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Children's and YA News
November 2019
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Dear Friends,

We've been breaking out the champagne this fall at Transatlantic with some fantastic recognition for our recent titles, plus some major deals for forthcoming books, and we are really thrilled to share some of the successes we are celebrating:  Heather Smith's outstanding middle grade verse novel EBB & FLOW( Kids Can Press) has won the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for the most distinguished book of the year; and  A WOLF CALLED WANDER by Rosanne Parry, (Greenwillow US/Andersen Press UK) has spent an astonishing 18 weeks in the New York Times bestseller list, while Kayla Miller's graphic novel CAMP, (HMH Books for Young Readers) has been shining in the Indie and Publisher's Weekly bestseller charts for 16 weeks. We're also proud to have closed six figure deals for Rosanne and Kayla's forthcoming books.

Wishing you all the very best,

North American and World Rights


Picture Books

World rights to author Tara Knudson's VALENTINE'S DAY TREATS and FUN FALL DAY, a holiday board book and a seasonal touch-and-feel, to Annette Bourland at Zondervan. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

World rights to author/illustrator Kyra Teis' KLEZMER, a lyrical picture book capturing the spirit of the free-wheeling Jewish music called klezmer, to Joni Sussman at Kar-Ben Publishing, for publication in Fall 2021. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

World rights to author/illustrator Russ Willms' ELEPHANTS DON'T BELONG IN TREES, about an elephant who makes his home in a tree much to his neighboring animal's chagrin, and QUIET PLEASE about a giraffe who just wants to find a quiet place to read, to Ruth Linka at Orca, for publication in Spring 2021 and Spring 2022. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

World rights to author/illustrator Charles Beyl's TUG TUG TUGBOAT, about a tugboat who spends her days working hard to keep the big ships moving in and out of port, and MY FRIEND BEN about the friendship between two beaver buddies, to Sue Tarsky at Albert Whitman, for publication in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

World rights to professor of philosophy Duane Armitage and children's author Maureen Doyle McQuerry's BIG IDEAS FOR LITTLE PHILOSOPHERS, a series of board books featuring Socrates on truth, Descartes on imagination, Aristotle on happiness, and de Beauvoir on equality, illustrated by Robin Rosenthal, to Susan Kochan at Penguin Putnam Children's, at auction, for simultaneous publication and boxed set release in Summer 2020. 
In response to early enthusiasm for the LITTLE PHILOSOPHERS titles, two more books by Armitage and McQuerry have sold, again to Susan Kochan at Penguin Putnam Children's, featuring Plato and Confucious. For release Fall 2020.  Contact Sandra Bishop,

World rights to Paul Harbridge's OUT INTO THE BIG WIDE LAKE, about a young girl with Downs Syndrome whose learns to drive a boat while staying with her grandparents over the summer, and takes action when there's a family emergency, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, to Samantha Swenson at Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, for publication in 2020. Contact Amy Tompkins,

JOSH AND MONICA HOLTSCLAW's debut picture book FELIX AND THE MONSTERS was sold on a pre-empt with world rights going to Nancy Paulsen books/PRH. Felix guards the wall and has been told to beware the little monsters on the other side - but then he finds they love to play music as much as he does... For publication Fall 2020. Contact Fiona Kenshole,

World rights to two picture books from beloved author ANDREW LARSEN sold to Kids Can Press. SQUIGGLY TOO will be the sequel to his bestseller, A Squiggly Story, and THE BIRDFEEDER, a moving story about bereavement. Publication in 2021 and 2022. Contact Fiona Kenshole,

Middle Grade

World rights to MUFFLED by Jennifer Gennari, a novel about a girl with a noise sensitivity who uses earmuffs to help her step out of her comfort zone and make new friends, to Catherine Laudone at Simon & Schuster. Contact Andrea Cascardi,

