Mara Anastas at Simon & Schuster has bought Five Kingdoms, a five-book middle-grade series by Brandon Mull, author of the Beyonders and Fablehaven series. The first book in the series, Sky Raiders, will be published by Aladdin on March 11, 2014, followed by book #2 in October. Liesa Abrams will edit the series. Five Kingdoms stars Cole Randolph, whose ordinary night turns extraordinary when he and his friends are whisked to a place called the Outskirts. The balance of power in the five kingdoms that make up the Outskirts has been upset, the magic there is becoming unstable, and it’s up to Cole to find a way to set things right. Mull's books with S&S have sold more than four million copies. Simon Lipskar at Writers House did the deal for North American rights.
Cindy Loh of Bloomsbury U.S. and Ele Fountain of Bloomsbury U.K. have jointly acquired world English rights to Apocalypse Bow Wow by a father-son team: illustrator James Proimos and author James Proimos III. Catherine Onder will edit; it's the first in a series of humorous graphic novels developed under James's new venture Welcome Literary. The series follows Brownie and Apollo, two dogs whose owners are missing, along with the rest of the human race, and somehow all the pets of the world must learn to survive in a people-less world. Worldwide publication for Apocalypse Bow Wow is planned for fall 2014; Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary brokered the deal, with Kate McLennan of Abner Stein handling the U.K.
Cindy Loh also acquired world English rights to two books by Gerry Swallow, author of the A Whole Nother Story books written under the name Dr. Cuthbert Soup. The two books in the deal, Krool and an untitled middle-grade adventure, will be edited by Catherine Onder. Krool follows a misbehaving 11-year-old's trip to a strange world populated by nursery rhyme characters. A fall 2015 publication is scheduled; Cheryl Pientka at Jill Grinberg Literary Management brokered the six-figure deal.
Jessica Almon at Razorbill has bought End Times, a YA series by debut author Anna Schumacher. It tells the story of an oil boom town in Wyoming plagued by mysterious phenomena; the God-fearing locals believe it to be signs of the Rapture, while a newcomer with a checkered past uncovers the unsettling truth. Tina Wexler at ICM did the two-book deal for world rights.
Jill Santopolo at Philomel has acquired three books in a new middle-grade series by author and agent Ammi-Joan Paquette. In Princess Juniper, a princess asks for her own kingdom for her 13th birthday, only to find out that there's much more to being a queen than wearing ball gowns and throwing parties. The first installment is planned for fall 2015; Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Megan Tingley at Little, Brown has bought The Secret Life of Squirrels by photographer Nancy Rose, whose photographs of wild squirrels in domestic scenes have attracted a wide following on Flickr. Publication is set for fall 2014; Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists did the deal for world rights excluding Canada. In a separate deal also arranged by Kaiser, Lynne Missen at Penguin Canada bought Canadian rights.
Karen Lotz at Candlewick Press has acquired author Jancee Dunn's first children's book, I'm Afraid Your Teddy Has Been Naughty Today. The picture book is about a bear who gets into mischief while his owner is at school. A publication date has not yet been set; Alia Hanna Habib at McCormick & Williams did the deal for world rights.
Kristin Daly Rens at HarperCollins's Balzer + Bray imprint has acquired, at auction, author/illustrator Tadgh Bentley's debut picture book Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups, as well as a second untitled picture book. After overindulging on chili night, Little Penguin can't get rid of his hiccups, so he turns to the reader for help scaring them away, only to get a major surprise from a friend. Publication is planned for fall 2015; John Rudolph at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management brokered the deal for North American rights.