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1. Congratulations to the 2016 ALA Award Winners

It’s a grand day for books, and we’d like to extend our warmest congratulations to the extremely talented 2016 ALA award winners! 37801-2[more]

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2. Cover Reveal: DIG TOO DEEP by Amy Allgeyer

It’s a cornucopia of cover reveals at Upstart Crow this week!

Today, we are thrilled to share the cover for Amy Allgeyer’s riveting debut novel, DIG TOO DEEP (Albert Whitman, April 2016). The good folks at YA Books Central did the official reveal yesterday, and you can hop over there to enter to win a free advance reading copy. b2ap3_thumbnail_Dig-Too-Deep_CvrReveal

It’s not just that Liberty Briscoe feels like an outsider in Ebbotsville, Kentucky. She expected it wouldn’t be easy to move from the city to her granny’s place for her last year of high school. Still, Liberty can’t shake the feeling that something’s not quite right. Everyone says the water’s safe, yet nobody drinks it. When Granny becomes sick, like so many others in town, Liberty starts to wonder about the water, the people who

[more]

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3. Read an excerpt of Leah Konen’s THE LAST TIME WE WERE US

We are so very excited about Leah Konen’s steamy contemporary romance, THE LAST TIME WE WERE US (Katherine Tegen, May 2016). Last Time We Were Us_FINAL

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life.

She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties and, with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.

Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvy. A million years ago, he was Liz’s best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.

Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing

[more]

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4. Congratulations to the 2015 National Book Award Winners

search-1

FICTION
Karen E. Bender, Refund
Angela Flournoy, The Turner House
Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies
Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles
Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

NONFICTION
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
Sally Mann, Hold Still
Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus
Carla Power, If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran
Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light

POETRY
Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude
Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn
Robin Coste Lewis, Voyage of the Sable Venus
Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things
Patrick Phillips, Elegy for a Broken Machine

YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE
Ali Benjamin, The Thing About Jellyfish
Laura Ruby, Bone Gap
Steve Sheinkin, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
Neal Shusterman, Challenger Deep
Noelle Stevenson, Nimona… [more]

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5. Goodreads Ratings and How to Read Them

goodreads Unlike a lot of people in the publishing industry, I regularly review the books I read on Goodreads, and it has sometimes gotten me into trouble. I’ve been a Goodreads member since shortly after it was founded, and I have a lot of friends there whose opinions I follow. And who follow me. Some people in publishing feel no one in our industry should be on Goodreads at all; one editor noted that he won’t buy books from people who have given a negative review to one of his books. Others see it as a betrayal of our small community, that we should all be cheerleaders all the time, and to ever be otherwise is to be an Enemy of Books.

Well, I think that’s a lot of malarky, as Joe Biden might say. Goodreads … [more]

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6. Cover reveal for Christina Mandelski’s THE SWEETEST THING

We are so very excited for today’s cover reveal! THE SWEETEST THING by Christina Mandelski is a fantastic contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and cake, and it’s soon to be re-released on Amazon with this gorgeous new package and some yummy bonus materials.

TheSweetestThing Cover Shadow WEB

When it comes to cake, Sheridan Wells is a true artist. She’s happiest working in the back of her family’s bakery, dreaming of the day her mom will come home. But when her dad makes an announcement that threatens to change their lives, Sheridan launches a desperate plan to find her mother before it’s too late. Add to that a school art project that she can’t seem to start, a moody best friend and the fact that she may or may not have been asked out by the cutest boy in

[more]

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7. Happy Pub Day to Jessixa Bagley’s BOATS FOR PAPA!

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I’m so thrilled to wish Jessixa Bagley a very happy pub day for her debut book, BOATS FOR PAPA. I met Jessixa at SCBWI NY in 2013; that was the first conference I attended with my agent hat on after nearly ten years on the other side of the desk at Simon & Schuster. Jessixa came to my session, politely introduced herself and struck up a conversation. She was a runner-up in the Illustrator Showcase and submitted a dummy called Drift to me after the conference. I opened it and was immediately drawn into the world of Buckley, a young beaver who creates increasingly intricate boats to send to his absent and much missed Papa. And she made me cry. Tears-streaming-down-my-face cry. I sold the book to the brilliant and wonderful Neal Porter. Neal, … [more]

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8. Cover Reveal for THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT by Andrew Brumbach

We’re oh-so-excited for the cover reveal of Andrew Brumbach‘s spectacular debut middle grade adventure novel, THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT (Delacorte, 2016). Hop on over to the good folks at Middle Grade Minded for the big reveal and an interview with Andrew.

