Also published on this date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016: Maximum Shelf: The Railwayman's Wife

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Flatiron Books: The Last One at the Wedding by Jason Rekulak

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

Ace Books: Toto by AJ Hackwith and The Village Library Demon-Hunting Society by CM Waggoner

Webtoon Unscrolled: Age Matters Volume Two by Enjelicious

St. Martin's Press:  How to Think Like Socrates: Ancient Philosophy as a Way of Life in the Modern World  by Donald J Robertson

Hanover Square Press: The Dallergut Dream Department Store (Original) by Miye Lee, Translated by Sandy Joosun Lee

Nosy Crow: Dungeon Runners: Hero Trial by Joe Todd-Stanton and Kieran Larwood

Andrews McMeel Publishing: A Haunted Road Atlas: Next Stop: More Chilling and Gruesome Tales from and That's Why We Drink by Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz


Hachette Buying Perseus's Publishing Operations

Hachette Book Group is buying the publishing operations of Perseus Books Group, a move that will bolster Hachette's nonfiction offerings and backlist. It's a deal that in various forms has been in the making for nearly two years, a simpler version of a complex 2014 deal that fell apart. The deal should close "after regulatory approval is received."

Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch welcomed Perseus staff and authors to Hachette and praised Perseus's "vital and original programs" and the respect it's built among "authors, agents, booksellers and the media." In addition, he called the purchase "a realization of Hachette's continuing plans to grow and to expand our nonfiction and backlist publishing programs. It is especially gratifying to have this new opportunity to join together with Perseus, after coming so close to acquiring the company 18 months ago."

Under that deal, Perseus was to sell the entire company to Hachette, and Hachette was immediately to sell the distribution side of Perseus, which serves some 600 publishers, to Ingram Content Group. Announced in June 2014, the deal fell apart by August. In September 2015, Perseus said it was "exploring" a sale of the company, and this time was using the services of an adviser, Greenhill & Co.

Perseus president and CEO David Steinberger called Hachette "a very good home for our authors and our people. It's so committed to books and authors."

As for Perseus's distribution operations, Steinberger said, "We're in discussions on the sale of that business, and we're making good progress. When we have something specific to announce, we'll communicate it. But right now focused on serving our clients."

Susan Weinberg

Perseus's nine imprints--Avalon Travel, Basic Books, Basic Civitas, Da Capo Press, Da Capo Lifelong Books, PublicAffairs, Running Press, Seal Press and Westview Press--and its partnerships with the Economist, the Nation Institute, Participant Media and the Weinstein Company will become a new publishing division, headed by Susan Weinberg, senior v-p and group publisher at Perseus, who will join Hachette BookGroup's executive management board as senior v-p and publisher of Perseus Books.

Perseus's publishing operations account for about 500 new titles a year, have a backlist of more than 6,000 books and represent sales of about $100 million a year. The imprints are particularly strong in history, science, religion, economics, biography, social criticism, music, popular culture, travel, health, parenting and self help. Among its major titles are Pulitzer Prize winners A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power and Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter as well as Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger, Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, the Rick Steves travel guide series and three books by Nobel Prize winners: Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus, Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee and The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard Feynman.

Perseus Books Group was founded in 1996 by Frank Pearl and grew steadily through a combination of acquisitions and internal growth. Frank Pearl died in 2012. A year ago, Centre Lane Partners took a controlling interest in Perseus.

Hachette Book Group was created exactly 10 years ago this month when Hachette Livre bought the Time Warner Book Group. Its major imprints include Little, Brown, Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, Hachette Books, Hachette Nashville and Hachette Audio as well as distribution operations for companies including Abrams, Chronicle Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Marvel, Peterson's, Phaidon Press, Quarto Publishing Group and Time, Inc. Books. In the past several years, Hachette Book Group has bought the Hyperion adult trade list and Black Dog & Leventhal.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Matt Miller Promoted to COO of Tattered Cover Book Store

Matt Miller has been promoted from general manager to chief operating officer of Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo., effective immediately. At the same time, Margie Keenan, previously financial operations manager, is now chief financial officer; former lead buyer Cathy Langer has been named director of buying; and assistant buyer Stephanie Coleman is now associate frontlist buyer.

Incoming co-owner Len Vlahos commented: "In our first six months here, it has become clear to Kristen and me how important Matt, Margie and Cathy are to the future success of Tattered Cover. While we have specific plans to grow and enhance the stores, we've said from the beginning that our number one goal in taking stewardship of such an iconic business is 'don't screw it up.' Continuing the legacy created by Joyce Meskis starts with making a commitment to the staff that helped build it."

Incoming co-owner Kristen Gilligan Vlahos added: "In some ways, we're acknowledging what already exists. Matt and Margie are functioning--brilliantly, we believe--as COO and CFO respectively. Making a few structural adjustments to those roles also allows us to turn the direct day-to-day management of the buying staff over to Cathy, who is, in our opinion, one of the great book buyers of her generation. We're fortunate to have such a wonderful staff in place."

Miller has been with Tattered Cover for 38 years, working in several capacities as the business grew from a small general bookstore to a large store with four locations. Keenan joined the accounting department of the Tattered Cover in 1994 and, as a member of the senior management team, serves as the manager of financial operations in addition to other related responsibilities. Langer began her bookselling career at the Tattered Cover in 1977, taking on the role of lead buyer in 2007. Coleman has been apprenticing under Langer for the past year while also working as a retail manager at the Tattered Cover location on East Colfax Avenue.

"I was delighted to hear that Len and Kristen wanted to implement these changes and I whole-heartedly support them," said Tattered Cover owner Joyce Meskis. "I have worked alongside Matt, Cathy and Margie in particular for the majority of the time I've owned Tattered Cover. Knowing that they will continue to be part of the leadership team further cements my feeling that the store is in the right hands going forward."

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

BEA Editors' Buzz Panels: The Titles

Three committees of booksellers, librarians and other industry professionals have chosen the authors and books that will be the focus of this year's three BookExpo America editors' buzz panels, which will be supplemented with an Author Stage appearance for the chosen authors. The selected titles are:

Adult editors' buzz panel:
Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge (Nation Books)
Darktown by Thomas Mullen (37 INK)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Grove Atlantic)
Little Deaths by Emma Flint (Hachette)
The Mothers by Brit Bennett (Riverhead)
The Nix by Nathan Hill (Knopf)

YA editors' buzz panel:
Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Flatiron Books)
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (JIMMY Patterson)
Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel (Cinco Puntos Press)
Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer (Dutton Books for Young Readers)
Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor (Dial Books for Young Readers)

Middle Grade editors' buzz panel:
Frazzled by Booki Vivat (HarperCollins Children's Books)
Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley (FSG Books for Young Readers)
The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal (S&S Books for Young Readers)

Igloo Books CEO Styring to Step Down

John Styring will step down from his position as CEO of U.K. publisher Igloo Books at the end of August, nearly two years after his company was acquired by Bonnier Publishing, the Bookseller reported. The search for his replacement has begun.

Noting that it was the right time to "explore other opportunities," Styring said, "Since founding the business in 2004, it has become the leading mass-market publisher in the U.K. I've really enjoyed my time at the helm and I'm thankful for the support of an incredible team."

Bonnier CEO Richard Johnson said he has "tremendous respect for John and will be sad to see him go, but he has built a robust and dynamic business with a very capable and expert team around him."

Obituary Note: Dimitris Tsaloumas

Australian Greek poet Dimitris Tsaloumas, who won a National Book Council award for The Observatory and later the Patrick White award "for a writer deemed not to have been sufficiently recognized," died February 3, the Age reported. He was 94. Tsaloumas wrote in Greek and English, and many of his books were published by the University of Queensland Press. Former UQP general manager Laurie Muller called him "a man of two countries."

A Winter Journey, his most recent book, was published by Owl Publishing, where publisher Helen Nickas said Tsaloumas "was very warm and interested in everything. He was always very political and when he came back from Greece would describe to me the political situation there. But he wasn't divided between the two countries; he loved Australia. But he really wanted to live half the time here and half the time there. His poetry had an epigrammatic​ nature--he wanted to say as much as possible with the least amount of words."

The Age noted that his poem "Prodigal" could have been written about the current crisis in Greece:

It's time for parsimony and circumspection.
I told you before. We're going through
inhuman times. Even the banks will feel the pinch
and already many merchants scour
their dusty books for long-forgotten debts.
Take your children and head for the bush.


