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Readers to Eaters Finds Niche in Children’s Food Literacy

A recent Publishers Weekly article profiles Seattle-based publisher Readers to Eaters and its founders Philip Lee and June Jo Lee, both publishing industry veterans. The article touts Lee as a visionary in this area of publishing with a focus on helping “families gain a better understanding on what and how we eat.”


Zora’s Zucchini
By Katherine Pryor, Illustrated by Anna Raff

Published by Readers to Eaters
Trade Cloth, Picture Book
US $16.95

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A Year Without Mom Strikes a Heartfelt Chord With Reviewers

Year Without Mom Cover Image

A Year Without Mom is a powerful and starkly illustrated memoir that follows 12-year-old Dasha as she navigates the tricky waters of family life, school, and friends. All of this set against the backdrop of politically charged Moscow in the early 1990s. When her absent mother sends for her from America, Dasha must face the most dramatic change of her young life. Ages 10-14

A Year Without Mom has been featured in New York Magazine’s The Cut’s 10 Big Fall Memoirs: 

“Chronicling her life as a 12-year-old in Moscow, the illustrator Dasha Tolstikova captures the terrible confusion of being excluded by preteen friends. When Masha and Natasha start skipping history class, Dasha is torn. Soon, they stop coming to first period: “I know they are just sleeping in and not hanging out somewhere together, but it still makes me sad, being at school by myself.” When she’s transferred to a higher math class, her friends don’t talk to her for two days, “but on Friday, they wait for me by the front gate of the school and say hello as I approach. We never talk about what happened.”

New York Times Review, September 13

“Dasha’s strange and difficult 13th year — she’s left with her grandparents as her mom decamps to America for graduate school; her dad’s long gone to Los Angeles — coincides with the end of the Soviet Union in this perceptive story about change, aloneness, ambition and, ultimately, resilience.”

Kirkus Starred Review, September 1

“Cataclysmic though the end of Soviet rule is, it occupies just a few pages of this heavily illustrated book: “one morning we wake up and Gorbachev…is taken prisoner by some bad people,” Dasha writes, then “good guy Yeltsin…comes to the rescue.” Of far greater moment than seismic political activity are the everyday concerns of a middle school girl.”

Fascinating and heartfelt. (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Publishers Weekly Starred Review August 17

“Set amid the disintegration of the Soviet Union, this absorbing graphic memoir follows a year in the life of a 12-year-old Moscow schoolgirl left in the care of her grandparents while her mother studies in the U.S. “Grandpa wakes me up and has the tea brewed by the time I shuffle into the kitchen, but I am on my own for everything else,” Dasha explains. Working in black and white enlivened by occasional splashes of red and blue, Tolstikova (The Jacket) uses a distinctive, naïf pen-and-ink style to capture the bare streets of wintry Moscow and the lively expressions of Dasha and her friends.” Ages 10–14. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency. (Oct.)



By Dasha Tolstikova

Groundwood Books

Trade Cloth, Picture Book

US $19.95

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Monster Needs Your Vote!

9781938063633_69d6bElection season is here and Monster is ready to vote! But why cast your ballot when you can run for president instead? With speeches, debates, and a soapbox or two, Monster’s newest tale is a campaign encouraging kids to take a stand and fight for what they believe in.

Ame Dyckman, NY Times bestselling author of Wolfie the Bunny, reviews Monster Needs Your Vote: “Monster has the best platform EVER in this furry fun first look at elections! (He had me at ‘desserts’—then it got even better!) Monster Needs Your Vote has mine!”


9781938063633_il_3_c9883Paul Czajak got an F with the words “get a tutor” on his college writing paper and, after that, never thought he’d become a writer. But after spending 20 years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two little monsters. In addition to the Monster & Me™ series, he’s also the author of Seaver the Weaver.