 … [more]

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9. Erin Byers Murray wins M.F.K. Fisher Award

logoWe are pleased to announce that Upstart Crow client Erin Byers Murray has won the M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing. The award, presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, is for Erin’s essay “Sense of Self”, which appeared in FoodThinkers in 2014.

Erin is the author of Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and a co-author of The James Beard nominated cookbook The New England Kitchen (Rizzoli 2014). Erin is an enormously talented writer and she has many more exciting projects cooking for the future. Congratulations, Erin!… [more]

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10. WAITING FOR UNICORNS has arrived!

WaitingforUnicorns - jacketThe wait is over! We’re thrilled to celebrate the publication of  Beth Hautala‘s debut middle grade novel WAITING FOR UNICORNS (Philomel Books).

Kirkus calls Beth “an author to watch.” School Library Journal calls her writing “poignant.” Publisher’s Weekly calls Beth’s descriptions “spellbinding.”

Talia McQuinn is much too old to believe in magic, yet she keeps a jar of wishes under her bed. When her whale-researcher father drags Tal to the Arctic for the summer following her mother’s death, she brings the jar along. During her stay, Tal learns of the ancient Inuit legend of the narwhal whale—the unicorn of the sea—she forms a plan to make the biggest wish of her life.

I discovered Beth’s work while participating in the annual agent slugfest known as the Baker’s Dozen Auction, a contest in which … [more]

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11. Accolades for Sarah Tregay’s FAN ART

FanArt_FINALI am fizzy with fangirl-ish glee! Sarah Tregay’s sophomore novel, FAN ART, has been nominated by YALSA (the American Library Association) as one of the best Books for Young Readers, 2015.

This isn’t Sarah’s first time on this fantastic list. Her debut novel, LOVE AND LEFTOVERS, was a YALSA 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults finalist.

FAN ART is a tremendously special book, as it is at the forefront of the movement to create diversity in young adult literature. In FAN ART, seventeen year-old Jamie is in love with his best friend Mason, but is afraid that if he shares his feelings, he’ll lose Mason’s friendship forever. Ever since I read an early draft of the story back in 2011, it’s been my hope that FAN ART would cross boundaries–that it would allow … [more]

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12. Five years!

2009 isn’t all that far back, but sometimes it can seem like a lifetime ago. Lady Gaga was a breakout artist, and Kanye West was stealing Taylor Swift’s microphone. Barack Obama hadn’t yet served a full year—but had already hosted a beer summit. Steve Jobs was alive (if not well), and the iPad hadn’t yet been introduced. Legitimate journalists wrote about things like Farmville and sexting and the Gosselins as though these things were “news.” And Upstart Crow Literary opened for business. We were four agents who’d met at another, short-lived agency, and we joined forces and announced ourselves that August. So much has happened since! Far too much to adequately cover in this post. So a quick summary with lots of links. We moved from a PO box to an address on Fifth Avenue; we bid farewell to one agent (we miss you, Chris) and welcomed another (the fabulous Alexandra Penfold). Our authors have published wildly acclaimed debut novels—both stand alones and series entries; New York Times bestsellers, much lauded award-winners, and much-loved entries on best-of-the-year lists. They’ve published cookbooks and memoirs, self-help and guides to helping...

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13. Five years!

2009 isn’t all that far back, but sometimes it can seem like a lifetime ago. Lady Gaga was a breakout artist, and Kanye West was stealing Taylor Swift’s microphone. Barack Obama hadn’t yet served a full year—but had already hosted a beer summit. Steve Jobs was alive (if not well), and the iPad hadn’t yet been introduced. Legitimate journalists wrote about things like Farmville and sexting and the Gosselins as though these things were “news.” And Upstart Crow Literary opened for business. We were four agents who’d met at another, short-lived agency, and we joined forces and announced ourselves that August. So much has happened since! Far too much to adequately cover in this post. So a quick summary with lots of links. We moved from a PO box to an address on Fifth Avenue; we bid farewell to one agent (we miss you, Chris) and welcomed another (the fabulous Alexandra Penfold). Our authors have published wildly acclaimed debut novels—both stand alones and series entries; New York Times bestsellers, much lauded award-winners, and much-loved entries on best-of-the-year lists. They’ve published cookbooks and memoirs, self-help and guides to helping...

