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

Billie Jean!
Mara Rockliff
Illustrator: Elizabeth Baddeley
Snowmen at Halloween
Caralyn M. Buehner
Illustrator: Mark E. Buehner
What Is the Story of Wonder Woman?
Steve Korte
Who HQ
Illustrator: Jake Murray
The Very Short, Entirely True History of Unicorns
Sarah Laskow
Illustrator: Sam Beck
Who Is R. L. Stine?
M. D. Payne
Who HQ
Illustrator: Jake Murray
My Tiny Pet
Jessie Hartland
Illustrator: Jessie Hartland
The Basque Dragon
Adam Gidwitz
Jesse Casey
Illustrator: Hatem Aly
Señorita Mariposa
Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G)
Illustrator: Marcos Almada Rivero
Sing a Song
Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrator: Keith Mallett
Stop! Bot!
Illustrator: James Yang
Mightier Than the Sword
Drew Callander
Alana Harrison
Illustrator: Ryan Andrews
Where Is the Serengeti?
Nico Medina
Who HQ
Illustrator: Manuel Gutierrez


Raise Your Hand
Alice Paul Tapper
Illustrator: Marta Kissi
Who Is Michael Jordan?
Kirsten Anderson
Who HQ
Illustrator: Dede Putra
Turning Pages
Sonia Sotomayor
Illustrator: Lulu Delacre

Coming Soon

Beware! Shadows in the Night #3
Lin Oliver
Illustrator: Samantha Kallis
Look Out! Ghost Mountain Below #4
Lin Oliver
Illustrator: Samantha Kallis
Pushing up the Sky
Joseph Bruchac
Illustrator: Teresa Flavin
Flames of the Dark Crystal #4
J. M. Lee
Illustrator: Cory Godbey
Two Brothers, One Tail
Richard T. Morris
Illustrator: Jay Fleck
Laura McGee Kvasnosky
Illustrator: Kate Harvey McGee
Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse
Jane Godwin
Illustrator: Blanca Gómez
Save It!
Cinders McLeod
Illustrator: Cinders McLeod

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