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

CBC logo
Facebook Twitter PinterestRSS Feed
Box Top

Balzer + Bray: A Second Look | August 25, 2017

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


At Balzer + Bray we publish a focused list of bold, fresh, groundbreaking books for all ages, from toddlers to teens, both fiction and nonfiction. We strive to build the careers of authors who are adding to the artistic and political conversations happening in our culture today. We are committed to diversity of representing on our list.

Our imprint turns ten years old in 2018! Our editorial team consists of vice-presidents/co-publishers Alessandra Balzer and Donna Bray; executive editors Jordan Brown and Kristin Rens; associate editor Kelsey Murphy; and editorial assistant Tiara Kittrell.

We’re very proud of our list, which includes the Printz Honor Winner Bone Gap by Laura Ruby; Morris Award Winner Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and Morris Award Finalist The Miseducation of Cameron Post; Coretta Scott King Honoree and Winner Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul; and new classics such as Pax by Sara Pennypacker, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy.

Upcoming title we’re excited about:
DREAD NATION by Justina Ireland: This alt-history teen novel imagines a world in which the dead rose from the battlefields of the Civil War; now, in the years following Reconstruction, young men and women of color are required by law to attend combat schools to train to protect the white upperclass. Justina combines brilliant storytelling and a sly sense of humor in a searing indictment of racism in America.

A classic title you should know:
EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen: This gently funny, gently subversive, surprising story manages to feel both classic and fresh at the same time. It is probably one of the most beloved picture books on our backlist. We’re very proud that this was a Caldecott Honor book, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller.

A series that is on the rise:
THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS by Crystal Allen: Everyone should be reading the hilarious young middle-grade tales of this sassy, cowgirl-boot-wearing, African-American heroine! Mya reminds us of spirited protagonists like Ramona or Clementine.

Bottom rightBottom left