Jodi Keller was a Senior Editor at Random House Children’s Books, where she worked on young adult and middle-grade fiction, non-fiction, and fantasy for Delacorte Press. Jodi’s favorites are the stories and characters that stay with her long after she’s reached the last page, and she’s been fortunate to work with national bestselling authors Peter Benchley and Julie Schumacher and assist on novels by acclaimed writers Philip Pullman, Jerry Spinelli, and Christopher Paul Curtis. She has also worked on award-winning debut novels such as Cures for Heartbreak, a Booklist Editor's Choice by Margo Rabb, and What They Always Tell Us, an Indie Next List Selection by Martin Wilson.
In fantasy, Jodi edited Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s popular series, the Den of Shadows, The Kiesha’ra, and The Maeve’ra, whose books won such awards as the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, an International Reading Association Young Adults’ Choice, a Voice of Youth Advocates Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Selection, and New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age.
With over twenty years of experience in children’s book publishing, Jodi is dedicated to helping new and established authors alike improve their craft. When she’s not editing manuscripts, she’s busy sharing her love of reading with her eight-year-old twins. They remind her each day how the best books have the power to keep us up way past our bedtime, discovering new worlds or taking comfort in the familiar. They make us want to share passages out loud, ask questions, and laugh so hard we need to be reminded that lights out was twenty minutes ago.
Jodi's select booklist can be found below.
“Martin Wilson’s [debut novel] hears the voices of the young as they struggle toward adulthood...” - Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author
JAMES AND ALEX have barely anything in common anymore - least of all their experiences in high school, where James is a popular senior and Alex is suddenly an outcast. But at home, there is Henry, the precocious 10-year-old across the street, who eagerly befriends them both. And when Alex takes up running, there is James’s friend Nathen, who unites the brothers in moving and unexpected ways.
“A sad, funny, smart, endlessly poignant novel.” - Michael Chabon, bestselling author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Margo Rabb’s critically acclaimed debut novel Cures for Heartbreak - a somber yet humorous depiction of love, loss, and new beginnings - has been reissued with a stunning new look.
Less than two weeks after fifteen-year-old Mia Pearlman’s mother is diagnosed with cancer, she dies, leaving Mia, her older sister, and their father to face this sudden and unfathomable loss. As Mia struggles to navigate her grief, she’s also forced to examine the truth about her parents’ rocky marriage, her unexpected feelings for a guy with leukemia, and the nagging health phobias that plague her on a daily basis. Ultimately, her journey down this road slowly paves the way for hope amid immeasurable loss.
In this heartfelt novel, Margo Rabb dives deep into the complicated emotions that befall a family after the death of a loved one.
“This tale of a good family that suddenly finds itself in bad trouble is witty and spare, and expertly maps the territory of depression.” - Judith Guest, bestselling author of Ordinary People
WHEN DORA, ELENA’S older sister, is diagnosed with depression and has to be admitted to the hospital, Elena can’t seem to make sense of their lives anymore. At school, the only people who acknowledge Elena are Dora’s friends and Jimmy Zenk - who failed at least one grade and wears black every day of the week. And at home, Elena’s parents keep arguing with each other. Elena will do anything to help her sister get better and get their lives back to normal - even when the responsibility becomes too much to bear.
“Zeises paints a convincing picture of a family facing tough decisions and a fully realistic heroine who's confused and scared…A winning family drama.” - School Library Journal
Lucy Doyle is about to explode. She’s sure her name might as well be Loser because she‘s never, ever been kissed. To make matters worse, nearly all of her friends have left her behind for boys. Even Lucy’s favorite brother doesn’t seem to have time for her anymore. He’s just moved home from college with a distant new attitude and a big-haired girlfriend Lucy can’t stand. Freshman year is definitely not off to a good start.
So when Lucy attracts the attention of Tobin Scacheri, the junior everyone wants to date, she can barely believe her luck. Tobin’s cute and funny, and he might like Lucy as much as she likes him. But Lucy’s brother has a secret that will turn her already mixed-up world completely upside down. Now, Lucy must figure out how far she’s willing to take her relationship with Tobin - and how to deal with a brother who’s not as perfect as she thought.
