Hello friends! I’m Sam (she/her), the senior marketing & publicity associate at Tundra Books!
I’ve been with Penguin Random House Canada for just over five years – some of you may recognize me because I used to run the PenguinTeenCa social media accounts. I work on publicity for everything from board books to YA and am slowly figuring out our presence at tradeshows across North America – maybe I’ll see you around some time!
Outside of work, I like getting tattoos and going to concerts . . . sometimes on the same day (those are the best days!).
5 Random Facts About Me
- My favorite band is The Maine and I talk about them ALL THE TIME (including at work!).
- I double majored in English and French in university and started learning Spanish with Duolingo in 2021.
- I love traveling and usually build my vacations around a concert (or two).
- I once put together a thread of YA books x Bastille songs for fun and now it’s my favorite yearly tradition (stay tuned for a new one in July!).
- I’m a big fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and I collect different editions.
Favorite Penguin Random House Titles
A Great and Terrible Beauty
By Libba Bray
432 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780385732314 | Ember
It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls – and their foray into the spiritual world – lead to?
By Robin Benway
320 Pages | Ages 12+ | Ebook
ISBN 9781101610091 | Razorbill
California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, ?Audrey, Wait!,? a break-up song that?s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous! Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can?t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi. Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.
If I Had a Gryphon
By Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Paperback
ISBN 9781774880913 | Tundra Books
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring . . . he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dog park, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet . . . or is he? If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations – and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them.
(P.S. guess why the little girl’s name is Sam!!)
Strum & Drum: A Merry Little Quest
By Jashar Awan
56 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735272392 | Tundra Books
All is quiet in the forest as the Great Star rises in the distance, and two little musicians, Strum and Drum, wake up from a deep slumber and set out to make the most joyous music they can! But as Strum strums his guitar and Drum drums her drum on their way to the North, some mysterious obstacles fill their paths . . . flickering lanterns, bubbles of glass, a silver waterfall, a tiny house, dangerous animals . . . and a wooden man with a toothy grin warns them of a beast with green eyes lying in wait. For this is no ordinary forest – it’s a Christmas tree, on Christmas Eve, and Strum, Drum and all their new friends are ornaments! But when the green-eyed beast strikes and sends them tumbling out of the “forest,” Strum and Drum’s quest to reach the Great Star seems doomed . . . until a little boy setting out milk and cookies for Santa spots them.
The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan
By Salma Hussain
296 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271494 | Tundra Books
Mona Hasan is a young Muslim girl growing up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when the first Gulf War breaks out in 1991. The war isn’t what she expects – “We didn’t even get any days off school! Just my luck!” – especially when the ground offensive is over so quickly and her family peels the masking tape off their windows. Her parents, however, fear there is no peace in the region, and it sparks a major change in their lives. Over the course of one year, Mona falls in love, speaks up to protect her younger sister, loses her best friend to the new girl at school, has summer adventures with her cousins in Pakistan, immigrates to Canada, and pursues her ambition to be a feminist and a poet.
Favorite Non Penguin Random House Titles
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
- Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman (the movie also slaps)
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (the movie does not slap, fight me)
- Lockwood & Co series – Jonathan Stroud (highly recommend the Netflix adaptation)
Anticipated Penguin Random House Titles
- Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumagai
- Dim Sum Palace by X. Fang
- Don’t Want to Be Your Monster by Deke Moulton
- Felice and the Wailing Woman by Diana López
- Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino