S&S picks up Amelia Rules

S&S picks up Amelia Rules

Press Release

Ginee Seo Books, an imprint of Atheneum/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, today announced it has acquired the world rights to Jimmy Gownley’s popular comic and graphic novel series AMELIA RULES!. The deal was brokered through an auction by Judith Hansen of the Hansen Literary Agency. Originally published by Renaissance Press, the AMELIA RULES! graphic novels and comics have become a favorite with both critics and fans alike.

Centered around the happenings of ten-year-old spitfire Amelia Louise McBride, the AMELIA RULES! series captures the true essence of being an adolescent girl in America today, as Amelia adjusts to life in “small town America” after her parent’s divorce as she is forced to leave NYC. “Jimmy is a true creative genius, and AMELIA RULES! has that rare combination of mass appeal and literary substance that every publisher dreams about. We are thrilled for Jimmy to be joining the S&S list, as we work to expand our list with some of the top comic and graphic novel talent publishing today, and we look forward to making his name and his characters known to even wider audience beyond his already substantial following,” said Ginee Seo, VP, Editorial Director of Ginee Seo Books.

Jimmy Gownley added, "It was important for me to find the perfect home for AMELIA RULES! and I strongly believe Simon & Schuster and Ginee Seo books are a great match. I am more excited than ever about Amelia and kids graphic novels in general"

The plan is for Simon & Schuster to put out reprints of the first four already published AMELIA RULES! books over the next two years, with the first reprint AMELIA RULES!: The Whole World’s Crazy to be published in Spring 2009 and the last reprint AMELIA RULES!: When the Past is a Present scheduled to be published in Spring 2010. AMELIA RULES! #5: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular will be the first original publication with the hardcover and paperback scheduled to come out simultaneously in Fall 2010.

Jimmy Gownley is the son of a coal miner who tried his hand at just about everything from sports, to music, to theater, and pretty much enjoyed it all. But being an only child in a small town meant a lot of free time. Gownley spent his youth with records, books, and most of all...comics. An avid reader, Gownley compulsively read anything that crossed his path, starting with "Peanuts" comic strips, which his mom read to him as a very young child. This was the first thing Jimmy ever learned to read, and a love of the comic art form was born. Despite having no money, no talent, and no clue, Gownley published his first comic, "Shades of Gray Comics and Stories" at age 15 and sold it out of his high school locker. His self-publishing continued in 2001 when "Amelia Rules!" was launched amid a flurry of rave reviews. Since its release, "Amelia Rules!" has been nominated for a total of 7 Eisner Awards, the Harvey Award, and The Day Prize. The third volume of Amelia Rules! won a Cybil Award for Best Graphic Novel for kids 12 & under. Amelia Rules! was the first graphic novel ever carried by Children's Book of the Month Club and has been translated into German, Italian, and Spanish. The Greek National Book Center/5th Annual International Book Fair in Greece held a special exhibit of Amelia Rules! #18, to be included in their event in summer 2008. The exhibit tied into this year's topic, Human Rights. Jimmy is co-founder of Kids Love Comics, a non-profit group that works to promote literacy through comic books. A musical based on Amelia Rules! was produced in winter 2007, with music written by composer Michael Cohen and performed in New Hampshire. The musical has sparked interest from other theater companies who are interested in performing it. Gownley lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife Karen and twin daughters Stella and Anna.

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