Cindy Loh at Bloomsbury has acquired at auction, in a significant six-figure deal, a five-book middle-grade series by Eisner Award-winning author Paul Tobin, tentatively titled Pay Attention to Egghead. In the first book, How to Capture an Invisible Cat, socially awkward fifth-grade genius Nate Bannister recruits his classmate Delphine to help him reverse one of his many experiments (in this case, a dinosaur-sized, invisible cat) while foiling the schemes of the world's most dastardly organization, The Red Death Tea Society. It will launch the series in winter 2016; further books will follow every nine-months. Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Tamra Tuller at Chronicle has acquired two books by NBA-nominated author Beth Kephart. Set in Florence, Italy, One Thing Stolen follows Nadia Cara as she mysteriously begins to change. She's become a thief, she has secrets she can't tell, and when she tries to speak, the words seem far away.This Is the Story of You takes place in an island beach town in the aftermath of a super storm; Mira, a year-rounder stranded for weeks without power, hopes to return storm-tossed treasures to their rightful owners, and restore some sense of order to an unrecognizable world. Publication is scheduled for spring 2015 and spring 2016; Amy Rennert of the Amy Rennert Agency did the deal for world rights.
Alyson Heller at Simon and Schuster has acquired North American rights to Dreama's Worst Nightmare by Trudi Trueit for Aladdin's tween imprint, M!X. When an 11-year-old genius gets bumped up two grades into her sister's middle school, the bonds of sisterhood are pushed to their limits. It's set for fall 2015 publication; Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal.
Lisa Cheng at Running Press Kids has bought The Battle of Darcy Lane author Tara Altebrando's second middle-grade novel, My Life in Dioramas. In the story, a girl whose parents are forced to put their house up for sale starts making shoebox dioramas of her favorite memories there, while also trying to sabotage the sale. Altebrando is the author of two adult novels and four young adult novels, and co-author, with Sara Zarr, of Roomies. The book will come out in spring 2015; David Dunton at Harvey Klinger brokered the deal for world rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has bought, at auction, North American rights to The Pages Between Us by Lindsey Leavitt and Robin Mellom, in a two-book deal. Two best friends separated by conflicting middle-school class schedules vow to keep their closeness alive through the pages of a notebook, and its pages become a lifeline, with the power either to bring them together or tear them apart. The first book will publish in 2016. Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency did the deal for Leavitt, and Jill Corcoran at Jill Corcoran Literary Agency did the deal for Mellom.
Cecily Kaiser at Abrams Appleseed has bought author Toni Buzzeo's board book debut, Whose Tools?, a nonfiction interactive guessing book about 24 tools and the workers who use them, in a two-book deal. Artist and designer Jim Datz will illustrate, in his first books for children. Whose Tools? will pub in spring 2015; Stefanie Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary did the deal for Buzzeo, and Datz represented himself.
Kristin Ostby at Simon & Schuster has acquired Rosco vs. the Baby, a story of dog-baby rivalry and friendship by author-illustrator Lindsay Ward. Rosco is determined to maintain his place as “alpha” despite the arrival of the new baby. But this baby will not be tamed; Rosco has met his match. Publication is planned for summer 2016; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Alexandra Cooper at HarperCollins has bought a picture book text from 2014 SCBWI Golden Kite winner and Sophie's Squash author Pat Zietlow Miller. Her new book, Wide-Awake Bear, follows a feisty bear cub who awakes far ahead of spring and can't get back to sleep, no matter what he tries. It is due in spring 2016; Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Emma Ledbetter at Atheneum has acquired The Sword in the Stove by Frank W. Dormer, a Monty Python-esque picture book about two bumbling knights who keep finding objects in a stove – objects that ominously belong to their friend Harold. It's slated for publication in 2016; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt Agency did the deal for world rights.
Fiona Simpson at Simon & Schuster has acquired North American rights to four new titles by James Ponti. For Aladdin, Ponti will write a third installment to the Dead City middle-grade series, which continues the adventures of zombie hunter Molly Bigelow. Also for Aladdin, he will write two entries in a new middle-grade series called Florian Bates, pitched as "part Watson and Holmes, and part Watson and Crick." And Simon Pulse will publish the YA mystery Just Outside Paradise, in which the discovery of a classmate's body prompts the son of the local sheriff to investigate classmates he suspects played a role in her death, despite the town's conclusion that her death was a suicide. Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio was the agent.
Bethany Strout at Little, Brown for Young Readers has bought the middle-grade novel Mayday by Karen Harrington (author of Sure Signs of Crazy and the forthcoming Courage For Beginners), in which seventh-grade plane crash survivor Wayne Kovok embarks on a quest to recover two things lost in the crash: his voice, and the American flag honoring the death of his soldier uncle, while trying to find his place between his absentee father and his super-patriotic military grandfather. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016; Julia Kenny at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner did the deal for world rights.
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic has acquired two stand-alone middle-grade novels by Jennifer A. Nielsen (The False Prince), beginning with A Night Divided, a story of danger and intrigue in Cold War-era East Berlin, about a girl whose family is split in half when the Berlin Wall goes up. The first book is scheduled for publication in fall 2015. Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has acquired My 7th Grade Life in Tights, a debut by Brooks Benjamin, in which a 12-year-old boy has the chance to compete for a summer dance scholarship, and must decide what's more important: sticking with his crew or freestyling his way into solo greatness. A spring 2016 publication is planned. Uwe Stender at TriadaUS Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray has pre-empted world rights to Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! by New Yorker cartoonist Mike Twohy, a "deceptively simple" twist on the classic alphabet book slated for winter 2016 publication. Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties was the agent.
Alyson Heller at S&S/Aladdin has acquired the next two books in the Mandy Berr series by Allison Gutknecht. In Never Wear Red Lipstick on Picture Day (And Other Lessons I've Learned), scheduled for publication in fall 2014, the precocious, irrepressible Mandy deals with Picture Day copycats and a contest. In Pizza Is the Best Breakfast (And Other Lessons I've Learned), slated for spring 2015, Mandy tries her hand at some innovative cooking while battling it out with her formerly favorite cousin. Charlie Olsen of InkWell Management brokered the deal for North American rights.
Louise May at Lee & Low Books has bought Yama, a picture book biography by author-illustrator Katie Yamasaki of her grandfather Minoru Yamasaki, a prominent 20th century architect the best known as the chief architect of the World Trade Center. Publication is planned for spring 2016; Edward Necarsulmer IV at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.