Image of the Day: Lifting Up What Lifts You

On Monday night, more than a hundred fans, including artists and bloggers, came to the Chelsea Market in New York City to celebrate the launch of What Lifts You: Uplifting Designs to Color & Create by Kelsey Montague (Harlequin Games), a coloring book by the street artist who's well known for her city murals. Attendees celebrated in the most appropriate way: by coloring from the book. Three of Montague's murals are now on display at the Market through May, when they will be auctioned at the Jed Foundation's annual gala.

Striking Bookstore Designs in Taiwan and China

The redesign of Foyles' flagship London location from classic bookstore to a kind of book-centered cultural experience when it moved in 2014 was a commercial success (Foyles has opened two other such stores so far), but, according to the South China Morning Post, Foyles' redesign was old news in China. Eslite, a Taiwanese bookstore with branches in Hong Kong and mainland China, has been reinventing the bookstore experience since 1989, the paper wrote. Its stores are hip, high-end blends of cafes and reading nooks open 24 hours. "After midnight," said Hong Kong designer Freeman Lau, "you can go to Eslite and see movie stars."

Last year, Eslite took a striking new step, opening the Eslite Hotel in Taipei, where a factory from the Japanese colonial era was transformed into 99 guest rooms and a lobby resembling a library. "You go into the lobby, and feel a sense of privacy--inviting you to sit and read a book quietly," said architect and project manager David Hong. The guest rooms are made of textured brick and polished concrete, traditional materials in Taiwanese homes, and furnished with book selections. A separate bookstore location is next door to the hotel.

In Shenzhen, in China immediately north of Hong Kong, Reading Mi, which also opened last year, is another bookstore that is as much cultural space as a place to shop for books. Only a third of the store's 994-square-meter (10,700-square-feet) location is devoted to books. The rest is a cafe, a children's illustration area, and space for workshops and seminars. "A cylindrical floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with cushioned seating serves as a focal point," said designer Ko Hong. It was inspired in part by the British Museum's library and serves as a draw for social media photos. Reading Mi opened a second location in October 2015, and a third is coming May 2016. It plans to open more stores in Guangdong Province before expanding further into mainland China.

Personnel Changes at Sparkhouse Family

Rachel Zugschwert has joined Sparkhouse Family as director of marketing. Previously, she was marketing manager at Consortium Book Sales & Distribution and at Atria Books.

Ingram Publisher Services to Distribute Aperture

Effective July 30, Ingram Publisher Services will distribute Aperture, the not-for-profit, photography-focused publisher.

Founded in 1952, Aperture, New York City, publishes a quarterly magazine and approximately 30 new books each year, in addition to staging photography exhibitions and prizes and awards. The foundation has appointed Richard Gregg, formerly director of retail sales operations at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Mass., as its new sales director.

"Photography's such an exciting place right now, with so many new enthusiasts and many great opportunities to build our audience," said Chris Boot, Aperture's executive director, in a press release. "Our job is to inspire people to take their interest in photography further, through meaningful and authentic publications, and we believe Ingram is the right partner for us for the next decade.

Said Mark Ouimet, v-p and general manager of IPS: "We admire Aperture for their leading role in connecting the photo community with the most inspiring work and are delighted to welcome them as a client of Ingram Publisher Services."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: the View Looks at Dark Money

NPR's Morning Edition: Timothy Egan, author of The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544272880).
Today Show: Laura Prepon, co-author of The Stash Plan: Your 21-Day Guide to Shed Weight, Feel Great, and Take Charge of Your Health (Touchstone, $26, 9781501123092). She will also appear on Fox & Friends and Entertainment Tonight.

The View: Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385535595).

Movies: The Dark Tower

"After many years, and many attempts, a film version of Stephen King's The Dark Tower is finally getting underway with Idris Elba confirmed as the gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the mystical foe known as the man in black," Entertainment Weekly reported.

"The thing is, it's been a looong trip from the books to the film,” King said. "When you think about it, I started these stories as a senior in college, sitting in a little sh-tty cabin beside the river in Maine, and finally this thing is actually in pre-production now. I'm delighted, and I'm a little bit surprised."