Wendy Grieb is a professional working in the Los Angeles animation industry and teaching animation. She is also an Annie Award–winning storyboard artist, who has worked as a developmental artist, illustrator, and character designer for companies such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Sony, Klasky-Csupo, White Wolf, and more. She lives in Yorba Linda, CA.

Monster Needs Your Vote  
by Paul Czajak, Wendy Grieb (Illustrated by)
August 25, 2015, Ship Date: August 3, 2015
$16.95 USD
might media monster vote
The Mighty Media Team at ALA Annual San Francisco 2015
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Starred Review: We Are All Completely Fine from Tachyon

gold-star-2-1“This complex novel—scathingly funny, horrific yet oddly inspiring9781616961718_20dbd—constructs a seductive puzzle from torn identities, focusing on both the value and peril of fear. When enigmatic Dr. Jan Sayer gathers survivors of supernatural violence for therapy, she unwittingly unlocks evil from the prison of consciousness. Harrison, a cynical monster-hunter, wallows in lethargy. Suicidal Barbara burns to read the secret messages inscribed on her bones. Cantankerous Stan is the lone survivor of a cannibal feast. After paranoid Martin sees slithery spirits lingering around volatile Greta, a powerful young woman decorated with mystically charged scars, ancient evils usher the rag-tag survivors to a battle with the Hidden Ones, exiled deities trapped in prisons of flesh. Gregory’s beautiful imagery and metaphors bring bittersweet intimacy and tenderness to the primal wonder of star-lit legends. Isolated people, both victims and victimizers, are ghosts in a waking world, blind to their encounters with living nightmares. Blending the stark realism of pain and isolation with the liberating force of the fantastic, Gregory (Afterparty) makes it easy to believe that the world is an illusion, behind which lurks an alternative truth—dark, degenerate, and sublime.”
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review Reviewed on: 06/16/2014

Award nominations:
2014 Nebula Awards: Nebula Award Nominees 
2014 Shirley Jackson Award:  Shirley Jackson Nominees
2015 World Fantasy Award, July 8:  World Fantasy Award Ballots
2015 Theodore Sturgeon Award:  Theodore Sturgeon Award
2015 Locus Award:  Locus Award

We Are All Completely Fine
by Gregory, Daryl
Publisher: Tachyon | Distributor: Legato Publishers Group
ISBN 9781616961718
USD $14.95 · Trade Paper


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Starred Review for Crooked Lane Books & Groundwood Books

gold-star-2-1Library Journal Starred Review – July 6

 Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery | Author: Byron, Ellen | Crooked Lane Books (Legato Publishers Group) | Aug 2015 | ISBN 9781629532509 | $24.99 | EISBN 9781629532516.

plantationshudders7615Having returned to Louisiana after a humiliating breakup and the derailment of her Manhattan career, Maggie Crozat now helps her parents run their plantation bed-and-breakfast. When two guests drop dead within minutes of each other, her new-found peace is shattered, along with the reputation of her family’s inn. The police chief of Pelican, Rufus Durand, is an old enemy, and he does his best to implicate Maggie’s family, but his cousin Paul “Bo” Durand is the new detective in town, and he’s more intent on finding the real killer. Then another body turns up. Who is killing the guests at the Crozat B&B and why? ­VERDICT Recipes and fascinating tidbits about plantation history add a tasty lagniappe to this entertaining and well-done cozy debut. A twisty plot and engaging colorful characters complete this mystery’s many pleasures.

gold-star-2-1Kirkus Starred Review – June 16

Buddy and Earl | Author: Maureen Fergus, Cary Sookocheff illus.| Groundwood Books (PGW) ISBN 978-1-55498-712-2; EISBN 978-1-55498-713-9

Two creatures find an unlikely friendship when one takes on the role of gagman and the9781554987122_8b0de other an unwitting straight man.

