Penguin Young Readers will launch a new brand, Books on the rocky pondcrossed out by Lauri Horniklongtime publisher of Dial Books for Young Readers and editor of many award-winning and best-selling books, including count by seven by Holly Goldberg Sloan, The book without pictures by BJ Novak, Turning 15 on the road to freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Dancing at the pity party by Tyler Feder, and the Ordinary People Change the World series, written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos.
The imprint will publish books for two to teens, both fiction and non-fiction, with a focus on mental health and social-emotional learning and researching authors and outstanding beginner illustrators. The inaugural list will be released in the spring of 2023. Jen Klonskipresident and publisher of Putnam Books for Young Readers and Razorbill, will assume leadership of Dial Books for Young Readers, effective immediately.
Lauri Hornik said, “It has become increasingly important to me to provide books that offer comfort and support. That solace can be a belly laugh or a beautiful, authentic expression of what it means to be human, or seeing you and your culture represented on the page. This support can take the form of an empathetic picture book or an inspiring non-fiction reading about a hero or significant moment in history. Most importantly, I am committed to publishing mental health content – books that start conversations, take a step towards healing, and show readers they are not alone. I’m so excited to now devote myself full-time to publishing, and thus bring more of these must-have books to children and teens.
Jen Loja, president of Penguin Young Readers, said, “I am thrilled to see Lauri Hornik making her own mark. It’s the perfect next step in his already long and lauded career. She brought so many of our favorite voices to the world during her time at Dial Books for Young Readers, and I can’t wait to see her add more wonderful creators to her existing roster of trusted authors and illustrators. And I’m thrilled that the Dial team continues to thrive under the new leadership of Jen Klonsky. Jen has had such an impact here at Penguin as editor of Putnam and Razorbill. His vision for roster building and career growth (for his team and for our creators) is key to our continued growth. Under his leadership, Dial’s incredible team of editors and designers will continue to publish acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling books that support Dial’s mission and continue its legacy of excellence in the young reader space. So many exciting things to come!
Jen Klonsky, president and publisher of Putnam Books for Young Readers and Razorbill, said, “I’ve had a front row seat in the admiration section watching Lauri Hornik and the Dial team for the past four years. I know them as a passionate group with an intentional, innovative and fun roster and can’t wait to join them. Following Lauri will not be easy but working alongside her Nancy Mercado and Lily Malcolm— experts in everything they do and in the Dial business — will make this possible. I am so excited to work with them and with the whole team.
Lauri Hornik joined Penguin in 1999 as Editorial Director of Dial and was named Editor of Dial Books for Young Readers in 2005. While at Penguin, she edited National Book Award finalists. A river between us by Richard Peck and rules of survival by Nancy Werlin; Caldecott Honor Book A cool friend illustrated David Small; Coretta Scott King Honor Books How I discovered poetry by Marilyn Nelson and The moon on the star illustrated by Jerry Pinkney; Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Books It’s only Stanley by Jon Agee and The best man by Richard Peck; New York Times Ten best picture books The hope of a nation illustrated by Kadir Nelson; and the New York Times Bestsellers count by seven by Holly Goldberg Sloan, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba The book without pictures by BJ Novak, and If I built a school by Chris Van Dusen; among others.
Jen Klonsky joined Penguin Young Readers in 2018 as editor of Putnam Books for Young Readers and took over as editor of Razorbill later that year. She has published bestselling and award-winning designer books including Sabaa Tahir, Renee Ahdieh, Ayana Gray, Jessica Goodman, Melissa de la Cruz, Krystal Sutherland, Stacey Lee, Katherine Arden, Matt de la Pena, Christian Robinson, Yuko Shimizu, Jan Bret and many others. she edited frankly in love by David Yoon, the series Girl Stuff by Lisi Harrison, and I don’t want to read this book by Max Greenfield, illustrated by Mile Lowery. Prior to joining Penguin, Klonsky was editorial director at HarperCollins Children’s Books.