Aladdin Paperbacks is one of several children's-book imprints owned by Simon & Schuster. It was established by Jean E. Karl at Atheneum Books where she was the founding director of the children's department (1961). Atheneum merged with or was acquired by Scribner's in 1978, then MacMillan in 1984, before the acquisition by Simon & Schuster in 1994.[clarification needed]
There may have been previous uses of 'Aladdin' as a brand name in the book industry.
Aladdin Paperbacks are aimed at readers aged 4 to 12 and most are reprints from other (hardcover) imprints, which include what Simon & Schuster term some of the most enduring children's books of the modern era. Its ranges include the "Ready-to-Read books," and the slightly older "Ready-for-Chapters" titles aimed at younger age-groups and beginners. Aladdin also publishes a "limited number" of original titles and series entries, across multiple genres including action, adventure, and relationships novels.
The first children's book published by the dependent imprint seems to have been in 1967. Karl ran the Atheneum Books for Younger Readers, Aladdin, and Argo imprints until she retired in 1985.
In October, 2002, Eloise Flood was appointed to the newly created position of "Vice President and Publisher" of Simon & Schuster's Children's Publishing Paperback Group, the role encompassing both the Aladdin Paperbacks and Simon Pulse imprints. As of April, 2008, the current executives overseeing the entire Children's division currently include Rick Richter (President), Robin Corey, who holds the title of "Executive Vice President & Publisher, Novelty & Media Tie-Ins, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing," and Liesa Abrams, a Senior Editor.
- The Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Kadohata and Suçie Stevenson
- Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
- The Shiloh trilogy by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- The Pendragon series by D. J. MacHale
- The Bunnicula books by James Howe
- The Canterwood Crest series by Jessica Burkhart
- The Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell
- The Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Arguably, Aladdin's (and parent Simon & Schuster's) best-known titles are the later (non-Grosset & Dunlap published) titles in several of the Hardy Boys (written under the pen name Franklin W. Dixon) and Nancy Drew (written under the name Carolyn Keene) series, including the original series and the more recent lines.
- "Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing". Simon&Schuster.biz. Archived from the original on September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010.[dead link]
- "About Simon & Schuster's Publishing Divisions and Imprints: Children's". Simon&Schuster.biz. Archived from the original on September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010.[dead link]
- Jean Karl, 72; A Publisher Of Books For Children (obituary). 2000-04-03. Eden Ross Lipson. The New York Times. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- Karl, Jean (Edna). Summer 2006. Alan Jalowitz. Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Penn State University. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- Birthday Bios: Jean E. Karl. No date. Vicki Palmquist. Children's literature network. (c) 2002–2008. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- "Eloise Flood Named Vice President, Publisher Of Simon & Schuster Children's Paperback Publishing Program". October 1, 2002. Retrieved April 3, 2008.
- "Young Adult Novel Writing Course run by Lisa Abrams". Northwestern University. Retrieved September 26, 2010.