Tu’s third season: Release the hounds!

Now that yesterday was the official release day for Diverse Energies, both fall Tu books are officially out! Go forth and purchase! Tell your friends! Tell your family! Buy one for the dog!

It looks like the hardcover is not quite released yet on Amazon, which means that books are en route to their warehouses from our warehouse, and that pre-orders will start shipping soon. The Kindle version is available as well. So go ahead and pre-order the hardcover if Amazon is your thing—it’ll be along very soon.

At B&N, the Nook version is available and the hard copy is orderable both in person and online. You can also find it at most major online retailers, and directly from Lee & Low on our site (click the cover). The e-book will also soon be available in the Google Play store and iBookstore.

If you prefer a local independent, make sure to ask your local indie to stock it if they aren’t already doing so! Your word of mouth makes a huge difference for small presses like us. If you’re in Oregon or want to order online from Powells, I know that Powells Cedar Hills has signed copies (by Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo) left from a Sirens signing, so you might be able to track those down.


And if you haven’t checked out Summer of the Mariposas yet, it’s been out for a couple weeks already! What are you waiting for? If you’re in Texas, I hear that the book is in the Local Author section of a few B&Ns. If it’s not in yours, request it! Same for your local indie. For ordering online, it’s available at all major retailers in hardcover (including on the Lee & Low site—click the cover) and e-book. Google Kindle Nook iBooks

And if you’re more of a library type, if your local library system hasn’t already ordered the book, be sure to request it! Both books have gotten GREAT reviews (I’ll post a few below) and any library would be enriched to have them.

For teachers and school librarians, you can contact our sales department directly to place large orders, or you can use our website (which takes purchase orders).

And when you have finished the books and savored them, may I ask that you review them at the online venue of your choice? Reviews at Goodreads and Amazon really help out, if you’re looking for a way to support Tu Books!


Praise for Summer of the Mariposas

“In her first fantasy, Pura Belpré winner McCall (Under the Mesquite, 2011) tells the story of five sisters and their myriad adventures as they travel from their home in Texas to Mexico. 

When narrator and eldest Odilia and her sisters, Juanita, Velia, Delia and Pita, find a dead man in their swimming hole, Odilia wants to call the authorities. She is soon overruled by her sisters, who clamor to return the man to his family and visit their grandmother, all of whom live in Mexico. What follows is a series of adventures that hover somewhere on the border between fantasy and magical realism as the sisters are helped and hindered by supernatural forces including Latin American legends La Llorona, lechuzas and chupacabras. . . . Originality and vibrancy shine through to make [this story] a worthwhile read.”Kirkus Reviews

“While Summer of the Mariposas deals with highly fantastic elements (the girls battle witches, chupacabras, and trickster demons, to name a few), this is ultimately a story about family and bonds that can never be broken. I absolutely adored this book. Everything about it, from the sisters and magic to that GORGEOUS COVER (!!), Summer of the Mariposas was a complete homerun. The imagery was beautiful, the wording was remarkable, the characters were fleshed out so well I felt as though I knew them.”—Leah Rubenstein, “The Pretty Good Gatsby”

“This unusual mythic reality tale . . . [is] a darn good story [and] it has a lyrical quality and structure that will appeal to readers who read for literary value.”—“GenreFluent”

“These are colorful characters, crowding the stage, all waiting for their turn to speak or act. It’s The Odyssey, with Mexican-American, female adventurers set against the background of a whole new land. . . . Long live the Garza girls.”Tanita Davis, “Finding Wonderland”

“As a fun adventure story of 5 Mexican American sisters living on the border between Mexico and the U.S., this book has definite merit. There is a lot of between-the-lines information about Mexican and Mexican American culture (including such events as quinceaneros parties), a nice glossary of the some of the Spanish terms used, and terrific little Spanish proverbs or sayings at the beginning of each chapter. . . . I learned a lot!”—Betsy Farquhar, “Literaritea”


