Wednesday, July 26, 2017

New Book News: About Habitats Seashores


About Habitats is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with About Habitats: Seashores! Get ready to feel the sand between your toes in the newest installment of Cathryn and John Sill’s award-winning nonfiction series.

Very young readers will learn about the fascinating ecology of where the ocean meets the land through simple, descriptive language and beautiful, accurate illustrations as they explore the varying coastlines all around the world. Some are rocky, some are muddy, and some are sandy. The special characteristics of seashores and the enchanting wildlife that live there will spark the interest of young scientists, encouraging them to take care of this increasingly threatened habitat.

An afterword, glossary, and list of resources provide more details about each of the illustrations, including how sand is created, why there are high and low tides, and why certain animals thrive in this particular environment. Teachers can use the precise and comprehensive back matter to assist with instruction for younger readers, and older children can help themselves to a plethora of fascinating knowledge and expand their nature vocabulary. There is also a teacher's guide available for the whole About Habitats series, and be sure to check out all the titles in the About Habitats series as well as the About series. 

 “The beautifully designed layout and succinct text combine with the back matter to offer very accessible nonfiction reading for the very young as well as early grade students.” —Kirkus Reviews

“With reliable information and attractive illustrations, this volume is a useful addition to a series celebrating its tenth year.”Booklist

Don't forget to enter our GoodReads giveaway for a chance to win an early copy of the book! 

Look for About Habitats: Seashores on August 1st at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Giveaway: About Habitats Seashores


A whole slew of new and wonderful books are on the horizon (check out our full Fall 2017 list) which means it's time for some giveaways. The first giveaway of the season is the gorgeous picture book About Habitats: Seashores from the award-winning author-illustrator duo Cathryn Sill and John Sill

About Habitats: Seashores is the eighth book in the About Habitats Series, marking ten years since the first title in the series came out! With simple, easy-to-understand language, this beginner's guide explores the major attributes of seashores and showcases their remarkable diversity using examples from around the globe. Learn more about these titles in the series Teacher's Guide.

Enter for your chance to win a copy in our GoodReads Giveaway! The giveaway will last one week, so make sure you enter soon!





Goodreads Book Giveaway

About Habitats by Cathryn P Sill

About Habitats

by Cathryn P Sill

Giveaway ends July 28, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Book News: Stanley's Numbers and Stanley's Opposites

Stanley has new adventures to share in the third and fourth installments of William Bee’s early concepts board book series: Stanley’s Numbers and Stanley’s Opposites.


In Stanley’s Numbers, Stanley and Little Woo plan a picnic party! Kids can count with Stanley as he and Little Woo work together by carrying the right amount of snacks, desserts, picnic supplies, party favors, and decorations to prepare for a perfect picnic party. They only need two cakes, but are six balloons enough? Stanley and Little Woo’s counting and hard work pay off when they can sit and celebrate a lively afternoon with friends.


Stanley fans can also learn about opposites in Stanley’s Opposites as they spend an action-packed day with their favorite hamster!  Kids begin the day with Stanley as he and Little Woo go on exciting adventures. The two friends learn about opposites as they play with motorcycles, canoes, trampolines, and more, showing the differences between concepts such as light and dark, in and out, and high and low. As the day comes to an end, young readers will recognize Stanley’s bedtime routine.

“Kids will be asking for these by name.” —School Library Journal 

Big news: Stanley has a new fan page! Get the inside scoop on all things Stanley with information on each book in the series and activity sheets to continue the fun, and sign up for the newsletter to keep up with the latest news for the hardest working hamster in the book business.

Look for these titles on August 1st at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Katie McManus



It's our last Employee Spotlight of the summer! This week, we're excited to introduce Kate McManus, our Advertising and Marketing Manger. She's answered a few questions so that everyone can get to know her a little better.


Tell us about your history with Peachtree.

I started in magazine publishing in 1991. I was hired in my hometown of Norwalk, CT as an editorial associate at Teaching K-8 Magazine (a subsidiary of Highlights for Children). During my 17 years at Teaching K-8, I was promoted to Production Manager, Operations Manager and Associate Publisher. I had some really great role models. My bosses had been in publishing for many, many years and I learned a great deal from their experience and wisdom.

In 2003, my husband was relocated to GA with his company, so we packed our bags (and our 2-year-old twin boys) and started a new chapter of our lives in the south. I continued to work for Teaching K-8 from my home in Atlanta until the magazine closed its doors in 2008. Peachtree was one of our advertisers in the magazine and the Atlanta sales rep suggested I send my resume to Peachtree. Margaret Quinlin contacted me soon after that to see if I would be interested in joining the peaches on a consulting basis.

