Children’s and Young Adult Newsletter 1: January 2011

Dear Friends,

After many years of doing a newsletter for general trade publishing, we’re very pleased to be sending you our first newsletter specifically devoted to children’s and young adult books. This is our way of sharing with you some of the upcoming projects that we’re most excited about, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you about which projects you’d like to see. Please contact the listed agent to make any requests.

You can expect to see this newsletter from us a few times a year. Please let us know if you have colleagues who’d like to be added to our distribution list. We’d also love to hear your thoughts about the newsletter and how we can improve it. Be in touch!

Thank you,

Upcoming for Submission

For eleven-year old Jeremy Gray, there isn’t much to do in his sleepy town of Shielding except read books about the Knights of the Round Table, play with his trusty golden retriever Charlie, and dream of one day having a real adventure of his own. His best friend, Daphne, is a dreamer too, who wants more than anything to become a concert violinist. Jeremy and Daphne befriend Gavin, a boy from a very troubled home, and they hope to help him learn to dream by taking him on their mischievous adventures. Their innocent fun quickly ends when they accidently discover a dog-fighting ring in the woods. When the adults in town won’t pay attention to their pleas for help, they decide that it is up to them to rescue the dogs and defend the honor of Shielding. With Justice on their side, they launch a campaign to steal the dogs one by one in the middle of the night, with nothing but their wits and a squeaky shopping cart. Despite their efforts and success, the fighting goes on. Can three kids shut down the dogfights once and for all? The Dog Rescuers is a beautiful middle grade novel from the talented Kelly McWilliams, author of Doormat (Delacorte, 2004) and one of Teen People’s 20 Teens Who Will Change the World. Michael Bourret is the agent on this project.

Cate Cahill and her sisters are considered eccentric bluestockings–a little odd, a little unfashionable, and far too educated for their own good. The truth is more complicated; they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it could mean an asylum, a prison ship–or an early grave. Before their mother died, she entrusted Cate with keeping them safe and keeping everyone, including their father, in the dark about their powers. When her father employs a governess and Cate begins to receive notes from her missing, presumed-mad godmother, her task becomes much more difficult. As Cate searches for answers in banned books and rebellious new friends, she must juggle unwanted proposals, tea parties, and an illicit attraction to the new gardener. Cate will do anything to protect her sisters, but at what cost to herself? Jessica Spotswood‘s Thrice Blessed is a dazzling novel of historical fantasy. Richly romantic and wonderfully mysterious, it details the deeply moving story of a girl straining against the expectations placed on her by her family, society and, most importantly, herself. It’s a gorgeously written debut that shines with the promise of more great things to come. Jim McCarthy is the agent on this project.

Abandoned as an infant, in a hillside village where the social and economic life revolved around the spinning and dyeing of yarn, eleven-year-old Madwyn would have had a hard time being accepted by the wary natives, even if she had been normal. But Madwyn wasn’t normal, and in times when rumors of political unrest left people fearful of the re-emergence of fabled magicians, Madwyn’s deafness set her even further apart from the citizens of her remote town. Raised and protected by Head Shepherd Von, and Master Spinner Rhonna, the plucky Madwyn learned to read, and to read-lips, and to make herself useful, despite being constantly tormented by her thirteen-year old foster sister, the pretty but resentful Brin. In Madwyn’s Spindle: Book One, The Gather, Madwyn’s only friend, an old blind woman named Verla, gives her a beautiful spindle which magically allows her to hear voices for the first time in her life. Though she must keep her new power a secret, Madwyn combines magic, her own bravery, and quick thinking, to save not only herself, but her village’s most valuable secret, and the testy and temperamental Brin. The author of six Tory Bauer Mysteries and five acclaimed knitting books, Kathleen Taylor has spun an enchanting tale for mid-grade readers in the first of a proposed series of books that will explore the magic of young Madwyn’s world. Jane Dystel is the agent on this project.

Alejandra Vargas has the power to manipulate matter, but her gift comes with a price: each time she uses her ability, she forgets the events around the incident. At seventeen, she clings to her few remaining scraps of memory and works to keep her amnesia a secret. When an accidental brush of a childhood friend’s hand gives her a glimpse into the past, shocking her with an image of flying through the trees with him, she becomes determined to uncover the secrets of her magical childhood. Alejandra pieces together old photographs and interrogates her childhood friends. But instead of giving answers, the girls threaten her. Alejandra must battle her oldest friends to discover the truth about herself, but the more she remembers, the clearer it becomes that forgetting served a purpose: if she can remember her life, someone else might lose theirs. With Remembering the Nightingales, debut author Alyson Greene kicks off a thrilling series about one girl’s desperate efforts to discover who she really is, even if it means risking the lives of the people she loves the most. Jim McCarthy is the agent on this project.