North American rights to two graphic novels by Ken Lamug, to Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins. Young villainess Mischief and her side-cat Mayhem must battle their former best friend from superhero camp. Contact Andrea Cascardi,

World rights to Author/illustrator Cyndi Marko's JURASSIC PECK, the fifth book in the Kung Pow Chicken series, featuring the ultimate chicken superhero who finds himself traveling back to the time of dinosaurs in his fight against injustice, to Katie Carella at Branches. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

World rights to author of the Wallace and Grace series Heather Alexander and Chirps founders Laura D'Asaro and Rose Wang's PITCH!: EAT BUGS, the first of two books in a series based on the founders' path to creating a thriving cricket snack business (including an appearance on Shark Tank), in which two sixth graders come up with the idea to make chips out of crickets when they are teamed up in a school pitch competition, to Renee Hooker at Penguin Workshop, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2021. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

World rights to graphic novelist Renee Treml's SHERLOCK BONES #2, the second book in the graphic novel series, featuring a tiny mystery-solving skeleton in a big museum, to Jodie Webster at Allen and Unwin. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

World rights to Kayla Miller's fifth and sixth books in the OLIVE graphic novel series, and ODD ETTIE pitched as Harriet the Spy meets Veronica Mars, to Mary Wilcox at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's, in a three book deal, for publication in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

World rights to two more books in
Edward Kay's   Gross Science Series (which launched with STINKY SCIENCE: WHEN THE SMELLIEST SMELLS SMELL SO SMELLY), GERMS and POOP, to Kathleen Keenan at Kids Can Press for publication in 2021 and 2022. Contact Amy Tompkins,

World rights to four titles in the CHARLIE'S RULES chapter book series by Sigmund Brouwer to Ruth Linka at Orca Book Publishers. This new series features a boy whose family runs a vet clinic on their farm. Book one, PASTURE BEDTIME, will publish in 2020. Contact Amy Tompkins,

World rights to BLACK DIAMOND by Sigmund Brouwer to Ruth Linka at Orca Book Publishers, set in ranch country in the West in the early 20th Century, featuring a boy whose mother is a suffragist. Contact Amy Tompkins,

Two middle grade titles from NYT bestselling author Rosanne Parry were sold to Greenwillow/HarperCollins. A WHALE OF THE WILD follows the fortunes of a young orca, and will be a sequel to A Wolf Called Wander. For publication 2020 and 2021. World rights. Contact Fiona Kenshole,

Young Adult

World rights to THE JAGGED CIRCLE by Shelley Peterson, the sequel to JOCKEY GIRL, sold to Dundurn. After finding the body of a girl in the woods while out on a ride with her prize winning racehorse, Kazzam, Evangeline Gibb struggles to make sense of the deepening mysteries surrounding her and her family. Publication is scheduled for summer 2020. Contact Amy Tompkins,

North American rights to ECHOES OF GRACE by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, a contemporary gothic ghost story set on the border of Mexico and Texas, to Stacy Whitman at Lee & Low. Contact Andrea Cascardi,
International Rights  

Russian rights to three books in Sylvia McNicoll's Best Mistake Mysteries Series; THE BEST MISTAKE MYSTERY, THE ARTSY MISTAKE MYSTERY and THE SNAKE MISTAKE MYSTERY; to EKSMO by Olga Baykova at The Van Lear Agency on behalf of Amy Tompkins,

Simplified Chinese rights to ELEPHANT SECRET by Eric Walters to China South Booky by Andrew Nurnberg Associates Beijing on behalf of Amy Tompkins,

Korean rights to BROKEN STRINGS by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer to Dotori Forest Publishing, Co. by Seyoung Chon at The Agency Sosa on behalf of Amy Tompkins,
Accolades and Awards
Congratulations to Heather Smith on winning the 2019 TD Canadian Children's Award for her novel in verse EBB & FLOW (Kids Can Press). The Canadian Children's Book Centre and TD announced the winner during a gala held recently in Toronto.  

