Children’s and Young Adult Newsletter 9: July 2014


Plum is a little girl. Berry is her big, blue dog. Today, it’s raining, so they decide to build a castle out of boxes and have a tea party. But then a pesky fly gets Berry’s attention, and with a smash and a crash, the castle goes flying and paint spills everywhere. So Plum banishes Berry and has the party with her stuffed animals instead. But it’s just not fun for Plum without Berry. And worse, when she goes to look for Berry and invite him back, he’s nowhere to be found. What will Plum do? With PLUM AND BERRY, author/illustrator Jack Morgan makes a wonderful debut, introducing two characters who are sure to charm readers of all ages. Please note, John Rudolph is the agent on this project.

Finding inspiration from her husband’s files as a prosecutor, Jolene Perry tackles the darker side of young adult contemporary fiction in DEAL-the suspenseful journey of two teens-London, who struggles to cope with a life of her father’s drug dealings and abuse, and Cole, whose past drives him to try and save her. Head down, eyes forward, and mouth shut. That’s the routine for London Spint. Straying from her carefully navigated life could attract the thing she fears more than the drugs her parents sell, the skeevy people that rotate through her front door, and the suspicious eyes of the teachers at her school. One wrong move could attract the back of her dad’s hand. Or worse. Stop, breathe, and count down from ten. That’s the only thing that gets Cole Adams through the horrifying memories of his past. It’s easier to pretend he’s the cool confident athlete that everyone believes he is than risk letting someone in. But as his unlikely friendship with London grows, so does his fear for her safety. Wanting nothing more than to help her, like others have helped him, Cole is closer to telling the truth about his past than he ever expected. When London finally breaks free from her father’s hold, Cole’s desperate to help, but with his mom being a cop investigating London’s father, and London’s dad unwilling to go down without a fight, lives are on the line, friendships are at stake, and London is keeping one last secret to herself that could change everything. Please note, Jane Dystel is the agent on this project.

Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, Ang for short, is a steeplejack, working the high chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm, the industrial capital of a land resembling Victorian Africa. The city was built on the trade of luxorite, a priceless mineral which produces a dazzling brilliance, though all sources have been exhausted. When the Beacon, the largest piece of luxorite known to exist, is stolen and a prominent trader turns up dead, the resultant investigation commands the headlines. What no one cares about is the apparently accidental death of Ang’s new apprentice, and so she seeks to expose the truth to honor the boy. But when Ang is kidnapped and taken to a luxurious estate by a dashing and mysterious young politician who offers her a job as an underworld spy, she acquires a new autonomy and sense of purpose, though it comes with considerable dangers. Ang divides her time between specialist training and investigation, using her unique skills and street smarts to learn what the police never could, while navigating the constricting traditions of her tribe, the murderous intentions of her former boss, and the conflicting impulses of a fledgling romance. She unravels a complex net of murders and secret land deals hinging on Bar-Selehm’s holy grail: a new source of luxorite. Reaching across racial barriers, and relying on her raw, creative intellect, Ang tracks that source to a remote cave, a place of dangerous animals and more dangerous people, some of whom may be closer to her than she thinks. Atmospheric and reminiscent in tone of Terry Pratchett’s award-winning DodgerCLIMBING THE SKY by AJ Hartley is a classic in the making with series potential that will resonate with readers of all ages. Please note, Stacey Glick is the agent for this project.

Normal after school jobs are overrated, so seventeen-year-old Arden Varga steals her classmates’ memories and sells them to other students. Who wouldn’t pay top dollar for a night as the homecoming queen? Arden’s making serious bank until someone from her school for science geniuses hacks her mind-uploading app and erases her memories’ greatest hits. Vivid flashbacks rip her out of the present and dump her into past mistakes she never wanted to relive. Those forgotten experiences all feature a boy named Sebastian Cuomo, a rival classmate who breaks into school to do homework and makes even quantum physics sound sexy. Unfortunately he can’t remember her either, but the past reveals they’ve been harboring a secret time manipulation project together…and a secret relationship. As they team up to investigate how to stop the disruptive flashbacks, who carved out their minds, and what they mean to each other, the hacker uses their secret app to make time itself go backward. With the clock counting in the wrong direction and time keeping Arden in the past longer and longer, she must find the culprit before she’s trapped forever living life in reverse. REVERSE is a wonderful, wild ride-funny, suspenseful, romantic, and exciting, Benjamin Button meets The Big Bang Theory in this fantastic teen sci-fi novel from Shana Silver. Please note, Jim McCarthy is the agent on this project.