It’s raining, and Buddy is bored. Buddy is in the living room, and Buddy isn’t allowed to touch pretty much anything there. Buddy is a dog. The daughter of the house enters with a box containing a ball of sharp quills. The girl leaves. Buddy mooches over to get a closer look. Turns out the ball of quills talks.
Call him Earl, says the ball of quills. Buddy asks Earl what he is. Earl suggests a race car. Buddy, though no Einstein, thinks not. Giraffe? No. Talking hairbrush? “Buddy was almost positive that Earl was not a talking hairbrush.” Earl suggests they engage in some no-nos, like jumping on the sofa, then on the coffee table. Buddy’s having too much of a blast to demur. Mom enters. Buddy gets a scolding, but Earl sticks up for him, even though Mom doesn’t appear to hear Earl’s defense of Buddy. Buddy does. And that’s how a dog and a hedgehog become friends in this winning series opener. Fergus’ deadpan text and Sookocheff’s simple, flowing artwork work in elemental harmony, elevating the book to a subliminal sophistication that breathes something quite smart into the proceedings.

Earl and Buddy know the secret of camaraderie and play it out in fine form.

School Library Journal July, 2015
“On a rainy afternoon Buddy the dog is bored and lonely, trapped in the house with his family.
Watching the raindrops fall, he is surprised when his owner Meredith brings in a box that contains an odd looking object. The new “thing” is indeed alive and introduces itself as Earl. Since Buddy is not sure what type of thing Earl could be, the two begin a guessing game to solve the mystery. The inventive Earl claims to be many things, from a race car to a giraffe, and the two embark on a treacherous voyage using the sofa as their mock pirate ship. Despite the lack of a definitive answer regarding Earl’s identity (he appears to
be a hedgehog), Buddy is confident that ultimately Earl is nothing less than a friend. The neutral tones of the illustrations reflect the mood of a stormy day, and the depictions of the animal characters using Acryl Gouache are both soft and playful. VERDICT A simple story for animal loving readers and proponents of imaginative play.”–Claire Moore, Darien Library, CT

9781554987122 Buddy and Earl


9781554987122_il_4_1a984“It’s always such a treat to be able to take advanced materials home to test out on my two little girls. Buddy & Earl was a huge hit at our home. My 4 year old went from sitting crisscross applesauce to flat out on her back from laughing so hard when Buddy thought Earl was a talking hairbrush!” – Angela Maclean, PGW Sales & Marketing

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  • Library Journal, Starred Review, 6/15: “Schrank’s passionate and moving narrative is written in a poetic style that from the outset elicits genuine emotion. With verve and lyricism the author tells the little-known story of the political upheaval of Burma and the struggle of a group of resisters who fought fiercely for democracy in their small, often overlooked country. This is not only an emphatically poignant chronicling of history but a truly illuminating analysis of a human struggle. … This enlightening work has the potential to impact the canon of contemporary political science. It is readable, enjoyable, and destined to become a staple for anyone wishing to learn more about Asian history or the world at large.”


  • Booklist, review, 6/1: “Through the lives of Nway and his compatriots, Schrank conveys the long history of the fight for democracy in Burma and the enormous cost to individuals asking who to trust, who to lie to, and how to maintain sanity and relationships in a nation at odds with itself and its government. A very close-up look at a nation caught in its history and the current geopolitical tensions in Asia.”
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Behind the Scenes at Mission High School in San Francisco
Behind the Scenes at Mission High School in San Francisco


Mission High shows how the alternative, hyper-local and progressive approach of Mission High School works. In providing context for the success of Mission High, Rizga explores the most contentious issues surrounding education in America. She argues that attentive, conceptually driven teaching can lead to learning regardless of socio-economic background, and that mixing high-achieving students and underachieving students benefits both groups. She shows how the focus on standardized test scores can’t fix America’s education system, because the most important data lives at the individual classroom level—where positive outcomes depend on the cooperation between students and teachers.


