Keeping Up with the Sweet Sixteens

Elly Swartz and Victoria J. Coe have launched a new web series, Books in the Kitchen. In the first two chapters, the authors whip up treats inspired by their books Smart Cookie and Fenway and Hattie while dishing about their characters, sharing secrets, and having way too much fun. Check out the web series HERE.



Lygia Day Penaflor’s second YA novel All of This is True has received a starred review from Kirkus. Look for it on May 15, 2018 from Harper Teen.








Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

Congratulations to Kim Savage, whose Beautiful Broken Girls was named one of Kirkus’s Top Ten Contemporary YAs of 2017.

The rights to Kim’s upcoming book, In Her Skin (releasing 4/17/18), have been sold to Amazon Studios for a TV series. Sean Berard at APA Agency brokered the deal.







It’s a cover reveal for Christian McKay Heidicker’s forthcoming novel, Throw Your Arm Across Your Eyes and Scream!  The book is due out September 11, 2018. Read more about it here.



Educator & Discussion Guides from the Sweet Sixteens

Whether you’re a teacher looking for curriculum connections or a book club organizer looking for a new selection with ready-made discussion questions, we have the resources for you! The links below provide direct, free (!!!) access to educator’s guides and discussion questions for a variety of middle grade and young adult titles, all published in 2016.

Middle Grade:

 BFF Bucket List

The BFF Bucket List by Dee Romito






Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin






The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop






Earth Force Rising (Bounders 1), The Tundra Trials (Bounders 2) by Monica Tesler






Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe




Finding Perfect Cover


Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz






From The Grave by Cynthia Reeg




Howard Wallace


Howard Wallace, P.I. by Casey Lyall






I Am Drums by Mike Grosso




Last Cherry Blossom_cover (1) (1) (2)


The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw






The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan




PBJ Society


The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society by Janet Sumner Johnson






The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez by Robin Yardi






Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway






Motley Education by S.A. Larsen




Lois Sepahban (PAPER WISHES)


Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban






The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder






The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari





Young Adult:



Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer [second page]






My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul




Phantom Limbs


Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner






Underwater: A Novel by Marisa Reichardt






The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

The Sweet Sixteens at the NCTE Annual Convention



Many of our members will be on hand at the NCTE/ALAN Annual Convention this weekend in Atlanta!  Here’s where to find them:

Friday, November 18

9:30 AM:

  • Cheryl Blackford will appear on the “Engaging the Muse: Advocating for Creative Thinking in the Common Core Classroom” panel with Anne Nesbet, Tracey Baptiste, Laura Gary, Jennifer Ziegler, and Terra Elan McVoy

11:00 AM:

  • Jennie Brown will present “Teachers Who Write: Finding the Teach, Write, Life Balance” (B311)

12:30 PM:

  • Tara Sim will appear on the “Diverse Voices in Historical YA” panel

2:00 PM:

  • Cheryl Blackford will be signing LIZZIE AND THE LOST BABY at the HMH booth

4:00 PM:

  • Victoria J. Coe will be signing FENWAY AND HATTIE at the Penguin booth
  • Elly Swartz will appear on the “Bibliotherapy: Advocacy on the Page and in the Classroom” panel with Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Anne Nesbet, Erin Moulton. Kari Ann Holt, moderated by Paul Hankins (B407)


Saturday, November 19

8:00 AM:

  • Tara Sim will appear on the “Making Space for Advocacy in YA Speculative Fiction” panel

9:30 AM:

  • Elly Swartz will be signing FINDING PERFECT at the MCPG booth.
  • Alison Umminger will be signing AMERICAN GIRLS at the Macmillan booth.
  • Laura Shovan will be appearing on the “Writing for a Better World: Poetry Response to World Events” panel with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Irene Latham, Margarita Engle, and Tara Smith (B210)

2:45 PM:

  • Audrey Coulthurst and Tara Sim will appear on the “Authors Exploring Diverse Perspectives in the Classroom” panel (A404)

4:00 PM:

  • Laura Shovan will be signing THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY at the SCBWI Southern Breeze Signing (A411)
  • Tara Sim will be signing TIMEKEEPER at the Sky Pony Booth (#236)


Sunday, November 20

9:00 AM:

  • Laura Shovan will be signing THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY at the Random House booth (#412)

10:00 AM:

  • Sarah S. Reida will be signing MONSTERVILLE: A LISSA BLACK PRODUCTION at the Sky Pony Booth (#236).

12:00 Noon:

  • Victoria J. Coe and Laura Shovan will present “Writing Strategies for Teaching Empathy Through POV” with Cheryl Lawton Malone (A310)


Monday, November 21

9:20 AM:
  • Amber Smith, author of THE WAY I USED TO BE, will be appearing on the panel, “Rape and Healing” with Laurie Halse Anderson and E. K. Johnston. Chaired by Ricki Ginsberg. (B312-B314)

Printable Release Calendar for October!

Here’s our handy printable release calendar to help you keep track of all the sweet October debuts coming at you soon!

Click here for the October 2016 calendar in .pdf format.



Thanks to our printable calendar team: Sarah Alexander,  Jenn Nguyen, Dee Romito, Shari Schwarz, Kathy MacMillan, Randi Pink and Ava Jae!











Meet the Author: Elly Swartz

Elly SwartzElly Swartz is a middle-grade author, but that’s not the whole story. She’s been a Sesame Place ride operator, messenger, legal author, lawyer, business owner, and college essay adviser. To that add, mom of two amazing sons (19 and 22, yikes!) and wife to one great guy. Recently, the fortune in her Bazooka Joe gum read, “You have the ability to become outstanding in literature.” Elly continues to find inspiration in the most unexpected places!

In Elly’s middle-grade novel, FINDING PERFECT (Macmillan/Farrar Straus and Giroux, Oct. 18, 2016), when twelve-year-old Molly’s mom, aka The Juice Lady, leaves the family to take a job in Canada, Molly tries to deal with her out of control world by organizing, counting, and ultimately, winning her middle school’s slam poetry competition.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: Judy Blume, ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT’S ME MARGARET?
  • Childhood aspiration: To be a doctor (until she realized she faints at the sight of blood)
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: The early morning at her desk with her coffee and her puppy beagle, Lucy, sleeping next to her.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: Tara Dairman, ALL FOUR STARS/ Jeanne Ryan, NERVE.
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Anything with her family, hike, run, work on crossword puzzles, cook, walk Lucy
  • Favorite sports teams: Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox
  • Surprising personal fact: When she was little, all she ate were hotdogs with yellow mustard and black olives!
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Everything! And, she gets a year and a half to enjoy the anticipation.

Where to find her:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Debut Club: An interview with Heather W. Petty, author of LOCK & MORI

Sweet Sixteener Elly Swartz recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Heather W. Petty about her debut YA detective mystery, LOCK & MORI (September 15, 2015 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers).

About the Author: 
Heather Petty pic

Heather Petty has been obsessed with mysteries since she was twelve, which is when she decided that stories about murders in London drawing rooms and English seaside villages were far superior to all other stories. Lock & Mori is her first novel. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, daughter, and four hopelessly devious cats.

You can visit Heather on her website, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Facebook, and Pinterest.




Front Cover 012015 - Lock and Mori

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students, one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty, meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart. Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more.

LOCK & MORI is available for purchase at Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Powell’s, and  IndieBound.




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