I started off reorganizing mailing lists, handling catalog distribution and managing our advertising and marketing process. Over the years, I have taken on more job functions from maintaining and distributing metadata to being part of the production team.

What are your top three favorite books, any genre?

Blueberries for Sal – Robert McCloskey (My Nana and I used to walk to the local library together and this was one of my favorites that she and I would read together.)

Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell

A Time to Kill – John Grisham

Who is your hero or role model and why?

I’ve got quite a few heroes/role models. As I mentioned earlier, I learned so much from my bosses at Teaching K-8 Magazine. Allen Raymond and Patricia Broderick taught me about publishing, the importance of always acting in a professional manner, and they shared such a wealth of their knowledge with me. I had a similar experience before I started working there. Throughout high school and college, I worked at a local family-owned deli. The owner was an older gentleman named Henry Millett aka “Pop.” Pop taught me to be responsible, the importance of having a strong work ethic, the customer is always right, and everything you could possibly want to know about making a perfect soup from scratch or the best-tasting sandwich! These role models were all senior citizens and I have a ton of respect for them and everything they shared with me. They definitely had a huge hand in shaping the person I am today. I am forever grateful for their encouragement and support.

What is your favorite thing about working at Peachtree?

The cats! Just kidding. I’m not a big fan of cats. I actually enjoy being involved in almost every aspect of producing a book from start to finish. It’s an amazing process. Earlier in my career, I enjoyed putting the components of a magazine together and seeing the final results every month. At Peachtree, we’re juggling multiple titles at once and I just love seeing a whole season of books come together after a lot of hard work.

In your position, what do you consider to be your secret weapon?


Prioritizing and staying organized!

Do you have any big interests or hobbies that you focus on outside of work?

Right now I’m just trying to work and raise 16-year-old twin boys. They eat a ton, so just buying groceries and cooking meals keeps me busy. I also enjoy walking and exercising when I can fit it in.

If, in an alternate reality, you were to have gone a completely different career route, what would you have done?

Court reporter or radio dj – no joke!


For more behind the scenes interviews, check out the Employee Spotlight with Sherry, our Accounting Manager!

Feel free to write any questions or comments for Katie below!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Sherry Karter

This week's Employee Spotlight is with Sherry Karter, our Accounting Manager! She's answered a few questions so that everyone can get to know her a little better.


Tell us about your history with Peachtree.

I got started with Peachtree when I was the assistant to the Comptroller of a software engineering firm in 2007 who was working with Peachtree to implement their new sales order processing system. I was interested in making a change as my job was being phased out as the result of a merger. About the same time, Peachtree’s long time Accounting Manager had decided to leave to pursue other interests. So you might say the stars were aligned so that I was able to come to Peachtree with my first task to complete the new software setup and then transition to take over the position.

I’ve been working at Peachtree for over 10 years now. My job is to handle the usual accounting duties that are common to all companies but new things have been added to my job description over the years. Many of our customers have been moving to new technical systems and software that ties directly into what I do as Accounting Manager so I’ve had to dive head first into implementing new programs and procedures. I’ve always been in a position of office manager/bookkeeper with small companies for all of my career.

What are your top three favorite books, any genre?

That’s an impossible question for me as you could probably throw out any number of titles or authors that would be on my favorites list. I will say, though, that I’m a Stephen King junkie so any title of his always works for me. I also love murder mysteries/detective stories and anything with vampires, witches, werewolves and other such delightful creatures!

If you could be a literary character for a day, who would you be?

Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird so I could spend a day with Atticus.

Who is your hero or role model and why?


My wonderful husband, Harry. He is the kindest and most thoughtful and generous person I have ever known. After decades of marriage, his greatest quality has always been the ability to make me laugh even in the most difficult times.

What is your favorite thing about working at Peachtree?

Seeing new titles when they come in is always wonderful but I would have to say my favorite thing about Peachtree is my coworkers! We have a great team here and we work very hard, but we find time to have fun too. We have a dozen or more staff members who are big fans of Game of Thrones so a few years ago we established our GoT weekly lunch so we can all get together and discuss the latest episodes and theories of what’s to come. We have our favorite characters and some of us have house banners hanging in our offices. I was dubbed the “Master of Coin” for obvious reasons.

In your position, what do you consider to be your secret weapon?


I think everyone here including me would say multi-tasking as we are all master jugglers in each of our positions. But for me personally, I’d say diplomacy is probably my secret weapon as I interact with people from every aspect of this business. My grandmother taught me long ago, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” and she was right. And I called her Honey!

