Aussie Debut Lands at Dutton
Denise Roy at Dutton took U.S. rights to Lost & Found, the debut from Australian novelist Brooke Davis. Stéphanie Abou at Foundry Literary + Media struck the deal on behalf of Zeitgeist Media Group Literary Agency, and also sold Canadian rights to Andrienne Kerr at Penguin Random House Canada’s Viking imprint. The novel follows a precocious seven-year-old named Millie who, after losing her father to cancer, is abandoned by her distraught mother at a mall. With the help of, as Abou put it, “two not-so-benevolent octogenarians also dealing with loss,” the young heroine embarks on a journey across the Australian Outback to find her mother. The book, which is set for a simultaneous North American and U.K. release in early 2015, has, to date, sold in over 20 countries.

Soho Gambles on Late Czech Translator
Juliet Grames at Soho Press acquired world rights to a novel called Innocence by the late Heda Margolius Kovály. The author was a renowned translator whose memoir, Under a Cruel Star (about the death of her parents in a concentration camp, and that of her husband after an infamous Czech show trial in the ’50s), was first published in 1973. Innocence is the author’s only known work of fiction and was published in her native Czech in 1985, but has never been translated. In 2013, the book was republished in Czech, after a campaign spearheaded by the author’s son. American translator Alex Zucker will be doing Soho’s new English-language edition of the novel, which is based on Kovály’s life behind the Iron Curtain in Communist Prague; Soho is planning a June 2015 release, and thinks the title will be the lead on its spring list.

Ponti Closes Four at Simon & Schuster Kids
At Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing, Fiona Simpson took North American rights to four new books by James Ponti. Through the deal, Ponti will write a third installment in his middle-grade series Dead City for the division’s Aladdin imprint. Also for Aladdin, he will write two entries in a new middle-grade series called Florian Bates. And for Simon Pulse, he will write a YA mystery titled Just Outside Paradise. Ponti’s agent, Rosemary Stimola, at Stimola Literary Studio, explained that the new Aladdin middle-grade series is about a boy with “amazing observation skills” and his genius female best friend; it was pitched as “part Watson and Holmes, and part Watson and Crick.” In Just Outside of Paradise, the son of a smalltown sheriff begins investigating his classmates after a body is found in a local river, despite the fact that the death was ruled a suicide.

Thomas ‘Consciously Uncouples’ for Harmony
Heather Jackson at Crown Harmony bought world rights, in a significant six-figure deal, to a new book about “conscious uncoupling” by psychotherapist/relationship expert/author Katherine Woodward Thomas. Bonnie Solow, who has an eponymous shingle, represented Thomas. Jackson said Thomas coined the phrase “conscious uncoupling” in 2010, when she was teaching an online course about dealing with breakups. The term recently gained notoriety after Gwyneth Paltrow used it to describe her split (announced via her website, with her singer-husband Chris Martin. The book, Jackson elaborated, will lay out a five-step process for recovering from a breakup with “dignity, generosity, good will, and respect.”

Bloomsbury Nabs ‘Arab Booker’
For Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP), Thalia Suzuma took world English rights to Kuwaiti journalist Saud Alsanousi’s novel, The Bamboo Stalk. The novel, which won the 2013 IPAF Prize—a literary honor known as the “Arab Booker”—follows a man returning to his home in Kuwait. Bloomsbury said the book is “an unflinching look at the phenomenon of foreign workers in Arab countries” examining issues of “identity, race, and religion.” Suzuma brokered the deal with Laura Susijn at the Susijn Agency. BQFP was founded in 2008 and is based in Doha; one of its goals is to publish books of importance in both English and Arabic. Bloomsbury’s English-language edition of Bamboo Stalk, which is being translated by Jonathan Wright, is set for a 2015 release.