MISSION HIGH has received a dazzling array of blurbs—

“This book is a godsend. For years we at 826 Valencia have known how great Mission High is — its students, its teachers, its myriad innovations — and we’ve told everyone we could. Now Kristina Rizga has put it all together in a highly readable and moving portrait of a school that succeeds despite being often misconstrued or mislabeled or even dismissed. There is joy in the hallways of Mission High and daily academic triumph at Mission High, and this book explains how this extraordinary school gets it done. This book is a crucial primer for anyone wanting to go beyond the simplistic labels and metrics and really understand an urban high school and its highly individual, resilient, eager and brilliant students and educators.” — Dave Eggers, co-founder, 826 National and ScholarMatch

“Kristina Rizga writes for those of us weary of trendy ed reform dispensed from on high. Instead, she listens hard to the students and teachers who must deal with their daily consequences. And—with rigor, common sense, and empathy—she tells of the teachers and students confronting shifting tides of reform and profoundly stacked odds, and succeeding. The Mission High that Rizga describes is a beacon, and her deeply textured, heartbreakingly humane book also shines a beautifully clarifying light.” —Jeff Chang, author of Who We Be: The Colorization of America and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

“In Mission High, Kristina Rizga embeds at a San Francisco public school to show the high standards, professionalism — and even love — that belie the easy label of “failing school.” A much-needed corrective to an education debate that often fails to ask how students and teachers experience reform on the ground.” —Dana Goldstein, author of The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession

“A clear-eyed, evidence-based, and wonderfully fresh understanding of what education ‘reform’ truly means.” —Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the The Nation

“By introducing us to the struggles and triumphs of teachers and students, Rizga has redefined what success means in American education. It’s not what testing reveals, but what lives are transformed. Mission High is one of the best books about education I’ve read in years. It should be a conversation changer.” —LynNell Hancock, professor of journalism, Columbia University, and director of Spencer Fellowship for Education Journalism

“Kristina Rizga’s Mission High depicts an educational paradox: schools that perform poorly on tests, on average, can also be some of the most deeply engaging and productive learning spaces. Through vivid, compelling portraits of dynamic, resilient students and thoughtful, committed educators, Rizga captures beautifully how young scholars are encouraged and developed. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the holistic nature of teaching and learning.” —Prudence L. Carter, professor of education, Stanford University, and coauthor with Kevin G. Welner of Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance


 “Embedded with teachers on the front lines of education, Mother Jones education reporter Rizga delivers a firsthand report on a “failing” school system. Whether your stance is that the American school system needs more accountability through standardized testing or you see such data-driven restrictions as harmful to actual education, the reality is somewhere in between. Rizga accepted an assignment to go behind the scenes at Mission High School in San Francisco—though it’s more appropriate to say that she fought to go behind the scenes. Schools are notorious for stonewalling reporters, in part because there are minors to protect and in part because the full story never really gets told. This was decidedly not the case for Rizga, who was allowed in for eight months and ended up staying for four years. The author’s extended stretch enabled her to not only get an in-depth look at the effects of emphasizing the importance of individual student test scores, but to also essentially “follow” a group of students as they made their way through their high school years. This, Rizga asserts, enabled her to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t over a period of time that defied easy answers, the elusive “silver bullets” of education reform. This assertion holds up under scrutiny. Rizga introduces us to students from a range of backgrounds, dealing with common (and less common) stressors and finding their ways through the system. Mission High’s educators struggle to balance the Common Core requirements with a forward-thinking approach that evaluates students on how they apply the skills being taught—much like adults are evaluated in the workplace. For a country that uses standardized testing more than any other in the world, this skills-based model represents a shift in thinking that could very well establish a shift in results.”—Kirkus Reviews

