Lauri Hornik, President & Publisher, Rocky Pond Books, Featured in People Magazine



Editor and publisher Lauri Hornik at her home office in New Jersey in October 2023. COURTESY LAURI HORNIK

Lauri Hornik saw firsthand as her daughter struggled with anxiety and depression and reached for books she could relate to that chronicled mental illness. This experience set Hornik out to find literature aimed at young children and teenagers that centers mental health, and inspired her to launch Rocky Pond Books, an imprint at Penguin Young Readers committed to publishing books that shows kids they’re not alone.

Lauri Hornik and her daughter Ruby photographed for PEOPLE at home in New Jersey in October 2023. ©ELINOR CARUCCI.

People Magazine spoke with Lauri Hornik and her daughter Ruby for an article titled , “A Mother’s Mission: I Want Kids to See They Aren’t Alone.” In the article by Eileen Finan and Diane Herbst, Hornik talks about why Rocky Pond Books is dedicated to discovering and publishing books that feature characters coping with anxiety and grief, but that are also hopeful. “That’s big for me,” says Hornik. “My experience with Ruby made me realize that there are books that are needed and that don’t exist yet. And I have the ability to do that.”

The four-page article highlights three recent Rocky Pond titles:

Publisher & Mom Lauri Hornik: These Books Can Help Kids Cope with Mental Illness.

  • WHERE TO START: A Survival Guide to Anxiety, Depression and Other Mental Health Challenges by Mental Health America; illustrated by Gemma Correll (Rocky Pond Books; on sale 4/11/23; Ages 12 up)
  • THE NIGHT FOX by Ashley Wilda (Rocky Pond Books; on sale 10/10/23; Ages 12 up)
  • ARE YOU MAD AT ME? by Tyler and Cody Feder (Rocky Pond Books; on sale 9/5/23; Ages 5-8)

As of today, Rocky Pond Books has published over twenty titles, and you can see some of Lauri’s suggestions here. 2024 will bring 30 more titles!

Posted: November 7, 2023