Young Palmetto Books

Katie’s Cabbage Wins a Christopher Award

by ellenmcgaha

Congratulations to Katie Stagliano, the author of our very own Katie’s Cabbage which just won a Christopher Award! She received an award in the Books for Young People category at the 67th annual Christopher Awards ceremony on May 19th in New York City.

Crabbing: A Lowcountry Family Tradition

by ellenmcgaha

Welcoming Young Palmetto Books’ newest title, Crabbing: A Lowcountry Family Tradition! This realistic guide and colorful story about the coastal art and sport of crabbing was written by Tilda Balsley and illustrated by Monica Wyrick. Look out for its release next month!

Crabbing is a story about young boys learning from their grandfather about the coastal tradition of catching crabs during an eventful day on a saltwater creek. Tilda Balsley’s realistic yet poetic depictions coupled with Monica Wyrick’s beautiful watercolor illustrations provide a glimpse into the diversity of life along the backwaters of the lowcountry. Crabbing is an intriguing “how-to” for children that evokes nostalgic reminders for readers of any age who have enjoyed the challenge of catching blue crabs.

Following the story, additional materials provide parents and teachers with educational information about blue crabs as well as other lowcountry wildlife including pelicans, cordgrass, dolphins, grasshoppers, and Spanish moss and also about habitat protection. To round out the blue crab experience, a delicious crab cake recipe, simple enough for children to make, is included as well.

“Wyrick’s richly textured watercolor illustrations complement Balsley’s occasionally poetic prose while they also inform. . . . The backmatter gives young readers just enough information about relevant plants and animals to leave them wanting more. Great nibbles of science and culture and an important culinary tradition all rolled into one.”—Kirkus Reviews

Tilda Balsley is a former teacher living with her husband in Reidsville, North Carolina. She earned a B.A. in English from Queens University in Charlotte and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Balsley is the author of fifteen children’s books, including Let My People Go! and Soo’s Boo-Boos.

Monica Wyrick has a fine arts degree from the University of Dayton and has worked in advertising, as a muralist, and as an art instructor. Wyrick and her husband live in South Carolina and have three grown children.

Open Submission Period

by ellenmcgaha

ATTENTION: the open submission period is almost here!

Young Palmetto Books is is an ongoing series of educational South Carolina focused books for young readers. This series, published by the University of South Carolina Press, highlights South Carolina writers and subjects in smartly crafted books for children and young adults.

Our open submission period is May 1-June 30. All projects must meet the approval of the YPB series editorial board, two anonymous peer reviewers, and the USC Press Committee to gain approval for a publishing contract. In order to have a project considered by YPB, please submit the following:

· A cover letter that briefly describes the work (scope, purpose, and length), explains how it differs from competing works, and assesses its likely readership

· A table of contents and representative chapter, if the work is a completed manuscript, or a detailed prospectus. If submitting a picture book, please submit a completed manuscript.

· Representative samples of illustrations (if there are any) and a description of what will be illustrated.

· The author’s current curriculum vitae or résumé.

Submissions should be sent to:
Kim Shealy Jeffcoat, Young Palmetto Books Series Editor
South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy
Davis College, 1501 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

Ron Rash Comes to Young Palmetto Books

by Brie White

Ron Rash is a New York Times best-selling author who’s newest children’s book, The Shark’s Tooth, is being published by Young Palmetto Books. The story tells of a young girl’s kinship with the ocean and her connection to the sea disappearing when she ages and moves away. When she returns to the beach house as an adult, she is convinced that the magic she believed in was just her childhood innocence, until she receives a reminder from where it all started.

Ron Rash’s novel Serena is currently being turned into a movie starring Jenifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. He’s written six novels in total, along with five collections of short stories and four collections of poetry. A professor at Western Carolina University, Rash is the recipient of the O Henry Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Sherwood Anderson Prize, and the James Still Award of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is also the two-time finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize.

The Shark’s Tooth, filled with beautiful illustrations by Cecile L. K. Martin, is due out this Spring, in time for the South Carolina Book Festival!