From CCBC's website: "A verse novel brings forth larger than life characters as a boy, overcome with self-recrimination, learns that unconditional love and forgiveness are gifts to be given as well as received... The lyrical text gradually reveals the story and gently flows from page to page... A marriage of simple and poignant imagery expresses Jett's journey through peer pressure, bullying, hope and redemption." The TD Canadian Children's Literature Award is a $50,000 prize sponsored by TD and the CCBC. It's presented to recognize a significant work of children's literature each year.

Rosanne Parry's middle grade A WOLF CALLED WANDER is shortlisted for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. It has spent 19 weeks in the New York Times bestseller's list and was featured in a piece in Publisher's Weekly:

Two Transatlantic titles are shortlisted for the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet Award: FROM AN IDEA TO DISNEY: How Imagination Built a World of Magic by Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C.S. Jennings, (HMH Publishing) represented by Elizabeth Bennett ( elizabeth@transatlanticagency.comand A WOLF CALLED WANDER by Rosanne Parry (Greenwillow/HarperCollins) represented by Fiona Kenshole  (

This summer, Kayla Miller's graphic novel CAMP spent 16 straight weeks on the Indie Children's Middle Grade bestseller list and 15 of 16 weeks on the Publisher's Weekly Children's Frontlist.  Kayla Miller's middle grade graphic novel CLICK was named to Parents Magazines Best Books of the Year list for 2019.

Congratulations to Tina Athaide whose book ORANGE FOR THE SUNSETS (HarperCollins) is nominated for the Silver Birch award.

The accolades are rolling in for PING by Ani Castillo! PING was named on the CBC and Indigo's fall lists; Romper named PING one of its "12 Best Back-to-School Picture Books" and posted a full-length feature with interior spreads and a Q&A with Ani Castillo, calling the book "the smartest book about emotions yet" and "a guide to making friends, and a book about the human condition"; Learning  Magazine featured it in their Back-to-School issue; Colorado Parent included it as one booksellers and librarians recommend for readers who want to change the world; Publisher's Weekly promoted PING as one of the Fall Sneak Previews this season; and Pragmatic Mom included PING in her  round-up of "#OwnVoices Best Latinx Children's and Teen Books."

THE TASTE OF RAIN by Monique PolakBROKEN STRINGS by Eric Walters and Kathy KacerJUST LUCKY by Melanie FlorenceTHE JUSTICE PROJECT by Michael BetchermanRISING STAR by Sylv Chiang and illustrated by Connie Choi all appeared on the CBC's list of middle grade and young adult books to watch for this fall.

The CBC has included SAVE IT! by Cinders McLeod on its September 2019 Hot Off the Press reading list!

THE MAGIC BOAT by Kit Pearson and Katherine Ferris and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard (Orca Book Publishers) is a finalist for the 2019 Victoria Children's Book Prize!

Natasha Deen's IN THE KEY OF NIRA GHANI (Running Press Kids) was featured on CBC radio Edmonton's segment Authors Offer.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre has released their Best Books for Kids & Teens 2019 and Transatlantic is pleased to have over 20 of our books and authors on the list!