Do you have any big interests or hobbies that you focus on outside of work?

Reading is my hobby. Everyone in my house knows that when I have settled into my reading spot, do not even attempt to talk to me or you will talk to the hand.

If, in an alternate reality, you were to have gone a completely different career route, what would you have done?

I love music as much as reading, so probably something in that field. In that alternate reality I would have been a much better piano and guitar player than I actually am.



For more behind the scenes interviews, check out the Employee Spotlight with our Warehouse Manager!

Feel free to write any questions or comments for Sherry below!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Marlon Berreondo

It's time for another Employee Spotlight! We just had the opportunity to hear from our Director of Production and Manufacturing, Melanie McMahon Ives, and today we are introducing Marlon Berreondo. Marlon is our Warehouse Manager he's answered a few questions so that everyone can get to know him a little better.

Tell us about your history with Peachtree.

I moved from Southern California to Georgia and a few months after that I started working for Peachtree Publishers. It’s been a good experience working in an environment where people work hard and contribute in a big way towards children’s education. This coming October will mark my two year anniversary with Peachtree Publishers.

I’ve been working in this field for the last 29 years. I’ve worked in warehouses that produce electronics, telecommunications equipment, aircraft parts, and chemicals. Working with books is a lot of fun though!

What is your favorite thing about working at Peachtree?

Knowing the positive impact books have on children.

Do you have any big interests or hobbies that you focus on outside of work?

I love bike riding, soccer, volley ball, reading, and of course working around the house.

If, in an alternate reality, you were to have gone a completely different career route, what would you have done?

I wanted to be an airplane mechanic. That was the reason why I attended Park West High School in NYC.


For more behind the scenes, check out the spotlights for Creative Director Nicki Carmack, Senior Editor Vicky Holifield, and Special Sales Manager and Subsidiary Rights Director Farah Gehy.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Melanie McMahon Ives

With summer in full swing, we are bringing back our Employee Spotlights! Last year we all had so much fun getting to know a few Peaches, so we decided to keep the tradition going. (Check out the spotlights for Creative Director Nicki Carmack, Senior Editor Vicky Holifield, and Special Sales Manager and Subsidiary Rights Director Farah Gehy.)

Today we are thrilled to introduce Melanie McMahon Ives! She is the Director of Production and Manufacturing here at Peachtree, and she's answered a few questions so that everyone can get to know her a little better.

Tell us about your history with Peachtree.

I’ve been here at Peachtree for more than 20 years. I came on board after the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as a freelance copyeditor and designer for The Official Report of the Olympic Games, a mandatory written record of games that’s required to be published within 2 years of the completion of the Games. It’s a beautiful 3-volume set done in both English and French, and it is something I remain extraordinarily proud of to this day. It was a contract job that was to last 9 months, but it stretched on a bit longer, and once the books were done, I wouldn’t leave! Or something along those lines. I moved into production shortly thereafter and have been here ever since. Before I moved to Atlanta, I worked for Longman Publishing, a division of Addison-Wesley Publishing in New York.

What are your top three favorite books, any genre?

Oh that is SO HARD to answer. I have many favorite books across multiple genres. I love classic literature, children’s books, and I love horror! I will say Stephen King’s It, Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, and Madeline L‘Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. That doesn’t even scratch the surface though!

If you could be a literary character for a day, who would you be?


Ooh. Another tough one. My safe choice would be Elizabeth Bennett. I’ve always admired her quick wit, her strong spirit and tenacity, and her desire to accept nothing less than true love. A different choice might be one of Anne Rice’s vampiresprobably Louis. I don’t think I could resist the temptation to live possibly forever in a physical body even with all the emotional pain destined to accompany such a thing. I’ve thought about that quite a bit.

Who is your hero or role model and why?

It is no doubt my mother, Michele. She was just a teenager when she had me. She showed me just how far you can go with an incredible work ethic and lots of love. She made everything special when we had nothing at all. It is because of her I know what love is. She is my shining star. She taught me so much and has supported me through many a crazy time. She remains my best friend, my confidante, and my business partner! Shout out to my dad who’s been there every step of the way.

What is your favorite thing about working at Peachtree?

The books! I am so proud of all the books I’ve worked on over the years. Each one special in it’s own way. I can say I’ve had a hand in literally hundreds of them. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. And I’ve got to mention the people as well. All my colleagues are intelligent and lovely and creative. I am lucky to be surrounded by them all. It takes a village for a small company to do what we do and we do it so well!

In your position, what do you consider to be your secret weapon?