An Intern’s Perpective

by Brie White

As a Wofford student, the month of January offers me the unique opportunity to intensify one area of study with an interim project and now, in my last week, I know that interning here at SCCCBL (The South Carolina Center of Children’s Books and Literacy is the home of Young Palmetto Books and it’s series editor, Kim Shealy Jeffcoat.) was the perfect choice.

When I was looking for an internship for this interim, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know that SCCCBL existed, and I hadn’t heard of Young Palmetto Books. By happenstance, I was pointed in the right direction and got in touch with Kim, who as a Wofford graduate knew what I needed in an interim. From my first day, I was quickly submerged in the world that is SCCCBL and all it’s derivatives. For example, Cocky’s Reading Express, a literacy outreach program housed and supported by SCCCBL is hugely influential in ways I had no idea of. I had the privilege of attending a trip to Calhoun County, and I got to see two elementary school’s relationships with the program. Children light up at the sight of Cocky, and Cocky encouraging their reading is hugely beneficial. I learned that placing emphasis on literacy and acknowledging its importance makes a difference.

Through my work here at the center, with Young Palmetto Books, I have learned so much about how all-encompassing publishing is. I assumed it was a complicated process, but honestly didn’t know the half of it. Last Thursday, January 22, I had the opportunity to sit on a meeting held for the Series Editorial Board. This further added to my perspective of not only what it takes to bring a manuscript into a published piece of literature, but also of how a series, such as Young Palmetto Books, takes multiple submissions through the process at the same time. The process is not a short one, that’s for sure. Each book that is coming out of this series has been nurtured, selected and groomed to become a contribution that fulfills all the requirements of the collection, and appeals to audiences of different viewpoints.

On this last week of my internship, as I’m savoring the last of this experience, my reflections can be summed up fairly easily: 2015 is going to be a tremendous year for Young Palmetto Books, SCCCBL, and Cocky’s Reading Express, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.

Support “One Book, One Community” 2015

by Brie White

“One Book, One Community” is an annual reading initiative that encourages people in the same geographic location (the City of Columbia, Richland County and the Midlands) to read the same book at the same time, promoting literacy and our community all at once.

This year the book selected for 2015 is On Agate Hill by Lee Smith. The University of South Carolina Press published Smith’s collection of short stories, Cakewalk. The “One Book, One Community” website explains On Agate Hill as a novel that “evokes the South in Reconstruction from an honest female perspective”, calling it an “extremely exuberant” and “episodic story of Molly Petree, an open-hearted and headstrong young Southern woman”.

Participating is easy! You can pickup a copy from any Richland County Public library, download a copy, or buy a version at a local bookstore. There are a number of events sponsored by places such as the City of Columbia, Richland County, Jasper Magazine, and USC Press, so pick one or all and attend. Tickets are free but registration is required.

Young Palmetto Books hopes to see you there supporting such a wonderful local initiative!


The “One Book, One Community”


Facebook page:



To download a copy of One Agate Hill:


The list of events associated with “One Book, One Community”:



First, You Explore – Filled with South Carolina Connections

by Brie White

First, You Explore by Rachel Haynie is a beautifully produced story of discovery. The feeling of finding out about something for the first time and where that moment can take you is exemplified through Charles Townes. Townes, who invented the laser, is depicted in his childhood, exploring the natural world and all it had to offer. His family fed his curiosity, and the story in turn encourages its readers to nurture their inner explorer.

Young Palmetto Books has used First, You Explore as a teaching tool, giving it out to students around our state through Cocky’s Reading Express. First, You Explore offers a biographical perspective on an important South Carolinian, emphasizing to readers that learning is a lifelong journey. Richland County School District One has named First, You Explore the book for third graders in their “Together We Can Read” Initiative.

With so many ties to South Carolina, it also important to highlight the exhibits at the South Carolina State Museum, where Charles Townes’ family and invention are highlighted. The planetarium is an experience encompassing a 55 digital dome, where lasers are set to music such as the Beatles, Pink Floyd and U2. There are currently 3 shows: Earth, Moon and Sun, Back to the Moon for Good, and Two Small Pieces of Glass, with different times and dates to suit your schedule. This is the perfect activity for a family and for readers of First, You Explore!