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14. A Fond Farewell to Publishing

Hello!

Chris Richman here. After many months of consideration, I’ve decided to leave the book world. This isn’t a decision I make easily—for years I wanted to work in publishing, and it was a literal dream come true when I landed a job as a literary agent. I loved finding new talent, working with my clients, and sharing in their triumphs. I enjoyed connecting with writers across the country and the world, and being a part of people’s roads to success.

I’m especially proud to have worked with so many talented people over the years, from my wonderful roster of clients, to the editors who helped shape good stories into great ones, and especially to my colleagues both at Upstart Crow and Firebrand Literary way back when. The biggest debt I owe is to Michael Stearns, who served as a wonderful mentor for me when I was just starting, and now has become a friend. His guidance, sense of humor, and occasional tough love helped me in too many ways to count.

In the end, however, I’ve decided to seek a different route, and I’m happy to announce I’ve started a job in PR and marketing in Philadelphia, and look forward to a shift in careers.

Thank you to everyone who helped along the way, including the writers who shared their work with me. I wish I could have responded to every query more quickly, or signed more clients, or met more people at conferences. But hey, it was a pretty good run that I’ll remember fondly.

Best of luck to you all out there!

Chris Richman

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15. A Fond Farewell to Publishing

Hello! Chris Richman here. After many months of consideration, I’ve decided to leave the book world. This isn’t a decision I make easily—for years I wanted to work in publishing, and it was a literal dream come true when I landed a job as a literary agent. I loved finding new talent, working with my clients, and sharing in their triumphs. I enjoyed connecting with writers across the country and the world, and being a part of people’s roads to success. I’m especially proud to have worked with so many talented people over the years, from my wonderful roster of clients, to the editors who helped shape good stories into great ones, and especially to my colleagues both at Upstart Crow and Firebrand Literary way back when. The biggest debt I owe is to Michael Stearns, who served as a wonderful mentor for me when I was just starting, and now has become a friend. His guidance, sense of humor, and occasional tough love helped me in too many ways to count. In the end, however, I’ve decided to seek a different route, and I’m...

Add a Comment
16. A Fond Farewell to Publishing

Hello! Chris Richman here. After many months of consideration, I’ve decided to leave the book world. This isn’t a decision I make easily—for years I wanted to work in publishing, and it was a literal dream come true when I landed a job as a literary agent. I loved finding new talent, working with my clients, and sharing in their triumphs. I enjoyed connecting with writers across the country and the world, and being a part of people’s roads to success. I’m especially proud to have worked with so many talented people over the years, from my wonderful roster of clients, to the editors who helped shape good stories into great ones, and especially to my colleagues both at Upstart Crow and Firebrand Literary way back when. The biggest debt I owe is to Michael Stearns, who served as a wonderful mentor for me when I was just starting, and now has become a friend. His guidance, sense of humor, and occasional tough love helped me in too many ways to count. In the end, however, I’ve decided to seek a different route, and I’m...

Add a Comment
17. The Key & The Flame Comes out Today!

katfWe at Upstart Crow Literary are very excited to announce the publication of Claire Caterer’s debut novel The Key & The Flame, published by Margaret K. Mcelderry books! Claire is a wonderfully talented author who worked long and hard to bring this story of magic and mystery into the world.

The Key & The Flame follows eleven-year-old Holly Shepard, a bookish girl who desperately seeks some escape from her boring life living in the middle of Kansas. When her family takes a trip to England, Holly gets more than she bargained for when she receives an old iron key that unlocks a door to a secret world, and also the potential for magic within her.

Holly is joined on her journey by two tagalongs—her younger brother Ben, and Everett, an English boy who hungers after Holly’s newfound magic and carries a few secrets of his own. Holly, Ben, and Everett go from being ordinary kids in our world to extraordinary guests in a new world–but can Holly and friends be able to muster the courage and rise above her ordinary past to become an extraordinary hero?

When I first read the pitch for Claire Caterer’s story, I was immediately drawn in by the classic feel of the story, but particularly by Claire’s wonderful voice as a narrator. Seemingly without trying very hard, Claire was able to infuse the narration with humor, intrigue, and mystery, and make her characters stand out in a wonderful way that will appeal to reader’s of all ages.

I’m so excited for others to experience the adventure of The Key & The Flame. And once you’ve fallen in love, the story will continue next year with a sequel!

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18. The Key & The Flame Comes out Today!