ANGUS ALL AGLOW by Heather Smith and ill. Alice Carter (Orca)
ANYONE'S GAME by Sylv Chiang and ill. Connie Choi (Annick)
ARA THE STAR ENGINEER by Komal Singh and ill. Ipek Konak (Page Two)
BODY SWAP by Sylvia McNicholl (Dundurn)
BUDDY AND EARL MEET THE NEIGHBORS by Maureen Fergus and ill. Carey Sookocheff (Groundwood)
CHRISTMAS: FROM SOLSTICE TO SANTA by Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton (Orca)
CLARA HUMBLE AND THE KITTEN CABOODLE by Anna Humphrey and ill. Lisa Cinar (Owlkids)
DANIEL'S STORY by Carol Matas (Scholastic Canada)
ELEPHANT SECRET by Eric Walters (Puffin Canada)
THE GYMNASTICS BOOK, 3rd Ed. by Elfi Schlegel and Claire Ross Dunn (Firefly)
HAYLEY WICKENHEISER (AMAZING HOCKEY STORIES) by Lorna Schultz Nicholson (Scholastic Canada)
IN THE BUFF by Vicki Grant (Orca)
QUID PRO QUO by Vicki Grant (Orca)
RED RIVER RESISTANCE (A GIRL CALLED ECHO VOL. 2) by Katherena Vermette and ill. Scott B. Henderson and Donovan Yaciuk (HighWater)
THE REPTILE CLUB by Maureen Fergus and ill. Elina Ellis (Kids Can)
THE WILD BEAST by Eric Walters and ill. Sue Todd (Orca)

Starred Selections
BEAVERS (THE SUPERPOWER FIELD GUIDE) by Rachel Poliquin and ill. Nicholas John Frith (HMH)
PLANET GRIEF by Monique Polak (Orca)
VERY RICH by Polly Horvath (Puffin Canada)

Cary Fagan is the last one laughing after winning the 2019 Joan Betty Stuchner Oy Vey! Funniest Children's Book Award for his middle-grade novel, MORT ZIFF IS NOT DEAD (Puffin Children's Books Canada) - congrats, Cary. The congratulations continue for Rachelle Delaney, whose middle-grade novel CLARA VOYANT (Puffin Children's Books Canada) has been named a giggle-inducing honour book.

Congratulations to Eric Walters' THE ELEPHANT SECRET (Clarion Books), which has been shortlisted for this year's Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) Program! The SSYRA is a statewide reading motivational program and the Sunshine State books are selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and/or multicultural representation.

YA author, Stephanie Morrill, author of the JLG awarded title WITHIN THESE LINES
(hardcover, March 2019, paperback, December 2019) spoke recently by invitation of the US National Park Service at a special event held at Manzanar National Historic Site in Independence, California. While there, she also spoke at the Inyo County Library and to approximately 350 students at five area middle and high schools. All students received copies of her award-winning YA novel based on the history at Manzanar War Relocation Center, one of ten camps where Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants were incarcerated during WWII.  As follow up to the enthusiastic response to her presentations, the staff at Manzanar has asked Morrill to work with them to create a walking tour for educators who bring students to the site after studying her book. 

Congratulations to our authors and illustrators who made the
2020 Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Awards shortlists! The Forest of Reading Awards seek to promote literacy and reading engagement by allowing children and young adults to vote for their favourite authors and illustrators each year. The winners will be announced next May.

Blue Spruce Award:
THE MAGIC BOAT by Katherine Farris & Kit Pearson, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard (Orca Book Publishers),  ME, TOMA AND THE CONCRETE GARDEN by Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Anne Villeneuve (Kids Can Press), A PLAN FOR POPS by Heather Smith, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan (Orca Book Publishers), THE REPTILE CLUB by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Elina Ellis (Kids Can Press)

Silver Birch Award Express:
LIGHT A CANDLE: TUMAINI PASIPO NA TUMAINI by Godfrey Knongolo and Eric Walters, illustrated by Eva Campbell (Orca Book Publishers), MEGABAT by Anna Humphrey, illustrated by Kass Reich (Tundra Books)

Silver Birch Fiction Award:
ANYONE'S GAME by Sylv Chiang, illustrated by Connie Choi (Annick Press), ORANGE FOR THE SUNSETS by Tina Athaide (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)

Yellow Cedar Award:
BEAVERS by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), HAYLEY WICKENHEISER: AMAZING HOCKEY STORIES by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, illustrated by D.A. Bishop (Scholastic Canada Ltd.)