Praise for Diverse Energies

In an afterword, coeditor Monti writes about a heated 2009 discussion (dubbed “RaceFail 09”) regarding race in fantasy and science fiction, and how his reaction was to put together a collection showcasing “this wonderful, blended, messed-up world.” Hence this book, which feels different than the usual fare—characters, settings, and authors come from all across the global spectrum—and, maybe more to the point, proves to be not that different at all. It starts off with a fabulous one-two punch: Ellen Oh’s devastating “The Last Day,” about a future global war and the horrific Hiroshima-like aftermath; then “Freshee’s Frogurt,” a wild, violent, and funny excerpt from Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse (2011). In general, the subsequent stories fall on the more thoughtful, brainy side of the sf spectrum. Two standouts are Paolo Bacigalupi’s “A Pocket Full of Dharma,” about the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama on a portable storage drive; and Cindy Pon’s “Blue Skies,” a wistful have/have-not tale from a smog-filthed future Taipei. A solid introduction to a number of highly talented writers.—Daniel Kraus, Booklist

“As the title promises, this sophisticated science-fiction anthology is diverse in nearly every sense of the word. Beyond their being science fiction, no single element or quality unites the collection’s stories. However, the anthology was created in response to concerns that mixed-race characters, non-Western characters, LGBTQ characters and characters of color were underrepresented in young adult fiction, and most stories bring one or more of these underrepresented identities to the foreground. Readers will find poor children working in mines and factories, a have-not yao boy kidnapping a rich you girl and a girl reeling as the world inexplicably changes around her, and no one else notices. Although many stories imagine bleak futures, their tones are refreshingly varied. Daniel Wilson’s tale of a robot attack at a frozen-yogurt shop takes the form of an almost-comical police-interview transcript. Ursula K. LeGuin’s ‘Solitude’ is a sweeping, nostalgic epic. K. Tempest Bradford’s ‘Uncertainty Principle’ is a character-driven time-travel tale. Understanding many of the stories takes patience: Readers are plunged quickly into complex worlds, and exposition often comes slowly. Careful, curious readers will be rewarded, though probably not comforted, by the many realities and futures imagined here.”Kirkus Reviews

“This is a book I’ve been thrilled about ever since I saw it at ALA. It’s filled with incredible dystopian stories from some of the top authors out today and all of the stories feature brilliantly diverse characters. This has the potential to be a huge hit and I cannot wait to hear how much everyone loves it!”Danielle, “There’s a Book”

“My three favourite stories are “Blue Skies”, “Good Girl” and “Solitude”. I found these stories the most thought provoking and loved the way the world creation added to the message of each story. The imagery supported the feelings of the characters – all of whom I found to be compelling in their own ways. “Solitude” I think works perfectly as short story as do the other two, but I would love for “Blue Skies” and “Good Girl” to be turned into full lengthy novels, because the worlds and characters still have much to offer.
I enjoyed Bradford’s story and the premise makes this one of the best time-travel tales I’ve read. It amazes me how Bacigalupi’s and Kanakia’s stories manage to create such a strong sense of environment in the span of a short story. . . . “Pattern Recognition” and “What Arms to Hold” got me thinking about the rights of the child and the importance of questioning those in authority. “The Last Day” is well-written and thought provoking – in that depressing sort of way all stories about the futility of war make us think.”Katja, “YA’s the Word”

“When I first heard the premise of this anthology, I was thrilled. Science fiction and dystopia stories about multicultural characters and worlds written by diverse authors? Sign me up! . . . Most of the stories were very good, and I think they explored the idea of diverse futures very well.”—Jia Vergara, “Dear Author”

A Is for Anansi, NY Comic Con, and TANKBORN

Last weekend I went to the excellent A Is for Anansi conference at NYU, and met a lot of thoughtful people who want to make the world a better place for African American kids. I took a lot of notes and would like to share them at some point, but I’m in the midst of finishing an edit and have only popped online, so I’ll have to do it some other time. In the meantime, Hannah in Lee & Low’s marketing department took some great notes that she shares here.

I cut out from that conference a little early to pop by New York Comic Con over at the Javitz Center, and the best way I can find to describe it is CROWDED. Apparently something like 90,000 people went over the course of the weekend, but I believe most of them were there Saturday between 1 and 4. Got to see my friends Brandon and Emily Sanderson for a few minutes while Brandon was signing books in the midst of a madhouse (we caught up later in less crowded circumstances), wandered around the significantly less-crowded Artist Alley for a while, said hi to some old Wizards of the Coast coworkers at the Wizards booth, and then the crowds got to me and I made my escape. It helped that I was also in the midst of a Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood marathon on Hulu at home, and watching that sounded much more appealing than shoving through crowds and not really seeing anything. I took my camera with me to take pictures of the costumes—and there were some really good ones—but there wasn’t any room to get a good candid shot, so I didn’t bother. Sorry–blog posts are always more fun with pictures. (I’ve taken a number of pictures lately, but haven’t had the time to actually upload them online.)

