Recapping the week in children's and YA rights deals.
Sarah Landis at HarperTeen has bought a YA trilogy by Kimberly Derting, author of two previous trilogies (The Body Finder and The Pledge). The new series, tentatively called The Taking, is also the title of the first book; it tells the story of a 16-year-old who wakes up after one lost night to find that five years have passed and everything about the life she remembers has changed. Publication of book #1 is planned for summer 2014; Laura Rennert of Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Susan Chang at Starscape/Tor Books has bought a middle-grade fantasy trilogy by Alan Gratz called The League of Seven. The series is set in an alternate America, where seven super-powered children fight to stop the mad scientist Thomas Edison from summoning giant monsters – until they learn that one of the League may be the biggest monster of all. Publication of the first book, Mangleborn, is set for spring 2014. Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary was the agent.
Calista Brill at First Second acquired world rights to cartoonist Lucy Knisley's graphic memoir New Kid, aimed at teen readers. New Kid is a memoir-in-comics of Knisley's high school years, detailing her experiences with friends, drugs, and sex, and her desire to make art in a school system that seemed determined to prevent her from doing so. Knisley's Relish: My Life in the Kitchen is being released this month by First Second. Holly Bemiss of the Susan Rabiner Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Following the London Book Fair, the sale of U.S. and U.K. rights for Finnish YA author Salla Simukka's Snow White Trilogy have just been announced. Click here for the full story.
Beverly Horowitz at Delacorte has acquired Nightmares!, a new middle-grade series from actor Jason Segel and author Kirsten Miller (the Kiki Strike books), in a deal for North American rights to a trilogy and a companion book. Nightmares! is a comedic adventure about a group of kids who realize it’s up to them to save their town from fear, which has manifested in the form of scary creatures that have slipped into the everyday world. The first book is scheduled for release in Fall 2014. Erin Malone of WME and Abrams Entertainment handled the domestic sale; Laura Bonner is handling foreign rights, and Simon Trewin is handling for the UK.
Nancy Mercado at Roaring Brook Press has acquired a YA memoir by Shane Burcaw based on his tumblr, Laughing at My Nightmare, which has more than 250,000 followers. Burcaw chronicles with humor the challenges he faces as a 20-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy, from awkward handshakes to trying to find a girlfriend and everything in between. Publication is set for fall 2014; Tina Wexler at ICM negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Maggie Lehrman at Amulet has bought North American rights to Winterkill, a debut YA novel by Kate Boorman. The story follows Emmeline, a marginalized girl living in an isolated settlement ruled by constant fear, who is drawn outside of the walls by powerful dreams and an insatiable curiosity. Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has acquired Julia Durango's YA thriller The Leveller in a two-book deal. Pitched as Graceling meets The Matrix, the novel stars Nixy Bauer – a 16-year-old self-made leveller, or bounty hunter – who is paid to "unplug" kids from a multiplayer virtual reality and return them to their parents in the real world. The Leveller pubs in summer 2015, and the next novel follows a year later. Tracey Adams at Adams Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has bought a young adult series by Bella Thorne, star of Disney Channel’s Shake It Up. The first book in the Autumn Falls series, to be co-authored with Elise Allen, is set for a summer 2014 publication and tells the story of a 14-year-old girl whose high school life changes after an encounter with magic. Matthew Elblonk of DeFiore & Company represented Thorne in the deal.