Graphic Novel News from First Second

And the rights go to, Awards, Best Books of the Year Lists, Comics and Graphic Novels

There’s a lot happening, so this is long!

CHECK, PLEASE! by Ngozi Ukazu is garnering major media buzz, with more to CHECK PLEASEcome!

NPR Books says, “With Bitty’s ever-contagious optimism and Ukazu’s sprightly drawings, life inside this soap bubble is as nice as it should be everywhere else.” Read the full review here.

Den of Geek calls CHECK, PLEASE! “endlessly delightful.” Read the full review here.

The Mary Sue calls CHECK, PLEASE! “amazing [and] refreshing.” Read the full feature here.




BE PREPAREDBE PREPARED by Vera Brosgol won “Best Graphic Novel” in Parents magazine’s “15 Best Children’s Books 2018”

Spanish-language rights in Latin America sold to Panamericana Editorial. French rights sold to Rue de Sèvres.

Nominated for Best Graphic Novel for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards.

Spanish rights to Vera Brosgol’s previous, Eisner-winning title, ANYA’S GHOST, have been renewed to Norma Editorial, and Rue de Sèvres will republish it in French in 2020.



BEST FRIENDS, the sequel to REAL FRIENDS, will be published in August 2019!BEST FRIENDS


Additionally, Shannon Hale just wrote a guest piece for The Washington Post (UVM: 43,925,810 – Circ: 500,000) about gendered reading that prominently featured REAL FRIENDS, for both online (Oct 10) and print (Oct 15, attached).








TIGER VS. NIGHTMARE by Emily Tetri included in the Winter 2018-2019 Kids’ Indie Next List.

French rights have gone to Casterman.








The New York Times Book Review ran a fantastic review of SCARLETT HART: MONSTER HUNTER is their October 28th issue: “Young readers will find Scarlett aspirational. She’s brave, but not unafraid. She’s bold, but no arrogant. She also has an amazing talent, which I confess I envy…”







THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER (review), and and ON A SUNBEAM (review, PW talks with Tillie Walden)



were chosen for Publishers Weekly Best of Books 2018 young adult list.




THE ADVENTURE ZONE by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Carey Pietsch was nominated for Best Graphic Novel for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards.









SCIENCE COMICS: THE BRAINThe Ultimate Thinking Machine

Science Comics - THE BRAIN

★ “A particularly well-executed and thought-provoking installment in this reliable nonfiction series.” –Booklist, starred review









HAWKING by Jim Ottaviani, illustrated by Lelan Myrick: Italian rights sold to BAO Publishing, French rights to Vuibert, and Spanish rights  to Norma Editorial







and, finally:

SPILL ZONE Volume 1 by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Alex Puvilland: Spanish-language rights in Latin America sold to Panamericana Editorial.SPILL ZONE Book 1

Everyone Likes a Fart!

Awards, Best Books of the Year Lists, Bestsellers, Children's Fiction

NO ONE LIKES A FART Picture Book of the Year

NO ONE LIKES A FART by Zoe Foster Blake (Penguin Random House Australia) has just been chosen Children’s Picture Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards 2018!

Penguin have sold over 60,000 copies in Australia alone since publication – it’s the fastest selling picture book in the history of Bookscan Australia!

North American rights have been sold to Penguin Workshop, and Japanese rights to Alphapolis.


Shaun Tan Has Done It Again!

Awards, Children's Fiction, New from our clients

CICADATok Tok Tok!

Australian superstar Shaun Tan, has a new book, CICADA, coming out this summer, and it’s another great one!

Books+Publishing has given it a 5-star review that you can read here.

Shaun’s previous books have been published in many translations around the world, his animated film, The Lost Thing, won an Oscar, and in 2011 Shaun received children’s literature’s most prestigious prize, the Astrid Lindgren Award.

Morris Gleitzman Is the New Children’s Laureate in Australia!

Author news, Awards
From Publishing Perspectives:
The next two-year post as Children’s Literature Laureate in Australia is taken up by Morris Gleitzman.
By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Where Young Imaginations Draw Strength’

The Australian Children’s Literature Alliance on Monday (February 12) announced author Morris Gleitzman as its new Australian Children’s Laureate for 2018 and 2019.

The biennially awarded laureateship highlights the work of an outstanding illustrator or author whose role then becomes part of the organization’s work in promoting “the importance and transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.”

The theme for Gleitzman’s two-year term will be “Stories Make Us—Stories Create Our Future.”

Gleitzman succeeds Leigh Hobbs, who held the 2016 and 2017 appointment. Recent laureates include Alison Lester, Boori Monty Pryor, and Jackie French.

The laureate designation was established in 2008 and Gleitzman’s designation will be formalized on Thursday (February 15) in an event at the State Library of New South Wales.

In a prepared statement, Gleitzman is quoted, saying, “As laureate, I’ll champion stories and everything stories can offer. I aim to be a kind of ambassador for young readers, and for the community of people who write for them.

“An emissary from the place where young imaginations draw strength from stories and grow and engage and become our best hope for the future.

“Young people need stories more than ever. Stories to delight, stories to beguile, stories to inspire, stories to move deeply. And through these experiences, stories that equip young readers to embrace an often dark and uncertain world with optimism, resolve and creativity.”

The organization’s chairman, Ron Gorman, is also quoted, saying, “We were delighted when Morris accepted the role of children’s laureate for 2018 and 2019. His impressive body of work is well known by Australians, young and old, who will no doubt celebrate his laureateship.

“Increasingly, research is showing us that reading changes lives—Morris will be a persuasive voice in bringing Australians to value reading and children’s literature.”

More than 30 years into his career, Gleitzman writes books for young people that explore both serious and more lighthearted subjects including Two Weeks With the QueenBoy OverboardBumfaceToad Rage and the “Felix” series that includes Soon, winner of the CBC Australia Book of the Year for Younger Readers recognition.

His books are published in more than 20 countries, and in Australia they’re published by Penguin Random House.

Congratulations, Morris! It’s a well-deserved recognition of your work!


Awards, YA fiction

The beautiful YA novel ONE WOULD THINK THE DEEP by Claire Zorn (UQP) has won the 2017 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award in the Older Readers  category.

ONE WOULD THINK THE DEEPSam has always had things going on in his head that no one else understands, even his mum. And now she’s dead, it’s worse than ever. 

With nothing but his skateboard and a few belongings in a garbage bag, Sam goes to live with the strangers his mum cut ties with seven years ago: Aunty Lorraine and his cousins Shane and Minty. 

Despite the suspicion and hostility emanating from their fibro shack, Sam reverts to his childhood habit of following Minty around and is soon surfing with Minty to cut through the static fuzz in his head. But as the days slowly meld into one another, and ghosts from the past reappear, Sam has to make the ultimate decision … will he sink or will he swim.

DEMON Gets an Eisner!

Awards, Comics and Graphic Novels

Congratulations to author Jason Shiga and to publisher First Second for DEMON, Volume 1, which has won an Eisner Award (the most prestigious from the American comics industry) in the category Best Graphic Album, Reprint!


DEMON’s four volumes compose a high-energy thriller about a suicidal accountant who wants to die but can’t, and the unspeakable chaos and astronomical body count he leaves in his wake as he pursues his quest. (Think Groundhog Day, crossed with the Italian cult strip Squeak the Mouse, and you’ll be close.)

French (Cambourakis) and Italian (Coconino/Fandango) rights have been sold, but all other rights are still free.