Director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel will start shooting the film in South Africa in seven weeks. Sony Pictures plans to have the movie in theaters January 13, 2017. "What Stephen King does best is mixing the everyday, or what you might call the mundane, with the fantastical," said Arcel. "In my view, [The Dark Tower] novels are a mix between sci-fi and fantasy and modern times. That exact mix is so Stephen King." Arcel will share screenwriting credit with Anders Thomas Jensen, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner.

While the movie will open with the first line from the first book, it actually "starts in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they'll get behind it, because it is the story," King said.

Arcel also spoke about casting Elba as the Gunslinger: "For me, it just clicked. He's such a formidable man. I had to go to Idris and tell him my vision for the entire journey with Roland and the ka-tet. We discussed, who is this character? What's he about? What's his quest? What's his psychology? We tried to figure out if we saw the same guy. And we absolutely had all the same ideas and thoughts. He had a unique vision for who Roland would be."

Books & Authors

Awards: Windham-Campbell; PEN Literary

Winners were announced for the Windham-Campbell Prizes, administered by Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library to honor writers "for their literary achievements or their potential" in fiction, nonfiction and drama. The awards are worth $150,000 to each of the nine winners. Next year, the prizes will expand to include poetry. This year's recipients will gather at Yale in September for an international literary festival celebrating their work. The Windham-Campbell winners are:

Fiction: Tessa Hadley (U.K.), C. E. Morgan (U.S.) & Jerry Pinto (India)
Nonfiction: Hilton Als (U.S.), Stanley Crouch (U.S.) & Helen Garner (Australia)
Drama: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (U.S.), Hannah Moscovitch (Canada) & Abbie Spallen (Ireland)


The PEN American Center announced winners of the 2016 PEN Literary Awards. They will be honored April 11 in New York City at the annual awards ceremony, along with the winners of five awards not announced yet--the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, PEN Open Book Award, and the PEN/FUSION Emerging Writers Prize. This year's PEN Literary Award honorees include:

PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction ($25,000): Toni Morrison
PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction ($25,000): Lisa Ko for The Leavers (forthcoming from Algonquin Books)
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change and Basketball's Lost Triumph by Scott Ellsworth (Little, Brown)
PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): John Schulian
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art by Nancy Princenthal (Thames & Hudson)
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000): A Chemical Distance by Ash Parsons
PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry ($5,000): Ed Roberson
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector, translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson (New Directions)
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa, translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu (Canarium Books)
PEN/Edward & Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature ($3,000): Doce Lunas Llenas: Poesias sobre la Divina Energia Femenina by Nathalia María Echauri Castagnino
PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards: Lynn Nottage (Master American Dramatist), Young Jean Lee (American Playwright in Mid-career), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Emerging American Playwright)

Book Brahmin: Tony Tulathimutte

photo: Lydia White

Tony Tulathimutte is the author of the novel Private Citizens (Morrow, February 9, 2016). He has contributed to N+1, AGNI, Threepenny Review, VICE, Salon, the New Yorker and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Stanford University, he has received an O. Henry Prize, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and the Michener­-Copernicus Society of America Award. He lives in Brooklyn.

On your nightstand now:

Harry Mathews's Cigarettes, a journal with its latest entry terminated midsentence, a lamp, a dust rag and a hot pink Benedryl that I dropped on the floor and am too cheap/lazy to throw out.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, the greatest children's book based on corny wordplay (yes, better than Alice in Wonderland). I compulsively re-read the passages where characters eat numbers, words and letters. An "A" is "quite sweet and delicious--just the way you'd expect an A to taste," whereas an "X" is "like a trunkful of stale air. That's why people hardly ever use them." Subtraction Soup makes you hungrier, presumably to make more room for words. I would sit around thinking up words and their inherent flavors and textures, then I'd imagine crushing into them with huge wolflike teeth. I don't think this foreshadowed my becoming a writer later on, but as with my other favorite, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it was probably one among many reasons why I was so awesomely fat.

Your top five authors:

Jeeps, this is torture. Vladimir Nabokov, Philip Roth, Susan Sontag, David Foster Wallace and (curveball: here it comes) Rumiko Takahashi.

