Rachael Stein

Rachael Stein - Editor

New York City, NY, USA

Experienced children's book editor who's passionate about helping you bring your stories to life.

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Overview

I am freelance children's book editor with 5 years of in-house experience, specializing in developmental editing, line editing, and Americanization. At Sterling Publishing and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, I've worked on children's books for all age levels - picture books, board books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult. I've also worked on a range of genres, including contemporary realistic fiction, humor, science fiction/fantasy, historical fiction, and nonfiction. Some titles that I've edited include MARTIN MCLEAN, MIDDLE SCHOOL QUEEN by Alyssa Zaczek, which was a Kirkus best middle grade book of the year and a Winter 2019-2020 Indie Next pick; QUEEN OF PHYSICS by Teresa Robeson and illustrated by Rebecca Huang, which won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and is an NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book; and the Sam Wu chapter book series by Katie and Kevin Tsang.

Beyond my in-house experience, I also have 2.5+ years of experience working directly with writers through writing course instruction, workshops, and critiques. I have co-taught two writing courses through Children's Book Academy, led group critiques through Inked Voices, and done workshops and one-on-one critiques for SCBWI conferences around the world.

I'm passionate about working with creators to help them tell the stories they're excited about. No matter what stage of the writing and publishing process you're at, I'd love to work with you to develop your project into a satisfying story and take your writing to the next level.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Children’s Non-Fiction
Fiction
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Picture Books
Social & Family Issues

Work experience

Freelance Children's Book Editor

Self-employed
October, 2018 – Present (about 4 years)

I love working with children's book writers at all stages of the writing and publishing process, including agented and unagented writers who are pursuing traditional and self publishing. I provide editorial assessments/manuscript critiques, developmental editing, and line editing for picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA.

Editor

Sterling Children's Books
September, 2018 – December, 2019 (about 1 year)

Acquire and edit children's books for all age levels - picture books, board books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, and nonfiction. Titles I've worked on include MARTIN MCLEAN, MIDDLE SCHOOL QUEEN by Alyssa Zaczek, which received a starred Kirkus review and is a Winter 2019-2020 Indie Next pick; QUEEN OF PHYSICS by Teresa Robeson, illustrated by Rebecca Huang, which received a starred Booklist review; and the third and fourth titles in the Sam Wu chapter book series by Katie and Kevin Tsang.

Writing Instructor

Children's Book Academy
August, 2017 – December, 2019 (over 2 years)

Co-teach courses on writing picture books and writing middle grade/chapter books. Provide feedback and guidance to students through one-on-one sessions as well as group webinars. At least three students I've taught have received book deals for projects they started in the course.

Portfolio (13 selected works)

Parker Bell and the Science of Friendship

Cynthia Platt

In this fun young-middle-grade novel with STEM appeal, Parker really wants to win the school Science Triathlon—but first she’ll have to figure out how to keep her BFF from being stolen.Budding scientist Parker Bell really wants to win the school Science Triathlon and follow in the footsteps of her idols, chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall and astronaut Mae Jemison. She’s sure that if she teams up ... read more

In this fun young-middle-grade novel with STEM appeal, Parker really wants to win the school Science Triathlon—but first she’ll have to figure out how to keep her BFF from being stolen.Budding scientist Parker Bell really wants to win the school Science Triathlon and follow in the footsteps of her idols, chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall and astronaut Mae Jemison. She’s sure that if she teams up ... read more

Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of the Dark

Katie Tsang, Kevin Tsang

He’s faced ghosts, sharks, and now the DARK! This third book in the humorous series takes Sam Wu on a brand-new adventure: camping. Is he prepared for the scariest thing he may ever encounter? Sam Wu is NOT afraid of the dark—but proving how brave you are is hard work. Especially when Sam’s about to face his greatest challenge yet: a camping trip in the woods with his best friend, Bernard, Ber... read more

He’s faced ghosts, sharks, and now the DARK! This third book in the humorous series takes Sam Wu on a brand-new adventure: camping. Is he prepared for the scariest thing he may ever encounter? Sam Wu is NOT afraid of the dark—but proving how brave you are is hard work. Especially when Sam’s about to face his greatest challenge yet: a camping trip in the woods with his best friend, Bernard, Ber... read more

Musical Mac

Brendan Kearney

When a millipede can’t find a band to join, he finds a way to make his own special kind of music!“ . . . richly detailed artwork, colorful characters, and strong narrative will make for an enjoyable, musically oriented storytime.” —Booklist Online Mac the millipede has lots and lots of arms and legs—which are useful for many things, but especially for making music. He dreams of playing in the ... read more

When a millipede can’t find a band to join, he finds a way to make his own special kind of music!“ . . . richly detailed artwork, colorful characters, and strong narrative will make for an enjoyable, musically oriented storytime.” —Booklist Online Mac the millipede has lots and lots of arms and legs—which are useful for many things, but especially for making music. He dreams of playing in the ... read more

