Member News — October 2021

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 before November 20, or fill out our “Good News Survey.”

Here’s some exciting news from our members this month:

Book Deal Announcements

Author Dana Kramaroff recently announced that her middle grade novel Do More was acquired by Lauri Hornik at Dial in a preempt. The novel tells the story of 12-year-old Josh, who keeps his Jewish identity a secret at his new middle school. But when someone sprays swastikas and graffiti all over the school, and then Josh’s synagogue, he forms the “Do More” club to try to counteract hate. Publication is planned for fall 2023. Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency represented Dana in a two-book deal for North American rights.

Author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow recently announced a deal for a middle grade book, Grounded, in collaboration with authors S.K. Ali, Huda Al-Marashi, and Aisha Saeed. The novel is pitched as The Breakfast Club meets Hello Universe, about four unlikely kids who meet at the airport when their flights get grounded, changing their lives forever. Publication is set for spring 2023. Erika Finkel at Abrams/Amulet acquired the book at auction in a six-figure deal for world English rights. Jamilah was represented by Essie White of Storm Literary.

Author Ellen Ramsey recently announced that her picture book A Book for Bear was acquired by Cheryl Eissing at Flamingo Books. This picture book, to be illustrated by MacKenzie Haley, tells the story of Bear, who, with help from his friend Ellen, tries imaginative disguises in his quest for a book of his very own. Publication is slated for summer of 2023. Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author in an exclusive submission.

Award Announcement

Grandma Lisa’s Humming, Buzzing, Chirping Garden, by Lisa Doseff

Grandma Lisa’s Humming, Buzzing, Chirping Garden (Pollination Press, 2021), by Lisa Doseff was recently awarded the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Bronze Medal for Environmental Issues. In this book, Join Grandma Lisa as she enlists the enthusiastic help of her grandchildren in transforming her yard into an attractive garden for wildlife. Along the way she explains why planting native species is so important and allays the children’s fear of insects by lovingly showing them how these critters are so essential to our world. The family revels in working together, adding plants and other elements to the garden necessary to support a variety of wildlife. As the yard begins to teem with animals, the children are simply enthralled and delighted by the sights, sounds, and mere presence of nature found in Grandma Lisa’s garden! Told in rhyme, children will enjoy learning about important concepts such as host plants, compost, food webs, and so much more.

Agent Signing Announcement

Our Eastern PA SCBWI Critique Group Coordinator and Meet & Greet Coordinator, Heather Stigall, recently signed with literary agent Beth Marshea at Ladderbird Literary Agency. Wishing you both a wonderful partnership!

Book Releases

A Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers

Alison Green Myers released her debut middle grade novel, A Bird Will Soar (Dutton Books for Young Readers), on October 19. The book is a heartfelt and hopeful story about a bird-loving autistic child whose family’s special nest is in danger of falling apart: Axel knows that his mother is like an osprey—the best of all bird mothers—but it’s hard to remember that when she is worrying and keeping secrets. His father, who is more like a wild turkey, comes and goes as he pleases. Still, Axel loves the time he spends with his friends observing the eagles’ nest in the woods near his home. When a tornado damages not only Axel’s home but the eagles’ nest, Axel’s life is thrown into chaos. But Axel knows an important fact: An eagle’s instincts let it soar. Axel must trust his own instincts to help heal his family and the nest he loves.

Miosotis Flores Never Forgets by Hilda Eunice Burgos

Hilda Eunice Burgos released her second middle grade novel, Miosotis Flores Never Forgets (Tu Books) on October 26. Perfect for fans of Meg Medina and Barbara O’Connor, this heartfelt novel about family, pets, and other things we hold close is one that you’ll never forget. Miosotis Flores is excited about three things; fostering rescue dogs, goofy horror movies, and her sister Amarilis’s upcoming wedding. But her papi wants her to care about school more than anything else, so they strike a deal—if Miosotis improves her grades in two classes, she can adopt a dog of her own in the summer. Miosotis dives into her schoolwork, and into nurturing a fearful little pup called Freckles. Could he become her forever dog? At the same time, she notices Amarilis behaving strangely—wearing thick clothes in springtime, dropping her friends in favor of her fiancé, even avoiding Miosotis and the rest of their family. When Miosotis finally discovers her sister’s secret, she faces some difficult choices. What do you do if someone is in danger but doesn’t want your help? When should you ask for support, and when should you try to handle things on your own? What ultimately matters most: what Miosotis wants, or what’s right for the ones she loves?