For more information on the planetarium, or to purchase tickets:

To learn more about the “Together We Can Read” Initiative, visit Richland County School District One’s website:

To learn more about Cocky’s Reading Express, a literacy outreach program associated with the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside (and we’re hungry!)

by Brie White



These icy temperatures are brutal for both born and raised, as well as adopted, South Carolinians. With the cooler climate comes the desire for warm, comfort food and Patricia Moore- Pastides, USC’s first lady, provides many options in her Young Palmetto Books published, Greek Revival: From The Garden, Growing and Cooking for Life.

The cookbook, an add-on to her original Greek Revival, Cooking For Life, is all-encompassing, taking young readers and their families on a food filled journey that starts in the garden. The book includes explanation behind the TMD (the traditional Mediterranean diet), instructional information about the art of gardening and how to produce a successful garden year round, and a selection of recipes created from vegetables that the reader has been taught how to grow.

Recipes that are targeted for the colder months include: Chunky Savory Tomato Sauce (for pasta or pizza!) from the tomato section. Kale Soup with Butter Beans categorized under beans, and under winter squashes, soup such as the Curried Butternut-Squash and Apple are also winter staples. Fisherman’s Vegetable Stew highlights both the perfect warm meal and the TMD’s vast use of fish and other seafood.

Which recipes from Greek Revival: From the Garden are you eager to try?

Never Too Soon – 2015 SC Book Festival

by Brie White

Mark your calendars! The 2015 South Carolina Book Festival is scheduled for May 15th-17th, which is just around the corner. Taking place at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, this year’s festival, following last year’s record-breaking attendance, is sure to impress.

The festival includes opportunities to listen to author presentations, visit exhibitors and author book signings, and participate in writing workshops. The SC Book Festival also has programming for children and panel discussion for adults by authors and publishers of children’s books.

Attendees include many distinguished authors, such as, Ron Rash, who’s children’s book, Shark’s Tooth, being published as a part of Young Palmetto Books, is due out this spring.

It’s never too soon to set aside some time to make it down to the Festival. Saturday and Sunday events are free and open to the public; however, if you’re interested in participating in a writing workshop or the orientation event on Friday, be sure to register.


For registration and additional information, the SC Book Festival website:

Katie’s Cabbage – Continued News Exposure

by Brie White

The Young Palmetto Book Series, of the USC Press, has been extremely busy welcoming their newest book, Katie’s Cabbage, to the collection. Described as, “the charming story of one girl’s ambitious dream to end hunger, beginning with her cabbage farm”, Katie’s Cabbage, is influential and insightful, encouraging those of all ages and resources to make a difference in the issue of world hunger. Because of these qualities, the releases of Katie’s Cabbage, as well as the events following, have provided significant positive recognition for Katie Stagliano, the now 16-year-old author, and the contributors to the book’s publication.

Coverage of Katie’s story includes NBC Nightly News, where Katie’s goal of having 500 gardens in all 50 states is highlighted. This goal was created following the creation of Katie’s Krops, Stagliano’s nonprofit organization, which has, so far, started 80 gardens in 29 states. Katie’s Cabbage tells the story of the lone cabbage seedling that started Katie’s philanthropic journey – one that has been recognized for fighting hunger and agricultural ingenuity by Katie’s received Clinton Global Citizen Award.

Also acknowledging the publication of Katie’s book is AndNowUKnow’s Produce Industry News, sighting Katie’s sponsorships from organizations such BiLo, and quoting Kim Shealy Jeffcoat, editor of Young Palmetto Books, in support of the contribution that Katie’s Cabbage makes to the series as a whole.

In a recent interview with The Post and Courier, Katie says the book is centered on her desire to inspire other children, “I hope that by sharing my story, it will show how small actions can lead to big dreams and have a huge impact.” The publication of Katie’s Cabbage will surely do so.

Young Palmetto Book’s focus on educational, South Carolina based children and young adult literature has made for a collection in which Katie’s Cabbage fits perfectly. With so much positive press upon Katie’s Cabbage release, as exemplified here, the book’s continued success is certain.