Random House Children’s Books

RHCB’s Random House Graphic Imprint Announces Inaugural Publishing List

 Random House Graphic (RHG), a new imprint dedicated to publishing graphic novels for kids and teens of every age and interest, fiction and nonfiction, will launch its first list in Spring 2020, it was announced by Gina Gagliano, Publishing Director, Random House Graphic. The list includes four titles of varied genres that span from young chapter books to YA, reflecting the rapidly growing popularity of the format among young readers.  This inaugural list announcement was made in coordination with the launch of the Random House Graphic website, now live at rhkidsgraphic.com.

Random House Graphic believes in the importance and power of comics storytelling, and the central place of visual literature in our world and culture today. The imprint’s mission is to transform the childhood reading experience by making high-quality graphic novels accessible to every type of reader. The imprint is made up of a team of experts in the format, led by Director Gina Gagliano, who came to Random House from First Second Books, and includes Senior Editor Whitney Leopard, previously an Editor at BOOM! Studios, and Designer Patrick Crotty, Co-Founder of Peow. RHG also will have a dedicated Marketing and PR Manager, Nicole Valdez, joining the team in August. The imprint’s debut list includes two middle-grade graphic novels, THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS by Johan Troïanowski and ASTER AND THE ACCIDENTAL MAGIC by Thom Pico and Karensac; the young adult graphic novel WITCHLIGHT by Jessi Zabarsky; and the chapter book graphic novel BUG BOYS by Laura Knetzger. Following the publication of these first four titles, Random House Graphic will publish a contemporary middle-grade by Lucy Knisley, the critically acclaimed, award-winning New York Times bestselling comic creator of Relish and Kid Gloves. Inspired by Knisley’s own childhood, STEPPING STONES follows a young girl forced to move with her mom from the city to a farm in the country, where she eventually gets a new stepfather and stepsisters. Publication is scheduled for May 2020. “Random House Graphic is dedicated to publishing the best in kids and YA graphic novels,” explains Gagliano. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the graphic novel medium—with more readers coming to these stories, and new groundbreaking books being published, the category is expanding by leaps and bounds. We can’t wait to share our contributions to it with readers, booksellers, comic book sellers, educators, librarians, and everyone who loves books and comics.”                       THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS (on sale January 21, 2020) follows a young princess who finds her castle intolerably boring and runs away to find adventure, make friends, and learn more about the fantastical world around her. BUG BOYS (on sale February 11, 2020) is a chapter book that follows two young bugs as they learn about friendship and the science of the world around them. ASTER AND THE ACCIDENTAL MAGIC (on sale March 3, 2020) is an action-packed middle-grade adventure about a girl whose parents move their family to the middle of nowhere. Aster’s new home seems far from exciting, until she figures out that the countryside might have some magic in it. WITCHLIGHT (on sale April 14, 2020) is a queer YA fantasy romance, filled with friendship, family, falling in love, and dealing with the hardest bits of your past along the way. Additional titles to be published by Random House Graphic in 2020 include Kerry and the Knight of the Forest by Andi Watson, Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse, Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee, Crabapple Trouble by Kaeti Vandorn, Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, and Suncatcher by Jose Pimienta. The RH Graphic program expands on the current list of acclaimed graphic novels published by Random House Children’s Books, including series like Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm; 5 Worlds by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel and illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun; and Hilo by Judd Winick, as well as stand-alone titles including The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell. RH Graphic is an imprint of Random House Children’s Books (rhcbooks.com), the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, and nonfiction, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. Visit Random House Graphic online at @RHKidsGraphic | rhkidsgraphic.com

RHCB Sales Rep Kate Sullivan is NEIBA’s 2018 Gilman Award Winner

The New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) has announced that Random House Children’s Books Sales Manager Kate Sullivan has won its 2018 Saul Gilman Award, for outstanding service as a sales representative to New England independent bookstores. Congratulations to Kate on this well-deserved honor.

