Listen Along with Izzy McKenna by cartoonist Aubrey Nolan is her debut YA graphic novel. Listen Along with Izzy McKenna tells the story of 15-year-old Izzy McKenna who, having spent her life wrestling with anxiety and depression, finds herself uniquely equipped to save her seaside town of Port Juniper from an alien invasion. Lauri Hornik at Penguin/Rocky Pond Books has bought the graphic novel and Listen Along with Izzy McKenna will be published in the spring of 2025.
Aubrey Nolan posted the news on Instagram, saying "Too many emotions right now to write a real caption so just thank you @laurihornik @penguinrandomhouse + Anjali Singh at @pandeliterary I can't wait for readers to meet (and love!) Izzy and her friends. Now, quick break for happy tears + champagne before it's back to work ." Her agent Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Rocky Pond Books, helmed by Lauri Hornik, longtime publisher of Dial Books for Young Readers, is a Penguin imprint that publishes books for two through teen, both fiction and nonfiction, with a focus on mental health and social-emotional learning and on seeking out debut authors and illustrators. Lauri Hornik said, "It has become more and more important to me to provide books that offer comfort and support. That comfort might be through a belly laugh or a gorgeous, genuine expression of what it means to be human, or seeing yourself and your culture depicted on the page. That support might be through a picture book that sparks empathy, or an inspiring nonfiction read about a hero or important moment in history. And above all, I am committed to publishing mental health content – books that start conversations, that provide a step toward healing, and that show readers they aren't alone. I'm so excited to now be dedicating myself full-time to editing, and thus bringing more of these much-needed books to kids and teens."