What Do You Celebrate?: Holidays and Festivals Around the World

Whitney Stewart

Holidays are FUN—and this entertaining nonfiction picture book introduces kids to 14 celebrations from around the world! Across the globe, every country has its special holidays. From Brazilian carnival and Chinese New Year to France’s Bastille Day and our very own Fourth of July, What Do You Celebrate? presents 14 special occasions where people dance, dress up, eat yummy foods, and enjoy othe... read more

Holidays are FUN—and this entertaining nonfiction picture book introduces kids to 14 celebrations from around the world! Across the globe, every country has its special holidays. From Brazilian carnival and Chinese New Year to France’s Bastille Day and our very own Fourth of July, What Do You Celebrate? presents 14 special occasions where people dance, dress up, eat yummy foods, and enjoy othe... read more

Martin McLean, Middle School Queen

Alyssa Zaczek

In this bighearted middle-grade debut, Martin McLean struggles to find his voice—and his inner diva—as he navigates friendship, family, first crushes, and a whole lot of glitter.“An amusing story that's bursting with diversity at every turn. . . . A tasty treat.”—Kirkus (Starred review) Seventh-grader Martin McLean has always been surrounded by people who can express themselves. His mother is ... read more

In this bighearted middle-grade debut, Martin McLean struggles to find his voice—and his inner diva—as he navigates friendship, family, first crushes, and a whole lot of glitter.“An amusing story that's bursting with diversity at every turn. . . . A tasty treat.”—Kirkus (Starred review) Seventh-grader Martin McLean has always been surrounded by people who can express themselves. His mother is ... read more

Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight (People Who Shaped Our World)

Michelle Lord

The inspiring story of Dr. Patricia Bath, a groundbreaking ophthalmologist who pioneered laser surgery—and gave her patients the gift of sight. Born in the 1940s, Patricia Bath dreamed of being an ophthalmologist at a time when becoming a doctor wasn’t a career option for most women—especially African-American women. This empowering biography follows Dr. Bath in her quest to save and restore s... read more

The inspiring story of Dr. Patricia Bath, a groundbreaking ophthalmologist who pioneered laser surgery—and gave her patients the gift of sight. Born in the 1940s, Patricia Bath dreamed of being an ophthalmologist at a time when becoming a doctor wasn’t a career option for most women—especially African-American women. This empowering biography follows Dr. Bath in her quest to save and restore s... read more

Invent-a-Pet

Vicky Fang

Bunnies, pandas, and monkeys, oh my! For fans of Ada Twist, Scientist, this picture book about finding your perfect pet introduces basic STEAM and coding concepts—and some ridiculously adorable animals! Katie is an ordinary girl who longs for an extraordinary pet—something more spectacular than a simple goldfish. Then one day Katie comes home to find a gift from her mother: a mysterious machin... read more

Bunnies, pandas, and monkeys, oh my! For fans of Ada Twist, Scientist, this picture book about finding your perfect pet introduces basic STEAM and coding concepts—and some ridiculously adorable animals! Katie is an ordinary girl who longs for an extraordinary pet—something more spectacular than a simple goldfish. Then one day Katie comes home to find a gift from her mother: a mysterious machin... read more

Nerp!

Sarah Lynne Reul

What’s for dinner? How about skizzle klumps n’ gizzardlumps? A hilarious look at mealtime with a pair of persnickety eaters, in the most fun made-up language ever! Would you like a bite of frizzle frazzle hotchy potch? How about a plate of mushy gushy bloobarsh? NERP, says our hero. Nerpity nerpity nerp! (That’s “NO” to you!) With nonsense language and humorously expressive illustrations, this... read more

What’s for dinner? How about skizzle klumps n’ gizzardlumps? A hilarious look at mealtime with a pair of persnickety eaters, in the most fun made-up language ever! Would you like a bite of frizzle frazzle hotchy potch? How about a plate of mushy gushy bloobarsh? NERP, says our hero. Nerpity nerpity nerp! (That’s “NO” to you!) With nonsense language and humorously expressive illustrations, this... read more

Lintang and the Pirate Queen

Tamara Moss

Gutsy girls and strong women make up the diverse and appealing crew of a pirate ship that battles intrigue and deadly monsters in an action-filled fantasy adventure. “Combine a pirate adventure of mythic proportions, a uniquely charming cast of characters, and a vivid new fantasy world, and you get Lintang and the Pirate Queen. Magical, inventive, and positively unforgettable.” —Marissa Meyer,... read more

Gutsy girls and strong women make up the diverse and appealing crew of a pirate ship that battles intrigue and deadly monsters in an action-filled fantasy adventure. “Combine a pirate adventure of mythic proportions, a uniquely charming cast of characters, and a vivid new fantasy world, and you get Lintang and the Pirate Queen. Magical, inventive, and positively unforgettable.” —Marissa Meyer,... read more

