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What’s on Michael’s Mind?
He's Back!
September 2, 2014

As many of you know, I have recently jettisoned my all too abused left knee, in favor of a bright, shiny new titanium version.

Part of the recovery process has involved lying down, with my swollen appendage raised above my heart level. That gave me the leisure to read ahead, to what will be coming in 2015.

Of everything I’ve read, my absolute favorite comes from Algonquin Young Readers, and so... a secret for you. Keep it under your hat, but we have Avi’s next middle-grade novel, and it’s a doozy! Set during the Red Scare of the 50s, it’s called CATCH YOU LATER, TRAITOR. I fell for this book, and fell hard. I think that you will, too.

Now… I have a bound manuscript sitting on my desk, which will go to the first responder to mrockliff@workman.com. The next 25 people to write will be set down for an advance reader’s edition or finished copy, when they become available.

I think that this is possibly the most personal book that Avi’s ever written. It certainly affected me personally, as someone who also grew up during the Red Scare. Kids who think the 50s were all doo wop and Happy Days will get an important history lesson, while being riveted to the page by a powerful story.

Check out Avi’s blog! http://www.avi-writer.com/blog/tag/catch-you-later-traitor/


WITCH’S BOY is off to a great start. Many people came to the booth at ALA looking for it, saying they’d heard how great it is… and right, they are!

THE WITCH’S BOY, by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Reader hardcover/ISBN: 9781616203511/$16.95/Due to pub on 9/16/14 & HighBridge Audio/ ISBN: 9781622314799)

Not targeted to middle-grades (It was written for adults), but OCEAN: A PHOTICULAR BOOK is certainly readable for a good reader of that age. Further, with absolutely fabulous animated (Yes, fully animated) illustration, it’s certain to appeal. Here’s what School Library Journal’s Curriculum Connections had to say…

Showcasing stunning photographic images that ripple with movement, Dan Kainen’s Ocean: A Photicular Book (Workman, Sept. 2014; Gr 5 Up) fully immerses readers in a captivating underwater realm. From a yellow-banded sweetlips to a deep sea anglerfish, eight sea creatures are depicted in vivacious 3-D lenticular-style illustrations that seem to sway, pulse, and paddle. Author Carol Kaufmann introduces each animal with tidbits about physical characteristics, behavior, and conservation. Delightful and engrossing, the text sparkles with evocative details, effervescent descriptions, and eyewitness immediacy (Kaufmann scuba-dived and descended via submersible to visit with her subjects). Though best suited to more confident readers, the expressive writing and irresistible images make this book a splendid choice for sharing aloud with younger students. By Joy Fleishhacker

This originally appeared in School Library Journal's Curriculum
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Well; that’s all for now — and more to come soon!

Drop me a line; I always love to hear what’s on your mind.


Michael Rockliff
Director, Library Sales and Marketing
Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014-4381