Jessica MacLeish is a former HarperCollins Children’s Books editor of both fiction and non-fiction and is the author of Celebrate Today: 365 Ways to Make Every Day a Holiday. She also writes about pop culture for a variety of digital media outlets.
At HarperCollins Children’s Books, Jessica edited a number of notable and acclaimed books, including How to Read A Book by Kwame Alexander, art by Melissa Sweet, which received multiple starred reviews and was an Indie Next Pick, Margot and Mateo Save the World by Darcy Miller, which was a LITA Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable List / Eleanor Cameron List selection, a JLG selection, and a 2020 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award nominee, The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves, which was a Kirkus Best Books of 2017 pick, a NYPL’s Best Teen Books of 2017 selection, and a ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection, and many more.
Jessica's select booklist can be found below.
Winner of the 2018 Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award * Two starred reviews * A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of 2017 * A Bank Street Best Children's Book of 2017 * Wisconsin Library Association CBA Outstanding Books of the Year selection * 2018-2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award list selection * 2018-2019 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award nominee * Young Hoosier Book Award nominee *
“Pla gives us a memorable hero in this lyrical and funny book.” - Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Charlie’s perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan.
When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.
“[Stanley is] a multidimensional character of great depth who gradually learns how to calm his worried mind. Add to the growing list of intelligent books about kids whose brains operate outside the norm.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Nobody knows comics trivia like Stanley knows comics trivia.
It’s what he takes comfort in when the world around him gets to be too much. And after he faints during a safety assembly, Stanley takes his love of comics up a level by inventing his own imaginary superhero, named John Lockdown, to help him through.
Help is what he needs, because Stanley’s entered Trivia Quest - a giant comics-trivia treasure hunt - to prove he can tackle his worries, score VIP passes to Comic Fest, and win back his ex-best friend. Partnered with his fearless new neighbor Liberty, Stanley faces his most epic, overwhelming, challenging day ever.
“Miller’s debut soars and dives among the complex emotions that accompany growing up and genuine friendship.” - Booklist
When Lauren (but call him “Ren,” pretty please) Hall sees birds falling from the sky, he knows something is wrong. But just as he’s starting to worry, he realizes that the birds are plummeting toward the ground on purpose. Turns out they’re Birmingham Roller Pigeons, and his new neighbor Sutton is training them for a competition. Sure, it’s strange, but Ren’s best and only friend Aiden has picked this summer to start hanging with the popular kids. So Ren starts training pigeons with Sutton - what’s the worst that could happen? A bird falls on his head?
You’ll have to read Roll to find out.
“[An] offbeat and highly enjoyable read...likely to entice even reluctant readers.” - School Library Journal
When Margot Blumenthal removes a bright blue slug alien attached to Mateo Flores’s back, the school play co-stars know it’s definitely not going to be a regular day at West Cove Middle School.
They reluctantly team up and soon discover that the mayor and countless other adults, including Mateo’s dad, are infected - which means that West Cove, and possibly all of Earth, is in danger.
What will they (and their new scientist friend) do? Ditch class and protect humankind, of course - because one unexcused absence doesn’t matter when the world is at stake!
Life is a turbulent journey, fraught with confusion, heartbreak, and inconvenience. This collection of wit and wisdom from New York Times bestselling author Lemony Snicket is unlikely to help.
It includes a new introduction filled with curious aphorisms, a handful of never-before-seen-or-heard quotations, and fan favorites from works over the years. These dubious offerings, collected from Snicket’s books, unpublished papers, and more, have been made pleasing to the eye by illustrations, select fan art, and design flourishes.
Read the book that Ali Standish (author of The Ethan I Was Before) calls "a heartwarming story" and Melissa Roske (author of Kat Greene Comes Clean) calls "a joyful, heartfelt debut!"
Thirteen-year-old Jamie Bunn made a mistake at the end of the school year. A big one. And every kid in her middle school knows all about it. Now she has to spend her summer vacation volunteering at the local library - as punishment. What a waste of a summer!
Or so she thinks.
A Kind of Paradise is an unforgettable story about the power of community, the power of the library, and the power of forgiveness.
"Flat Stanley is back and better than ever." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
In this exciting fourteenth book in the renowned Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures series, the Lambchop family is taking over London, England, on a royal adventure!
Stanley and his family receive an unexpected phone call from Scotland Yard. Stanley has been invited to London to help with a top-secret case. One of the crown jewels was stolen years ago. The Queen has long suspected Lady Laura, her distant cousin, of the theft, and Lady Laura will be in London to attend a formal ball at Buckingham Palace. If she has the jewel, this will be the perfect time to wear it. And that’s where Stanley comes in.
Stanley loves the idea of being a spy, even if being flat has nothing to do with his mission. Or so he thinks...
Stanley Lambchop has been invited to New York City to take part in an International Declaration of Friendship at the United Nations! But before anyone signs the declaration, the group goes on a whirlwind tour of New York City.
