Reka Simonsen at HMH Books for Young Readers has pre-empted world rights to a YA trilogy by Michael Buckley, author of the Sisters Grimm and N.E.R.D.S. series. In the books, a 16-year-old girl gets caught in a violent and xenophobic clash of civilizations when a society of undersea warriors march out of the ocean into modern-day Coney Island. The series launches with Undertow in spring 2015, with books two and three to follow in spring 2016 and spring 2017. Alison Fargis at Stonesong was the agent.
Kristin Ostby at Simon & Schuster has pre-empted a debut chapter book by HarperCollins Children’s Books editor Anica Rissi. The book, Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split, begins a series that follows a girl named Anna as she navigates the challenges and adventures of third-grade best friendship, with a little help from her wiener dog, Banana. Publication is scheduled for summer 2015; Meredith Kaffel of DeFiore and Company brokered the four-book deal for world rights.
Elise Howard at Algonquin has bought world rights for Forever Free by Winifred Conkling, a nonfiction account for middle-graders. It chronicles Emily Edmondson's journey out of slavery as part of the largest slave escape in U.S. history, which led first to her recapture but ultimately to freedom and a career as a teacher to other former slaves, and she served as inspiration for characters in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Publication is planned for spring 2015; Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency did the deal.
Liza Baker at Little, Brown has acquired Todd Parr's The Goodbye Book, a picture book about loss, separation, and learning to heal, told through the eyes of a child's pet fish. Publication is scheduled for spring 2015; Liz Stahler at Suppertime Entertainment brokered the deal for world rights.
Pam Gruber at Little, Brown has bought Altered: The Beginning by Jennifer Rush, a digital original prequel to her Altered series. The story sheds light on how the boys, and Anna's older sister Dani, first became involved with the Branch organization, and how the Branch came to be. E-book publication is set for fall 2013; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media did the deal for world English rights.
Susan Rich at Little, Brown has bought world rights, excluding Canada, to author Lindsay Mattick and illustrator Sophie Blackall's picture book, Finding Winnie. In the book, Mattick delivers the true story of the bear that inspired author A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh character. (The bear, after being rescued by a lieutenant during WWI, was donated to the London Zoo. At the zoo, a boy named Christopher Robin, whose father was A.A. Milne, became especially fond of the bear.) Mattick is the great-granddaughter of the soldier who saved the bear, Lt. Harry Coleburn, and LBYR said she still has a collection of original artifacts from Harry and Winnie's adventures, and is in talks with the London Zoo about mounting an exhibit. Publication is planned for fall 2015; Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative represented Mattick, and Nancy Gallt at Nancy Gallt Literary represented Blackall.
Christian Trimmer at Simon & Schuster has acquired a middle-grade series called Gilded by Robert Venditti, author of The Surrogates and The Homeland Directive, and adaptor of The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel and The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel. In the books, a boy discovers an extraterrestrial cape that gives him superpowers, and he must protect Earth from an alien invasion. The first book in the series is scheduled for May 2015; Jason Grode at Grodehouse did the two-book deal for world rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt's Christy Ottaviano Books imprint has bought world rights to Dogs Are People Too, an unagented work by cartoonist Dave Coverly. The book is a collection of dog-themed cartoons from Coverly's nationally syndicated cartoon Speed Bump. Publication is tentatively scheduled for fall 2014.