Recapping the week in children's and YA rights deals.
Ken Wright at Viking Children's Books has acquired Sally Green's Half Bad from Puffin U.K., in a three-book deal. Just before the Bologna fair, Puffin preempted world rights to the book, which is the first in a supernatural trilogy, for six figures. The novel is set in a world where two factions of competing witches – the White and the Black – are unified on one thing: their fear of a boy raised by White witches. Half Bad is slated for 2014 publication; Zosia Knopp at Penguin Children's U.K. did the deal. Rights to the series have also sold in Brazil, with multiple offers being weighed in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Serbia. Film rights have been sold to Fox.
Anne Schwartz of Random House's Schwartz & Wade Books has acquired world rights to What Is Snow?, a picture book by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. It's based on the middle grade trilogy that began with Toys Go Out; here, Lumphy, Stingray, and Plastic experience snow for the first time. Publication is set for fall 2015; the author and illustrator are unagented.
Wendy Loggia of Delacorte Press has bought Anathema and Pandemonia, two books by bestselling adult author Rachel Vincent. In these urban fantasies, a 16-year-old girl discovers not only that the Church is run by demons and she is one of the very few who can exorcise them, but also that she must join forces with other rogue exorcists to save her younger sister and ultimately, humanity. Publication is projected for 2015; Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House did the deal for North American rights.
Tim Ditlow at Amazon Children's Publishing's Skyscape imprint has acquired world English rights for Blackwood author Gwenda Bond's Girl on a Wire, about a girl from a legendary circus family who performs as a daredevil high-wire walker; when mysterious accidents begin to plague the circus, she must team up with her arch-rival to solve the crimes. Publication is set for summer 2014; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency was the agent.
Liza Kaplan at Philomel has bought world English rights to a YA debut in verse by Cordelia Jensen. Skyscraping, set in NYC in the early 90s and loosely based on the author's life, tells the story of a 17-year-old who learns her father is gay, and that he has been diagnosed with AIDS, which causes her to reexamine the meaning of family and her own identity. Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger, Inc. was the agent.
Pam Gruber at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has bought Diamond Boy, a YA novel by Now Is the Time for Running author Michael Williams, about a teen boy working in the dangerous Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe, until his father's death and his little sister's disappearance force him to flee to South Africa. Publication is scheduled for fall 2014; Wendy Schmalz at Wendy Schmalz Agency did the deal for world rights (excluding South Africa).
Mallory Kass at Scholastic has acquired world English rights to a debut novel by Natalie Lloyd, called A Snicker of Magic. In the book, a 12-year-old girl moves to a Southern mountain town, sets out to break a century-old curse and bring back a forgotten magic, and finds a home for her wandering heart. It will be published in spring 2014. Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media held the two-book auction.