Nancy Paulsen Books launched its first hardcover list in Fall 2011. The imprint publishes approximately twenty books a year and focuses on picture books that are eye-opening and often funny, and fiction from diverse and distinct voices, especially stories that are inventive and emotionally satisfying. These are the kinds of books that are adopted by book clubs and that appear on state lists, generated by the votes of children.
Recent picture books include the New York Times bestsellers I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon James and The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López, and Ezra Jack Keats Award winner Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer. Fiction includes National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Walter Award winner The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman, Christopher Award winner Tight by Torrey Maldonado, and New York Times bestsellers Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed.
Nancy Paulsen has been with Penguin her entire career, starting as an assistant at Viking Children’s Books, where many of the books she edited have established themselves as classics, including Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London, I Like Me by Nancy Carlson, and Horrible Harry by Suzy Kline. As publisher of Puffin Books, she published authors Roald Dahl, Gary Paulsen, and Mildred Taylor. As publisher of Putnam she edited three Newbery Honor winners by Jacqueline Woodson, Show Way, Feathers and After Tupac and D Foster; Newbery Honor-winning Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer; Coretta Scott King Honor-winning The Road To Paris by Nikki Grimes; and National Book Award finalist Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin. Classic picture books she edited at Putnam include The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and E. B. Lewis, Fireboat by Maira Kalman, and Leaves by David Ezra Stein.
Stacey Barney joined Nancy Paulsen Books for Young Readers as Associate Publisher in 2021. She edits a diverse list of award-winning and bestselling young adult and middle grade fiction as well as select picture books and nonfiction. Her list includes New York Times bestselling authors Krystal Sutherland, Renée Ahdieh, Katherine Arden, Ellen Hopkins and American Ballet Theater principal dancer Misty Copeland as well as Caldecott Honor-winning The Cat Man of Aleppo by Irene Latham and Karim Shamsi-Basha, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu.