Penguin Canada to publish YA novel based on teen years of L.M. Montgomery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (October 21, 2013) – Lynne Missen, Publishing Director of Penguin Canada Young Readers has commissioned a young adult novel based on the life of one of Canada’s literary titans, Lucy Maud Montgomery. The novel, written by debut author Melanie J. Fishbane, will be published under the Razorbill imprint in 2015.

“The idea for this book came up at a lunch with representatives of the heirs of L.M. Montgomery and we were all immediately smitten,” says Missen. “We know L.M. Montgomery as the originator of such cherished characters as Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon, girls whose zest for life and passion for writing live on in our hearts. Now she herself will be brought to life in the same dramatic fashion as her own characters.”

Focusing on the life of L.M. Montgomery from ages fourteen to eighteen, the novel explores her school days in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, to her year living with her father and difficult stepmother in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The book will be published with the full support of the L.M. Montgomery estate.

“My family is excited to be involved with another innovative literary project with Penguin Canada on the subject of my grandmother, L.M. Montgomery,” says Kate MacDonald-Butler. “Only a young adult novel could envision the dizzying romantic highs and the agonizing lows of finding one’s place in the world. We are looking forward to the creative talents of Melanie Fishbane in bringing the teenaged Maud to life for a new generation of readers.”

Penguin Canada’s President and Publisher, Nicole Winstanley, says, “L.M. Montgomery was an extraordinary woman who rose above societal norms at that time to become Canada’s first internationally successful writer. We are very proud to publish this new work of fiction with the enthusiastic support of the heirs of L.M. Montgomery, continuing our partnership and dedication to the literary heritage of L.M. Montgomery.”

About Melanie J. Fishbane
Melanie J. Fishbane is a freelance writer and book reviewer who has been studying, writing, and reading L.M. Montgomery since she was a teenager. She holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. in History from Concordia University. She is the coordinator for the Canadian Children’s Book Review Project at the National Reading Campaign and works in digital merchandising at Indigo Books and Music Inc.

About L.M. Montgomery
Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton (now New London), Prince Edward Island, in 1874. A prolific writer, she published twenty novels and over a thousand short stories, essays, and poems. She is best known for Anne of Green Gables and its sequels, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside. Montgomery died in Toronto in 1942.

About Razorbill
Established in the U.S. and now home to over 100 critically acclaimed young adult writers, Razorbill is dedicated to publishing authentic voices for teens. The imprint was launched in Canada in January 2012, and award-winning authors signed to the Canadian list include Joseph Boyden, Sandra Gulland, Lesley Livingston, Charles de Lint, Hiromi Goto, and Mariko Tamaki. To coincide with the launch of the imprint, Penguin Canada also launched razorbill.ca, an online community destination that connects literature’s hottest category with its most enthusiastic audience.

About Penguin Canada
Penguin Canada, founded in 1974, is one of Canada’s pre-eminent trade publishers, publishing and distributing a wide range of imprints, including Razorbill, Allen Lane, Hamish Hamilton, Viking, Puffin, Dial, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Speak, and Viking Books for Young Readers. Collectively these imprints publish some of the world’s bestselling and award-winning authors including the works of Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.

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For more information, please contact:

Vikki VanSickle
Publicity and Marketing Manager, Young Readers
Penguin Canada
416.925.2249 x2419
vikki.vansickle@ca.penguingroup.com