Multi-tasking! In a small company, you wear a lot of hats. It’s my job to take the manuscript to the bound book. This entails some storyboarding, typesetting and design, managing the costs and schedules of all the books, picking papers and cover stocks and cover treatments, deciding what books fit best at what printers, handling the manufacturing, and even the shipping from overseas of our picture books. It’s tough being the last rung on the ladder. I’m the last one to see anything before it goes off to the printer. But I’m also the first one to get the sneak peek of artwork, proofs, and bound advances. So that’s pretty exciting. Being able to juggle multiple projects, keeping them on time and under budget is my secret weapon.

Do you have any big interests or hobbies that you focus on outside of work?

I’m a hair accessory designer and have a modestly successful side business selling my designs. Other than that, I love spending time with my daughter and my husband and my friends.

If, in an alternate reality, you were to have gone a completely different career route, what would you have done?

From the time I was a small child I knew I wanted to be surrounded by books. I thought I might be a writer at one point, and I do some writing, but I’m more suited to the design-side of publishing. I’m lucky I’ve been able to be in publishing for most of my career. Thinking outside the box, I also love astronomy, so being an astrophysicist might have been pretty stellar. Carl Sagan is someone I admire very much.


Feel free to write any questions or comments for Melanie below!

Monday, June 5, 2017

40 Peachtree Picks: Books that Define Us

This year we are celebrating 40 years of Peachtree Publishers.One of the most fun parts of celebrating this milestone has been looking back and remembering all the wonderful people and books that have built us into our identity today.

Our President and Publisher Margaret Quinlin spoke to Peachtree's identity as a children's book publisher: "The focus [on children's books] occurred naturally through the interests of the staff, and in particular, our friendship with Carmen Deedy as she developed into an extremely talented author. But we also recognized that as a small business, we had to focus our time and talents and marketing dollars. Even within the children’s category, it is important to have sufficient depth in an area. Without that, it’s difficult to make an impression." (Read the full interview from Quinlin on having a woman-owned and independent business here.)


For the last 40 years, we've focused on books that educate, entertain, encourage and endure—books with heart that reflect our values and personal passions like nature, social justice, community, and peace. These themes in our children's books have resonated with readers around the world from the beginning and are just as important today than ever. 

If I Found a Wistful Unicorn by Ann Ashford and illustrated by Bill Drath is the first children's book published by Peachtree Publishers in 1978, and is still in print today.  A sweet and gentle story about a relationship between a young child and a unicorn that goes straight to the heart of what love really is, what we risk when we ask for love, and what special rewards may be waiting for us in return, If I Found a Wistful Unicorn began the tradition and set the precedent for quality children's books from Peachtree. 

As we reminisce this year, we want to share 40 Peachtree picks, just a few of the books that have excited us, moved us, and stuck with our customers through the years. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see our daily featured picks over the next several weeks, and feel free to share your Peachtree Pick!

Friday, June 2, 2017

New Season, New Books!

It's hard to believe that it is already time for more new books! We’re thrilled to announce our Fall 2017 list, and we can’t wait for you to read them! Whether you want to catch up with the characters in your favorite series, laugh out loud with an empowered princess, or find inspiration for more social activism, we've got the book for you.

New Board Books

Our favorite hamster is now starring in a board book series from author William Bee! Focused on early childhood learning, Stanley's Numbers will appeal to Stanley’s youngest fans as Stanley and Little Woo get ready for a picnic party.

Another board book for the Stanley series from author William Bee! Focused on early childhood learning, Stanley's Opposites will appeal to Stanley’s youngest fans who are mastering concepts like opposites..

Simple and evocative language and charming illustrations describe a girl’s experience on a snowy day. Elizabeth Spurr and illustrator Manelle Oliphant add In the Snow to the gently rhyming board books in their In the Weather series.


New Picture Books

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra finds refuge from his difficult childhood by imagining the adventures of a brave but clumsy knight. From the Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle and award-winning illustrator Raúl Colón comes Miguel's Brave Knight, a distinctive picture book depiction of the childhood of the father of the modern novel.

This energetic and inspiring picture book biography of activist Jane Addams focuses on the peace work that won her the Nobel Peace Prize, but also the title "Most Dangerous Woman in America." Suzanne Slade’s powerful text written in free verse illuminates the life of this inspiring figure while Alice Ratterree’s stunning illustrations bring Jane Addams and her world to life in Dangerous Jane.

With irreverent humor and striking illustrations, Bethan Woollvin, the creator of the New York Times Best-Illustrated Little Red, puts an empowering and delightfully dark twist on a classic story of a helpless damsel in Rapunzel.

