The Unlikely Hero of Room 13b

UnlikelyHeroAs a STARRED SLJ review for THE UNLIKELY HERO OF ROOM 13b by Teresa Toten says, “Hazel and Augustus need to move over because Batman and Robyn are about to take their place in the annals of YA literary romantic couples.” Here’s the full, awe-struck review:


Toten, Teresa. Delacorte. 2015.. ISBN 9780553507867.

Gr 8 Up-Hazel and Augustus need to move over because Batman and Robyn are about to take their place in the annals of YA literary romantic couples. The two teens meet in a group setting for those afflicted by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Adam Ross, aka Batman, has severe OCD that is debilitating at times. He is intimidated when he joins a weekly group because most of the members are a bit older than him; there also is a girl who he finds irresistible. Each group member takes on a superhero persona for sessions at the urging of their psychologist. Adam chooses Batman, and is floored when his crush Robyn chooses Robin in order to be his sidekick. Adam has a knack for helping others who struggle with their own issues, including his half-brother, Sweetie, who has regular meltdowns; his mother, who is a hoarder; and his best friend, Ben, who has a weight problem. Unfortunately, he is so consumed with his own counting, tapping, and difficulties entering thresholds that he does not realize his gifts. Through Adam, Toten examines the trials and tribulations of OCD head on, but Adam also deals with the usual teenage problems of love, friendships, school, and divorced parents. Readers will relate to Adam’s anxieties and root for him as his relationship with Robyn develops. VERDICT This is a definite next-read for teens who loved John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012) and Cammie McGovern’s Say What You Will (HarperCollins, 2014). —School Library Journal

Praise Keeps Rolling in for THE UNLIKELY HERO OF ROOM 13B!

UnlikelyHeroWinner in Canada of, among other awards, the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature, THE UNLIKELY HERO OF ROOM 13B has been praised by Kirkus in a starred review as “achingly authentic” and “masterful.”

“Readers be warned: Like Augustus Waters before him, Adam Spencer Ross will renew your faith in real-life superheroes and shatter your heart in equal measure.” (

UK reviewers have also fallen for Adam, with The Guardian describing THE UNLIKELY HERO OF ROOM 13B as “impossible to put down.”

“This book made me laugh, cry, think, and kept me coming back for more.” (

World rights available, ex: Canada (Doubleday); US (Delacorte); UK/AUS/NZ (Walker); Germany (Random House); Brazil (Bertrand); The Netherlands (Gottmer); Korea (See & Talk). Agent: Marie Campbell

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Transatlantic is delighted to congratulate Teresa Toten, whose much-lauded novel THE UNLIKELY HERO OF ROOM 13B
(Doubleday, Random House of Canada) is the 2014 winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award: Young Adult/Middle Reader

One of the young jurors captured this outstanding YA book perfectly:

“This book is a must read,” said student jurors in grades 7 and 8. “Adam’s caring makes him a hero. The book is full of real emotion. The excellent humour helps to balance the serious issues.”

The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 and recognize artistic excellence in writing and illustration in English-language Canadian children’s literature.

For more information, please visit the Ontario Arts Foundation website.

Teresa TotenIn 2013 Teresa Toten won her first GG award with THE UNLIKELY HERO OF ROOM 13B, and was previously a GG finalist for her young adult novels ME AND THE BLONDES (2006) and THE GAME (2001). She has a BA and MA in Political Economy from the University of Toronto and has held a number of federal government positions, including at the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security and on the Royal Commission on Conditions of Foreign Service. She was born in Zagreb, Croatia, but left for Canada on that same day. Teresa Toten was raised and currently lives in Toronto, but has also lived in Delhi, Ontario, Montréal, Ottawa and New York.

Teresa has also been the recipient of the following honours:

Governor General’s Award, Children’s Literature 2013
Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award 2014
Canadian Librarian’s Association Honour Book Award 2014
CBC Bookie Award YA Category 2014

Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award 2015
Snow Willow Award 2014
Libris (Young Reader) 2014

Quill & Quire Best of 2013
Ontario Librarian’s Association Best Bets 2013
Winnipeg Public Library Best of the Best 2013
Canadian Children’s Book Centre Starred Best Books of 2014

Rights available:
World ex
Canada (Doubleday Canada)
US (Delacorte/Random House)
Germany (Random House)
The Netherlands (Gottmer)
Brazil (Record)

Represented by Marie Campbell.

Transatlantic Adds New Partners

Transatlantic has completed a company reorganization in which agents Samantha J. Haywood (Canada) and Marie Campbell (Canada) have become shareholding Partners in the company.


Said David Bennett, President, “We are very pleased to have these two excellent agents becoming vested in the company as we move into 2013.”

Samantha Haywood and Marie Campbell were previously appointed to an expanded Board of Directors for the agency in 2011.

Samantha J. Haywood specializes in international publishing and has over 15 years’ Samantha Haywood experience selling primarily Canadian authors at home and abroad for volume publication and film/TV representation.

Samantha represents a diverse and vibrant client list of authors, ranging from award-winning and bestselling fiction (novels and stories) to narrative nonfiction writers (investigative journalists and memoirs) and she has a passion for graphic novels. Samantha handles foreign rights for the independent publisher, Drawn & Quarterly. Samantha launched her client list with the Transatlantic Agency in 2004 after working in the foreign rights departments of Random House of Canada Ltd and Westwood Creative Artists. Samantha works with her colleagues on the adult side of the agency, Shaun Bradley and Meghan Macdonald.

Marie Campbell specializes in representing writers of juvenile and YA fiction.
A former Marie Campbell editor and in-house rights manager, she has worked in London, UK, and in Toronto for more than 20 years. Her writers and clients have received awards recognition from every part of Canada, and internationally, including the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year Award.

Also an instructor in Ryerson University’s Publishing Program, Marie joined the Transatlantic Agency in 2003 and works with her colleagues on the children’s side of the agency, David Bennett, Fiona Kenshole, Amy Tompkins, Patricia Ocampo and Jennifer Starkman.

Governor General’s Award goes to Caroline Pignat!

Transatlantic congratulates Caroline Pignat on winning the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Fiction for her moving and thought-provoking novel Greener Grass (Red Deer Press).

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the collaboration of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada to honour the finest in Canadian literature. Award winning authors receive $25,000 and a specially-bound copy of their book. A total of 1,541 eligible books were submitted across seven categories, then narrowed to a short list of 70.

Said the Selection Jury:
“In Caroline Pignat’s heart-rending story of the Irish potato famine of 1847, a young girl must compromise the values of her Catholic upbringing in order for her family to survive. Told with devastating realism, Greener Grass will touch the hearts and minds of all ages.”

Born in Ireland and raised in Canada, Caroline Pignat graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Religious Studies. After working with children and youth for over fifteen years in roles such as teacher, seminar facilitator, mentor and coach, she began her writing career. In addition to her writing for her novels, her fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children have appeared regularly in Highlights for Children, Guideposts for Kids, Living Faith for Kids, and Clubhouse Magazine.

More information about the Governor General’s Literary Awards can be found at