 “Rizga, a reporter for Mother Jones, spent four years observing and reporting on the state of the American educational system from Mission High School in San Francisco. On the basis of its poor standardized test scores, Mission High was labeled a low-performing school, but Rizga found a school that was dramatically successful. The student body comprises 950 students from more than 40 countries, 75 percent of whom are low income and only 38 percent for whom English is their first language. By focusing on the stories of Mission High teachers, students, and the principal there, the author personalizes what might otherwise have been a very dry text. She joins Anya Kamenetz (The Test) and other voices protesting our current obsession with standardized testing and arguing instead for focusing on teaching suited to the unique needs of each school. VERDICT Recommended for parents, teachers, and administrators concerned with the problems in our educational system and looking for fresh ideas on how to fix it. Rizga is convinced that Mission High has found answers others can learn from, and she makes a compelling argument.”—Library Journal, Elizabeth Safford, Nevins Memorial Lib., Methuen, MA

MISSION HIGH: One School, How Experts Tried to Fail It, and the Students and Teachers Who Made It Triumph

By: Kristina Rizga

ISBN: 9781568584959

E-ISBN: 9781568584621

ON-SALE DATE: 8/4/15

PRICE: $26.99




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Going to ALA? Check out our publishers’ events in booth 1304!

Last week, we gave you the list of things happening in the Consortium booth. But while we’re there, we’ll have even more things happening in our publishers’ booth! Add these to your schedule, and stop by to check them out!

Signings in the booth:


10:00-10:30     Diana Cohn (The Bee Tree) at Cinco Puntos Press

10:30-12:00    Tom Catton (May I Sit With You?) at Central Recovery Press

12:00-12:30     Kate Schatz & Miriam (Rad American Women A-Z) at City Lights Publishers

1:30-3:00        Emily Filmore (The Marvelous Transformation) at Central Recovery Press

2:00-2:30        Diana Cohn (Si Se Puede/ Yes We Can) at Cinco Puntos Press


10:30-12:00     Dana Bowman (Bottled) at Central Recovery Press

1:30-3:00        Sandra Swenson (The Joey Song) at Central Recovery Press


They’ll have lots and lots of galley/book/swag giveaways in the booth at well:


11:00-11:30     Galleys of 6:41 to Paris at New Vessel Press

12:30-1:30       Galleys of On the Run with Mary at New Vessel Press


Galleys of Marvel and a Wonder at Akashic Books

Galleys of The Anger Meridian at Akashic Books

Books of Eight New-Generation African Poets at Akashic Books

Books of Simon’s Cat in Kitten Chaos at Akashic Books

Books of Simon’s Cat vs. the World at Akashic Books

Books of You Have to F**king Eat at Akashic Books

Galleys of Seriously, You Have to Eat at Akashic Books

Books of Go the F**k to Sleep at Akashic Books

Books of Seriously, Just Go to Sleep at Akashic Books

Books of Copycat and a Litter of Other Cats at Akashic Books

Galleys of What Is Punk? at Akashic Books

Books of I Love You Too at Akashic Books

Books of The Shark Curtain at Akashic Books

Books of Changers Book One: Drew at Akashic Books

Books of Changers Book Two: Oryon at Akashic Books

Blads of Castro: A Graphic Novel at Arsenal Pulp Press

Blads of Suite Française: Storm in June at Arsenal Pulp Press

Blads of Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing at Arsenal Pulp Press

Galleys of The Do-Right at Cinco Puntos Press

Galleys of Crane Boy at Cinco Puntos Press

Galleys of The Great and Mighty Nikko at Cinco Puntos Press

Galleys of Pillow at Coach House Books

Galleys of Chinkstar at Coach House Books

Galleys of The Murder of Halland at Coach House Books

Galleys of Juventud at Curbside Splendor Publishing

Galleys of The Voiceover Artist at Curbside Splendor Publishing

Galleys of Fake Fruit Factory at Curbside Splendor Publishing

Galleys of Tram 83 at Deep Vellum Publishing

Galleys of Neighbors From Hell at Feral House

Books of Rock, Paper, Scissors at Open Letter Books

Galleys of Here Comes the Sun: A Journey to Adoption in 8 Chakras at Stone Bridge Press

Galleys of Love Not Given Lightly: Profiles from the Edge of Sex at Stone Bridge Press

Galleys of Unshaven: Modern Women, Natural Bodies at Stone Bridge Press


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ALA SF: Publishers Group West & Legato Publishers Group

ALA image

There’s something extra special about ALA Annual this year for the PGW Berkeley team because it’s in our city. We can’t wait to have our exhibiting publishers in San Francisco and to meet all the librarians and book lovers at Moscone Convention Center.

