Member News is a monthly feature on the EasternPennPoints blog. We want to celebrate our Eastern PA SCBWI members’ good news and help spread the word far and wide. Send us your children’s book–related news—book deals, releases, awards, author or illustrator events (signings, launch parties, appearances), etc. If you’d like your news to be included in next month’s column, please email Laura Parnum at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our “Good News Survey” before the 20th of the month.
Here’s some exciting news from our members this month!
Upcoming Publication Annoucement
On June 22, author Hallee Adelman is releasing Way Past Sorry, illustrated by Josep Maria Juli and published by Albert Whitman & Company. Way Past Sorry is the seventh book in Hallee’s Great Big Feelings series, joining 2020 titles Way Past Mad and Way Past Worried (illustrated by Sandra de la Prada), 2021 titles Way Past Jealous and Way Past Sad (illustrated by Karen Wall), and 2022 titles Way Past Lonely and Way Past Afraid (Wall). These Social Emotional Learning picture books help kids explore and manage their feelings, with accompanying lesson plans, activities, and videos available for free at WayPastBooks.com and @WayPastBooks on Instagram. In this latest book, Kat is sorry. Way past sorry. Kat promised to be Sage’s buddy on the class trip, but when it is time to board the bus, Kat sits with someone else. Now Sage is ignoring Kat and won’t talk to her even after she apologizes. Kat is way past sorry, but even best friends make mistakes. Together, can Kat and Sage learn that sorry doesn’t have to last forever and forgiveness is one of the best gifts of friendship? You can learn more about Hallee and her books at https://halleeadelman.com.
Upcoming Publication Announcement
Author Riley Kilmore’s debut middle grade fantasy novel, Shay the Brave, will be published in January 2024 through Wild Ink Publishing. Meet Shay, the manor lord’s youngest—and feistiest—daughter. She wants to cut her hair short and trade her petticoats for britches, but most of all, she wishes the citizens of Oldenshire would stop eating meat. When Da’s hunters return to the fortress one day with a caged pouncer for the Harvest Revel’s “mane” course, wishing is no longer enough! With the help of Alexy, the laundress’s mute son, and Bridger, Da’s retired war horse, Shay uses keen reasoning and mechanical sense (skills learned by spending long hours in Da’s library) to concoct a scheme to set the beast free before it winds up on Da’s holiday spit. In gratitude, the beast, Talí, pledges to repay Shay’s kindness thrice as is customary, but when the fortress falls under siege and he comes to the rescue, it is Talí whom Oldenshire sees as their enemy. Swept into the fray, Shay and Alexy must act quickly before their fortress family and forest friends harm one another. You can follow Riley on social media at @RileyKilmore on Twitter and Riley Kilmore on Facebook.
Author-illustrator Tom Uleau, a.k.a. Mr. Tom, released a coloring book titled Acutely Believable Creatures on May 1. This book is a collection of work from Tom and his associate “The Goblin.” Originally watercolor paintings, each page has been carefully stripped of its color and desperately needs some creative minds to restore them to their full-color glory. So grab your crayons, markers, paints, and pencils, because we’re going on an art adventure. There is something for everyone to color, and pages range from simple character outlines to full scenes in desperate need of pigments. To connect with Tom and shop all of Mr. Tom’s products, go to his Linktree at https://linktr.ee/itsmr.tom.
The novel Grounded, co-authored by Eastern PA SCBWI member Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow along with Aisha Saeed, Huda Al-Marashi, and S.K. Ali, released this month from Abrams (May 9, 2023). When a thunderstorm grounds all flights following a huge Muslim convention, four unlikely kids are thrown together. Feek is stuck babysitting his younger sister, but he’d rather be writing a poem that’s good enough for his dad, a famous poet and rapper. Hanna is intent on finding a lost cat in the airport—and also on avoiding a conversation with her dad about him possibly remarrying. Sami is struggling with his anxiety and worried that he’ll miss the karate tournament that he’s trained so hard for. And Nora has to deal with the pressure of being the daughter of a prominent congresswoman, when all she really wants to do is make fun NokNok videos. These kids don’t seem to have much in common—yet. Told in alternating points of view, Grounded tells the story of one unexpected night that will change these kids forever. Find out more about Jamilah and her books at https://jamilahthewriter.com.
Author Kat Yeh’s newest picture book, Just One Little Light, will release on June 6 from Balzer & Bray/Harperteen with illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault. Just One Little Light is a gorgeous, inspiring picture book about how one simple act can be the beginning of real change. This luminous picture book is a powerful reminder to readers of any age that no matter how dark it may seem, even the smallest glimmer of hope can make a difference. Kat will hold a book launch event at Children’s Book World in Haverford, PA on June 6 at 6:00 p.m. Visit Kat’s website at https://www.katyeh.com.
Author Heather Stigall recently announced the deal for her upcoming picture book, Gilbert and the Ghost for publication in fall 2024 with Beaming Books. Gilbert and the Ghost is the story of a boy who feels invisible, but finds he’s not the only one as he navigates friendship with a ghost he can’t see. The book will include illustrations by Jess Mason. You can visit Heather’s website at www.HeatherPierceStigall.com and find her social media and other links at https://linktr.ee/heatherstigall.
Author Lorraine Storms, writing as L. Ryan Storms, will be releasing her latest YA fantasy novel Temper the Dark (RaineStorms Press) next month. Servant girl Alaris Kahlanik finds out about her family’s gift the hard way when she discovers her ability to dreamwalk after being condemned to the Cells. With thoughts of escape, she uses her newfound ability to spy on the emperor and his secret search for something important. Nothing the emperor wants could possibly be good for the people he rules, and so whatever the emperor is looking for, Alaris must find first. Throlani Guardsman Kagan Liis has served the Empire since Emperor Patuk’s reign began eight years ago. He can also communicate with a vicious oracle referred to only as the Darkness. When the Darkness tasks Kagan with investigating the servant girl in the Cells, Kagan takes on a special mission that will require more than his usual interrogation methods of brute strength and intimidation. From vastly different echelons of the same tribal society, Alaris and Kagan are surprised to learn they share one important goal—ensuring the best for the people of their island nation. Alaris discovers what the emperor is looking for—a dragon! But warning a senile dragon against impending danger is no easy task. Together, Alaris and Kagan must save a forgetful dragon and a divided nation . . . which may mean giving up any hope of saving themselves. Temper the Dark is available for preorder. You can find preorder links at https://lryanstorms.com/temper-the-dark/
If you have good news to share, please send it to email@example.com to be included in next month’s Member News column or fill out our “Good News Survey.”