Thirdly, and BEST of all, I can finally announce our third acquisition at Tu Books, making our third book and rounding out the Fall 2011 season! As reported in PW Children’s Bookshelf yesterday:

Stacy Whitman at Lee & Low Books bought North American rights to Tankborn by Karen Sandler, for publication in fall 2011 as part of the Tu Books imprint launch list. The dystopian YA title is about best friends Kayla and Mishalla, genetically engineered slaves on the planet Loka, whose developing friendships with higher-status boys lead them to question the strict caste system of their world. Sandler has written more than 17 adult romance titles; this is her first YA. Lindsay Ribar and Matt Bialer at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates brokered the deal.

I’m SO EXCITED. The lineup for Tu for Fall 2011 is going to be awesome. We’ve got a YA paranormal thriller (I call it Burn Notice with werewolves), a middle grade space adventure (Olympics in space), and a YA dystopian with two main characters you’re going to love. As time goes on, I’ll be able to tell you more about Wolf Mark, Galaxy Games, and Tankborn; for now, the teasers will have to suffice!

Speaking of which, as I said, I’m in the midst of an edit that I’m trying to get back to the author before I leave for the weekend. Have a good one!

Announcing two books for Tu Books

It’s official! We’ve acquired our first books, and are pushing forward toward more. Hence the reason I’ve had to be so quiet around here–nothing I could talk about until the ink was dry. But now that it’s all settled, I’m happy to say that we have some really awesome books coming out next fall. Here’s the announcement we sent out:

Stacy Whitman at Lee & Low Books has acquired the first novels for the Tu Books imprint, which launches in fall 2011. The imprint will focus on multicultural MG/YA science fiction and fantasy. For the launch list, Whitman has acquired World rights to a YA paranormal thriller tentatively titled Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac, author of Codetalker and Skeleton Man. When Lucas King’s black-ops father is kidnapped and his best friend, Meena, put in danger, Lucas’s only chance to save them is hidden away in an abandoned, monster-guarded mansion.  The deal was done by Barbara Kouts of the Barbara S. Kouts Agency.

Whitman has also bought world rights to Galaxy Games by Greg Fishbone, a MG science fiction trilogy about an incoming asteroid that turns out to be an alien spaceship, visiting Earth to recruit a team of kid athletes to compete in the upcoming Galaxy Games Tournament. The first book, tentatively titled Preliminaries, will be published as part of the Tu Books launch list in fall 2011. The three-book deal was completed by Garrett Hicks of Will Entertainment.

ETA: Just a reminder: If you think these books sound awesome, remember to follow @tubooks (or on FB: http://bit.ly/4vsAbz) for more Tu Books news. We’ll also be sharing this news on the Lee & Low official blog tomorrow.

Upcoming books by friends

For those of you who are RPG players or DMs, here’s a book for you. Back in April, I got the chance to line edit/copyedit X-treme Dungeon Mastery, a new book by bestselling fantasy author Tracy Hickman and his son, who is a magician in his own right, Curtis Hickman, and illustrated by Howard Tayler. It’s now available for pre-orders through the Tayler Corp. If you are familiar with Howard Tayler’s excellent webcomic Schlock Mercenary (and the books they publish from that content), you’ll already know about it. For those of you who don’t know the Taylers, well, you should.

The book is a hilarious and enlightening look at how to make your game nights more entertaining and fun for both the dungeon master and your players–including how to wow your players and bring the magic in your game to life with step-by-step instructions on a number of magic tricks. Howard’s excellent illustrations enliven the already-fun text. Here’s a taste of what you’ll learn, from the marketing copy:

Throw off your chains! Too long have your role-playing games been held in the bonds of substandard gamemasters, bound in needlessly complicated rule sets, and enslaved by players who will avoid doing anything unless it counts toward leveling up! It is time to take a stand!