With the show just days away we are busy finalizing the logistics and making sure nothing is missed so that we can have the best show ever. PGW, Legato and our exhibiting publishers have a plethora of fantastic books for you to come and see at our booths.  Hope to see you there!

PGW  Booth 1334

Legato Publishers Group  Booth 1333

Exhibiting Publishers:

Nomad Press Booth 1337

Clavis Booth 1335

Owlkids Books  Booth 1331A

Cameron + Company Booth 1331

Creston Books Booth 1331

Readers to Eaters Booth 1329A

Mighty Media Press Booth 1329

Groundwood Books Booth 1327

Trinity University Press Booth 1338A

Kalmbach Booth 1338

Divine Arts Booth 1336A

Hawthorne Books Booth 1336

Counterpoint Booth 1336

Ko Kids Booth 1332A

Insight Editions Booth 1332

House of Anansi Booth 1330A

White Cloud Press Booth 1330

Parallax Press Booth 1330

New World Library Booth 1328A

Grove Atlantic Booth 1328

Skyhorse Publishing Booth 1340

 Author SigningsAngela DP ALA Annual SF - author signings as of 6.17.15_Page_1Angela DP ALA Annual SF - author signings as of 6.17.15_Page_2Angela DP ALA Annual SF - author signings as of 6.17.15_Page_3

Follow us on Facebook:

Publishers Group West

Legato Publishers Group

Hashtag: #alaac15

Looking back at ALA MW Chicago!

ALA chicago pics image


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Meet Us in San Francisco!


Consortium will be at Annual next week, and we’d love to see you! We’ll be at booths 1303-1304. As usual, we’ll have author signings, galleys, and lots of swag!

Publishers in Our Aisle

Each publisher will have their own giveaways and fun, new books for you to see!

Come to our party! We’re having a party with City Lights Publishers and Booklist, at the famous City Lights Bookstore on Columbus Avenue. The invite can be found here. It’s a free event to all ALA attendees—just wear your badge to get in!

Nina Revoyr will have a panel of her own at the Pop Top Stage on Monday, June 29th. The event is from 11:00 to 12:00, and features an author signing following the presentation. She will be signing copies of her latest book, Lost Canyon.


We will have many signings while at ALA:


10:00-10:30    Tom Catton (May I Sit With You?)

11:00-11:30    Tod Davies & Mike Madrid (The Lizard Princess)

1:00-1:30        Emily Filmore (The Marvelous Transformation)

2:00-2:30        Linda Lee Peterson (The Spy on the Tennessee Walker)


10:00-10:30     Dana Bowman (Bottled)

1:00-1:30        Sandra Swenson (The Joey Song)

2:00-2:30        Nina Revoyr (Lost Canyon)

3:00-3:30        Kevin McCloskey (We Dig Worms!)


In addition, we will have galley giveaways and book giveaways in between signings. Stop by and pick up your next favorite book!


9:00-9:30         Marry, Kiss, Kill by Anne Flett-Giordano

12:00-12:30     Places of the Heart by Colin Ellard

3:00-3:30        Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen                                                                                          


9:00-9:30        Wild About Shapes by Jérémie Fischer

11:00-11:30     Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish


We can’t wait to meet you in person! Can’t make it to San Francisco? We’ll be tweeting at @ConsortiumBooks, and using the #alaac15 hashtag.


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