What should be an adventure quickly turns scary when Stanley and his new friend Ian get separated from their group. But Stanley and Ian manage to find the fun in their situation, traveling around Manhattan: through the subway, across Times Square, and - finally - to the top of the Empire State Building.
But at the end of the day, Stanley and Ian are still on the search to find their families and friends before it’s time to sign the Declaration of Friendship. Will they meet up with their group before it’s too late?
“Zits is plugged in and ready to rock!” - Lincoln Peirce, author of the New York Times bestselling Big Nate series
Jeremy Duncan and his friends Hector and Pierce are hitting the road! That is, if they can squeeze enough french fries to get their newly veggie oil-powered van to Dog Tired Records in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It's road trip time!
Comics genius Stan Lee calls Zits "a comedic masterpiece".
Featuring black-and-white illustrations on every page, Zits: Shredded is based on the hit syndicated comic strip.
“At times deeply atmospheric and darkly haunting, The Grave Keepers takes us on a spine-tingling journey into a world much like our own, where more lies beneath than above.” - Mindy McGinnis, Edgar Award-winning author of A madness so discreet
The Grave Keepers is a unique coming-of-age story set in a society obsessed with grave keeping.
Lately, Athena Windham has been spending all her spare time in her grave.
Her parents - owners of a cemetery in Upstate New York - are proud of her devoutness, but her younger sister, Laurel, would rather spend her time exploring the forest that surrounds the Windham’s’ property than in her own grave.
The Windham girls lead secluded lives - their older sister died in a tragic accident and their parents’ protectiveness has made the family semi-infamous.
As the new school year begins, the outside world comes creeping in through encounters with mean girls, a new friend, and a runaway boy hiding out in the cemetery. Meanwhile, a ghost hangs around the Windham property - the only grave keeper never to cross over - plotting how to keep the sisters close to home and close to her...forever.
“Debut novelist Klingele balances high-stakes action, plot twists, and comedic scenes...while keeping the plot rolling at a fairly quick pace. A solid purchase for libraries where action-packed titles and urban fantasy series are popular.” - School Library Journal
Worlds collide in Lindsey Klingele’s debut young adult novel, The Marked Girl, an exciting fantasy tale turned upside down.
When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day LA via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum - soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task.
The Marked Girl has humor, heart, and harrowing adventures, perfect for fantasy lovers and reluctant fantasy readers alike.
“Will appeal strongly to many fans of urban fantasy...This will be a satisfying addition to most high school libraries.” - Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
An exciting sequel to The Marked Girl, filled with fantastical adventure and a quest to save two worlds.
In the fantasy world of Caelum, Liv, Cedric, and Kat attempt to defeat an evil traitor and his army to save their families and the kingdom. Meanwhile, Liv’s best friend and Cedric’s frenemy stick in LA to try and figure out how to fix Los Angeles.
The city, thanks to the open portals between LA and Caelum, is breaking down: the sky is orange, gravity isn’t working right, and earthquakes shake the ground every few hours.
When the crew reunites in LA, it’s a race against time to restore the balance of magic between the two worlds.
The adventure that started in Lindsey Klingele’s The Marked Girl concludes in The Broken World!
“Klingele’s spooky, sci-fi-tinged mystery reads like a YA X-Files in the best possible way.” - Booklist
Stranger Things meets Men in Black in this funny and eerie young adult novel.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN BONE LAKE? THE TRUTH WILL SURPRISE YOU.
In small town Michigan, Penny Hardjoy, an aspiring journalist, teams up with the nerdy boy next door and the town’s star quarterback to find her conspiracy theorist father after he goes missing and several other people turn up dead in the woods.
The deeper she digs, the weirder things start to get. Townspeople repeat the same phrases - verbatim. Men in black suits stroll around Main Street. Chunks of Penny's memory go missing.
Pretty soon, her research leads her to the long-ago meteorite crash in Bone Lake’s woods, and she’s going to have to reconsider her definition of “real” if she wants answers...
Warrior by Ellen Oh, founder of #WeNeedDiverseBooks, will appeal to action-fantasy fans of Ranger's Apprentice, Eon, and Marie Lu's Legend series! With a strong heroine, romantic intrigue, and mythical creatures, such as a nine-tailed fox demon and a goblin army, Kira, the yellow-eyed demon slayer who protected her kingdom in Prophecy, is back - and her dramatic quest is far from over.
Kira has valiantly protected her kingdom - and the crown prince - and is certain she will find the second treasure needed to fulfill the Dragon King's prophecy. After finishing Ellen's first novel, Prophecy, School Library Journal said they were "ready for a sequel." Well...here it is! Filled with ancient lore and fast-paced excitement, this page-turning series is one riveting adventure!
A football fantasy. A giant diamond. The modern-day Romeo and Juliet are taking their relationship to the next level...Jude and Lucy are happily engaged, but that doesn't mean life's a bed of roses.
