Happy book birthday to ELEPHANT SECRET by Eric Walters!

Happy Book Birthday to Eric Walters, whose 100th book, ELEPHANT SECRET, publishes today with Puffin in Canada and Clarion in America!

ELEPHANT SECRET is We Bought a Zoo meets Jurassic Park in a gripping story featuring the evergreen appeal of human-animal friendships and set in an elephant sanctuary, about a thirteen-year-old girl, a cast of elephants, and a surprising new arrival—a woolly mammoth.

Sam was born and raised in an elephant sanctuary. When a beloved elephant dies giving birth, Sam develops a connection with baby Woolly—who isn’t actually an elephant but was cloned from woolly mammoth DNA. And the billionaire genius behind the cloning experiment will stop at nothing to protect his investment. Smart, determined, and loving, Sam stands up to this powerful adversary to protect the sanctuary and her herd. In the best tradition of child-animal friendship stories, ELEPHANT SECRET explores the strong and complex bond between Sam and her elephants while offering a fascinating, authentic glimpse into elephant—and human—behavior.

This middle grade novel has already received fantastic reviews:

“Walters’ depiction of the bond that exists between Sam and her elephants is captivating. The elephants, who are presented as majestic and intelligent creatures with humanlike characteristics and rich emotional lives, will leave readers awestruck.”
-School Library Journal

“Cliffhangers and elephants will keep readers engaged.” -Kirkus

“Walters interweaves his beautiful family story with a thorough description of elephant behavior—their intellect, compassion, and loyalty—and factual scientific possibilities of cloning an extinct species…A must-read for anyone with an interest in elephants and their welfare.” -Booklist

Welcoming Ani Castillo!

We’re extending a warm, Transatlantic welcome to Ani Castillo!

Ani was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. At a young age, she became a successful blogger which gave her the opportunity to work as a cartoonist for Mexican newspapers and TV.

One fateful day, through Myspace, she met her now husband and moved to Canada to live with him. The adventure was thrilling but challenging, since she had to leave her people behind, speak in a new language and re-start her career from scratch. All while becoming a mother, redefining her identity and working hard towards overcoming her social anxiety.

Her work has been published in Mexican and Canadian newspapers and exhibited in galleries around North America. The humanistic nature of her work has opened the doors to partnering with institutions like Mental Health America, Doctors Without Borders and the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Ani is at work on a picture book exploring the nature of giving and receiving in human relationships, a story with beautiful art and philosophy for all ages called PING.

Ani lives in Toronto with her two daughters and her husband. She is co-represented by Samantha Haywood and Amy Tompkins.

Great Book Design Recognized at the Alcuin Society Awards!

At The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, the covers for THE AGONY OF BUN O’KEEFE (Penguin Teen Canada) by Heather Smith, LOST IN SEPTEMBER (Knopf Canada) by Kathleen Winter, and THE ONLY CAFE (Random House Canada) by Linden MacIntyre were recognized as the very best in book design in the prose fiction category! The Alcuin Society Awards is the only national competition for book design in the country, and was judged by Sue Colberg, Shelley Gruendler, and Frank Viva, who had the challenge of choosing the winning titles from 235 submissions, from 10 provinces and 107 publishers. Huge congratulations to Jennifer Griffiths who took home two first prize awards for her work on Heather’s and Kathleen’s novels, and to Terri Nimmo, who won second prize as a designer for Linden’s book!

2017 Winners

Deal News: Nira Paints the Sky in B-Flat by Natasha Deen

Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has acquired #OwnVoices author Natasha Deen’s NIRA PAINTS THE SKY IN B-FLAT, a contemporary, coming-of-age YA story about a Guyanese girl who must find the balance between her parents’ cultural expectations and traditions while pursuing her dream of being a great trumpeter. Publication is scheduled for April 2019. Amy Tompkins at Transatlantic Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.

Deal News: A Good Turn by Monique Polak

World rights to Monique Polak‘s middle grade novel  have been sold to A GOOD TURN to Sarah Harvey and Andrew Wooldridge at Orca Books. The book is the story of a group of children who are interned with their teacher, who is also their Brownie leader or Brown Owl, in China during WW II. The story is told from the point of view of one of the girls, who takes comfort from the routines, songs, and mottos of the Brownies, which their teacher maintains despite the difficult circumstances. It is due to publish in 2019.

Rights were sold on behalf of Monique by Amy Tompkins. Congratulations to Monique!

Deal News: Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta

Sarah Maclachlan at House of Anansi Press has acquired world rights to Columbia MFA grad and Banff Centre alum Zalika Reid-Benta’s debut story collection FRYING PLANTAIN for publication under the Astoria imprint in spring 2019. FRYING PLANTAIN is a series of interconnected stories rooted in the Toronto neighbourhood of Eglinton West and Marlee. The reader follows the protagonist, Kara Davis, who transitions from girlhood to young womanhood during the span of the collection. Artfully dealing with family dysfunction and intergenerational cycles, Reid-Benta uses everyday experiences to explore the conflation of Canadian and Jamaican identity. The deal was arranged by Amy Tompkins.

Solomon’s Ring by Mary Jennifer Payne Publishes with Dundurn Press!

Happy book birthday to Mary Jennifer Payne, whose YA novel SOLOMON’S RING was published on January 6th with Dundurn Press!

In this second book of the Daughters of Light series, the demon-hunted Seers are in a race against time to return a stolen ring. Twin sisters Jade and Jasmine are finally together after a five-year separation, but there’s no time to enjoy the reunion. As Seers, the sisters are being hunted by demons spilling through the rift, and the city is on high alert against terrorist threats. The Protectors at Beaconsfield have gathered as many Seers as possible, as the countries that haven’t been destroyed by climate change are starting to close their borders. On top of it all, Jasmine discovers that someone has stolen a ring with the power to control the demons, and the Final Battle between the Daughters of Light and the forces of darkness is approaching more quickly than anyone predicted.

Canadian Materials called SOLOMON’S RING, and the first book in the series, FINDING JADE, “enjoyable reads for fans of dystopic urban fantasy”.

Mary Jennifer Payne is the author of FINDING JADE, book one in the Daughters of Light Series, the YA novels SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE and ENOUGH, and several YA graphic stories. She lives in Toronto.

Happy Book Birthday to Natasha Deen!

Happy book birthday to Natasha Deen whose YA novel GAME’S END is just out from Great Plains Teen! GAME’S END is the conclusion to the paranormal/mystery/romance Guardian trilogy. Can Lit for Little Canadians has said “if you’re a new reader to the Guardian series, you’ve got three books of robust plotting, clever characters and bright banter ahead of you. Enjoy!”