Learn from the masters the ancient secrets of how to:

  • Become a certified XDM and impress dates (Do-it-yourself secret initiation rites included.)
  • Design epic adventures that tell stories.
  • Perform magical feats to amaze your players, and even make them disappear!
  • Employ actual combustion (yes, “fire,” and yes, it’s dangerous) to enhance your games!
  • Hijack any game as a player, and deal with any player revolution as an XDM!

God does not play dice with the universe. We do.


Also, for those of you who are writers, you’ll be interested to know that editor Cheryl Klein–she of the Arthur Levine imprint at Scholastic, who keeps an informative blog and whose writing advice is excellent–has announced that she’s going to collect her many helpful speeches into a book. She’s decided to self-publish this book (remember how we talked about how some projects lend themselves well to self-publishing?) and is raising the money for the initial print run through Kickstart.com to make sure she has enough interest to pay for the project. I’m sure there are enough people in this world who would love to have a copy of her wisdom in a collected form (especially talks that have not been shared on her website), so if you’re interested in getting a copy of the book or just want to support the project, wander on over to Cheryl’s post explaining the details, and she’ll link you to her project page.


I’m forgetting someone. There was someone else’s book I wanted to plug here, but it’ll have to wait for another post when I remember. Instead, I will just tell you that I’m in the middle of (finally) reading The Hunger Games, and BOY is it good. I bought the book way back in February or March, but was so busy I hadn’t had a chance to read it yet. Then I took it to the seminar I taught in March to use as an example of a great opening line (I had gotten that far), and then when the seminar was over, I brought my big tote bag of books home but never got around to putting the books back on the shelves. I spent most of May and June wondering if I’d dreamed buying the book! Thankfully–because I was in the bookstore mulling over whether to buy it a week before–I’d put the book down to wait for the King’s English’s sale a few days later and then never made it back up to Salt Lake to buy it, because in preparing for my seminar last week I finally found the book at the bottom of that tote bag from March.

Whew! So now I’m reading it, and though I’ll save a real review until after I’ve actually finished it, I just have to say–she already had me tearing up in the first three chapters! It’s that good.

Speaking of books I’ve edited

Green Dragon Codex
Green Dragon Codex

I keep forgetting to post that the last book I edited for Mirrorstone, Green Dragon Codex, is now out. The book, written by R.D. Henham with the “assistance” of Clint Johnson (check out the critique he’s offering at Cynthea Liu’s Take the Dare auction!), is also the subject of a new contest from Mirrorstone. Libraries and kids 8-14 can write lyrics to a song about any of the dragons in the Codex books, and win a big prize for your library — two copies each of

  • A Practical Guide to Dragons
  • Red Dragon Codex
  • Bronze Dragon Codex
  • Black Dragon Codex
  • Brass Dragon Codex
  • Green Dragon Codex (newly published this summer!)
  • 2 Practical Guide calendars and an assortment of bookmarks.
  • Plus each member of the winning team will receive one copy of A Practical Guide to Dragons and the Green Dragon Codex!

Check out the contest–looks like they’ve provided the music to set the lyrics to and advice on how to write lyrics, so you’ve got a lot of tools at your disposal.


Getting some very nice Christmas cards in the mail today reminded me that I have mine halfway done. I just need to address them–they’re labeled, stuffed, and everything.

I also got a cover of Red Dragon Codex drawn by a reader. It’s awesome, and I’d show a picture if I had a working camera.

The snow is really coming down here. Glad I don’t have to drive anywhere! I am planning on going up to Salt Lake tonight to go with some friends to a Living Nativity, so here’s hoping the roads clear by then–I’m looking forward to spending time with the friends.

Despite not having to leave the house to go to work, it feels like a snow day, so I have declared a holiday. I am watching Northanger Abbey bundled up in a cozy blanket, sitting next to my cat who is fascinated by all the snow coming down. And of course the song "Snow" from White Christmas is going through my head: "Snow… snow…
snow… snow… snow! It won’t be long before we’re there with snoooo-ooooow! I wanna wash my face, my hands, my hair in snow. What is Christmas with nooooo snooooow?" etc. There’s no replacing it, I’m afraid.

Looks like the snow is lightening up a little, at least.

Oh! And something I forgot to mention when it went up on the website, which announces something I’ve been holding off on announcing that I’m going to have to announce now–I’ll post it in a new dedicated post.