We at Upstart Crow Literary are very excited to announce the publication of Claire Caterer’s debut novel The Key & The Flame, published by Margaret K. Mcelderry books! Claire is a wonderfully talented author who worked long and hard to bring this story of magic and mystery into the world. The Key & The Flame follows eleven-year-old Holly Shepard, a bookish girl who desperately seeks some escape from her boring life living in the middle of Kansas. When her family takes a trip to England, Holly gets more than she bargained for when she receives an old iron key that unlocks a door to a secret world, and also the potential for magic within her. Holly is joined on her journey by two tagalongs—her younger brother Ben, and Everett, an English boy who hungers after Holly’s newfound magic and carries a few secrets of his own. Holly, Ben, and Everett go from being ordinary kids in our world to extraordinary guests in a new world–but can Holly and friends be able to muster the courage and rise above her ordinary past to become an extraordinary...

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19. Congrats to Antony John!

Rejection. Redemption. Romance.

Now that the weather is nice and the sun is shining, I for one am itching to take a road trip. And if you are too, why not start with a dazzling new read by one of teen lit’s best writers?

Antony John.

Antony’s last book, FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB, was the recipient of brilliant reviews, lavish praise from authors and readers alike, and the prestigious Schneider Award for Teens.

NowThou Shalt Not Road Trip Antony brings us a fantastic new story: THOU SHALT NOT ROAD TRIP!

When sixteen-year-old Luke’s book, Hallelujah, becomes a national bestseller, his publishing house sends him on a cross-country book tour with his older brother, Matt, as chauffeur. But when irresponsible Matt offers to drive Luke’s ex–soul mate, Fran, across the country too, things get a little crazy. On the trip, Luke must loosen up, discover what it truly means to have faith, and do what it takes to get the girl he loves.

Told with Antony John’s signature wit and authenticity, and featuring smart, singular characters who jump off the page and into your heart, this story is a spiritual awakening and rockin’ road trip in one.

To learn more about Antony, visit him on the web at www.antonyjohn.net

Now start reading!

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20. E. M. Kokie’s PERSONAL EFFECTS Releases to Rave Reviews

A few years ago I was searching very hard for a gripping YA for boys, something with an authentic voice, issues teen boys could relate to, and a plot that grabbed me and didn’t let go. When author E.M. Kokie sent me the query and sample pages for her novel Personal Effects, I knew within five minutes of reading I’d come across something special. The voice was outstanding, the plot immediately grabbed me, and it took only a few days of reading the full story to realize I had to work with this author. I remember stepping off a plane on my way to an SCBWI conference, pulling out my phone, and emailing Kokie while still standing on the runway to say “I’m loving this book! Stay tuned!”

Nearly three years later, I’m happy to report my love of this novel is shared by others, as the response to Personal Effects book has been overwhelmingly positive. Just check out some of the great blurbs Personal Effects has received!

  • PERSONAL EFFECTS is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time—it’s complex, moving, and beautifully written. I want everyone I love to read this book.” —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award Finalist, Coretta Scott King Award winner, and Newbery Honor winner
  • “A fine addition to the literature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” —Kirkus
  • Timely, passionate, and political, PERSONAL EFFECTS is a story that needs to be told. Heartbreaking and heart-opening at the same time. —James Howe, author of The Misfits and Totally Joe
  • “Well written and heartfelt, Personal Effects provides much to discuss after the covers are closed. . . . This title is highly recommended for teen readers.” —VOYA
  • “PERSONAL EFFECTS is a smart, rugged, hugely insightful book that elevates an already soaring genre. E.M. Kokie glides along that fine line between comedy and tragedy to tell a sensation story.” —Chris Crutcher, a Margaret A. Edwards Award-winning author
  • . . . Kokie has written a no-holds-barred contemporary YA novel that is right up there with my all-time favorites of the genre.” —Richie’s Picks

Finally, we just learned that PERSONAL EFFECTS earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it an “outstanding debut.” To read the complete review, HEAD HERE.

But you know where you should really head? To your local bookstore, so you can pick up a copy yourself! I promise you, this book will impact you, and is a great read for teens looking for challenging, gripping work. Grab a copy today!

