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 email@example.com before April 20, or fill out our “Good News Survey.”
Here’s some exciting news from our members this month:
Author Jennie K. Brown recently released her middle grade novel, Scrumptious (Snowy Wings Publishing) on March 1. 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.
Author L.E. DeLano’s latest book, Blue (Gaze Publishing, July 2021), won the Gold Prize in the 2021 Reader Views Literary Awards in the Young Adult Fiction category. It also received Bronze in the Overall Grand Prize for Fiction (chosen from the category winners). In addition, it was named Best Teen/YA Book of the Year in the Reader Views Kids Award category.
About the book: 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.
SCBWI Golden Kite Nominees
Earlier this month SCBWI announced the 2022 Golden Kite Award nominees. The Golden Kites, sponsored by SCBWI, are the most prestigious children’s literary award judged by a jury of peers. The awards recognize excellence in children’s literature in eight categories: Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction Text for Younger Readers, Nonfiction Text for Older Readers, Picture Book Illustration, Illustrated Book for Older Readers, Picture Book Text, and the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor. Eastern PA member Jared Reck was nominated in the Young Adult Fiction category for his book Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love (Knopf Books for Young Readers). In addition, the late Floyd Cooper was nominated in the Illustrated Books for Older Readers category for Sprouting Wings: The True Story of James Herman Banning, the First African American Pilot to Fly Across the United States (Crown Books for Young Readers).
Illustrator Veronica Miller Jamison’s This Is a School (Candlewick, March 29, 2022), written by John Schu, was released this month. A school isn’t just a building; it is all the people who work and learn together. It is a place for discovery and asking questions. A place for sharing, for helping, and for community. It is a place of hope and healing, even when that community can’t be together in the same room. This Is a School is a loving letter to schools and the people that make up the communities.
This spring, author Hallee Adelman is releasing three new picture books published by Albert Whitman & Company. Way Past Lonely and Way Past Afraid (April 1), illustrated by Karen Wall, are the two latest books in Hallee’s Great Big Feelings series, joining 2020 titles Way Past Mad and Way Past Worried (illustrated by Sandra de la Prada) and 2021 titles Way Past Jealous and Way Past Sad (illustrated by Karen Wall). These Social Emotional Learning books help kids explore and manage their feelings, with accompanying lesson plans, activities, and videos available for free at WayPastBooks.com. Hallee is also launching The Strongest Thing (April 4), illustrated by Rea Zhai, a standalone picture book that reminds children of the strength found in love and kindness—and in themselves.
SCBWI Recommended Reading List—March 2022
Each month, SCBWI features books written and illustrated by members from across the globe and every month highlights a new theme that will foster discussions, activities, and enjoyment! March’s list celebrates women, including the book A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Eastern PA SCBWI member Veronica Miller Jamison.