of 2017 is definitely Kelly Jensen’s feminist anthology HERE WE ARE from Algonquin Young Readers! Luckily I don’t have long to wait — it goes on sale January 24th. “

Elizabeth Lynch, Assistant Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books (ECC Secretary)

“I can’t wait for the FUNNY GIRL anthology (Viking Books for Young Readers), edited by the illustrious Betsy Bird! The title alone sold me; I grew up watching Barbra Streisand as vaudeville starlet Fanny Brice in the musical biopic of the same title, and have always idolized both women’s fierce and fearless humor. I’m sure this kid-lit compilation — featuring stories from such powerhouses as Cece Bell, Raina Telgemeier, and Rita Williams-Garcia — will be filled with equal parts laughter and girl power.”

Emma Kantor, Publicity and Digital Content Manager, The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader

“There are so many books I just can’t wait to read in 2017, it’s difficult to choose just one. It’s almost like asking what my favorite book is, and that, as usual, is difficult for anyone to answer who can’t pick just one. But, because I’ll just have to select a single title here, I’ll go with one of my most anticipated — ONCE AND FOR ALL by Sarah Dessen (Viking Books for Young Readers). Every summer for me is a Sarah Dessen summer. The Truth About Forever is my annual read. I basically grew up on Sarah Dessen books, and the emotions of the characters that I could relate to back then never really changed. Dessen is a brilliant writer. She writes characters that feel so real, and situations that are so believable, and solutions that aren’t completely perfect but are happier and positive. Her stories are feel good stories, and I’m sure the upcoming one is no different. In fact, based on the premise, the protagonist might be the most relatable protagonist yet! Summer can’t come fast enough for me to finally have another Sarah Dessen novel to dive into.”

Shifa Kapadwala, Publicity Assistant, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

“I’m looking forward to reading THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray). The cover is stunning and it sounds like an important and timely novel. Everyone has been raving about it and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!”

Nicole Sclama, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

“I’m looking forward to reading the debut book of THE WINGSNATCHERS series, CARMER AND GRIT (Algonquin Young Readers), by Sarah Jean Horwitz. If the cover art didn’t draw me in enough already, the author is a friend of a friend, so I’m more than happy to support! I can’t wait to get my hands on this middle grade fantasy.”

Angela Taldone, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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