Dial Books for Young Readers

Nancy Mercado Named Associate Publisher and Editorial Director, Dial Books for Young Readers

Lauri Hornik, President and Publisher of Dial Books for Young Readers, has announced that Nancy Mercado will join Dial as Associate Publisher and Editorial Director, reporting to her effective April 9, 2018.  Ms. Mercado will work closely with Ms. Hornik in overseeing the acquisition and development of Dial’s list in addition to editing her own projects and supervising Dial editors.  Ms. Mercado was previously Editorial Director at Scholastic, where she managed a team of editors and oversaw and edited chapter books, middle grade and YA novels. Over the years Nancy’s had the good fortune of editing books by Paul Acampora, Cecil Castellucci, Veronica Chambers, Tommy Greenwald, Paul Griffin, Steve Kluger, Diana López, Jennifer Mathieu, Caragh O’Brien, Peter Raymundo, Kevin Sherry, Isabel Quintero, Lauren Tarshis, Taeeun Yoo, and many others. 

[caption id="attachment_10221" align="alignright" width="238"] Nancy Mercado[/caption] Lauri Hornik said, “I'm so happy to welcome Nancy back to Dial. Her earlier contributions influenced our list and our office culture in a meaningful and enduring way, and I'm excited to have the chance to work with her again and to partner with her in fulfilling Dial’s mission to publish children’s books that are heartwarming beauties, conversation starters, and much-needed mirrors.” Nancy Mercado said, “I’m thrilled to return to Penguin and join forces with Lauri Hornik, Lily Malcom, and the dynamic team of editors and designers at Dial Books for Young Readers. I learned most everything I know about editing and publishing from my early years at Dial, and it’s a true delight to come back and to support and continue their long tradition of making books that will have a lasting impact on the canon of children’s literature.” Dial Books for Young Readers, established in 1961, is a hardcover division publishing approximately 65 titles a year for children of all ages. One of the first houses to publish high-quality board books and an early leader in multicultural publishing, Dial continues to focus on books that combine artistic excellence and kid-relevance. Its list of acclaimed authors and illustrators includes Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Newbery Honor-winning author of The War That Saved My Life), Victoria Jamieson (Newbery Honor-winning author of Roller Girl), Jandy Nelson (Printz Award-winning author of I'll Give You the Sun), Marilyn Nelson (Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of How I Discovered Poetry), Jerry Pinkney (six-time Caldecott Medal- and Honor-winner), B.J. Novak (New York Times bestselling author of The Book With No Pictures), Junot Diaz and Leo Espinoza (award-winning creators of Islandborn), and Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri (New York Times bestselling creators of Dragons Love Tacos).

Junot Díaz Celebrates Diversity, Immigration and Imagination

Our new Igloo Book Buzz selection is ISLANDBORN (Dial Books for Young Readers), a debut picture book from Junot Díaz, the New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer prize-winning author of THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO and THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER.  Illustrated by Leo Espinosa, ISLANDBORN celebrates cultural diversity in America and our imagination’s boundless ability to connect us – to our families, to our past and to ourselves. LOLA, a Spanish-language edition of ISLANDBORN, is being published simultaneously in the U.S. and Canada. 

[caption id="attachment_9933" align="alignright" width="202"] Junot Díaz Photo: © Nina Subin[/caption] “Every kid in Lola's school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places.” So when Lola's teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can't remember The Island – she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories – joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening – Lola's imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island.  As she draws closer to the heart of her family's story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela's words: "Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you." [caption id="attachment_9934" align="alignleft" width="213"] Namrata Tripathi[/caption] “Immigrant communities don’t get enough books and they certainly don’t get enough love and I hope ISLANDBORN will be both,” says Junot Díaz.  “On the face ISLANDBORN tells of a girl’s journey of discovery but it's also a celebration of the kind of imaginaries that we immigrants have often needed to makehomes for ourselves where previously there were none.  When your life is scattered over multiple worlds a strong imagination is a straight-up necessity.”   “All readers deserve to see their stories reflected on the page,” says Namrata Tripathi, Editorial Director, Dial Books for Young Readers. “Junot Díaz’s debut picture book is a gift to the many readers whose lives cross borders and Leo Espinosa’s exuberant art reflects how ISLANDBORN is truly a celebration of their stories. Dial is incredibly proud to publish this book and I hope it will be cherished across many generations in many families.” Junot discusses the book in this video, filmed at a recent visit to P.S./I.S. 218 Rafael Hernandez Dual Language School in the Bronx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHtJn4NqqGE& There is a tremendous buzz and excitement around ISLANDBORN. The book has already received three starred reviews. Publishers Weekly raves, “Beautifully nuanced and instantly comprehensible… With his tenacious, curious heroine and a voice that’s chatty, passionate, wise, and loving, Díaz entices readers to think about a fundamental human question: what does it mean to belong?” School Library Journal  calls the book “A sensitive and beautiful story of culture, identity, and belonging—a superb picture book outing for Díaz and one to be shared broadly in a variety of settings.” Junot will visit schools, bookstores and libraries across the country this March and April as part of an 18-city national tour to promote ISLANDBORN. Media attention includes appearances on NPR Morning Edition, CBS This Morning,  The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and NPR Latino. The book will also be featured in People, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, People en Espanol, Parents Latina, and The Boston Globe, among other outlets.