Red Maple Award:
IN THE KEY OF NIRA GHANI by Natasha Deen (Running Press Kids), STOWAWAY by Pam Withers (Dundurn Press)
Rave Reviews

Praise for FROM IDEA TO... business series by Lowey Bundy Sichol. Contact Elizabeth Bennett,

"In short, Lowey Bundy Sichol's [ From Idea to.... ] books are brilliant and inspiring for inventors and innovators everywhere." -Red Tricycle, Best Books Summer 2019
Praise for Ani Castillo's PING (World Rights, Little Brown). Contact Samantha Haywood, and Amy Tompkins,

"accessible, profound, and touching." -Quill & Quire

" Ping is about thoughtful discussion and that is exactly what it will inspire..."  -CanLit for Little Canadians

"A sweetly articulated and socially valuable message for readers of many ages." -Kirkus Reviews

Praise for THE PHONE BOOTH IN MR. HIROTA'S GARDEN by Heather Smith, illustrated by Rachel Wada (World Rights, Orca Book Publishers). Contact Amy Tompkins,

"A moving tale...offers comfort and peace to those left behind." -Booklist, STARRED

"A beautifully rendered tale of loss, love, grief, and gentle healing." -Kirkus Reviews, STARRED

"An affecting, well-rendered resource for talking about catastrophes and grief both personal and communal." -Publisher' s Weekly, STARRED

"Smith spins a quietly moving narrative...Wada's large-scale woodblock style illustrations are a perfect complement to the story's restrained text...The graceful way in which this book handles a sensitive and serious subject makes it a first purchase for most picture book collections." -School Library Journal, STARRED

Praise for BROKEN STRINGS by Eric Walters & Kathy Kacer (World Rights Available Ex: English in North America, Puffin Canada; Korean, Dotori Forest). Contact Amy Tompkins,

"Shirli's voice is true and strong as she narrates her own tale of rehearsals, her very ethnically diverse friendships, her deep distress as she witnesses Zayde's pain, and her joy as he reconnects with his music. A beautiful, painful, heartfelt reminder that the past is with us still." -Kirkus Reviews, STARRED

" Broken Strings  does a great job of combining a wide variety of interests - history, musical theatre, music, romance, realistic fiction - in one well-paced story. It's a book with heart, and one that will definitely be added to my school library collection." -CM Magazine, Highly Recommended

"this ... collaboration between two celebrated kidlit veterans ... is an absolute wonder ... Walters and Kacer pull off this impressive feat of complex storytelling and make it look easy, with a novel that flows and entertains and devastates. Above all, they respect their intended audience by not trivializing the high and lows of middle-school and by being honest, open, and unflinching about some of the more dark and traumatic aspects of history." -Quill & Quire, STARRED

"This book is a beautifully written work of contemporary fiction woven together with a touch of history." -School Library Connection, Highly Recommended

Praise for JUST LUCKY by Melanie Florence (World Rights, Second Story Press). Contact Amy Tompkins,

"This fast-paced novel is a sensitive portrayal of the challenges of coping with dementia, and the exploration of the feelings related to having a loved one suffering this condition feel authentic. An uplifting and hopeful #ownvoices novel revealing the complexities of foster care and the heartbreak of dementia."  -Kirkus Reviews

" Just Lucky  is an amazing book, and Melanie Florence draws together many contemporary issues faced by families and kids today...Highly Recommended." -CM: Review of Canadian Materials

Praise for CHOOSING TO LIVE, CHOOSING TO DIE: THE COMPLEXITIES OF ASSISTED DYING by Nikki Tate (World Rights, Orca Book Publishers). Contact Amy Tompkins,

"Tate's sprawling work is a fascinating guide that belongs in all middle school, high school, and public libraries. This resource will help tweens and teens looking to better understand death and dying for personal or academic purposes." -School Library Journal, STARRED 

Praise for SERGEANT BILLY: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War by Mireille Messier and Kass Reich (Tundra Books). Contact Fiona Kenshole,