Unnatural Disasters

Jeff Hirsch

From a bestselling author, an edgy, voice-driven novel set in a not-so-distant-future world about teens trying to survive when attacks by an unknown terrorist organization throw the entire planet into chaos. Just right for fans of Tommy Wallach's We All Looked Up. Will the Class of 2049 be the last class ever? Lucy Weaver has her future all figured out. Make an appearance at prom, ditch gradua... read more

From a bestselling author, an edgy, voice-driven novel set in a not-so-distant-future world about teens trying to survive when attacks by an unknown terrorist organization throw the entire planet into chaos. Just right for fans of Tommy Wallach's We All Looked Up. Will the Class of 2049 be the last class ever? Lucy Weaver has her future all figured out. Make an appearance at prom, ditch gradua... read more

K-Pop: The Ultimate Fan Book: Your Essential Guide to All the Hottest K-Pop Bands

Sterling Children's

K-pop is HOT—and this is the essential guide to all the genre’s fiercest bands, including BTS, Blackpink, EXO, and Red Velvet! In 2018, K-Pop (Korean Pop) broke out on the global stage, with boy-band BTS releasing two number-one albums in the US and selling out live shows internationally. Now the world knows that there’s so much more to this diverse and exciting genre than just one group. K-Po... read more

K-pop is HOT—and this is the essential guide to all the genre’s fiercest bands, including BTS, Blackpink, EXO, and Red Velvet! In 2018, K-Pop (Korean Pop) broke out on the global stage, with boy-band BTS releasing two number-one albums in the US and selling out live shows internationally. Now the world knows that there’s so much more to this diverse and exciting genre than just one group. K-Po... read more

I Love You (Almost Always): A Pop-Up Book of Friendship

Anna Llenas

When two creatures are different, can they still be pals? A sweet pop-up book about friendship, from the creator of The Color Monster. Ralph is a roly-poly. Rita is a firefly. They are very different, and that is why they like each other . . . until, one day, they don’t. Rita thinks Ralph’s shell is too hard, and Ralph thinks Rita shines too brightly. Is their friendship in trouble? Or can the... read more

When two creatures are different, can they still be pals? A sweet pop-up book about friendship, from the creator of The Color Monster. Ralph is a roly-poly. Rita is a firefly. They are very different, and that is why they like each other . . . until, one day, they don’t. Rita thinks Ralph’s shell is too hard, and Ralph thinks Rita shines too brightly. Is their friendship in trouble? Or can the... read more

Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Spiders (Volume 4)

Katie Tsang, Kevin Tsang, Nathan Reed

Who’s afraid of spiders? NOT SAM WU! In this fourth book in the hilarious series, Sam must conquer his fears and help save the school pet tarantula. Sam Wu is NOT afraid of anything. Well, maybe some things—like ghosts, sharks . . . and the dark's pretty scary, too. And now he has something new to worry about: Tulip, the big, hairy pet tarantula that lives in the sixth-grade science lab and is... read more

Who’s afraid of spiders? NOT SAM WU! In this fourth book in the hilarious series, Sam must conquer his fears and help save the school pet tarantula. Sam Wu is NOT afraid of anything. Well, maybe some things—like ghosts, sharks . . . and the dark's pretty scary, too. And now he has something new to worry about: Tulip, the big, hairy pet tarantula that lives in the sixth-grade science lab and is... read more

Rachael has 18 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Anuoluwapo Oladapo
Working with Rachael has been an all-round positive experience. She is incredibly professional and transparent about her editing process. Her work on my manuscript applied a level of much-needed rigour to my book and I am very glad I made the choice to go ahead with her services. Thanks ever so much for being excellent in your craft, Rachael! I look forward to working with you on future projects.

Anuoluwapo Oladapo, October 2021


Erica Borgstrom
Rachael was fantastic to work with. Supportive and constructive, she was able to pitch her feedback and answers to our questions in a way that we would understand it and stay motivated. She’s given lots of tips for us to progress on our publishing journey. As a parent supporting a young writer, I was also incredibly impressed by her ability to connect with a younger writer’s work and provide ...
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Erica Borgstrom, October 2021


Anuoluwapo Oladapo
Working with Rachael has been such a great experience. From her first response to my invitation to work, she has maintained such a high level of enthusiasm for my project and it has been encouraging. She completed a sample copyedit on my manuscript and truly fortified it with appropriate word usage for my target audience, and she applied a keen eye to spelling, punctuation and grammatical erro...
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Anuoluwapo Oladapo, September 2021


marzieh abbas
I expected a lot more communication nd clarity of what was involved in the package. I was disappointed that the editor didnt have concrete suggestions

marzieh abbas, August 2021


Nayla Southworth
Once again, Rachael come through for me! She took a first edition middle grade book that was a disaster, and made it the best it could be into a readable second edition. I wish I met from the start. Since I had such a great experience with her editing expertise before, I hired her again. She is so professional, smart, and an excellent editor. I highly recommend Rachael!

Nayla Southworth, August 2021

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