Book you've faked reading:

I would never admit to doing this. But since you asked, I went ahead and faked reading one of the books in this q&a, guess which.

Book you're an evangelist for:

1982, Janine by the Scottish writer Alasdair Gray, a self-described "fat, spectacled, balding, increasingly old Glasgow pedestrian." It takes place in a motel room where a divorced conservative alcoholic attempts to dream up the ultimate sexual fantasy before committing suicide, and instead finds himself reliving his entire life. The latter part of the book contains a hellride that I would not spoil. I'd put it in the water supply if I could.

Runner up is Merritt Tierce's Love Me Back, a book about a young mother working at an upscale Texas steakhouse, finding relief in ecstatic self-destruction. Apply sunscreen before reading.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Most recently Peter Mendelsund's all-white paperback reissue of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, which is finely textured and nubbled, a bit like quilted toilet paper. Of course right after buying it, I took it with me camping, where it got squished in backpacks and bloated with rain, wrecked to the point where I weighed the aesthetic against the practical consequences of using it as actual toilet paper, since I'd forgotten to bring any.

Book you hid from your parents:

Smut printed out from a Usenet newsgroup. Next question.
Book that changed your life:

Mainly to keep from repeating the word Nabokov, I'll just say Georges Bataille's L'Histoire de l'oeil. My older sister and I had both studied French, and when she got to college she tried to gross me out with this discovery of hers, only to end up feeding me some choice vocab. It was a vista of filth I just didn't know was possible and have been striving to achieve in all departments of my life ever since.

Favorite line from a book:

"Copyright © 2016 by Tony Tulathimutte."

Five books you'll never part with:

Melville's Moby-Dick, Nabokov's Lolita, Borges's Ficciones, Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness and Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich, which I read once a year as a booster shot against bourgeois complacency.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine. I remember feeling blindsided when I realized that the entire book was going to consist of aperçus about ice cube trays, shoelaces, escalators, the way a paper bag feels after you've rolled up the top and carried it for a while, etc., and blindsided again when I realized I was enjoying it. I first read it on my commute and work breaks, ideal conditions really.

Three upcoming books that if you don't read, I will personally fight you:

Karan Mahajan's The Association of Small Bombs, a novel set in Delhi about the aftereffects of terrorism, both social and psychological. It's told from the perspective of an exploding bomb, okay? This book will be neither small nor a bomb.

Mauro Javier Cardenas's The Revolutionaries Try Again, an unhinged novel about three childhood friends contemplating a presidential run against the crooked Ecuadorian president Abdalá "El Loco" Bucaram. This is double-black-diamond high modernism, so do some warm-up stretches before you crack this baby.

Jenny Zhang's We Love You Crispina, a collection of linked stories about young Chinese-American girls in New York. It's a paean to the agonizing sacrifices and struggles of immigrant parents fleeing the Cultural Revolution, and I know that that makes it sound like a drag, so let me be clear: this book is like an inhalant drug. Giddy, manic and unspeakably (but not unprintably) dirty.

Women's History Month: Books for Kids and Teens

Brave women run for president and infiltrate insane asylums--and so much more--in these inspiring children's & YA titles, released just in time for Women's History Month.

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh, illus. by Raúl Colón (Paula Wiseman/S&S, $17.99, hardcover, 9781481416009, 40p., ages 4-8, January 5, 2016)
Marie Tharp (1920-2006) loved maps from the time she was a child. In this inviting picture book by Robert Burleigh (Hoops), with gorgeous illustrations by Raúl Colón (Draw!), readers will learn how Tharp, a skilled American scientist, became a key figure in mapping and understanding the world's seafloors, and contributed to the study of plate tectonics. How deep were the oceans? Were there mountains beneath the sea? Tharp was determined to find out.

Hillary by Jonah Winter, illus. by Raúl Colón (Schwartz & Wade/Random House, $17.99, hardcover, 9780553533880, 40p., ages 7-10, January 5, 2016)
Hillary Rodham was once a scrappy girl from suburban Chicago who "did well in school, played sports with the boys, and liked to be in charge." In a clear storyteller's voice that praises Hillary's determination and cheers her on ("But why stop at the Senate?" and "Hillary did not back down"), Jonah Winter (Jazz Age Josephine) chronicles the life of a woman devoted to changing the world as a politician, diplomat and as a children's and women's rights activist on the global stage. For teens, there's another new biography of the presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, January 12, 2016).