"Sergeant Billy: the True Story of the Goat Who Went to War takes on the difficult task of presenting war to young readers without romanticizing its terrible reality. The appeal of the book lies in its hero, a goat named Billy who actually became the mascot of the Canadian Fifth Battalion serving in Europe during World War I. The warmth and adventure of this true account, in which one unwitting animal provides support to a group of soldiers far from home, offers an entertaining and age appropriate history lesson to children...The resolution is happy, but the book also encourages opportunities to discuss the tragedy of war on a level which children can understand. Messier and Reich deserve a medal for their ambitious work."  - Imaginary Elevators

Praise for BETWEEN BEFORE AND AFTER by Maureen Doyle McQuerry ( April 2019). Contact  Sandra Bishop,

"The real miracle is the way McQuerry intertwines here medical mysteries, the story of an adopted middle-aged man, and both Elaine's and Molly's younger siblings' fascination with birds and wings. This elegant historical fiction will appeal to thoughtful readers, who, like Molly, are intrigued by the way the past and present connect." -Booklist  

Praise for YOU DO YOU: Figuring out your body, dating and sexuality by Sarah Mirk (World Rights, Lerner Books). Contact Fiona Kenshole,

An affirming, up-to-date book for teens that encourages smart, informed decision-making about their own bodies.  Navigating an ever shifting world of bodies, identities, emotions, and expectations can be overwhelming. This volume is educational and engaging; slang terms are employed alongside their scientific counterparts, and pop-culture references appear throughout. The text approaches a range of topics in accessible language: issues relating to gender and sexual orientation, including coming out, allyship, emotional labor, bodies and body image, and sexism; puberty, including menstruation; sex, including consent, assault, contraceptives, and abortion; STI symptoms, transmission, and treatment; and healthy communication strategies, abusive relationships, and breakups. Notably, the text addresses readers without making assumptions about their gender, sex, or sexual orientation and emphasizes the difference between gender and sex, using language like "people with ovaries" rather than "women."  Highly recommended for teens and the adults who care for them.  -Kirkus Reviews

SEA BEAR by Lindsay Moore is tipped for the Caldecott by the Horn Book! R ights available ex. North America (Greenwillow).   Contact Fiona Kenshole,

"Sea Bear tells the story of one polar bear's annual summer expedition away from home and back again in an environment rapidly losing its main characteristic: ice. It's a striking book, both visually and emotionally, and one that merits consideration for the medal in question."

Read the full, glorious, review here:

Praise for YOU'RE IN GOOD PAWS by Maureen Fergus (Kids Can Press). Contact Fiona Kenshole,

As one might expect, Leo is more than a little nervous about getting his tonsils removed-especially when his parents walk him past the children's hospital and into the animal hospital!  "Are you sure we went in the right door?" Leo wonders nervously. But Dr. Stan the mouse is ready and waiting for him. Looking around the familiar hospital scene, Leo is not quite sure what to think. He's joined in the waiting room by all kinds of critters, including a cat with a fishbowl stuck on its head, a blind bat, and even a boa who appears to have eaten several toys. From the waiting room Leo moves on to the exam room, where Leo is so cooperative that Nurse Lorraine, a cow, "call[s] him a good boy and [gives] him a vigorous ear skritch." Leo proceeds safely through surgery and recovery in the animal hospital, even if he does wake up with a cone around his neck! The wry text makes it just as much fun for adults to read as it is for kids. Perfect for any kid worried about a trip to the doctor-or the vet.   -Kirkus Reviews

Pups of Transatlantic Agency 
Sandra unapologetically enjoys the antics of her two crazy Golden Doodles, nine-year-old Digby the Elder and nine-month-old Hazel (whom they have begun calling Nutbar because, well ... she's rather nuts most days.) 

While Digby was named for the undying dog in her family's all time favorite television series PUSHING DAISIES, Hazel's name has a far more literary origin, having been inspired by the hero in Richard Adams' classic adventure novel, Watership Down.

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