One of the PerSisterhood!
Six weeks ago I wrote about my five book projects in the works and my race to finish all of them before their deadlines — which I did! At that time, I referred to each of them by number, roughly when each was scheduled for publication, because two had not yet been announced. One of those announcements came out shortly thereafter. The other one, known then as Book #1 — the first one to launch — did not receive its official announcement until…yesterday.
But what a big announcement it was when it happened! Here’s the press release from the Penguin Young Readers Group:
CHELSEA CLINTON’S #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SHE PERSISTED CHILDREN’S BOOK SERIES EXPANDS IN 2022 WITH THE PUBLICATION OF NEW PICTURE BOOK AND CHAPTER BOOKS
SHE PERSISTED IN SCIENCE: Brilliant Women Who Made a Difference written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, on sale March 1, 2022
Ten new She Persisted chapter books written by award-winning and bestselling authors to be released in 2022.
August 13, 2022 – New York, NY – It was announced today that Chelsea Clinton’s #1 New York Times bestselling She Persisted children’s book series, which has more than 1.5 million copies in print in North America, will expand in 2022. On March 1, 2022, Philomel Books will publish SHE PERSISTED IN SCIENCE: Brilliant Women Who Made a Difference, written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, a new picture book that introduces readers to women scientists who used their smarts, skills and persistence to help change our world. Additionally, Philomel Books will publish ten new installments in the critically acclaimed She Persisted chapter book series, a series of 80-page books written by award-winning and best-selling authors, each dedicated to a female trailblazer.
SHE PERSISTED IN SCIENCE: Brilliant Women Who Made a Difference introduces readers to woman scientists who didn’t listen to those who told them “no” and who used their smarts, their skills and their persistence to discover, invent, create and explain. Women in the book include Florence Nightingale, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, Ynes Enriquetta Julietta Mexia, Grace Hopper, Rosalind Franklin, Gladys West, Jane Goodall, Flossie Wong-Staal, Temple Grandin, Zaha Hadid, Ellen Ochoa, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha & Mari Copeny, and Autumn Peltier, Greta Thunberg & Wanjiru Wathuti. SHE PERSISTED IN SCIENCE follows the bestselling and critically acclaimed picture books She Persisted, She Persisted Around the World and She Persisted in Sports. A Spanish-language edition, Ella persistió en la ciencia, will be concurrently released.
Philomel Books will continue the acclaimed She Persisted chapter book series with ten new installments, beginning in January 2022. Aimed at readers ages 6-9, and written by award-winning and bestselling authors, each chapter book will feature an introduction by Chelsea Clinton, cover art by Alexandra Boiger, and black and white interior illustrations by Gillian Flint. The full 2022 publication schedule includes: Coretta Scott King by Kelly Starling Lyons (January), Wangari Maathai by Eucabeth Odhiambo (February), Temple Grandin by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (April), Patsy Mink by Tae Keller (May), Marian Anderson by Katheryn Russell-Brown (June), Malala Yousafzai by Aisha Saeed (July), Diana Taurasi by Monica Brown (September), Wilma Mankiller by Traci Sorrell (October), Maya Lin by Grace Lin (November), and Rosalind Franklin by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (December).
I am thrilled that my chapter book on Temple Grandin will be the follow-up to She Persisted in Science, so children interested in the work of this remarkable animal scientist and advocate for autistic people can learn more right away. I had the opportunity to meet Temple Grandin eight years ago at the ALA Annual Conference, when my novel Rogue and her nonfiction book The Autistic Brain came out at the same time. I asked her to sign the book to my protagonist Kiara, and she went along with it.
I am honored to be part of this group of “award-winning and bestselling authors,” though in my case, this is more of an aspirational designation. It’s also a demonstration of the unexpected opportunities that can arise in the submission process. My wonderful editors at Philomel, Jill Santapolo and Talia Benamy, had seen three other submissions of mine, two YA historical novels and one picture-book biography, and passed on them because they weren’t the “right fit.” They came to me, however, with their idea of a project that was the right fit. And it truly was!
I’ve long admired Dr. Grandin. Back in the 1990s, even before my own diagnosis on the autism spectrum, I’d read about her work promoting the humane treatment of animals and helping animals with behavior problems. When I visited the ranch in Portugal’s Alentejo region two summers ago, I talked with my friends Luís and Fátima and ranch owner Francisco Gregório de Oliveira about Dr. Grandin and her impact throughout the world. My day at the ranch and my conversations with Luís over the years gave me the background to cover her achievements in animal science as much as her autism advocacy, and I am pleased that young readers will develop a nuanced understanding of what it means to raise animals for food.
Along with the folks at Philomel and Penguin Books for Young Readers, I’m grateful to Chelsea Clinton for her development of this series that highlights the accomplishments of women who refused to step back or take “no” for an answer. I also thank my agent, Jacqui Lipton, and Raven Quill Literary Agency for all their support as I worked on this project and now as it prepares to make its way into the world.