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

When the Babies Came to Stay
Christine McDonnell
Illustrator: Jeanette Bradley
What Is the Story of Looney Tunes?
Steve Korte
Who HQ
Illustrator: John Hinderliter
The Three Billy Goats Buenos
Susan Middleton Elya
Illustrator: Miguel Ordóñez
Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story
Maria Gianferrari
Illustrator: Jonathan Voss
Who Was Richard Nixon?
Megan Stine
Who HQ
Illustrator: Manuel Gutierrez
Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers
Anna James
Illustrator: Paola Escobar


Tomorrow I'll Be Kind
Jessica Hische
Illustrator: Jessica Hische
Love from the Crayons
Drew Daywalt
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
The Crayons' Christmas
Drew Daywalt
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers

Coming Soon

Preschool, Here I Come!
David J Steinberg
Illustrator: John Joven
Knot Cannot
Tiffany Stone
Illustrator: Mike Lowery
Brooklyn Bailey, the Missing Dog
Amy Sohn
Orna Le Pape
Illustrator: Libby VanderPloeg
Crocodiles Need Kisses Too
Rebecca Colby
Illustrator: Penelope Dullaghan
Amazing Ancients! World of the Maya
Elaine A. Kule
Illustrator: DGPH Studio
Where Were the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?
Yona Z. McDonough
Who HQ
Illustrator: Dede Putra
It's a Moose!
Meg Rosoff
Illustrator: David Ercolini
When Stars Are Scattered
Victoria Jamieson
Omar Mohamed
Illustrator: Victoria Jamieson
Illustrator: Iman Geddy
Plenty of Hugs
Fran Manushkin
Illustrator: Kate Alizadeh
The Cat Man of Aleppo
Karim Shamsi-Basha
Irene Latham
Illustrator: Yuko Shimizu
Clyde Goes to School
Keith Marantz
Illustrator: Larissa Marantz
Clyde Likes to Slide
Keith Marantz
Illustrator: Larissa Marantz

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