Courtney Sheinmel

Current & Forthcoming Titles
by Courtney Sheinmel

Stella Batts Needs a New Name

Book 1 (Jan, 2012)

A List by Stella Batts: Things You Should Know About this Book

1. It's an autobiography. That means I wrote it and it's all about me. I'm eight years old, I'm in third grade, and I live in Somers, California. My favorite place in Somers is Batts Confections – that's the candy store my family owns, and there's a lot of information about it in this book.

2. There's also stuff about some of my favorite people, like my best friend Willa, my parents and even my sister Penny, who copies me a lot but she's still one of my favorites.

3. I even wrote about some people I don't like very much, like Mr. Moyers, the substitute lunch aide, and Joshua, the biggest meanie in my class. Joshua calls me Smella, because of something that happened on our class nature walk.

4. That's when I decided I had to change my name to something that does NOT rhyme with Smella. Kids never get to pick their own names, but I think they should, and a bunch of my friends agreed with me.

5. You'll just have to read this book to find out what happened next!


Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Book 2 (April, 2012)

Stella Batts is back!

One of the best things about having parents who own a candy store is getting to be an Official Batts Confections Taste-Tester. When her dad brings home Magical Glow-in-the-Dark Chewing Gum, Stella can't wait to try it out – especially since her younger sister Penny is already blowing bubbles and making magic-gum wishes that keep coming true.

Except all the gum brings Stella is a lot of bad luck. First she can't
even blow a bubble. Then she falls asleep chewing a piece of gum that ends up wadded in her hair.

Things go from bad to worse. After a drastic haircut, the meanest boy in school tells Stella she looks like a boy, her best friend Willa announces she's moving clear across the country, and Penny loses her beloved stuffed animal, Belinda.

It's hard to believe in any kind of magic when the things you love start disappearing. But Stella knows that when the going gets tough, the tough get going – that's exactly what she plans to do.

Stella Batts Pardon Me

Book 3 (July, 2012)

“Pardon me, Stella,” Evie said. “But I think I should probably sit next to Lucy.”

Stella's best friend Willa just moved all the way across the country. But that doesn't mean they're not best friends anymore…or does it? Willa won't even come to the phone when Stella calls her.

Finding a new best friend is not so easy. Some people get to have dogs, but that's out of the question, since Stella's mom isn't a pet person. And anyway, having a human best friend would be so much better.

But things are looking up when she meets Evie, the new girl in town. Evie's also going to be in Mrs. Finkel's class, and she needs a new best friend too. Stella can't wait to introduce her to the other third graders.

Except when they get to school, things don't exactly go the way Stella planned.


from Sleeping Bear Press
Jan 2012, April 2012, and July 2012

All the things there are

Carly Wheeler is used to having the kind of life other kids envy. She's a popular seventh grader at the prestigious Preston Day School. Her mom is a stylist for the hot soap opera Lovelock Falls, and Faux Pa (what Carly calls her step-father) loves her just as much as he loves his real kids.

But the day her mother is arrested for embezzling funds from her job, Carly's life becomes crazier than a plotline on the show. Suddenly instead of trips to the set, she's accompanying her mom to the lawyers' office and the courtroom. Newspapers chronicle the whole mess so everybody knows, and Carly's closest friends start avoiding her in school. Her parents can barely look at each other. Worst of all, Carly is no longer sure how she feels about her mother.

In this authentic story about a timely topic, Courtney Sheinmel shows what can happen when the world crumbles down around you and you're left to pick up the pieces – even though it may not look the same when they're put together again.

Praise for

“Sheinmel persuasively and sensitively conveys Carly's conflicting emotions and her attempts to make sense of what's been thrust upon her.”


From Simon & Schuster:
June, 2011


Eleven year old Sophie Turner lives in Manhattan and attends an all-girls private school, but some difficult changes have left her feeling very lonely. When Sophie's best friend, Jessie, suddenly rejects her for a faster crowd and the Turner family begins to break down, Sophie's only source of comfort is the distant voice of her school-assigned pen pal, Katie.

Eleven year old Katie Franklin lives in California, and she thinks life is perfect. When she and her best friend, Jake, spearhead a charity project for earthquake victims in Mexico, Katie couldn't be happier. But when Jake starts paying attention to another girl, Katie get jealous, and does some things she isn't proud of at all. No one at home understands her, but she does have one friend she can open up to--her pen pal, Sophie.

Two realistic, gentle novels in one about dealing with transitions and divorce, friendship and jealousy, Sincerely looks at the enduring power of friendship--even from miles away.