[caption id="attachment_116570" align="alignright" width="280"] Kate Sullivan with Carl Hiaasen[/caption] In tandem with this recognition, the July 11 edition of NEIBA News leads off with a feature article on Kate that reads, in part: “Kate has always loved books, and was known to spend way too much time in the local library as a child; she even became a library volunteer during Junior High. Her first paying job with books was at Barnes & Noble in downtown Boston, where part of her job was to work with publisher reps on backlist orders, and she eventually became one of them as the NE rep for Pocket Books. After a couple of years she moved to Washington, DC to work for Ballantine Books but discovered that the mid-Atlantic states were a little too warm for a northern girl and moved back to New England. Due to some perfect timing (and Chuck Dresner) she became a rep for the Random House Merchandise Division, later renamed Random House Children's Books, and the rest is history, a 31-year history. “When she's not selling, reading, merchandising, gift wrapping, driving, baking and selling some more, Kate can be found in a big old house in the country with her many rescue cats, inevitably doing a little more baking, gardening, home improving, and quilting. And always, more reading.”  

Our Author Brandon Sanderson Creating New Multi-Media Experience in Partnership with Random House Studio and FMNA

Random House Studio and sister Bertelsmann company FremantleMedia North America are partnering with bestselling Random House Children’s Books fantasy author Brandon Sanderson to create a groundbreaking, multi-media experience. Sanderson’s DARK ONE series will be transformed into a narrative that spans multiple platforms, including the small screen, print, and audiobooks.

DARK ONE is a dramatic fantasy adventure that revolves around a young man who sees visions of a bizarre and outlandish land that turns out to be a real world—one where he is fated to become a ruthless tyrant. Sanderson will be transforming the DARK ONE series into a television drama and graphic novel. He is also creating a supplementary, multi-volume book series for potential publication by Random House Children’s Books that will explore the universe of the DARK ONE beyond the television storyline, and a podcast that will serve as a prequel-like addition to the television adaptation. “I’m used to painting a picture in words,” Sanderson said. “DARK ONE came to life when I freed myself to think of it as a project for actual visual media, with the setting, characters and outline all coming together. I’m excited to be able to partner with FremantleMedia North America and Random House Studio on this for television.” Sanderson was brought together with Random House Studio by Beverly Horowitz, SVP & Publisher, Delacorte, Random House Children’s Books. “Brandon Sanderson is one of the most exciting storytellers within the enormous group of authors published by the Penguin Random House group,” said Peter Gethers, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Random House Studio. “We are thrilled to be working with him to create one of his extraordinary worlds for a television audience for the first time.” Sanderson’s bestselling success features the MISTBORN trilogy, the RECKONERS series, and the STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE collection. He is the recipient of a number of awards, notably the Hugo for his novella, THE EMPEROR’S SOUL. His upcoming book, SKYWARD, will be published by the Delacorte Press imprint of RHCB in November. DARK ONE will be Sanderson’s first original production for television. Random House Studio is part of FremantleMedia North America, the US branch of FremantleMedia, a global force in scripted and non-scripted media content, and a production/distribution subsidiary of Bertelsmann's RTL Group.

RHCB and Dr. Seuss Enterprises Launch #SeussWordChallenge Campaign

In celebration of the newly published DR. SEUSS’S 100 FIRST WORDS, Random House Children’s Books (RHCB) and Dr. Seuss Enterprises (DSE) launched the first-ever Dr. Seuss’s Word Challenge (#SeussWordChallenge) on May 29. With a goal of reading 20 million Dr. Seuss words nationwide, consumers can enter the challenge via Seussville.com and track their progress through July 31.

Participants will have the opportunity to join Word-A-Thon events at local bookstores, complete with reading activities, and enter to win prizes on Seussville.com. Scripps National Spelling Bee and Carnival Cruise Lines are partnering with RHCB and DSE to support the challenge and track words this summer. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is promoting the Word Challenge at the annual national competition held outside Washington, D.C., happening this year May 27–June 1. Events will include a Word-A-Thon, a Dr. Seuss–themed spelling bee to be streamed live on the Bee’s Facebook page, as well as fun activities and special appearances by the Cat in the Hat at the Dr. Seuss Bus that will be on-site. Carnival Cruise Lines is challenging consumers to read the most Dr. Seuss words at sea beginning in early June. Carnival will host two large-scale events promoting the challenge on board, one in June and one in July, and will track the words read on board by guests, adding them to the word widget on Seussville.com. “Teaching children that reading could be fun was a lifelong goal of Ted’s,” says Susan Brandt, President of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. “It’s fitting that this program is taking the form of a challenge, as it was a challenge that inspired him to write The Cat in the Hat! We are so pleased to offer a program that encourages reading in a fun way, while also helping to prevent the summer reading slide.” Penguin Random House employees are not eligible to enter Dr. Seuss’s Word Challenge Sweepstakes, but if you would like to support the challenge and spread the word, please share the #SeussWordChallenge on social media. As a reminder, if you are posting to a personal or other non-PRH account you must include the hashtag #TeamPRH.    

