Penguin Young Readers Group’s latest debut author is also one of its target readers: a 13-year-old boy. Jake Marcionette has just landed a two-book deal for his middle-grade series, Just Jake. The first book in the series will hit the shelves in February 2014.

Jake, who began the books when he was 12, writes about a boy named Jake Ali Mathews whose life is upended after his family moves from Florida to Maryland. In his new school, Jake struggles to start fresh, while also avoiding the local bully.

The publisher said he was “blown away” when he found out the series, which will also feature illustrations, was written by a 12-year-old. OK…now there’s food for thought, and what is YOUR kid doing right now?

For more from the publishing world, check my website, and tune into my show The Book report.


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