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

If You Were an Elephant
Leslie Staub
Illustrator: Richard Jones
Sounds Like School Spirit
Meg Fleming
Illustrator: Lucy Ruth Cummins
Sing with Me: The Story of Selena Quintanilla
Diana López
Illustrator: Teresa Martínez
Big Ideas for Little Philosophers: Kindness with Confucius
Duane Armitage
Maureen McQuerry
Illustrator: Robin Rosenthal
Big Ideas for Little Philosophers: Love with Plato
Duane Armitage
Maureen McQuerry
Illustrator: Robin Rosenthal
Canta conmigo: La historia de Selena Quintanilla
Diana López
Illustrator: Teresa Martínez
The Mysterious Sea Bunny
Peter Raymundo
Illustrator: Peter Raymundo
The Curse of the Crystal Cavern
Francesco Sedita
Prescott Seraydarian
Illustrator: Steve Hamaker
Summer Island #3
Dori Hillestad Butler
Illustrator: Tim Budgen
My School Stinks!
Becky Scharnhorst
Illustrator: Julia Patton
Where Are the Constellations?
Stephanie Sabol
Who HQ
Illustrator: Laurie A. Conley
The House of Serendipity
Lucy Ivison
Illustrator: Lucy Truman
What Is the Story of Willy Wonka?
Steve Korte
Who HQ
Illustrator: Jake Murray


The Circles All Around Us
Brad Montague
Illustrator: Brad Montague
Illustrator: Kristi Montague
Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
Anna Dewdney
Reed Duncan
Illustrator: JT Morrow
The Last Kids on Earth: Thrilling Tales from the Tree House
Max Brallier
Illustrator: Douglas Holgate
Illustrator: Jay Cooper
Illustrator: Anoosha Syed
Illustrator: Lorena Alvarez
Illustrator: Christopher Mitten
Illustrator: Xavier Bonet
Who Is Kamala Harris?
Kirsten Anderson
Who HQ
Illustrator: Manuel Gutierrez
Champ and Major: First Dogs
Joy McCullough
Illustrator: Sheyda Abvabi Best
Jan Brett
Illustrator: Jan Brett
Misty Copeland
Illustrator: Setor Fiadzigbey
I Am Every Good Thing
Derrick Barnes
Illustrator: Gordon C. James
Who Was Kobe Bryant?
Ellen Labrecque
Who HQ
Illustrator: Gregory Copeland
The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo!
Elaine Bickell
Illustrator: Raymond McGrath
What Is LEGO?
Jim O'Connor
Who HQ
Illustrator: Ted Hammond

Coming Soon

Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters!
Marikka Tamura
Illustrator: Daniel Rieley
Cookie & Broccoli: Ready for School!
Bob McMahon
Illustrator: Bob McMahon
A Life Electric
Azadeh Westergaard
Illustrator: Júlia Sardà
Rick Chrustowski
Illustrator: Rick Chrustowski
Green Tractor
Kersten Hamilton
Illustrator: Valeria Petrone

Award Winners

I Am Every Good Thing
Derrick Barnes
Illustrator: Gordon C. James
Brick by Brick
Heidi Woodward Sheffield
Illustrator: Heidi Woodward Sheffield
When Stars Are Scattered
Victoria Jamieson
Omar Mohamed
Illustrator: Victoria Jamieson
Illustrator: Iman Geddy
The Cat Man of Aleppo
Karim Shamsi-Basha
Irene Latham
Illustrator: Yuko Shimizu
Sing a Song
Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrator: Keith Mallett