Plum Street Acquires Third Book in James Babb's Brody Martin series

James Babb, author of The Devil's Backbone and The Devil's Trap, has signed with Plum Street Publishers, Inc. to publish the next book in his popular Brody Martin series. The Devil's Den finds Brody and his friend Ames, the former slave and Civil War veteran, on the run from bounty hunters and wanted for crimes they did not (exactly) commit. Featuring an action-packed pursuit through the Crawford County landmark known as The Devil's Den and a reckoning in Judge Parker's court in the Fort Smith Courthouse, The Devil's Den is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2017.

Babb is originally from Pleasant Plains, Arkansas. He moved to Conway to attend college, where he met and married the love of his life. She transplanted him to De Queen a few years later so they could raise their two daughters close to extended family. During this time he developed a strange affliction known as Closet Writing, wherein story ideas are born but shelved in the mental closet. In 2008, a battle with cancer left him with much down time but no off switch for his imagination, and he began to take story crafting seriously.

Babb's first historical adventure novel, The Devil’s Backbone, was released in 2013. A self-confessed "reluctant reader" in adolescence, Babb wrote for those same readers, who have embraced his vivid characters and taut narrative style. The Devil's Backbone won a coveted national IPPY Award in juvenile fiction and was also selected by the Arkansas Historical Association as a winner of the Susannah DeBlack Award awarded to books for young readers.

The second book in the series, The Devil’s Trap, released in 2015, received recognition, along with The Devil’s Backbone, at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Babb continues to create stories as the inspiration strikes and his laptop battery remains charged.


Kitty Harvill Signs On to Illustrate Children's Picture Books

Kitty Harvill, an artist specializing in wildlife and and endangered species, has signed on to illustrate two books in Plum Street's new picture book line, The Wishing Foxes (by Margaret Read MacDonald) and Bye Bye Big! (co-written by MacDonald and Gerald Fierst). The titles will be released in the spring and fall of 2017, respectively.

Harvill will employ a mixed-media style utilizing cut paper, watercolor, and collage for both titles. She first employed this technique when she illustrated Bill Harley's Sitting Down to Eat, which was named to numerous awards lists, including Newsweek's Best Kids' Books of the Year, the American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists, and the National Council of Social Studies Notable Trade Books.

Harvill, a native of Clarksville, Tennessee, holds dual residency in the United States and Brazil. She has been engaged in a commission from the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment and a partnership with the Rainforest Trust. Her work is include in corporate, museum, and private collections in the U.S., Brazil, Germany, and Singapore. 

Two Titles by MacDonald to Inaugurate Plum Street's Children Picture Book Line

Plum Street Publishers has acquired world rights to two new picture books by Margaret Read MacDonald. The Wishing Foxes is based on an Appalachian folktale in which three foxes encounter two sisters at a well; one treats them kindly and the other treats them harshly, with each getting her just deserts. Bye Bye Big! (written with Gerald Fierst) is a cumulative tale in which each animal swallows a smaller one until a mosquito breaks the chain. The books are scheduled for spring 2017 and fall 2017, respectively.

MacDonald, a folklorist and storyteller, travels the world telling stories and teaching others to tell. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and until her retirement was a youth services librarian with the King County Library System in Seattle. She is author of more than 65 books, including the award winning Peace Tales, The Storyteller's Start-up Book, and Teaching with Story: Classroom Connections to Storytelling.

Russell Joins AAIM Board

Liz Smith Russell, president of Plum Street Publishers, Inc., has been elected to the board of directors of the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media (AAIM).

AAIM is an affiliate of the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association. AAIM's mission is to improve education and literacy through the use of communications, technology, and media.

Russell has three decades of experience in the book industry. She previously served on the boards of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and the Mid-South Booksellers Association.

Plum Street Acquires Gerald Fierst's "Imagine the Moon"

Plum Street Publishers has acquired "Imagine the Moon," a picture book manuscript by Gerald Fierst for release in the spring of 2017. Fierst, a storyteller, author, and literacy educator, has worked in film, television, and theater and performed as a storyteller in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He is the recipient of two Parents Choice Awards for his recordings of world folktales. He is currently the Theater and Film Specialist for the WAE Center of Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled. He has been a featured teller and ghost story teller at the National Storytelling Festival, a Storyteller in Residence at the International Storytelling Center, and has been a featured performer at LIMMUD, The European Conference of Jewish Education.