Meet Penguin Young Readers Group

Jennifer Loja


Jen Loja is currently the president of Penguin Young Readers (a division of Penguin Random House) where she oversees the division.

Jen began her career in books as a buyer for Joseph-Beth Booksellers. She then moved into the publishing world at Candlewick Press as a National Account Manager.  There she called on a variety of national accounts both retail and wholesale.  Jen then moved to a sales position at Houghton Mifflin where she was responsible for the wholesale channel as well as Canadian sales.  She joined Harcourt in September of 2004 as VP of Sales, Children’s Books and was named VP of Sales & Marketing, Children’s Books in 2007. At the merger of Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt she became the Associate Publisher of the HMH children’s list.

She joined Penguin Young Readers in 2009 as the Associate Publisher of the group.

Jocelyn Schmidt

Vice President, Associate Publisher

Jocelyn Schmidt is Vice President, Associate Publisher Penguin Young Readers. She currently oversees the development of the PYR list, working with ten publishers to bring the perfect book to every reader at the perfect time.

Jocelyn joined PYR in 2005 as brand director, managing picture book and author brands as mini-businesses within PYR. Prior to her time at PYR, she was in the Random House adult mass merchandise sales division for 12 years, taking on many roles. She sold to airport retailers then moved to a liaison position, partnering with the publishers under the Random House umbrella and setting positioning and goals for their books in the mass channel. Along the way, she oversaw the sales team for Target, Walmart and the airports, and in her last role managed the mass merch field sales force. Jocelyn started her career in books as a Barnes and Noble bookseller, with training in both in-store operations and merchandising.

Stephanie Sabol

Executive Director of Brand and Business Management

Stephanie Sabol is the Executive Director of Brand and Business Management at Penguin Young Readers. In her current role, she works on the business strategy for PYR’s key brands, working closely with the publishing, marketing and sales teams. She is the business contact for authors, agents and estates for these brands. Stephanie also manages the licensing rights for non-book products on a selection of PYR brands.

Prior to working in the Penguin Young Readers publishing office, Stephanie worked in the sales department of Penguin Young Readers and Random House for ten years, selling to Barnes & Noble, the warehouse clubs, and digital accounts. She originally joined Random House in 2004.

New Releases

Shauna LaVoy Reynolds
Illustrator: Shahrzad Maydani
Marigold Finds the Magic Words
Mike Malbrough
Illustrator: Mike Malbrough
What Was Stonewall?
Nico Medina
Who HQ
Illustrator: Jake Murray
What Is the Stanley Cup?
Gail Herman
Who HQ
Illustrator: Gregory Copeland
Spend It!
Cinders McLeod
Illustrator: Cinders McLeod
Not Your Nest!
Gideon Sterer
Illustrator: Andrea Tsurumi
Elbert, the Curious Clock Tower Bear
Andrew Prahin
Illustrator: Andrew Prahin
Lubna and Pebble
Wendy Meddour
Illustrator: Daniel Egnéus
Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat #1
Johnny Marciano
Emily Chenoweth
Illustrator: Robb Mommaerts
Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat: Enemies #2
Johnny Marciano
Emily Chenoweth
Illustrator: Robb Mommaerts
The Home Builders
Varsha Bajaj
Illustrator: Simona Mulazzani


Who Is Michael Jordan?
Kirsten Anderson
Who HQ
Illustrator: Dede Putra
Turning Pages
Sonia Sotomayor
Illustrator: Lulu Delacre
What Was the Holocaust?
Gail Herman
Who HQ
Illustrator: Jerry Hoare
Who Is Pele?
James Buckley, Jr.
Who HQ
Illustrator: Andrew Thomson

Coming Soon

The Boy, the Bird & the Coffin Maker
Matilda Woods
Illustrator: Anuska Allepuz
Baby Dragon, Baby Dragon!
Melissa Marr
Illustrator: Lena Podesta
Crypt Quest/Space Battles
Gabe Soria
Illustrator: Kendall Hale
Fantastic Fist/MowTown
Gabe Soria
Illustrator: Kendall Hale
Raise Your Hand
Alice Paul Tapper
Illustrator: Marta Kissi
Who Was Norman Rockwell?
Sarah Fabiny
Who HQ
Illustrator: Gregory Copeland
The Panda Problem
Deborah Underwood
Illustrator: Hannah Marks
The Little Green Girl
Lisa Anchin
Illustrator: Lisa Anchin
An ABC of Flowers
Jutta Hilpuesch
Illustrator: Jutta Hilpuesch
Warren & Dragon Volcano Deluxe
Ariel Bernstein
Illustrator: Mike Malbrough
A Father's Love
Hannah Holt
Illustrator: Yee Von Chan
Life Sucks
Michael Bennett
Sarah Bennett
Illustrator: Bridget Gibson

Award Winners

Big Red Lollipop
Rukhsana Khan
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
The Moon Over Star
Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrator: Jerry Pinkney
Sandy's Circus
Tanya Lee Stone
Illustrator: Boris Kulikov