In this addition to the About Habitats series, award-winning author Cathryn Sill uses simple, easy-to-understand language to teach children about seashores and what kinds of animals and plants live there. John Sill’s detailed, full-color illustrations reflect the wide variety of seashore topography around the world. Celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the About Habitats series with About Habitats: Seashores.


New Illustrated Chapter Books

A lovable dog helps his human girl solve a mystery. King and Kayla are playing fetch with their friends, Jillian and Thor. Jillian throws King’s favorite ball too hard, and now it’s gone missing! King and Kayla must put together the clues to figure out where it went—and who has it. Join Dori Hillestad Butler's dynamic duo in King & Kayla and the Case of the Mysterious Mouse to solve the mystery!

Delightfully odd and positively surreal, Alex T. Smith’s latest addition to his illustrated early chapter book series is Claude on the Big Screen. When Claude spots a film crew on Waggy Avenue, he and Sir Bobblysock can’t wait to help behind the scenes. But when the movie loses its stars, the pals are launched onto the big screen!


New Middle Readers

When Charlie exaggerates about his dad’s career and convinces his classmates that his dad would be the greatest Career Week speaker ever, what will happen if his dad actually does come and his friends find out the truth? From Grammy-award winning author Bill Harley, Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth uses humor to illuminate important values such as learning to live together as a family and making the best of a bad situation.
Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the U.S. Constitution. From the award-winning team, Cynthia Levinson, children’s book author, and Sanford Levinson, constitutional law scholar, Fault Lines in the Constitution will encourage exploration and discussion from young and old readers alike.

Check out our full Fall 2017 catalog here, and stay tuned for giveaways, interviews, and more!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog is a CCBA Winner!


We are so excited to share that Madeline Finn and the Library Dog has won the Children’s Choice Book Award in the Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year category! The Children's Choice Book Award is the only national book awards program where the winners are selected by kids.

We spoke to debut author-illustrator Lisa Papp about this wonderful honor, so read on for an exclusive interview with her about her book and its impact in the lives of so many children.

Congratulations on the Children's Choice Book Award! Did you ever think Madeline Finn and the Library Dog would take off like this?

Thank you so muchI haven’t stopped smiling since I heard the news! I didn’t know Madeline Finn would touch so many people. I only knew that I loved creating her character, and the world she and Bonnie share. I didn’t like reading out loud when I was little, and I’ve always loved animals, so Madeline and Bonnie are both very dear to me. They are expressions of things I love and understand.

In your opinion, what about Madeline Finn resonates with kid readers?

I think it’s the vulnerability. Everyone knows what it’s like to want something, and not be able to get itno matter how hard you try. There’s an honesty in Madeline Finn’s struggle. And in Bonnie, there’s complete acceptance. When Madeline Finn meets Bonnie, none of her quirks or complications matter. Bonnie loves her just the way she is. I think there’s a great comfort in that.

What would Madeline Finn and Bonnie have to say to all the kids who voted for the book?


Madeline Finn: Thank you for picking my story! Even though it’s kind of embarrassing when I mess up reading, I found out it’s okay when you have a good friend. I hope your library has a Bonnie too. And a Mrs. Dimple. But if they don’t, I’ll share mine with you.

Bonnie: “W O O F !”  (I believe in you. Thank you for trusting me.)


If you want more Madeline Finn in your life (or the lives of the kids around you), check out the Madeline Finn Activity Kit with coloring pages, word searches, and mazes for all Madeline Finn fans! 

Interested in library dog programs? Whether your local library has one or not, you can find out what it takes to start and maintain a library dog program from R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) executive director Kathy Klotz: 5 Steps to Establishing a Successful Library Dog Program.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Books with Character

Books on social justice themes have been rightly taking center stage in displays at bookstores, schools, and libraries around the country. Some could say this is a trend. But for us, it's no trend; it's an integral part of Peachtree's mission.

We've been publishing books with social justice themes for years, as a result of our collective perspective, interest, and our headquarters in Atlanta, which is home to a long history of activism and civil rights icons. We're proud of these works, and as we mark our 40th year of business, they're needed more now then ever before. This is just a small snapshot.

Marching with Aunt Susan

Inspired by the diary of the real Bessie Keith Pond, a ten-year-old girl who lived in California during the suffrage campaign, author Claire Rudolf Murphy and illustrator Stacey Schuett offer a thought-provoking introduction to the fight for women’s rights. A story of hope and determination, reminding readers that society cannot evolve unless people—even young people—dare to take a stand.



Dangerous Jane

Coming this September, this energetic and inspiring picture book biography of activist Jane Addams focuses on the peace work that won her the Nobel Peace Prize. Suzanne Slade’s powerful text written in free verse illuminates the life of this inspiring figure while Alice Ratterree’s stunning illustrations bring Jane Addam’s and her world to life.

Flowers for Sarajevo

Young Drasko is happy working with his father in the Sarajevo market. Then war encroaches. Drasko must run the family flower stand alone. Based on real events of the Bosnian War, award-winning songwriter and storyteller John McCutcheon tells the uplifting story of the power of beauty in the face of violence and suffering.



14 Cows for America

This New York Times best seller recounts the true story from Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah of a touching gift bestowed upon the United States by a tribe of Maasai Warriors in the wake of the September 11th attacks. With the stunning paintings by Thomas Gonzalez, master storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy hits all the right notes in this elegant story of generosity that crosses boundaries, nations, and cultures.




We've Got a Job

In the 1963 Birmingham Children’s March, the fight for civil rights lay in the hands of children like Audrey Hendricks, Wash Booker, James Stewart, and Arnetta Streeter. The children succeeded—where adults had failed—in desegregating one of the most racially violent cities in America. By combining in-depth, one-on-one interviews and extensive research, author Cynthia Levinson recreates the events of the Birmingham Children’s March from a new and very personal perspective.


Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells
In 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation freed Ida B. Wells from the bond of slavery. Blessed with a strong will, an eager mind, and a deep belief in America’s promise of “freedom and justice for all,” young Ida held her family together, defied society’s conventions, and used her position as a journalist to speak against injustice. Philip Dray tells the inspirational story of Ida B. Wells and her lifelong commitment to end injustice. Award-winning illustrator Stephen Alcorn’s remarkable illustrations recreate the tensions that threatened to upend a nation while paying tribute to a courageous American hero.


A Storm Called Katrina

A moving story of the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the people of New Orleans, as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy. Myron Uhlberg highlights resilience and hope throughout this sensitively portrayed fictional story based on the real events of Hurricane Katrina. Colin Bootman’s illustrations enhance the warmth and strength of the young narrator’s family as they work through such a great tragedy.


The Yellow Star

For centuries, the Star of David was a symbol of Jewish pride. But during World War II, Nazis used the star to segregate and terrorize the Jewish people. Except in Denmark. When Nazi soldiers occupied his country, King Christian X of Denmark committed himself to keeping all Danes safe from harm. New York Times best-selling author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy has poignantly recreated this legend, which is accompanied by Danish illustrator Henri Sørensen’s arresting full-color portraits. The result is a powerful and dignified story of heroic justice, a story for all people and all times.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Bosnian War and Reading Beyond Flowers for Sarajevo

Twenty-five years ago this month, one man overcame violence in war-torn Sarajevo with an act of beauty.

Flowers for Sarajevo takes place in Sarajevo, the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula. The Yugoslav wars of the 1990s began after 1991 when several of the Yugoslav republics declared their independence from Yugoslavia, actions that led to conflicts among Croatians, Bosnians, and Serbians. In early May 1992, Bosnian Serb groups launched an offensive against Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo. The mortar attack on the marketplace in this story occurred during the siege of the city on May 27 of that year. Tragically, thousands more innocent people were killed before the conflict came to an end in 1995.

Discussing war can be difficult with children, but there are plenty of resources to provide additional information and background, as well as more examples of how people have taken their experiences of something as awful as war and have turned it into beautiful and touching works of art and inspiration.

If you are interested in learning more about this conflict and the people involved, check out the resources below.

Further Reading

by Zlata Filiphovic
Penguin Books, 2006.

Zlata's Diary journals the day-to-day record of the life of a typical eleven-year-old girl who becomes a witness to the horrors of the Bosnian war on her hometown Sarajevo as she waits out bombardments in a neighbor’s cellar. 





by Nadja Halilbegovich
Kids Can Press, 2006.

Also a diary, My Childhood Under Fire is Nadja's personal account of becoming a teenager during wartime in Sarajevo as she and her fellow citizens try to live normal lives while forced to scrounge for even the most basic necessities.



Safe Area Goražde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-95
by Joe Sacco
Fantagraphic Books, 2000.

Safe Area Goražde is a journalistic graphic novel that chronicles the Bosnian war and describes the author's experiences during the few months he spent in Bosnia by combining the oral histories of his interviewees with his own observations and feeling about being in a danger zone.



Resource Websites

Voices of Education—Read articles and blog posts from many different people who have been effected and inspired by the events in Sarajevo. This website also includes a list of wonderful books and poems that cover perspectives and stories of those who endured the Bosnian War, as well as photographs.

