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Agency News

Maurice Benard's Memoir Wins Christopher Award


Not only was Maurice Benard's memoir, NOTHING GENERAL ABOUT IT: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital, an instant New York Times' bestseller and a winner of the Mental Health America Award, but it has now won the Christopher Award!  The Christopher Awards were created in 1949 to celebrate writers, producers, directors, authors, and illustrators whose work "affirms the highest values of the human spirit" and reflects the Christopher motto, "It's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."  Congratulations, Maurice!

JDLA Celebrates Its 20th Year!


From a fledgling, one-person business to a well-established, respected company with a roster of bestselling and award-winning authors, the agency has proven itself to be an industry leader in books for children, teens, and adults in a wide variety of genres, as well as film, television, and stage productions.  Congratulations, Jennifer!

Margi Preus Wins Book Award!

Margi Preus has won the 2020 Northern Lights Award 

for Middle-Grade Historical Fiction for her novel, THE 

LITTLEST VOYAGEUR (Holiday House, 2020).


Congratulations, Margi!

A Win for Jackie Azua Kramer's Debut Picture Book!

Client Jackie Azua Kramer's debut picture book, THE GREEN UMBRELLA (North-South) is the 2017 Children's Choice Silver Medal winner.


Janice Harrington's middle grade novel, Catching a Storyfish (Boyds Mills Press) was selected as an NCTE Notable Verse Novel for 2017, one of only eight books chosen.

Elf in the Parade!

The Elf has returned to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We hope your family enjoys the parade and the coming holiday season!

Heart of a Samurai is a Sake!

A sake was made in honor of the Newbery Honor winning novel HEART OF A SAMURAI by Margi Preus. What a tribute!

Booklist's Top 10!

Author M.P. Barker's YA novel MENDING HORSES (Holiday House, 2014) is a 2015 Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction for Youth title. Booklist calls it a "skillful evocation of race, class, and gender in nineteenth-century New England."

2015 Christopher Award Winner!

Author Carmella Van Vleet's middle-grade ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG FAT QUITTER (Holiday House, 2014) has won a 2015 Christopher Award. The award is given out annually to creative works that affirm "the highest values of the human spirit."

Margi Preus Wins Minnesota Book Award!

On Saturday, April 18th, Margi Preus accepted the Minnesota Book Award for Young People's Literature for her middle-grade novel, WEST OF THE MOON (Abrams/Amulet). The award (now in its 27th year) drew from 250 nominees. This is Margi's third major award for this novel, which also received five starred reviews.

WEST OF THE MOON Wins Another Award!

New York Times-bestselling and Newbery Honor-winning author Margi Preus's third novel, WEST OF THE MOON, has just won the Society of Midland Authors award for children's fiction. The award will be presented to Margi in Chicago, Illinois on May 1st.

MENDING HORSES Honored by VOYA Magazine!

M. P. Barker's novel Mending Horses (Holiday House) has just been selected as a 2014 Top Shelf book by VOYA Magazine. This honor is given each year to only a few titles that clearly raise the bar for outstanding storytelling.

Kid Lit Bootcamp!

Jennifer, Steve, Marie, Linda, and Roseanne are teaming up with Writer's Digest to teach Writing and Selling Your Children's Book. This event includes two webinars (one on picture books, one on middle grade and young adult books), interactive discussions, and a critique from one of our agents. Sign up here: See you there!

Bill Konigsberg Accepts SCBWI Sid Fleischman Humor Award!

Bill Konigsberg, author of Openly Straight (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013), accepted SCBWI's prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award at the annual convention in Los Angeles. Click here to see his acceptance speech, and click here for Bill's personal thoughts. Congrats, Bill!

An Essence Magazine Pick!

Tracey Baptiste's new middle grade fantasy THE JUMBIES (Algonquin Books for Young Readers) is featured in the April 2015 issue of Essence magazine as a top pick. Reviewer Patrik Henry Bass calls THE JUMBIES an "endlessly addictive and hypnotic new read."

New Sci-Fi Series by Matthew J. Kirby!

"As always, Kirby delivers a fast-paced, intense story, " writes Publishers Weekly 

and "Intrepid readers will be rewarded with an action-packed, intriguing story," raves School Library Journal.


Look for the first book, Arctic Code, on April 28!

Danny Aiello's Audiobook Receives Earphones Award!

Danny Aiello's memoir, I ONLY KNOW WHO I AM WHEN I AM SOMEBODY ELSE, has received an Earphones Award from Audiofile. "With his raspy voice, Danny Aiello brings the Manhattan of his childhood to life . . . . Throughout this gem, Aiello's integrity, grit, and, yes, polish come through loud and clear."  Read the full review:  Congratulations, Danny!

Stephen Fraser Celebrates 10 Years!

We are thrilled to celebrate Stephen's 10-year anniversary with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. He brings tenacity, a sharp editorial eye, and devotion to his clients. We are truly lucky to have him. Congratulations!

JDLA Welcomes Vicki Selvaggio!

With a strong background in business ownership, Vicki comes to The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an Associate Agent with over six years of actively working as a volunteer and Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio. Find more about Vicki, her interests, and her submission guidelines here. Welcome!

Two Starred Reviews for MENDING HORSES!

