Susan Van Metre at Amulet Books has bought world English rights to a new middle-grade series called The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John. The series, which Amulet won in a seven-publisher auction, follows two rival pranksters and marks the first time these two authors have worked together. Barnett, author of Extra Yarn, which won a Caldecott Honor for illustrator Jon Klassen, is a longtime friend of John, co-author of All My Friends Are Dead. The new series, which will launch in 2015, will be illustrated by Kevin Cornell. The series will chronicle "a prank war of Homeric proportions" when a new boy in town attempts to establish himself as the school's top prankster. Steven Malk at Writers House did the seven-figure, four-book deal.
Donna Bray at HarperCollins's Balzer + Bray imprint has acquired North American rights, in a pre-empt, to debut author Becky Albertalli's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The story follows 16-year-old, not-so-openly gay Simon Spier, whose sexual identity is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight after a private e-mail falls into the wrong hands; it’s billed as an updated You've Got Mail starring gay teenage boys with good grammar. Brooks Sherman at FinePrint Literary Management brokered the two-book deal.
Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Comics has acquired Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon by Matt Kindt and Brian Hurtt, the first title in a new graphic novel series. This graphic novel follows the story of Poppy Pepperton – a 10-year-old girl with a typographic memory – who goes on globe-spanning adventures with her sidekick Colt Winchester. Publication is set for 2015; Charlie Olsen of InkWell Management did the deal for world English rights.
Melissa Manlove at Chronicle has acquired Maple and Sam Move In, a picture book/chapter book hybrid from Linda Urban, about siblings in a new house who use the moving debris (half-unpacked boxes, cardboard, vacuum) to fuel their imaginative play. Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt's Christy Ottaviano Books has acquired world rights to Turtle Tug, a followup to author-illustrator Michael Slack’s Elecopter and Monkey Truck. The new book introduces the newest member of a rescue squad of animal-vehicle hybrids that aid creatures in need from the jungle to the sea. Publication is set for 2015; Lori Nowicki of Painted Words negotiated the deal.
Gillian Levinson at Razorbill acquired world rights to The 8th Continent, first in a middle-grade series by debut author Matt London. The story – pitched as Despicable Me meets Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego? – follows a brother and sister who are working to turn the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into a utopic eighth continent where their family can start afresh and plants and animals can thrive. To do so, however, they must outwit bumbling bureaucrats and the villainous Condo Corp, who want to take the eighth continent for themselves in order to create New Miami. The first book is set for September 2014; Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger negotiated the three-book deal.
Wendy Lamb at Random House bought two middle-grade novels by debut author Taylor Kitchings. The Oakwood All-Out Yard War, scheduled for publication in fall 2015, is set in Mississippi in 1964. When 12-year old Trip Westbrook invites his housekeeper's son Dee to play ball in their front yard, their game reveals the angry racism simmering in their town. The Tidings Tree, to be published in fall 2016, takes place two years later and is told by Trip's younger sister. Molly Ker Hawn of the Bent Agency held the auction for North American rights.
Michelle Nagler at Random House has bought, in a pre-empt, a debut novel by Amanda Panitch, called That Monstrous Thing; Chelsea Eberly. The book was pitched in the vein of a YA Gone Girl, about a girl who survived her twin brother's murderous rampage only to discover that her dark secret survived as well. Publication is set for spring 2015; Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House did the two-book deal for world rights.
Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen has acquired world English rights to Adam Silvera's debut novel, More Happy Than Not. Pitched as a YA Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the story follows 16-year-old Aaron Soto's growing up in the Bronx (where Silvera also grew up), just after the advent of a procedure that folds memories to soften the blow of traumatic experiences – of which Aaron has many. Publication is scheduled for fall 2015. Brooks Sherman of Fine Print Literary Management brokered the deal.
Nancy Conescu at Dial has acquired Confessions of an Imaginary Friend, a middle-grade novel by Michelle Cuevas. Nobody likes Jacques Papier besides his sister; when he comes across a cowgirl at the park and she informs him that he's an imaginary friend, just like her, Jacques’s world is forever changed. It's scheduled for publication in 2015; Emily van Beek of Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Anna Cavallo at Carolrhoda Books acquired a picture book text, The Alleyway, by Terry Farish. Nico doesn't have to join the Army to see the world – that's what younger brother Luis tries to show by painting a mural in the neighborhood alley. But in Nico's absence, Luis's world expands along with the mural as family and neighbors add to the painting. Publication is scheduled for fall 2015; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Allison Wortche at Knopf bought world rights to Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish’s How to Surprise a Dad, which instructs readers on how to surprise even the wisest and most perceptive of dads – and celebrates the bond between children and their fathers, plus an untitled second picture book by Reagan, for publication beginning in spring 2015. They are the co-creators of How to Babysit a Grandpa and the forthcoming How to Babysit a Grandma. Jamie Weiss at Andrea Brown negotiated on behalf of Reagan and Vicki Willden-Lebrecht at the Bright Agency negotiated on behalf of Wildish.