Young genie, Rupashi, is convinced she is next in line for one of the two last seats at the Djinn Council, freeing herself of the cycle of masters forever. When passed over in favor of a rival genie, she vows to fight for what’s hers and is sent to a special master with instructions to recruit him. To convince him to wish for this magical life that she hates. It should be easy. Humans are vile and selfish anyway, they can’t resist the power once they get that first wish. But Rupashi’s confidence is quickly shattered as she stands outside of a Portland high school with enrollment papers in her hand and an unsettling feeling in her gut. It doesn’t help that her new master is the mysterious and tattooed Terek Melnik-a junior firefighter with a criminal past, a dismissive shrug and a gorgeous girlfriend. Getting him to fall in love with magic won’t be easy. Terek wants nothing more than to manage his dyslexia, graduate high school and become a full time firefighter to honor his late father and provide for his struggling mother. He’s not interested in magic and doesn’t want petty pleasures, only answers that Ru can’t provide. She can give him only wishes-and those are tricky at best. As Terek and Ru navigate their shaky bond, they realize their pasts and their futures are more complexly woven than they thought, putting them at the center of an age-old battle for power. The race to recruit Terek becomes the race to protect him as Rupashi finally finds something, or someone, truly worth fighting for. THE RULE OF THREE by AJ Brooksputs a dark spin on the Aladdin story combining suspense, mystery and romance and leaving you guessing until the last page. Please note, Rachel Stout is the agent on this project.

Every night, when Sarah goes to bed, she tells the monster under the bed, “You’re not real!” And she tells the monster in the closet, “You’re just a figment of my imagination!” And she tells the monster in the corner, “You’re nothing to be afraid of!” But they don’t believe her. And since they come back even after Dad checks to make sure they’ve gone, Sarah must take matters into her own hands. So she gathers her teddy bears together and forms-the Monster Patrol! But will Teddy, Growly, Pooka, and Mr. Bear be tough enough to tame those pesky monsters? Like Mercer Mayer’s classicThere’s a Nightmare in my Closet, first-time author/illustrator Mark Wood‘s THE MONSTER PATROL is sure to cure the bedtime willies with warmth and humor. Please note, John Rudolph is the agent on this project.

Twelve-year-old Wren Baker lives in Sudbury, a beautiful little town with green mountains, gushing waterfalls, and a horrible dark secret. Thirty years earlier, a woman fled to the top of Sudbury’s biggest mountain, where she has lived ever since. No one from Sudbury goes near the mountain anymore, because they say the woman, whom they call Witch Weatherly, haunts it. Blinding lights shoot out from the bottom of the waterfall, paralyzing swimmers, and the paths are filled with deep pits and sharp sticks. Most frightening of all, a red raven circles overhead, ready to strike unsuspecting visitors with its sharp talons and razor-like beak. Wren’s grown up with the legend of Witch Weatherly, but she’s afraid of more mundane things like squirrels, airplanes, and lightning storms. When an unexpected family event involving her emotionally fragile mom sends her and her challenging little brother, Russell, to live at her newly-arrived Aunt Marianne’s house for a few weeks, Wren is forced to confront some of her fears, which include living with her cousin Silver, who has become the most popular girl in sixth grade. When Silver secretly decides that she is going to do her history project on Witch Weatherly, Wren decides she’s crazy. Or is she? A wild series of events causes Wren to start rethinking some of her decisions, and soon after, the two girls start on the trek of their life, where they will not only uncover one of Sudbury’s darkest secrets, but unearth some of their own life-changing ones as well. GRIT by Cecilia Galante has a ton of heart and will be a huge hit for middle grade readers, as well as kids of all ages. Please note, Stacey Glick is the agent for this project.

Every year, James leaves home in Boston and spends the summer with his father in Burham, California, a tiny desert town whose only claim to fame is a hippie commune called the Drop Outs. And every year, James spends the summer hanging out with (and pining for) Dayle, one of the only girls in town. But this year, a new girl has arrived on the scene-Sunny, a runaway who’s staying with the Drop Outs, and who has a taste for trouble. At first, James is intrigued by Sunny and her ideas of fun, especially since Dayle seems now to have a boyfriend. But then one of Sunny’s stunts goes too far and results in an accidental death-and James is set up to take the blame. Suddenly, another dull summer in Burnham becomes a nightmare, with Sunny threatening to take out Dayle if James comes clean. But the truth isn’t always clear-cut, and James’ version of it might not be enough to stop Sunny anyway. Like he did in his debut novel The Loop, Shandy Lawson presents a mind-bending thriller that artfully plays with truth and consequences. A THOUSAND CHERRY TREES will keep readers guessing what really happened up until the very last page. Please note, John Rudolph is the agent on this project.

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