Candlewick Lands Debut
Winner of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Work-in-Progress grant, Skila Brown’s debut middle grade novel, Caminar, was acquired by Liz Bicknell at Candlewick. Tina Wexler at ICM handled the sale of the book, which is told in verse and set in 1981, and follows a 12-year-old Guatemalan boy who lives through the massacre of his village and must, Wexler explained, “decide what it means to be a man in a time of war.” Brown, who has an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts, currently lives in Guatemala.

Ballantine Hits the ‘Kitchen’ with QVC
Pamela Cannon at Ballantine took world rights to David Venable’s In the Kitchen with David. The cookbook will be spun off Venable’s eponymous show on QVC—the cooking program is the network’s highest rated—and is slated for fall 2012. The book will focus on comfort food and feature 75 color photographs. Venable has been a host on QVC since 1993, and his network, Ballantine noted, has a strong history selling cookbooks, having moved more than 12 million to date. Venable did not use an agent in the deal.

Perigee Takes Three-Hour-Tour with Wells
John Duff at Perigee bought world rights, at auction, to Dawn Wells’s Why We Love Mary Ann. Wells, who played Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island and has since become an inspirational speaker, offers up a work that the Penguin imprint calls “part memoir and part commonsense advice for life.” Scheduled for 2013, the book, the imprint goes on to say, is “filled with the good values and girl-next-door charm that have made Dawn and Mary Ann enduring touchstones for generations of TV viewers.” Agent Wendy Sherman represented Wells.

Haruf Returns to Knopf
Kent Haruf’s longtime editor, Gary Fisketjon, took world English rights to the author’s latest novel, Benediction, in a six-figure deal orchestrated by Nancy Stauffer Cahoon at Nancy Stauffer Associates. The novel, set for a February 2013 release, is about a character named Dad Lewis; Cahoon elaborates, saying the book gets into “the record of his death in the hot summer months on the high plains of eastern Colorado, and the rebirth of faith and affirmation of those around him.”

Melding warfare with parenting in a tongue-in-cheek style, J.D./Ph.D. Suzanne Evans sold Machiavelli for Moms: A Memoir on the Effective Governance of Young Children to Michelle Howry at Touchstone. Agent Joy Tutela of David Black Literary brokered the deal for the parenting work that, she said, “begins with the satirical premise that the strategies of warfare... in The Prince can be successfully applied to raising a well-mannered family.”

In a book-to-film deal, Jody Hotchkiss of Hotchkiss and Associates sold dramatic rights to Brando Skyhorse’s The Madonnas of Echo Park (Free Press) to HBO for series adaptation. Hotchkiss handled the deal on behalf of the Susan Golomb Agency. The book, which won the 2011 PEN/Hemingway award, is a collection of interconnected stories about the residents of Los Angeles’s Hispanic neighborhood Echo Park. Big Love writer Julia Cho is attached as a producer/writer for the pilot episode.