History OnlineFor a general overview on the Bosnian conflicts and specific information on the Bosnian Genocide, visit History's online coverage.

Holocaust Museum HoustonThe online resources from the Holocaust Museum Houston include information on the Genocide in Bosnia as well as the world's response.

Sarajevo Photo GalleryThis online gallery offers photographs of the city of Sarajevo and anecdotes about the Siege of Sarajevo to give viewers a more visual representation of the city and some of the aftermath from the war.

News Articles

"The Death of a City: Elegy for Sarajevo—A special report.; A People Under Artillery Fire Manage to Retain Humanity" by John F. Burnes

This New York Times article from 1992 introduces Vedran Smailovic and his acts of courage in
the midst of the war. This article and the story of Vedran is what inspired John McCutcheon to write his original song "Streets of Sarajevo," and eventually, Flowers for Sarajevo.

"Two decades later, 'endless sadness'" by Aida Cerkez

Written in 2012, twenty years after the start of the Bosnian war, this article highlights the remembrance of the event, including the 11,541 red chairs arranged on a main street to represent the people killed in the siege and the heartfelt reactions to the memorial.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Woman-Owned and Independent: An Inside Look at Peachtree Publishers

It's remarkable for any small business to survive 1, 5, even 10 years. But 40?

As we observe Small Business Week, we also continue our year-long celebration of forty years as an independent publisher. Furthermore, we honor thirty-three years as a woman-owned small business.



Peachtree Publishers launched in 1977 as a family business under the leadership of Helen Elliott. Following Helen Elliott’s passing in 1983, the company was run by her children. Current President and Publisher Margaret Quinlin assumed majority ownership in 1990. Since then, Margaret has taken Peachtree from a general interest, heavily regional publisher to an award-winning publisher of books for young readers.

We recently asked Margaret for her take on small businesses and how Peachtree has found long-time success and satisfaction as an independent publisher.

How has Peachtree managed to thrive for forty years as a small business? 


MQ: By pure determination, a good dose of luck, our love for the books, and our relationships.

We recently took the occasion of our 40th anniversary to look in-depth at why Peachtree continues to thrive, and it really does come down to our relationships. Many we've maintained for twenty+ years!

It's also the detail and care with which we tend those relationships and our businessfrom the authors and illustrators whom we help develop creatively to each detail of our books to our customers and the librarians, educators, and booksellers who use and recommend our books. Peachtree is truly "rooted in relationships, grown with care," and I think those values are critical for small businesses like ours to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Is it important to remain an independent business?

MQ: There is no more exciting experience than knowing you are in control and can make decisions for yourself. You sink or swim on your own ingenuity and passion as well as commitment to hard work. I strongly believe that publishing is an important cultural endeavor and as such, diverse voices across the country committed to publishing books for all kinds of readers is critically important.

In the early 1990s, you began narrowing your focus to children's titles for Peachtree’s frontlist. Was that a strategic small business decision on your part?

MQ: Yes and no. The focus occurred naturally through the interests of the staff, and in particular, our friendship with Carmen Deedy as she developed into an extremely talented author. But we also recognized that as a small business, we had to focus our time and talents and marketing dollars. Even within the children’s category, it is important to have sufficient depth in an area. Without that, it’s difficult to make an impression.

How does Peachtree compete among bigger businesses, conglomerate publishers with bigger budgets?

MQ: It’s challenging, but we're grateful for our relationships with influencers in the education, library and bookselling communities who recognize the importance of independent voices. Their word-of-mouth, trade reviews, and the awards they confer support us and help shine an invaluable light on our books. Earned media coverage is also critical as is social media and the use of our own platforms to deliver messages directly to our readers and other customers.

Peachtree has recently been certified as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE). What’s important about that designation?

MQ: We have been woman owned and operated for a total of thirty-three years. Several years ago I was encouraged to seek the official designation to make us eligible for federal dollars that are earmarked for woman-owned businesses. Small businesses can and should seek out whatever resources are available to thrive in today's competitive marketplace.

What’s your vision for the future of Peachtree as a small business?

MQ: I want Peachtree to be a more intense, more successful version of its present self. We love who we are as a small business and are eyeing a bright future as an independent publisher. We are lucky that we have such a fantastic team of brilliant, energetic minds right here in Atlanta who love cultivating books and voices that educate, entertain, encourage, and endure.

Here's to our future—may it bring more wonderful books for us to share.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Summertime Reading

In summertime, the livin's easy. Lots of sunshine, lemonade, and, most importantly, books! Making a summer reading list for yourself or your kids and students can be challenging. Either you don't know what to pick or there are too many options to pick from. To help you in your summer reading list making, we've put together some great summer reading titles for all ages. Also, if you're looking for summer-themed reading, check out our summer-themed reading round-up!