Blue by L.E. DeLano

Author L.E. DeLano released her latest YA novel, Blue (Gaze Publishing), on October 26. When Blue Mancini’s mother picked her name, it ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. A year ago, Blue’s brother, Jack, was involved in a car accident that killed the father of her classmate Maya Rodriguez. Luckily for Jack, he got out of a manslaughter charge and into a plea bargain thanks to the top-notch lawyer hired by Blue’s wealthy parents. The fallout is now affecting Blue as Maya returns to school determined to carve out a pound of flesh from the only member of the Mancini family she can reach. On top of that, Blue has a demanding mother, a father who’s never around, a drama-addicted best friend, and a secretive new guy who’s determined to make Blue his own personal cheer-up project. It’s a perfect storm of misery. When Maya’s social media taunts and in-person digs finally push Blue to retaliate, they find themselves in afterschool detention and forced into a project meant to foster cooperation and civility. As the layers of their tangled drama unravel, Blue learns more about Maya’s life—and her own sense of privilege—when secrets are revealed that cast a new perspective on everything in Blue’s world.

Conference Appearances

Several members from our regions will be presenting at the annual conference for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) in Philadelphia in March 2022. Alison Green Myers, Katey Howes, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, and Alexandra Villasante, along with Meera Treehan, will be presenting “Writing to Center and Empower Children Outside the Mainstream.” Presentation description: Children’s authors have the privilege and responsibility to tell stories that matter. These panelists write stories that share the lived experiences of children and teens outside the mainstream, narratives that transcend marginalizations—not by erasing them, but by embracing them. In centering outsiders, these authors honor the craft of story and the art of humanity. This panel highlights the motivations, challenges, craft, and artistry that contribute to the creation and success of their books. Alexandra Villasante will also be part of a presentation called “Multitudes: Writing Intersecting Identities in Short Fiction” along with Eric Smith, Mia García, Katherine Locke, and Emily X. R. Pan. Presentation description: Short form fiction has an important part to play in children’s literature—particularly when it can highlight the intersecting identities that make up the reality of our world. A diverse panel of authors writing for children across age groups will discuss the impact that short fiction can have on readers and how learning how to write short fiction can deepen and improve craft. AWP 2022 conference information can be found here. Did we miss any other member presenters? Let us know!

Forthcoming Book Announcement and Cover Reveal

Scrumptious by Jennie K. Brown

Author Jennie K. Brown recently announced her forthcoming middle grade novel, Scrumptious (Snowy Wings Publishing), with an adorable cover designed by Jennie herself. In the book, twelve-year-old Petunia Fair spends her free time cooking meals from her Grammy Joanne’s recipe book and watching her favorite reality cooking show, Chef Extraordinaire. When Petunia’s idol, the world-renowned Chef Jordan Ramikin, announces that the first round of his newest culinary competition, Chef Extraordinaire, Junior, will take place in her home town of Bakerton, Pennsylvania, Petunia’s dreams of having a cookbook and restaurant of her very own may be closer than she thinks. All she has to do is do what she does best—cook. Easy as apple pie, right?! But in order for her dreams to come true, she’ll need to out-chef not only the snotty Bianca Friday (who just so happens to be the daughter of her dad’s new “lady friend”), but also Luke Paring (Petunia’s super cute and super talented crush), all while coming to terms with the death of her greatest culinary inspiration of all—her Grammy Joanne. Scrumptious is due to release in March 2022.

SCBWI’s Recommended Reading List—October 2021

Traveler by L.E. DeLano

SCBWI’s October Recommended Reading List features one creator from our Eastern PA region. Each month, SCBWI features books written and illustrated by our members, and every month highlights a new theme that will foster discussions, activities, and enjoyment. October’s list celebrates people with disabilities. On this list, you will find a range of inspiring fiction and nonfiction stories about people who are blind, autistic, deaf, physically disabled, learning disabled and more. This month’s list features Traveler by L.E. DeLano.

If you have good news to share, please send it to to be included in next month’s Member News column or fill out our “Good News Survey.”

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1 Response to Member News — October 2021

  1. Chrissa Pedersen says:

    What a wonderful array of talent! Congratulations everyone 🙂

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