Praise for SINCERELY:

“An affecting portrayal of family and friendships in flux, and of the heroines' burgeoning self-knowledge and confidence.”

Publishers Weekly

“The novel puts a positive spin on tough situations, illustrating that good things can, and often do, happen in the midst of adversity.”

—Sarah K. Allen, Elko Middle School, Sandston, VA, for School Library Journal

From Simon & Schuster:
Hardcover, June, 2010
Paperback, June, 2011

“When my mother died, I imagined God was thinking, ‘One down, and one to go.’”


She was four-years-old when she and her mom were diagnosed as HIV-positive – infected with the virus that causes AIDS, and eight when her parents divorced. Now she is thirteen and her mother is dead. Emmy moves in with her father and stepmother, but she feels completely alone. Even though everyone has always accepted her, no one – not her father, or stepmother, or even her best friend – understands what it’s like to have to take medicine every single day, to be so afraid of getting sick, and to miss her mom more than she ever thought she would.

When Emmy’s dad and stepmother send her to Camp Positive, a camp for HIV-positive girls, Emmy is certain she is going to hate it. But soon she realizes that she is not so alone after all – and that sometimes letting other people in can make all the difference in the world.

The author is donating a portion of her proceeds from this book to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.


“Wrenchingly authentic and quietly powerful”

Publishers Weekly, 9/7/09


“Emmy’s lively first-person narrative tells a gripping contemporary story of confusion, sorrow, anger, and hope that will prompt group discussions.”

— Hazel Rochman, Booklist, July 2009


“This valuable story discusses uncertainty, very human fears, and most important, hope. The reader is drawn to Emmy, who is ultimately a courageous character, and the lessons at Camp Positive are priceless. It is a terrific introduction to a complex and important topic. It might also serve as an eye opening assignment or discussion piece.”

– Ava Ehde, VOYA


“Courtney Sheinmel’s powerful tale of teenager Emerson Price’s journey growing up with AIDS sends a torpedo right to the heart. I loved it. Never preachy, Emmy’s story feels as if you’ve delved into her personal diary. I cried and smiled and eventually felt a sisterhood with Emmy whose message ‘anything is possible’ made me cheer.”

— actor Marlee Matlin,


“When Courtney Sheinmel first told me about the idea for POSITIVELY, I urged her to get busy writing it. Courtney had long been involved with my mom’s foundation, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and I knew she would tell a realistic and compelling story that would resonate with readers – as well as educate them. Everyone should read this amazing book!”

– Jake Glaser, spokesperson,
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation


“POSITIVELY by Courtney Sheinmel is an important book that stands head and shoulders above its peers.”

– Julie M. Prince,
Young Adults (& Kids) Book Central Blog


“Courtney Sheinmel has captured, with honesty and perception, the complicated thoughts of thirteen-year-old Emmy Price as she navigates her life during the difficult months following her mother’s death from AIDS. Emmy, who is HIV-positive, must not only deal with the loss of the person she loved the most, but face her own illness with a new sense of heart-wrenching reality. I cheered every one of Emmy’s cautious steps on her journey to make a place for herself in a world without her mother.”

— Ann M. Martin, author of


“Utterly enthralling, Positively tugs at your heartstrings from the first page and doesn’t let go. Courtney Sheinmel has created such a believable character in thirteen-year-old Emmy, that I didn’t want to leave her. This could be the most important book you read all year.”

—Wendy Mass,

From Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, September, 2009

“What does it mean to be related to someone anyway?”

My So-Called Family (paperback)

Leah Hoffman-Ross just moved to New York and she wants her new friends to think she's a typical thirteen-year-old. But Leah has a secret: she doesn't have a father, she has a donor. Before Leah was born, her mother went to Lyon’s Reproductive Services and picked Donor 730. Now her mother is married and Leah has a stepfather and a little brother. Her mom thinks that they should be all the family Leah needs.

Despite her attempts to fit in and be normal, Leah can't help but feel like something is missing. When she finds the link on the Internet to the Lyon’s Sibling Registry, Leah knows she has to see if she has any half-siblings. And when she discovers that one of the other kids from Donor 730 is a girl her age, Leah will do anything to meet her – even if she has to hide it from everybody else.


“Smart, original and full of vitality.”

Publisher's Weekly


“A thought-provoking and compelling debut, challenging the reader to consider, ‘What makes a family?’”

— Cynthia Lord
author of Newbery Honor Book RULES  


“This story rocks — it's warm, insightful, and utterly un-put-down-able.”

Lauren Myracle
author of ELEVEN, TWELVE,
and the best-selling Internet Girls series.

From Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, Fall 2008
Paperback, Sept. 2009