Crown Books for Young Readers to Publish WE SAY #NEVERAGAIN by Parkland Student Journalists This Fall

Edited by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) journalism and broadcasting teachers Melissa Falkowski and Eric Garner, WE SAY #NEVERAGAIN: Reporting from the School That Inspired the Nation, a collection of first-person accounts, richly researched and reported articles, and photographs by and about the students at MSD, will be published by Crown Books for Young Readers on October 2, 2018.

The book will be divided into three parts: Activism, MSD Strong, and What Comes Next, with chapters within each part that include hard-hitting, passionate, and topical writing on activism, recovery, the national response, and most important, the way forward. Through their reporting, essays, and documentary photography and filmmaking, the students detail their thoughts, fears, dreams, and strategies for a better future. Student contributors include Ryan Deitsch, David Hogg, Christy Ma, Nikhita Nikoola, Delaney Tarr, and MSD students from the school newspaper, The Eagle Eye, and the school TV station, WMSD. “Writing this book is empowering the journalism students at MSD to capture their experiences, both positive and negative, since the tragic events that unfolded at our school on February 14,” says Falkowski. “We hope that writing these stories will inspire others to take up issues that are important to them and work toward positive change.” The book will show what it has been like to be in the middle of a swirling controversy that is driving a major public debate—all while recovering from trauma and tragedy. Students will share what they’ve learned about how to articulate their message, mobilize, energize, rally, and make themselves heard so that others can do the same with the issues that they care about. With this publication, Random House Children’s Books will make a donation to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Proceeds will be donated by the contributors to the school journalism programs at MSD. An audio edition will be published simultaneously by Listening Library. Emily Easton, VP, Publisher, Crown, negotiated the deal for North American rights with Rachel Horowitz of The Bent Agency, and will edit.
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RHCB Announces New Kids & Teen Graphic Novel Imprint, to be Led by Gina Gagliano

Random House Children’s Books will launch Random House Graphic, a dedicated graphic novel imprint, with Gina Gagliano hired to lead the imprint as Publishing Director, it was announced by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children’s Books. Gagliano will report to SVP, Associate Publisher, Judith Haut.

Gina Gagliano joins Random House Children’s from First Second Books, where she was one of their first employees upon joining the imprint in 2005. Gagliano was most recently the Associate Director, Marketing & Publicity, and spent thirteen years on the First Second team as the lead on marketing and PR, managing campaigns for bestselling and award-winning creators including Vera Brosgol, Ben Hatke, Faith Erin Hicks, Lucy Knisley, Scott McCloud, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, Tillie Walden, Jen Wang, and Gene Luen Yang, as well as the Reading Without Walls program. [caption id="attachment_112507" align="alignright" width="300"] Gina Gagliano[/caption] Random House Graphic will launch in fall 2019 with titles for children and teenagers and a combination of literary and commercial works. Random House Graphic will hire a team to be solely dedicated to the creation and promotion of the imprint’s titles, and for outreach and advocacy within the industry and direct-to-consumers to increase readership. “It is a truly exciting and important time of growth for comics and graphic novels within the kids market, and we see a distinct opportunity to reach even more readers,” says Haut. “We are thrilled to have Gina, with her creativity, expertise, and passion for the medium, at the helm of our new venture.” The Random House Graphic program will expand on the current list of graphic novel offerings currently published by Random House Children’s Books, including such series as Lucy & Andy Neanderthal by Jeffrey Brown, Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, Rickety Stitch by Ben Costa and James Parks, 5 Worlds by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel, and illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun, and Hilo by Judd Winick, and stand-alone titles including THE CARDBOARD KINGDOM by Chad Sell. “From awards to bestsellers, graphic novels have been advancing from success to success over the past decade. It’s the perfect time to take the next step forward with a kids comics imprint at Random House,” says Gagliano. “I’m excited to be part of building a brighter future for the medium—one where there are comics for every reader, in every home, on everyone’s bookshelves—with Random House Graphic.”

#1 New York Times and Internationally Bestselling Author of THE BOOK THIEF, Markus Zusak, to Publish His Eagerly Awaited Next Novel, BRIDGE OF CLAY, This Fall

BRIDGE OF CLAY, the highly anticipated novel by internationally bestselling and award-winning author Markus Zusak, will be published this Fall, it was announced globally today. On sale October 9, 2018, the book will release with a first printing of 500,000 copies in the U.S., and be published by Alfred A. Knopf, home of Zusak’s THE BOOK THIEF. It will publish simultaneously in Zusak’s native Australia, and in the U.K. two days later. BRIDGE OF CLAY will be edited in the U.S. by Zusak’s longtime editor Erin Clarke. Catherine Drayton of Inkwell Management represents Zusak. 

[caption id="attachment_9944" align="alignright" width="422"] Markus Zusak, in a surprise visit from Australia, presents BRIDGE OF CLAY in-person to the Random House Children’s Books Sales Force[/caption] From the author whose beloved novel THE BOOK THIEF has spent over 500 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list comes BRIDGE OF CLAY, a sweeping family saga chronicling the lives of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run on their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance. At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. A major marketing and publicity campaign will support this landmark publication, featuring a 12-city U.S. author tour and an extensive book club promotion connecting Zusak to groups nationwide selected from a special sweepstakes launching this summer. Zusak will sign a portion of the first print run, and the signed editions will be available for purchase from participating retailers, while supplies last. “Thirteen years is probably long enough between books, but BRIDGE OF CLAY was never meant to be easy. It’s a boy in search of a miracle, and that’s how I feel about finishing,” says Zusak. “Every book we write means something to us, but sometimes it comes to mean everything—and BRIDGE OF CLAY, for me, is that latter type: the book you have to fight for, but is all the more rewarding. I hope readers will enjoy spending time with the Dunbar boys, and all their raucous habits—but it’s Clay I feel for most, and his attempt to build that bridge of his, and find a way back home.” “Like its predecessor THE BOOK THIEF, Markus’s new book has a broad literary appeal that defies categorization,” says Clarke. “An epic family saga, told in beautifully inventive language and bursting with heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is signature Zusak.” BRIDGE OF CLAY will be published in hardcover and ebook, and will be available as an audiobook from Listening Library in both download and CD formats. [caption id="attachment_9943" align="alignright" width="422"] (left to right) Judith Haut, SVP & Associate Publisher, RHCB; Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, RHCB; Markus Zusak; Erin Clarke, Executive Editor, Knopf BFYR[/caption] Zusak is best known for his extraordinarily novel THE BOOK THIEF, which has sold 16 million copies worldwide, is published in 42 foreign language territories, and has spent over 500 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Originally published in March 2006, the novel received glowing praise and numerous awards, including a Michael L. Printz Honor from the American Library Association and the Sydney Taylor Book Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries. THE BOOK THIEF has since gone on to become a book selection of community reads programs across the country and was released as a major motion picture in 2013. Zusak’s other internationally bestselling works include I Am the Messenger, a Printz Honor Book and Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist; The Underdog; Fighting Ruben Wolfe; and Getting the Girl. Zusak lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children. Markus is available for select appearances via the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. Follow Markus on Facebook/MarkusZusak and Instagram @markuszusak.

Our Books on the 2018 Rainbow List

The Rainbow Book List Committee has announced its 2018 Rainbow Book List, recognizing books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, for youth and children 18 and under.  This year’s Rainbow Book List includes five titles published by Penguin Random House imprints, and one title published by a Penguin Random House Publisher Services client: 

Middle Grade Fiction FELIX YZ by Lisa Bunker (Viking Books for Young Readers) Young Adult Fiction ASHES TO ASHEVILLE by Sarah Dooley (Putnam Books for Young Readers) WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour (Dutton Books for Young Readers) 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE by Carrie Mac (Knopf Books for Young Readers) PERFECT TEN by L. Phillips (Viking Books for Young Readers) HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen, a PRHPS client publisher) View the complete 2018 Rainbow List here.

WWE Champion and Global Celebrity John Cena to Make Publishing Debut with RHCB

Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, will publish a line of books written by globally beloved WWE champion, movie star, multi-talented entertainer, and philanthropist John Cena. The acquisition was announced today by Mallory Loehr, Senior Vice President, Publisher, Random House Books for Young Readers Group. Worldwide publishing rights were acquired from Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners.  

Inspired by John Cena’s own experiences growing up with four brothers, the books feature a hilarious family of monster trucks and promote values of perseverance and believing in oneself—which are central to Cena’s personal life credo. The first to launch will be the ELBOW GREASE picture book this fall on October 9, with a first printing of 250,000. Readers are introduced to a little monster truck with a big problem—he is smaller than his four brothers, but on a mission to prove that he has the guts, grit, and gumption to do big things. Howard McWilliam (I Need My Monster) will illustrate. Full of high-octane images and a new character to cheer for, Cena’s debut is a fun and fast-paced book that proves to kids that a little Elbow Grease can go a long way. “With ELBOW GREASE and the books to follow, I want to offer kids a fun and engaging way to learn about the power of ambition, dedication, and heart,” says Cena. “These concepts have been transformative in my life, from my childhood up to now, and it’s so important to me to pass the positivity on and help our youngest generation see that right mindset is key to achievement. [caption id="attachment_9407" align="alignright" width="257"] John Cena[/caption] Following the picture book release will be a full range of multi-format books, including board, Step into Reading early readers, and novelty formats, all featuring Elbow Grease and his boisterous brothers: Pinball, Flash, Crash, and Tank. “We are beyond thrilled to have John Cena and Elbow Grease at Random House to inspire kids—and grown-ups!—to never give up and to be true to themselves,” says Loehr. “The character Elbow Grease has John’s sense of humor and scrappiness, so our books will be lots of fun for children as well as imparting valuable lessons that parents and teachers will appreciate and love.” The book launch and program will be supported by an extensive national marketing and publicity campaign. Follow #ALittleElbowGrease and connect with John Cena via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @JohnCena. Cena is best known as the face of the WWE, where he is a 16-time world champion, as well as an actor and television personality. His most recent films include Ferdinand (2017) and Daddy’s Home 2 (2017). In 2018, he will appear in the upcoming Transformers spin-off Bumblebee and voice a role in Nickelodeon’s new Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, and he will host the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for the second year in a row. Howard McWilliam is the illustrator of eight picture books. His first, I Need My Monster, won seven state young readers’ prizes and has been translated into five languages. His other works include the popular What if You Had series; Hey, That’s My Monster; Schmelf the Hanukkah Elf; and When a Dragon Moves In.

Today Everyone is Reading RHCB’s QUACKERS for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record

Random House Children’s Books is the official publisher for today’s Read for the Record and QUACKERS, written and illustrated by first-time author Liz Wong,  published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, is this year’s book choice.  Jumpstart’s 12th annual RFTR campaign is a national effort to raise awareness about the need for high-quality early learning for all children while also raising funds to support the important work Jumpstart does in communities across the United States.  Children and adults across the country are gathering together to celebrate Read for the Record Day by reading QUACKERS and attempting to beat the world record for most people reading the same book at the same time.   

Liz Wong’s debut picture book features a kitten who grows up thinking it is a duck and highlights themes that are sure to resonate with young children everywhere, such as acceptance, fitting in, and embracing our differences. Random House Children’s Books President and Publisher Barbara Marcus said, “We are so excited that QUACKERS by Liz Wong has been selected by Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. It is a perfect book to read together, and one that celebrates acceptance, inclusion, and friendship. We have seen firsthand the incredible impact this initiative has on children, classrooms, and communities. We look forward to partnering with Jumpstart again and reaching even more young readers together to inspire a lifelong love of books and reading.”  Since 2006, this 24-hour celebration has mobilized over 17 million people in support of early education and literacy, including celebrity ambassadors such as Josh Duhamel, Bridget Moynahan, LL Cool J, Maya Angelou, Mandy Moore, Julianna Margulies, and more. A limited number of special-edition copies of QUACKERS are being sold exclusively by Jumpstart. Special editions are available in paperback in both English and Spanish and feature reading tips, vocabulary words, reading comprehension questions, and activity guides developed by Jumpstart’s team of early education experts. All proceeds help bring Jumpstart’s program to preschool children in under-resourced communities across the country. “Read for the Record highlights the invaluable connections and learning gains that are made when caring adults, be it parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, or mentors, read with young children,” explains Naila Bolus, President and CEO of Jumpstart. “QUACKERS is a wonderful story of self-identity, trying new things, and being whoever you want to be. I can think of no better way to celebrate Jumpstart’s mission and Read for the Record than with this inspiring and uplifting story.”  To learn more about Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, visit readfortherecord.org.