Death is impossible and living is impossibly hard for seventeen-year-old Araby Worth in Bethany Griffin‘s The Masque of the Red Death, a sexy, post-Apocalyptic reimagining of Poe’s gothic horror story of the same name. The year is 1870 and a deadly virus has decimated the population of North America. Masked corpse-collectors travel the streets, removing the bodies before the contagion can spread. Though Araby tries to escape it all with drugs and parties, even at her most intoxicated she can’t forget her brother’s death-or her guilt for causing it. But things begin to change when William, the fascinating proprietor of the club where she searches for oblivion, and Elliott, nephew of the insane dictator, enter her life. One wants her heart, the other her name. Convinced that he has won over his uncle’s army, Elliott believes that having Araby on his arm will charm the populace into supporting a new government. After all, her father is the inventor of the mask which prevents the spread of the plague-for those who can afford it. In return, Araby asks that he make protective masks available to all citizens, which could save the lives of Will’s young siblings, whom she has come to care about. But nothing is what it seems. A new contagion called the Red Death is sweeping the city. The revelation that Araby’s father may have created the new virus in his laboratory puts Araby’s life in danger. The mob wants her. The rebels want her. And both boys want her. In this two-book series, what and who Araby chooses may just decide the fate of humanity. Michael Bourret is the agent on this project.

Every day, 16-year-old Nima breaks the law. She goes to her grandmother’s apartment to learn how to read, a skill that’s forbidden to girls by the religious authorities. Education isn’t the only right that’s been taken away from girls, and Nima’s world is full of suppression, violence and fear. But this is not Kabul, Tehran, or Mogadishu: this is a future New York. Though she is disturbed by the cruelty and injustice around her, Nima reluctantly plays the role of a good daughter. That is until she is forced into an arranged marriage with the brutish son of a very important man. After a violent altercation with him, Nima finds herself running for her life throughout the deadly streets of New York. With the help of an underground group of female rebels and a mysterious boy, she escapes to another territory, one that first promises beautiful land, schooling for girls, and not a burkha in sight. But as she learns more about the people in this foreign world, she realizes that they may not be a threat only to her, but to those she’s left behind. Time Zero by Carolyn Cohagan, author of The Lost Children (Aladdin, 2010) is a fast-paced, gripping narrative that explores the extremes of fundamentalism in many forms. Michael Bourret is the agent on this project.

Half-demon Seph Morgan dedicated her life to ridding the world of the nasties that lurk in the night and continue in her deceased father’s footsteps by keeping humanity safe from demons and ignorant of their presence. Having been trained to handle a sword at an early age, Seph is more than capable of taking out any demon unlucky enough to cross her path. What she’s not prepared for is the revelation that she’s not the only one of her kind; she is merely the only female of her race. Not far from where she lives, 200 half-demon boys are being trained to do battle against the same beasties Seph has made her life’s mission to destroy. When she discovers and joins forces with these fellow demon-slayers, she finds that being surrounded by a couple hundred boys isn’t as easy as expected. Whispers and catcalls follow her wherever she goes. But unruly boys aren’t Seph’s biggest concern. There’s another person out for her, someone more dangerous than anything Seph has ever fought against, and he won’t stop until he has her. The Curse of Beauty is Tricia Levenseller‘s first novel, and it kicks off a trilogy that takes its main character to hell and back, literally. Suffused with wit, action, and excitement, it is a powerful debut for a heroine (and an author) who kicks some serious ass. Jim McCarthy is the agent on this project.

Three years ago Lexi Strauss was an ordinary freshman at Covington High. And her biggest dilemma was figuring out how to get Xander, her older brother Shane’s gorgeous best friend, to see her as more than “Little Lexi.” Ordinary is shredded when Xander punches out Royce Cobalt, the only son of the wealthiest family in town, and rumors start to fly. Before Lexi learns the truth about what’s going on, her mom and Shane are brutally murdered. Now she has gruesome nightmares every night–reliving the horrific crime she witnessed. The man in black, all the blood and screams, and that metallic wrong smell… And she can’t tell anyone what really happened that night because what she did is almost as bad as what she witnessed. The next two years are a constant shroud of darkness for Lexi until she reunites with Xander the summer before her senior year and something inside her awakens. Her healing is halted when she returns to her old school in the fall and finds her family’s murders aren’t the only lingering mystery in Covington Hills. Just as Lexi and Xander’s relationship heats up new evidence surfaces that lands him in jail as a suspect for the murders. In order to clear Xander’s name, Lexi must face the secret she’s kept about that night, and what she discovers puts her own life in grave danger. The Killing Breed by debut author Bethany Neal is a young adult novel with snappy dialogue that offsets Lexi’s intense grief and struggle to forgive herself for what happened to her family. Part romance, part mystery-thriller, readers will anticipate Lexi and Xander’s first kiss as much as the reveal of the murderer that destroyed her family. Stacey Glick is the agent on this project.

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