Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster has bought Home Team, a new series for middle-graders by Mike Lupica, in a four-book deal. Each Home Team novel will tell the story of one of four friends living in a fictional town called Walton, a diverse group of sports-loving kids who each face adversities but won't back down. The series begins in spring 2015 with The Only Game; Lupica is the author of several books for young readers that have sold a combined four million copies, including QB 1, Heat, Travel Team, and Million-Dollar Throw. Esther Newberg of ICM negotiated the deal for world rights.
Beverly Horowitz at Delacorte Press will publish a YA adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's adult bestseller Unbroken. Hillenbrand will write the adaptation, to be called Unbroken: An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive; it will be published on Veterans Day, November 11, 2014, with a first printing of 200,000 copies. Unbroken tells the story of Olympic runner Louie Zamperini's odyssey during WWII, and the courage, cunning, and fortitude he found to endure and overcome. Since its original publication by Random House in 2010,Unbroken has sold close to four million copies; a film based on the book, directed by Angelina Jolie, is set for release on Christmas Day 2014.
Stephen Barbara at Foundry Literary + Media has sold two YA novels and a middle-grade fantasy by This Song Will Save Your Life author and Viking Children's editor Leila Sales, in two separate deals. Joy Peskin at Farrar, Straus & Giroux took North American rights to Tonight the Streets Are Ours, a YA novel about a teen girl living in the suburbs who becomes obsessed with a blogger in New York City, and sets out to track him down in real life. Publication is scheduled for fall 2015. Peskin also acquired an untitled second YA title. In addition, Tamra Tuller at Chronicle has acquired North American rights to Once Was a Time, Sales's middle-grade debut featuring two best friends who are wrenched apart when one time-travels away from their home in war-ravaged 1940s England. Publication is tentatively set for spring 2016.
Joy Peskin at FSG also acquired North American rights in a pre-empt to Shut-In, a debut YA novel by Marisa Reichardt, as well as a second YA contemporary. In the aftermath of a deadly high school shooting, 17-year-old Morgan is an agoraphobic trapped in the apartment she shares with her mother and brother; when surfer boy Evan moves in next door, she has to face the life she's been missing. Publication is set for winter 2016 and winter 2018; Kate Testerman at KT Literary brokered the deal.
Christian Trimmer at Simon & Schuster has bought a first YA novel by Teddy Steinkellner, author of Trash Can Days, tentatively titled Seniors. Described as Robert Altman's Short Cuts for teens, it follows a group of high school seniors as they navigate life-changing decisions, moving around in time and perspective to show the different potential outcomes of their choices. It's slated for summer 2016; Alex Glass at Trident Media Group was the agent.
Emellia Zamani at Scholastic U.S. and Anne Shone at Scholastic Canada have jointly acquired an untitled middle-grade novel by Mahtab Narsimhan. The story follows 13-year-old Dylan, a budding photographer and rabid Lord of the Rings fan who is invited to attend a wedding in Mumbai with his best friend, and jumps at the opportunity to embark on an exciting journey. The projected pub date is spring 2016; Molly Jaffa at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management brokered the deal for North American rights.
Kristin Ostby at Simon & Schuster has acquired, in a preempt, a middle-grade mystery-comedy by debut author Sarah Lariviere. In the tentatively titled The Bad Kid, set in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, 11-year-old Claudeline LeBernadin hopes to take over the "family business" previously run by her mobster grandfather, who has recently passed away, while trying to uncover a local scam artist and salvage her friendship with her BFF. A summer 2016 publication is planned; Susan Hawk at the Bent Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Jordan Hamessley of Egmont USA has bought North American rights to I Am Drums, a debut novel by Mike Grosso. The middle-grade novel was pitched as "an anthem for band kids everywhere," and tells of 12-year-old Samantha, whose dreams of playing the drums run up against the hard reality of school budget cuts, leading her to improvise. It's scheduled for fall 2015; Eddie Schneider of JABberwocky Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Katherine Harrison at Knopf has acquired Pink Is for Blobfish by Jess Keating in a pre-empt. This nonfiction picture book, first in a series about unusual animals, introduces kids to weird and wonderful pink creatures throughout the animal kingdom. It will be published in 2016; Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Elise Howard at Algonquin has bought Radioactive: How Two Brilliant Women Unwittingly Helped to Create the Atomic Bomb by Winifred Conkling. Aimed at younger teens, the book will tell the story of physicists Irene Curie and Lise Meitner, who learned to hate war after volunteering as X-ray technicians during WW1, only to have their life's work used to create the world's most destructive weapon during WW2. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016; Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Liz Szabla of Feiwel and Friends acquired North American rights to The Fall, a middle-grade novel by James Preller, author of Bystander, in which a boy struggles to come to terms with his role in the life and death of a classmate after her suicide, partly as a result of cyber-bullying. Publication is set for fall 2015; Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio did the two-book, six-figure deal.
