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My Last Book?

The Secret Life of the Flying Squirrel, published in April 2023, earned a strongly positive review from Kirkus: "An intriguing introduction to a nocturnal and secretive forest dweller." The review also praised the entire "secret life" series, the text, and Kate Garchinsky's art. I look forward to other strongly positive reviews. And the previous title in this series, The Secret Life of the Sea Otter, earned a STARRED review in School Library Journal (SLJ). The last line: "This is a juvenile nonfiction treasure, higly recommended to all libraries who serve children."


Many school librarians tell me that SLJ is their "go-to" main source for book-buying ideas. In my school visits this spring, librarians and students were enthusiastic about the "secret life" books, and nominated other animals they want to be featured. Nevertheless, the publisher (Astra) wants no more of this series. Why? Has the institutional market (libraries) changed? Is Astra incabable of selling books that earn strong reviews? When I was told that Astra wanted no more books in two series, I was assured that the publisher would actively promote the backlist of titles. Judging from the most recent royalty report of sales, there is no evidence of any such effort.

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