Recapping the week in children's and YA rights deals.
Shana Corey at Random House has acquired a graphic novel series by cartoonist Judd Winick called Hilo. The full-color middle-grade graphic novel series stars D.J. and Gina, whose lives get much more interesting when a mysterious boy, Hilo, falls from the sky and lands outside their small town. Their adventures take them to the ends of the universe to save the world from Robot Destroyers and discover the secret of Hilo's past. The series is Judd's children’s book debut; he is also the author of Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned, a graphic novel memoir published by Holt in 2000. The first book in the Hilo series will be released in spring 2015, with simultaneous publication as an e-book; Jodi Reamer of Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.
Jocelyn Davies at HarperCollins Children's Books has acquired Playlist for the Dead and a second YA standalone novel by debut author Michelle Falkoff. In Playlist for the Dead, a boy struggles to piece together the truth about his best friend's suicide, the mysterious attacks on the bullies who targeted his friend, and the girl who may finally be able to help him to move on. The project is the first from Spilled Ink Productions, a creative-content company founded by author Melissa de la Cruz and her husband Michael Johnston. Publication is planned for 2015; Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment did the deal for world rights.
Stacey Barney at G.P. Putnam's Sons has bought two novels by Caroline Starr Rose. Blue Birds, a middle-grade novel in verse, centers on a forbidden friendship between Alis, the only girl in Virginia's doomed first settlement, and Kimi, a Roanoke girl. Blue Birds will pub in winter 2015, and an untitled novel will follow. Tracey Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Tamra Tuller at Chronicle Books has bought North American rights to Scrapbook, a YA novel by Hannah Moskowitz. The novel, the author's seventh since her debut at age 16, is a "scrapbook" of events, chronicling the lives of three fairies after war comes to their city. Publication is set for fall 2015; John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary brokered the two-book deal.
Tim Ditlow at Amazon Publishing and Courtney Miller at Kindle Serials have bought world English rights to two books by debut author Jessie Humphries, including her novel Killing Ruby Rose. The book was pitched as "Dexter meets Heist Society" and follows a girl who unwillingly becomes a serial killer targeting infamous villains. The deal's unique structure calls for the book to publish initially as episodes in Amazon's Kindle Serials program; the episodes will begin appearing in the summer, with the print edition to follow in the early fall. Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Jessica Garrison at Dial Books for Young Readers has acquired two picture books by Deborah Underwood (The Quiet Book). Here Comes Santa Cat is a companion to Here Comes the Easter Cat, scheduled for January 2014; both will be illustrated by Huff and Puff's Claudia Rueda, and feature a sly cat who gives some famous holiday roles his own temperamental spin. Publication for Santa Cat is set for fall 2014. The second book, Walrus 1-2-3, does not yet have an illustrator and will publish in winter 2015; it features a child who lists the good and bad things about living in a new house – particularly a new house that came with a walrus in the bathtub. Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency did world rights for both deals for Underwood; Rueda represented herself in her deal.