Picture Books



Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett

Prince Ribbit

Enchanted prince or just a plain old frog? Pucker up, princesses! There’s only one way to find out... Jonathan Emmett’s clever twist on the “The Frog Prince” pits a spunky, bespectacled princess against a sly amphibian to teach a charming lesson on the pitfalls of trusting everything you read.





Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

Little Red

The big bad wolf has a plan…but so does Little Red! In this updated fairy tale with a mischievous twist, talented newcomer Bethan Woollvin uses sly humor, striking visuals, and dark irreverence to turn a familiar tale on its head.





Tiger in My Soup by Kashmira Sheth
Tiger in My Soup

Sometimes it’s almost impossible to get your big sister to read your favorite book to you. Sometimes you have to go to great lengths even to get her attention! But if you’re really creative and use your imagination, you might just get what you want. Take care, though, not to go too far. Once you conjure up a tiger, there’s no telling where it might lead… Author Kashmira Sheth brings readers a humorous, reading-centered story of the dynamic between a younger brother and older sister.


Also check out:
The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex LatimerCaptain Small Pig by Martin Waddell

Illustrated Chapter Books
King & Kayla Missing Dog Treats by Dori Butler

A lovable dog helps his human girl solve a mystery. Kayla made peanut butter treats for Jillian’s new puppy Thor. But now the treats are missing. What does Kayla know? —There are three treats missing. King was in the kitchen. King’s breath doesn’t smell like peanut butter. What does King know? —There’s an intruder in the house.  How will they solve the mystery?
Claude at the Beach by Alex Smith

Claude and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock (who is both a sock and very bobbly), pack their bags and go on vacation to the beach. Quirky, delightfully odd, and positively surreal, Alex T. Smith’s illustrated early chapter book series promises giggle-filled bedtime reading and a laugh-out-loud option for readers transitioning from picture books to chapter books.


Also check out:
Claude at the Circus by Alex SmithKing & Kayla Secret Code by Dori Butler



Middle Grade



Leo Dog of the Sea by Alison Hart




After three ocean voyages, Leo, a hardened old sea dog, knows not to trust anyone but himself. But when he sets sail with Magellan on a journey to find a westward route to the Spice Islands, he develops new friendships with Magellan’s scribe, Pigafetta, and Marco, his page. In the fourth book of their Dog Chronicles series, Alison Hart and Michael Montgomery bring readers an exciting tale of friendship and loyalty through the eyes of a dog.

Golden Glove by Fred Bowen

The Golden Glove

Without his lucky glove, Jamie doesn’t believe in his ability to lead his baseball team to victory. Jamie lovingly oiled his glove all winter and, as the season approaches, he—and his glove—are in top form. When he carelessly loses his glove, he also loses his faith in himself and it shows in his playing. Author Fred Bowen continues his Sports Story series with play-by-play action that’s sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats! An afterword provides the real story behind baseball gloves.

Charlie Bumpers Puny Pirates by Bill Harley

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Puny Pirates

Charlie Bumpers is finally on the same soccer team as his two best friends, and they’re sure the Pirates will be the best team ever! But their high hopes are crushed on the first day of practice. Grammy Award-winner Bill Harley continues his fun series for young readers, using humor to illuminate important values such as working together as a team and making the best of a bad situation. For more on this series, visit the Charlie Bumpers website here.

Also check out:
Outside Shot by Fred BowenFinder Coal Mine Dog by Alison HartCharlie Bumpers vs. Perfect Turkey by Bill Harley



Young Adult


Believarexic by J.J. Johnson
Believarexic

Jennifer can’t go on like this—binging, purging, starving, and all while trying to appear like she’s got it all together. But when she finally confesses her secret to her parents and is hospitalized at the Samuel Tuke Center, her journey is only beginning.Using her trademark dark humor and powerful emotion, J. J. Johnson tells an inspiring story based on her own experience when she was hospitalized for an eating disorder as a teenager. The innovative format using blank verse and prose, changes in tense and voice, and forms, workbooks, and journal entries mirror Jennifer’s progress toward a healthy body.
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

Life in Outer Space

Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he’s totally fine with that. He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft—and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, worry about girls he won’t. Then Camilla Carter arrives on the scene. She’s beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his plan. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a plan of her own—and he seems to be a part of it! Author Melissa Keil will have readers falling in love with these relatable characters. Sam’s exceptional voice gives a hilarious and painfully accurate take on high school life.



You can find these books and more at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble.