Don Weisberg Appointed President Of Penguin Young Readers Group

Barbara Marcus Named Strategic Advisor for Penguin Young Readers Group

New York, New York, May 14, 2008... David Shanks, CEO, Penguin Group (USA), today announced that Don Weisberg, who was formerly Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer North America at Random House, has been appointed President, Penguin Young Readers Group as of May 19, 2008. In addition, Don has enlisted Barbara Marcus as Strategic Advisor for Penguin Young Readers Group.

David Shanks commented, "I'm very pleased that Don Weisberg, who is widely-respected in the industry, is joining our senior executive team at Penguin Group (USA). His years of sales, management and overall operations experience, coupled with his extensive knowledge of the retail and distribution markets, is perfectly suited to advance our Young Readers division to the next level. I am confident that Don's compelling leadership style will also ensure continuity in the division.

"Don will be heading one of the most uniquely talented and distinguished Young Readers teams in the industry. The Group has achieved outstanding bestseller success and solid results over the years and is off to a strong start in 2008. And Barbara Marcus, who I have greatly admired for her commercial acumen and acute publishing foresight, will help Don identify the opportunities for taking our well-known brands and award-winning, bestselling list forward."

Don Weisberg said, "I am very excited to be joining David Shanks' executive team, and to be given the opportunity to grow Penguin's already successful young readers division. I'm looking forward to working closely with so many top-tier editorial, sales, publicity and marketing executives here as well as the distinguished writers and illustrators who are part of Penguin's excellent Young Readers publishing program. I believe that the future of children's books is strong because of the industry's ability to deliver content in a variety of formats that are embraced by a young audience that is comfortable reading a book or a computer screen or listening to an audio device. And I couldn't have a better person to help us than Barbara Marcus, who brings on board her strategic knowledge and outstanding success in the area of young readers."

Prior to joining Penguin Young Readers Group, Don Weisberg was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer North America at Random House, and a member of the senior leadership team of Random House, Inc. He was previously President of the Random House Sales Group, where he directed the sales activities on behalf of the company's frontlist titles and active backlist hardcover, trade and mass-market paperback tiles as well as audio books. Mr. Weisberg worked closely with the editorial and marketing leadership of Random House's publishing divisions along with retail booksellers and distributors nationwide. He also supervised the integration of the Bantam Doubleday Dell and Random House sales divisions following the acquisition of Random House by Bertelsmann AG.

Barbara Marcus brings a wealth of publishing experience to Penguin Young Readers Group. Before leaving her post as President of Children's Book Publishing and Distribution and Executive Vice President for Scholastic Inc., she supervised the publication and release of six out of seven Harry Potter books. She also oversaw the growth of the Scholastic Book Clubs and Book Fairs. Prior to her 22-year career at Scholastic, Ms. Marcus held executive positions of increasing responsibility at Bantam Books and Berkley Books. Ms. Marcus serves on the Board of Directors of B*tween Productions, publishers of the Beacon Street Girls, and Knowledge Adventure, creators of Jumpstart software.


Penguin Young Readers Group is off a strong start in 2008, with 17 New York Times bestsellers to date—ahead of last year's record pace—including The Big Field by Mike Lupica (Philomel), Sarah Dessen's Lock & Key (Viking Children's) and Just Listen (Puffin), Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Razorbill) and Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan (Philomel).

Highly anticipated Penguin Young Readers titles coming later in 2008 include Influence by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen (Razorbill, November), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Grosset & Dunlap, August), Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett (G. P. Putnam's, September), Brava Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola (G. P. Putnam's Sons, October), and Paper Towns by John Green (Dutton Children's, October).

Penguin Young Readers Group achieved a record 38 New York Times bestsellers in 2007, including Slam by Nick Hornby (G.P. Putnam's Sons), a #1 New York Times bestseller, Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz (Philomel Books), The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett (G.P. Putnam's Sons), Summer Ball by Mike Lupica (Philomel), and Seeing Redd (The Looking Glass Wars) by Frank Beddor (Dial). Last year, Penguin Young Readers Group books and authors also won several prestigious awards. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (Dutton) won the Michael L. Printz Award Honor for excellence in literature written for young adults. The Road to Paris by Nikki Grimes (Putnam) won the Coretta Scott King Book Award Honor.

Penguin continues to lead the industry in achieving young adult New York Times bestsellers by such national bestselling adult authors as Clive Cussler, Jan Karon and Mike Lupica. 2007 was the Group's strongest year yet for this phenomenon and included such New York Times bestsellers as Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth (Viking); Nick Hornby's first book for young adults, Slam (G. P. Putnam's Sons). Robert B. Parker's first book for young readers, Edenville Owls (Philomel); Mike Lupica's Summer Ball (Philomel), the sequel to his New York Times #1 best seller, Travel Team; and Berkeley Breathed's Mars Needs Moms! (Philomel). Breathed is a Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist and creator of Opus and Bloom County.

Penguin Young Readers Group includes preeminent imprints such as Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Puffin, Speak, Firebird, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Viking, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as Laurie Halse Anderson, Frank Beddor, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, John Green, Eric Hill, Anthony Horowitz, Brian Jacques, Mike Lupica, Richard Peck, Patricia Polacco, and dozens of other popular authors.

Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Strega Nona, Madeline, Mad Libs, Alex Rider, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Flower Fairies, and Pippi Longstocking, among many others.

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin Books, The Penguin Press, Philomel, Plume, Puffin, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group ( is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.


Marilyn Ducksworth
(212) 366-2564

Dave Zimmer
(212) 366-2687