Women Who Changed the World: 50 Amazing Americans by Laurie Calkhoven, illus. by Patricia Castelao (Scholastic, $8.99, paperback, 9780545889629, 96p., ages 7-10, December 29, 2015)
Pocahontas, Abigail Adams, Harriet Tubman, Emily Dickinson, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lucille Ball, Ella Fitzgerald, Maya Angelou, Harper Lee, Dian Fossey, Gloria Steinem, Oprah Winfrey (she was supposed to be named Orpah, but her birth certificate had a typo!) and Maya Lin are among the 50 luminaries profiled in Laurie Calkhoven's eclectic encyclopedia of influential American women. A "fact file," brief biographies and lively captions are flanked by photographs and sometimes oddly glamorizing illustrations. Among the intriguing juxtapositions: zoologists and feminists, politicians and astronauts, and polar explorers and architects.

Coretta Scott King by Kathleen Krull, illus. by Laura Freeman (Bloomsbury, $6.99 paperback, 9780802738271, 48p., ages 8-12, December 1, 2015)
Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, "Well-behaved women seldom make history," a fine motto for the Women Who Broke the Rules series. In this dynamic short chapter book by Kathleen Krull (What's New? The Zoo!; Harvesting Hope), readers will learn about the life of Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), from her Alabama childhood when she loved to sing, to when she was "fixed up" in 1952 with Martin Luther King, Jr., and her work as a civil rights activist, acclaimed singer, pianist and performer, minister's wife and mother to four. Colorful, expressive--and abundant--illustrations by Laura Freeman (the Nikki and Deja series) further enhance this engaging, straightforward biography.

The Extraordinary Suzy Wright: A Colonial Woman on the Frontier by Teri Kanefield (Abrams, $19.95, hardcover, 9781419718663, 64p., ages 8-12, March 15, 2016)
England-born Quaker Susanna Wright (1697-1794) was a frontierswoman in colonial America, a renowned poet and a political activist who worked to protect the rights of Native Americans. She was also influential at the highest levels of Pennsylvania government. In this handsomely designed, eye-opening, finely crafted biography, Teri Kanefield (The Girl from the Tar Paper School) tells Wright's story--and the early Pennsylvania history of Quakers, Native Americans, indentured servants and more--in crystal-clear prose enhanced by period illustrations, letters and contemporary photographs.

Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original "Girl" Reporter Nellie Bly, by Deborah Noyes (Viking, $18.99, hardcover, 9780803740174, 144p., ages 10-up, February 23, 2016)
In 1887, 23-year-old "Nellie Bly" (born Elizabeth Cochran) from Pennsylvania moved to New York City to become a journalist. The World hired her to pretend to be insane, so she could be committed to an asylum on Blackwell's Island and report on the horrific conditions from the inside. "How will you get me out?" Nellie asked her editor. "I don't know. Only get in," he said. In this truly thrilling, appealingly designed, photo-laden biography by Deborah Noyes (Encyclopedia of the End), readers will not only get a chilling look into the horrors of Blackwell's Island, but also a sense of women's challenges in 19th-century America.

A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls, edited by Jessica Spotswood (Candlewick, $17.99, hardcover, 9780763678487, 368p., ages 14-up, March 8, 2016)
Jessica Spotswood's (Cahill Witch Chronicles) anthology of new stories about "clever, interesting American girls throughout history" is a terrific collection written by "an impressive sisterhood" of 15 YA authors, including Andrea Cremer, Marie Lu, Marissa Meyer and Elizabeth Wein. Readers will find themselves entrenched in 1848 Texas (Leslye Walton's "El Destinos"); 1934 Indiana (Saundra Mitchell's "Bonnie and Clyde"); and 1967 California (Kekla Magoon's "Pulse of the Panthers"). As Spotswood writes in her introduction, "They debate marriage proposals, murder, and politics with equal aplomb. They are mediums and assassins, heiresses and hobos, bartenders and bank robbers.... They are naive and world-weary, optimistic and sad, beautiful and terrible."

--Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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