M.P. Barker's Mending Horses (Holiday House, 2014) is a hit! Kirkus writes "Fluid writing and a true sense of history—including fascinating insights into early circuses—raise this well above the usual" (read full review). Booklist says "Barker skillfully evokes the realities of class, racial, and gender oppression in the nineteenth century through a rich cast, lifelike setting, and complex, compelling plot." 

ICEFALL by Matthew Kirby Racks 'em Up!

Matthew J. Kirby's ICEFALL has won many prestigious awards: PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children’s Literature; Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery; the Judy Lopez Memorial Award; finalist for an Agatha Award; winner of a Parents Choice Gold Medal; named as a New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing; and named an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults. 

ICEFALL by Matthew Kirby Racks 'em Up!

Matthew J. Kirby's ICEFALL has won so many prestigious awards: PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children’s Literature; Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery; the Judy Lopez Memorial Award; finalist for an Agatha Award; winner of a Parents Choice Gold Medal; named as a New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing; and named an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults. 

OPENLY STRAIGHT by Bill Konigsberg Wins Multiple Awards!

Bill Konigsberg's Openly Straight (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013) has been showered by accolades and awards! It's has been included on the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults List for 2014 and the ALA Rainbow List. It is also a Lambda Literary finalist for Children's/Young Adult Literature. We couldn't be prouder of Bill Konigsberg and Openly Straight!


Brent Hartinger's 2003 novel, Geography Club, is now a movie! Starring Cameron Deane Stewart, Justin Deeley, Meaghan Martin, Nikki Blonsky, Ana Gasteyer, and Scott Bakula, Geography Club is available on DVD as well as streaming on Netflix and Amazon.

Books Save Lives Award!

Bill Konigsberg's award winning young adult novel, Openly Straight, just won honorable mention in the 2015 Joan F. Kaywell Books Save Lives Award. More info here.

Harper's Illustrations Acquired for Museum!

The Mazza Museum in Ohio has purchased 6 original illustrations and 14 sketches by author/illustrator Lee Harper. Harper's work will become part of the museum's permanent collection, which highlights excellence in children's illustration.

More Honors for THE JUMBIES!

Congratulations to Tracey Baptiste! Her middle-grade novel THE JUMBIES (Algonquin Books for Young Readers) is included on the 2015 New York Public Library Top 100 Notable Titles list, and also on the We Need Diverse Books 10 Must Reads list for 2015.

Named a "Must Read"!

M.P. Barker's YA historical Mending Horses (Holiday House, 2014) has been named a "Must Read" for 2015 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

Tracey Baptiste, author of the middle-grade novels THE JUMBIES, and RISE OF THE JUMBIES (Algonquin Books), was interviewed for NPR's Weekend Edition. The segment will air November 12th.

Scholastic Book Club Titles!

Congratulations to clients Jennifer O'Connell (HARVEST PARTY!), Lee Harper (TURKEY TRICK OR TREAT), and Tracey Baptiste (THE JUMBIES) who each have their books featured in Scholastic Book Club fliers this season! Baptiste's novel is part of Scholastic's special We Need Diverse Books edition.


Simon & Schuster has launched a special online site for client Debbie Dadey's chapter book series MERMAID TALES. The site features a host of fun mermaid activities kids will love.

THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH ends 2015 right!

We are so pleased and proud to see Bill Konigsberg’s THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic 2015) on a number of end of year favorite lists! School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox; Booklist’s Editor’s Choice Books for Youth; and the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens 2015. Well done, Bill!


Two More Lists!

Bill Konigsberg's THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH made the American Library Association's 2016 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list and also the Rainbow Book List. The Rainbow Book List presents an annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content. Thank you, librarians, for all the PORCUPINE love!

Washington Post Book Club Pick!

Author Tracey Baptiste's spooky middle-grade The Jumbies (Algonquin Books for Young Readers, 2015) is one of 8 titles selected for The Washington Post's KidsPost Summer Book Club, to be read by kids all across Washington, DC.

Winner of the ALA 2016 Stonewall Book Award!

Bill Konigsberg's THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH has won the American Library Association's Young Adult Stonewall Book Award for 2016! The Stonewall Book Awards are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children and teens relating to the GLBT experience. Find the full press release here.

Chapter Book on Amazon Books of the Month List!


Claudia Mills's fifth FRANKLIN SCHOOL FRIENDS chapter book, CODY HARMON, KING OF PETS (6/14/16, FSG), was selected for the Amazon books of the month list.

On National Aquarium List!

The picture book GREEN GREEN: A COMMUNITY GARDENING STORY (Farrar, Straus Giroux) by Marie and Baldev Lamba, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez, is featured as one of the National Aquarium's favorite conservation-themed books and it's part of their 2017 Reef to Read Book Club list.

Guillermo Diaz, from TV's hit show SCANDAL, did a lively reading of TURKEY TRICK OR TREAT for viewers of the kid show BOOKABOO. The book, published by Two Lions, is written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by client Lee Harper, and the episode is available for streaming online now.

Audiobook, OPENLY STRAIGHT (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2013) by Bill Konigsberg wins the Parent's Choice Award! Congratulations, Bill!

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