Once again, the hottest couple around is torn apart, this time by football training and a summer job. Now it's Jude with the trust issues.
Will Lucy's life-changing news bring them back together or end their relationship for good? Can love triumph forever?
Find out in the best installment yet in Nicole Williams's racy and romantic Crash trilogy!
“[A] memorable, hard-hitting portrait of a teenager trying to shape his own destiny after being dealt a difficult hand.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review))
The Closest I’ve Come is a must-read from talented first-time author Fred Aceves, in the tradition of Walter Dean Myers.
Marcos Rivas yearns for love, a working cell phone, and maybe a pair of sneakers that aren’t falling apart. But more than anything, Marcos wants to get out of Maesta, his hood, away from his indifferent mom and her abusive boyfriend - which seems impossible.
When Marcos is placed in a new after-school program, he meets Zach and Amy, whose friendship inspires Marcos to open up to his Maesta crew, too, and starts to think more about his future and what he has to fight for. Marcos ultimately learns that bravery isn’t about acting tough and being macho; it’s about being true to yourself.
"Hadley is living the hidden, complex life that so many young people know - a teenager trapped inside her dysfunctional family. This beautiful and sad book will push you toward an unexpected conclusion." - Peter Brown Hoffmeister, author of Too Shattered For Mending
Now Is Everything is a stirring debut novel told in alternating THEN and NOW chapters, perfect for Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven fans, about what one girl is willing to do to protect her past, present, and future.
The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.
Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley's forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.
“A heartbreakingly real look at how grief unfolds…Both timely and timeless, That Night is a story that will stay with you long after you close the cover.” - Joanne O’Sullivan, acclaimed author of Between Two Skies
An evocative story by acclaimed author Amy Giles about tragedy, love, and learning to heal.
The year since a mass shooting shook their Queens neighborhood has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar and deeply personal ways.
As Jess struggles to take care of her depressed mother and Lucas takes up boxing under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, their paths converge. They slowly become friends and then something more, learning to heal and move forward together.
But what does it mean to love after an unspeakable tragedy?
“A raw and heartbreaking story about addiction and recovery that will leave readers breathless.” - Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
Claire Needell’s evocative novel, perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, explores the risks of substance abuse as well as what it means to take control of your life when it seems like the only path forward is the one that will take all of your courage.
Marcelle is clean and sober, attending a tough-love version of after-school rehab, and barely hanging out with her user friends. But one night she gets a text from her best friend, Hannah, asking Marcelle to cover for her.
The next morning, Hannah is missing. Marcelle was the last one to hear from her...and now she’s lying to everyone - about the text, and more.
How long can Marcelle go on before she admits to herself what she has to do? If she comes clean, can she save Hannah?
“A breathless adventure full of surprise twists, daring escapes, awesome tech, and sinister conspiracies!” - Joel Ross, author of Beast & Crown
An epic and funny outer space adventure from acclaimed science fiction author and screenwriter Stel Pavlou!
Below the surface on a forgotten planet, Daniel Coldstar searches for relics from a lost civilization. Daniel has no memory of his past. All he knows is to do his job and fear the masters of the mines.
Until he unearths a relic more powerful than anything he has ever seen. A relic that might help him escape…
What follows is an epic outer space adventure filled with Truth Seekers, anatoms, Leechers, and the evil Sinja who seek to control the universe.
All that stands in their way is a boy named Daniel Coldstar, whose journey will change the galaxy forever.
You may think you know the love triangle, but you've never seen love triangles like these.
These top YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is sixteen fresh, diverse, and romantic stories you don’t want to miss.
This collection, edited by Natalie C. Parker, contains stories written by Renee Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagan, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, EK Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.
A teen girl who offers kissing lessons. Zombies in the Civil War South. The girl next door, the boy who loves her, and the girl who loves them both. Vampires at a boarding school. Three teens fighting monsters in an abandoned video rental store. Literally the last three people on the planet.
What do all these stories have in common? The love triangle.
“[An] engaging and mesmerizing ode to reading…delightful and appealing.” - ALA Booklist (starred review)
“A linguistic and visual feast.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A stunning new picture book from Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander and Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet! This New York Times bestselling duo has teamed up for the first time to bring you How to Read a Book, a poetic and beautiful journey about the experience of reading.
Find a tree - a black tupelo or dawn redwood will do - and plant yourself.
With these words, an adventure begins. Kwame Alexander’s evocative poetry and Melissa Sweet’s lush artwork come together to take readers on a sensory journey between the pages of a book.
Seymour Simon knows how to explain science to kids and make it fun. He was a teacher for more than twenty years, has written more than 250 books, and has won multiple awards.
In Coral Reefs, Simon introduces elementary-school readers to the oceans’ reefs through wonderful descriptions and stunning full-color photographs. He encourages appreciation of the ecology of coral reefs, explains why they are in danger, and suggests ways kids can help save the endangered reefs.