Hilary Van Dusen at Candlewick has acquired Sibert Medal winner Tanya Lee Stone's A Story of War, A Story of Peace. Delving deeper into a little-known Japanese attack on U.S. soil introduced in Courage Has No Color, Stone focuses on a hot-air balloon bomb explosion that killed five Oregon students. It's set for publication in 2017; Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal for North American rights.
Lauri Hornik at Dial Books for Young Readers has acquired filmmaker Haifaa al Mansour's adaptation of Wadjda, her feature film debut, into a middle-grade novel of the same name. Namrata Tripathi will edit. Wadjda tells the story of an 11-year-old girl growing up in the suburbs of Riyadh, who dreams of owning a green bicycle. It's scheduled for fall 2015; Amy Berkower of Writers House brokered the deal for North American rights.
Alyson Heller at S&S/Aladdin has bought debut author Ronni Arno Blaisdell's Renee Reinvented, aimed at middle-graders, in a two-book deal. The story is about a girl who, desperate to live a normal life after growing up the daughter of famous parents, transfers to a Maine boarding school, only to find her lies about her background drawing her into ever-deeper trouble. It's slated for fall 2015, and the second book for 2016. Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.
Sara Sargent at Simon Pulse has acquired Blackhearts by debut author Nicole Castroman. Inspired by the tale of Blackbeard, it's the story of a forbidden romance between a servant girl desperate for freedom and the master's son who dreams of a life at sea. But they are caught up in something bigger than their circumstances: a love that changes the course of history. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016; Quinlan Lee at Adams Literary did the deal for world English rights.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has bought world rights to Inn Between by Marina Cohen, in a two-book deal. The story follows 12-year-old Quinn, who is driving across country with her best friend's family when a stopover at a creepy Victorian hotel in middle of the Nevada desert turns terrifying. Publication is set for winter 2016; John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary was the agent.
David Linker at HarperCollins has acquired debut author-illustrator Ross Burach's There's a Giraffe in My Soup, in a pre-empt. The story tells of a delivery mix-up with a zoo, causing a stuffy waiter to serve an unsuspecting kid some silly dishes. Winter 2016 is the projected pub date; Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the two-book deal for world rights.
Carol Burrell at Abrams/Amulet has bought world rights to Rutabaga the Adventure Chef, a fantasy graphic novel series by Eric Colossal. The series follows an “adventure chef” named Rutabaga, who travels to a fantasy land to find bizarre ingredients to cook in his enchanted cauldron. The books will include pages straight out of Rutabaga's cookbooks, with recipes that readers can make at home. The first title is due in March 2015; Charlie Olsen of InkWell Management brokered the two-book deal.
Kate O'Sullivan at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has signed Renata Liwska to illustrate Marsha Diane Arnold's Waiting for Snow, in which Badger, Rabbit, Vole, and Dormouse learn a lesson about patience as they wait for the first snowflakes to come down. It's slated for fall 2016; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties brokered the deal for Liwska for world rights.
Lee Wade at Random House's Schwartz & Wade Books has bought Laura Godwin's Owl Sees Owl, illustrated by Rob Dunlavey, about a baby owl exploring the world around him and then returning to the safety of his nest. Publication is planned for fall 2016; Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates sold world rights for the author, and Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties sold North American rights for the illustrator.