“Stella Madison’s summer of food and love is a great read full of broken hearts, broken promises, and broken eggs. A must for anyone who eats.” - E. Lockhart, author of The Boyfriend List
“This book’s got all the right ingredients: friends, family, boys, and food.” - Sara Dessen, New York Times bestselling author
A warmhearted, delectable novel about what it means to love and be loved.
When Stella Madison's food-loving parents help her land a summer job at the local newspaper, there’s only one catch: she’s expected to write about food. Luckily, Stella has Jeremy, the hot new intern at her mom’s restaurant, who’s more than happy to help. But where does that leave Stella’s boyfriend, Max, who recently dropped the L-word? And could her separated parents be cooking up romances of their own?
“While this background is serious, the story has a lot of humor and a bit of romance…This novel offers readers likable characters and a personal narrative of economic woes. It will keep them turning the pages.” - School Library Journal
“Koss makes the economic reality accessible while giving readers a character with whom they can either identify or relate to a friend they might know.” - Booklist
A TIMELY, WARMHEARTED NOVEL ABOUT LIFE IN HARD ECONOMIC TIMES.
Jacki’s ninth-grade teacher is always going on about the unemployment index and the recession, but nothing sinks in until her mom is laid off and everything seems to cost more than they can afford. Acclaimed author Amy Goldman Koss delivers a warm-hearted and timely tale about the things we lose and the insights we gain.
“Wood uses musical theater as a framework for a larger theme: the rich fantasy life of teens.” - School Library Journal
To best friends and devoted theater fans Emily and Philip, Aurora is no ordinary Broadway musical. Their love for the hit show (whose reclusive author has never been named) is nothing short of an obsession. Thanks to a secret loan from Emily’s grandma Rose, seeing the Saturday matinee has become a weekly ritual that makes real life seem dull and drab by comparison. But when the theater chat rooms start buzzing with crazy rumors that Aurora might close, Emily and Philip find themselves grappling with some truly show-stopping questions. What, exactly, is the “one sure thing” in show business? How will they pay back the money they owe Grandma Rose? And why hasn’t Philip asked Emily out on a real date? As they go to hilarious lengths to indulge their passion for Aurora, Emily and Philip must face the fact that all shows close sooner or later. But first they’ll put their friendship to the ultimate test, solve Broadway’s biggest mystery - and spend one unforgettable night at the theater.
“It's a love story and a plea for peace, and an intriguing look at a world that is teeming with tension and danger and beauty.” - School Library Journal
DANICA SHARDAE IS an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk’s form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she’ll do anything in her power to stop this war - even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind’s greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one.
Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica - and all they ask of their people - but it may be more than she can give.
Oliza Shardae Cobriana is heir to Wyvern's Court, home of the avians and serpiente, whose war with each other ended just before Oliza was born.
But hatred is slow to die, and not everyone likes the expressive way in which Urban, a serpiente dancer, is courting Oliza - especially not Marus, her reserved avian suitor. And when Urban is found beaten in avian land, Oliza is filled with despair. How can she be expected to lead a unified society if her people still cannot live peacefully together?
Before Oliza can try to mend the rift in Wyvern's Court, she is kidnapped by mercenaries, who take her deep into wolves' territory. As Wyvern princess, all Oliza has ever wanted is to see a future where she can find love and take a mate without inciting another war. The time is now. She owes it to her people - and to herself.
Sixteen-year-old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school. But Erin has more to worry about than passing AP Chemistry or making friends. In times of stress, she has always been overcome by her alter ego, Shevaun, whose violent behavior wreaks havoc on those around her. Erin can never remember anything about these episodes, and she’s grateful to have been spared them for a while.
But when a protective friend comes back into Erin’s life, he insists that Shevaun
is a vampire who actually exists apart from Erin. Shevaun has dangerous
allies, like the handsome witch Adjila - and they’re determined to sever Shevaun’s connection to Erin once and for all.
"Edgy worldbuilding, with cultures and societies based loosely on real history, is compelling. This book is highly recommended for Atwater-Rhodes fans and urban fantasy or alternate reality readers." - VOYA
Vampires are the only guardians Vance Ehecatl has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family. He is grateful to them for generously providing for all of his needs and for offering him a home in the powerful empire of Midnight. But when an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered life, he’s startled to meet Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with conflicting ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah.
Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, who Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control. Vance doesn't know anything about the rare and destructive magic Malachi says he possesses, and he can't believe Jeshickah would use it to hurt others. But when his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his perfect world may not be as flawless as it seems. Now Vance must decide who to trust - the vampires he's always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.
“Honest, lyrical, and deeply felt, Grass Angel is the kind of book that you want to insist that others read.” - Kate DiCamillo, Newbery Award winner
Frances Cressen has the perfect summer planned. She’s going to Camp Whitman with her best friend, Agnes. But Frances’s mother has something else in mind for the family: Mountain Ash, a spiritual retreat in the middle of nowhere. Frances can’t think of anything worse than Bible class and baby-sitting for eight long weeks - that is, until her mother drives away with her younger brother, Everett, and leaves Frances behind.
Now a stranger is renting Frances’s house while she’s stuck living out by the graveyard with her odd aunt Blue. And Camp Whitman is a disaster. The boys in Frances’s group say that weird things are happening at Mountain Ash, and Frances begins to worry and to wonder. Everett doesn’t sound like himself anymore, and her mother never talks about coming home. Are they happier without Frances?
“The process of discovery…and Schumacher's strong characterizations keep the story going. Jocelyn is particularly well done; she's a tightly controlled child, and readers will respond to her fortitude.” - Booklist
It's hard for Thea to write four truths a day in the notebook her mother gave her for the summer. Especially when her grandparents' house on the Jersey Shore is even more packed with family than usual, and her cousin Jocelyn won't leave her alone. Jocelyn just might be the world's neatest and nosiest seven-year-old, and she wants to know what's in Thea's notebook. But Thea won't tell anyone about the secret she has promised to keep - or how she lost her best friend (Truth #12), whose name was Gwen.
Now Thea has to babysit in the afternoons, and all Jocelyn wants to do is spy on people. Neither of them expects to see Aunt Ellen and Aunt Celia at the boardwalk in the middle of the day, or for their aunts to lie and insist they were at work. Could it be Thea's not the only one in the family keeping secrets this summer?
"Looking for something to do during halftime of the March Madness basketball games? Read this book.” -The Washington Post
Fans of John Feinstein and Matt de la Peña will love Toby Wheeler's dreams of being a basketball star that Phil Jackson says is "a truly great basketball story."
When Toby Wheeler has a chance to join the junior high basketball team, he’s eager to prove he can keep up with his best friend, JJ. But practice doesn’t go quite as Toby has planned, and when the coach announces the lineup, Toby’s hopes of playing ball with JJ are history: he’s an eighth-grade benchwarmer!
“A fascinating look at an intriguing world.” - Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
Ethel is 10 years old in 1901 when her family’s life changed forever. Suddenly, Father is not only a famous cowboy, war hero, and politician, but also President Theodore Roosevelt, leader of the United States - and Ethel has a new place to call home. The White House is older and stuffier than Ethel imagined, but there’s never a dull moment with her adventurous family around. Ethel would love to spend every day following Father on horseback rides and scrambles through neighboring Rock Creek Park.
Instead, Ethel has to stay at boarding school during the week, where nothing she does feels right and none of the girls seem to like her. Ethel’s parents keep telling her to keep her chin up and be patient, but it’s not easy being the president’s daughter. Ethel wishes she could be as courageous as father and make her family proud. When her fashionable older sister arrives home, Ethel feels new hope. Sister knows the secret of being brave and making friends, and she’s willing to share it. All Ethel needs to do is take one outrageous dare.