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21. E. M. Kokie’s PERSONAL EFFECTS Releases to Rave Reviews

A few years ago I was searching very hard for a gripping YA for boys, something with an authentic voice, issues teen boys could relate to, and a plot that grabbed me and didn’t let go. When author E.M. Kokie sent me the query and sample pages for her novel Personal Effects, I knew within five minutes of reading I’d come across something special. The voice was outstanding, the plot immediately grabbed me, and it took only a few days of reading the full story to realize I had to work with this author. I remember stepping off a plane on my way to an SCBWI conference, pulling out my phone, and emailing Kokie while still standing on the runway to say “I’m loving this book! Stay tuned!” Nearly three years later, I’m happy to report my love of this novel is shared by others, as the response to Personal Effects book has been overwhelmingly positive. Just check out some of the great blurbs Personal Effects has received! PERSONAL EFFECTS is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time—it’s complex, moving, and...

Add a Comment
22. Congrats to Antony John!

Rejection. Redemption. Romance. Now that the weather is nice and the sun is shining, I for one am itching to take a road trip. And if you are too, why not start with a dazzling new read by one of teen lit’s best writers? Antony John. Antony’s last book, FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB, was the recipient of brilliant reviews, lavish praise from authors and readers alike, and the prestigious Schneider Award for Teens. Now Antony brings us a fantastic new story: THOU SHALT NOT ROAD TRIP! When sixteen-year-old Luke’s book, Hallelujah, becomes a national bestseller, his publishing house sends him on a cross-country book tour with his older brother, Matt, as chauffeur. But when irresponsible Matt offers to drive Luke’s ex–soul mate, Fran, across the country too, things get a little crazy. On the trip, Luke must loosen up, discover what it truly means to have faith, and do what it takes to get the girl he loves. Told with Antony John’s signature wit and authenticity, and featuring smart, singular characters who jump off the page and into your heart, this story is a spiritual...

Add a Comment
23. The Key & The Flame Comes out Today!

We at Upstart Crow Literary are very excited to announce the publication of Claire Caterer’s debut novel The Key & The Flame, published by Margaret K. Mcelderry books! Claire is a wonderfully talented author who worked long and hard to bring this story of magic and mystery into the world. The Key & The Flame follows eleven-year-old Holly Shepard, a bookish girl who desperately seeks some escape from her boring life living in the middle of Kansas. When her family takes a trip to England, Holly gets more than she bargained for when she receives an old iron key that unlocks a door to a secret world, and also the potential for magic within her. Holly is joined on her journey by two tagalongs—her younger brother Ben, and Everett, an English boy who hungers after Holly’s newfound magic and carries a few secrets of his own. Holly, Ben, and Everett go from being ordinary kids in our world to extraordinary guests in a new world–but can Holly and friends be able to muster the courage and rise above her ordinary past to become an extraordinary...

Add a Comment
24. E. M. Kokie’s PERSONAL EFFECTS Releases to Rave Reviews

A few years ago I was searching very hard for a gripping YA for boys, something with an authentic voice, issues teen boys could relate to, and a plot that grabbed me and didn’t let go. When author E.M. Kokie sent me the query and sample pages for her novel Personal Effects, I knew within five minutes of reading I’d come across something special. The voice was outstanding, the plot immediately grabbed me, and it took only a few days of reading the full story to realize I had to work with this author. I remember stepping off a plane on my way to an SCBWI conference, pulling out my phone, and emailing Kokie while still standing on the runway to say “I’m loving this book! Stay tuned!” Nearly three years later, I’m happy to report my love of this novel is shared by others, as the response to Personal Effects book has been overwhelmingly positive. Just check out some of the great blurbs Personal Effects has received! PERSONAL EFFECTS is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time—it’s complex, moving, and...

Add a Comment
25. Congrats to Antony John!

Rejection. Redemption. Romance. Now that the weather is nice and the sun is shining, I for one am itching to take a road trip. And if you are too, why not start with a dazzling new read by one of teen lit’s best writers? Antony John. Antony’s last book, FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB, was the recipient of brilliant reviews, lavish praise from authors and readers alike, and the prestigious Schneider Award for Teens. Now Antony brings us a fantastic new story: THOU SHALT NOT ROAD TRIP! When sixteen-year-old Luke’s book, Hallelujah, becomes a national bestseller, his publishing house sends him on a cross-country book tour with his older brother, Matt, as chauffeur. But when irresponsible Matt offers to drive Luke’s ex–soul mate, Fran, across the country too, things get a little crazy. On the trip, Luke must loosen up, discover what it truly means to have faith, and do what it takes to get the girl he loves. Told with Antony John’s signature wit and authenticity, and featuring smart, singular characters who jump off the page and into your heart, this story is a spiritual...

Add a Comment

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