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Meeting the Challenge: Celebrating Author Imprints

by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)

This year, for the Unabridged Podcast Reading Challenge (find out more here!), we are celebrating author imprints. On Wednesday, we're releasing an episode all about Rick Riordan Presents, but I wanted to spotlight some other imprints you may want to check out.

Do you have favorite author imprints? Let us know @unabridgedpod!

Book cover of Tehlor Kay Mejia's Paola Santiago and the River of Tears

Description from the website:

"Rick Riordan Presents is one small branch of the Disney-Hyperion Publishing family. We aim to publish about four books a year. All these will be books that my editor Stephanie Lurie and I feel will appeal to kids who like my books. In other words, they will probably be some type of middle grade adventure, with lots of humor and action, and probably draw on myth or folklore in some way.

"Our goal is to publish great middle grade authors from underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, to let them tell their own stories inspired by the mythology and folklore of their own heritage. Over the years, I’ve gotten many questions from my fans about whether I might write about various world mythologies, but in most cases I knew I wasn’t the best person to write those books. Much better, I thought, to use my experience and my platform at Disney to put the spotlight on other great writers who are actually from those cultures and know the mythologies* better than I do. Let them tell their own stories, and I would do whatever I could to help those books find a wide audience!"

Books to check out*:

*Be sure to listen to episode 170 for other recommendations from this imprint!

Book cover of Lamar Giles's The Last Mirror on the Left

Kwame Alexander's Versify

Description from the website:

"Welcome to a new imprint curated by Kwame Alexander, full of innovative creators with fresh and varied voices. This Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint reflects Alexander’s vision that accessible and powerful prose and poetry—in picture books, novels, and nonfiction—can celebrate the lives and reflect the possibilities of all children. Seeking new authors and artists as well as established writers and illustrators, Versify publishes books that explore the beauty, hurdles, and hopefulness of life, books that will engage, entertain, and empower young people to imagine and create a better world."

Books to check out:

Lamar Giles and illustrator Dapo Adeola's The Last Mirror on the Left

Kwame Alexander and illustrator Kadir Nelson's The Undefeated

Book cover of Phoebe Robinson's You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain

Phoebe Robinson's Tiny Reparations Books

From the website:

"Tiny Reparations Books is a highly curated imprint dedicated to publishing both literary fiction and nonfiction as well as essay collections that highlight and amplify unique and diverse voices. The imprint is committed to publishing complex, honest, and humorous work that not only reflects the current conversation but also pushes it forward."

Books to check out:

Note: Other books from Robinson's imprint are not yet available for purchase.

Book cover of Kerri Maniscalco's Kingdom of the Dead

James Patterson's Jimmy Patterson Books

From the website:

"Proceeds from JIMMY Patterson Books are invested in literacy initiatives including teacher scholarships, grants for bookstores, public libraries, and school libraries, as well as pro-reading resources like ReadKiddoRead.

"JIMMY Patterson Books are page-turning, accessible, fun to read, and, in Patterson’s own words, 'unputdownable.' The JIMMY mission is simple: We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY book to say: 'PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK!'"

Books to check out:

James Patterson, Kwame Alexander, and illustrator Dawud Anyabwile's Becoming Muhammed Ali

Kerri Maniscalco's Kingdom of the Wicked

Book cover of editor Nick Haramis's Courage Is Contagious

Lena Dunham's Lenny Books

From the website:

"While we love our home on the Internet, Jenni and I are both voracious readers (of books and book reviews) who are constantly trading titles and allowing them to stir us creatively. Our friendship often doubles as a book club. Lenny books will aspire to push the ball forward on the issues that matter to our audience, with wit and style. We hope to see them sticking out of purses and riding public transportation everywhere.”

Books to check out:

Jenny Zhang's Sour Heart

Book cover of editor Lamar Giles's Fresh Ink

We Need Diverse Books - Various Authors

From the website:

"We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people."

The Board of Directors includes Ellen Oh, Dhonielle Clayton, Judy Schricker, Zoraida Córdova, Minh Lê, Cornelius Minor, and Kaitlyn Sage Patterson.

Books to check out:

Editor Dhonielle Clayton's A Universe of Wishes

Editor Lamar Giles's Fresh Ink

Book cover of M. R. Carey, Peter Gross, Vince Locke, and Cris Peter's The Dollhouse Family

From the website:

"Joe Hill—the mastermind behind N0S4A2 and Locke & Key—has arrived at DC, curating his own cutting-edge horror comics pop-up! Hill House Comics will terrify readers with a smart, subversive and scary lineup of five original limited series.

"Hill House Comics debuted with Basketful of Heads, written by Hill and illustrated by Leomacs. The chills continued in the following months with The Dollhouse Family; The Low, Low Woods; Daphne Byrne and Plunge, from some of the biggest names in horror storytelling. Plus, every issue of each Hill House Comics series will include the serialized backup story, 'Sea Dogs.'"

Books to check out:

Joe Hill and illustrators Leomacs and Dave Stewart's Basketful of Heads

M. R. Carey, Peter Gross, Vince Locke, and Cris Peter's The Dollhouse Family

Coming Soon

David and Nicola Yoon's Joy Revolution


(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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