Denene Millner at S&S/Millner has acquired, in a six-figure preempt, rights to J.Elle's YA debut, Wings of Ebony, pitched as The Hate U Give with a Wonder Woman lead and a Black Panther/Wakanda world. The novel follows Rue, a black teen from a poor neighborhood who, after learning she is half-human, half-goddess, must embrace both sides of her heritage to unlock her magic and destroy the racist gods poisoning her neighborhood with violence, drugs and crime. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Hannah VanVels at HarperCollins/Blink has bought CNN special projects producer Mayra Cuevas's debut #OwnVoices YA novel, Salty, Bitter, Sweet. The book is about a 17-year-old Latina Chicagoan whose family life has fallen apart after the death of her Abuela Lala and the divorce of her parents, and who turns to a kitchen apprenticeship in France as the only means to bring order back into her life. Publication is planned for spring 2020; Saritza Hernandez at the Corvisiero Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Andrew Eliopulos at HarperCollins acquired, at auction, bestselling adult author C.S. Pacat's (Captive Prince) YA debut, Dark Rise, a fantasy trilogy set in an alternate London. In the books, the heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war are reborn, ushering in a dangerous new age of magic. The first title, Dark Rise, will be published in fall 2021; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Kieran Viola at Freeform has bought world English rights to Jennifer Lynn Barnes's new YA mystery, Inheritance Games, about an eccentric, puzzle-obsessed billionaire who dies and leaves his fortune to a teenage girl he's never met, with one stipulation: she has to move into his sprawling, secret-passage-filled mansion, alongside the family he's just dispossessed. Publication is scheduled for 2020, with a second untitled YA to follow; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the author.
Mary Kate Castellani at Bloomsbury has acquired Morris Award finalist Leah Thomas's YA novel, Violet Ghosts and Pop Rocks. Pitched as The Lovely Bones meets Freaks and Geeks, the book tells the story of an isolated teen and their best friend—who is the ghost of a young woman murdered decades earlier—as they set out to free other ghosts from the burdens tethering them to this life. Publication is set for June 2021; the author brokered the deal for world rights.
Julia McCarthy at Atheneum has bought Forest Hills Bootleg Society, a YA graphic novel by Dave Baker and artist Nicole Goux. When Kelly and her friends accidentally buy the wrong bootleg anime DVD, they hatch a plan to sell the contraband to the boys in their conservative Christian school. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Charlie Olsen at InkWell Management brokered the deal for world English rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperTeen has acquired Abigail Hing Wen's debut Loveboat, Taipei and a second novel, at auction. The first novel follows the journey of Ever Wong, an Asian-American teen whose parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer at a program nicknamed Loveboat. The coming-of-age story is an exploration of love, family, multifaceted identity, and intersectionality. The book is slated for February 2020; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen has acquired The Problem with Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, a debut YA novel by high school teacher Kwame Ivery. Set in present-day New Jersey, it follows an interracial teen couple's blossoming romance, which is tested when their older sisters run against each other for student-body president. Race relations come to dominate an increasingly vitriolic campaign. Publication is set for February 2021; Penelope Burns at Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Jessica Smith at Simon Pulse has bought Lynn Painters's Better Than the Movies, a YA spin on My Best Friend's Wedding, in which rom-com-loving Liz schemes to win over her forever crush, but falls for the infuriating boy next door she enlists to help her. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Kim Lionetti at BookEnds negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kendra Levin at Viking has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world English rights to Newbery Honor author Derrick Barnes's middle grade novel, The Incredibly Human Henson Blayze, the story of an extraordinary young African-American athlete-turned-activist and the small Mississippi Delta town whose hopes rest on him. The book is planned for a spring 2021 release; Regina Brooks at Serendipity Literary represented the author.
Chris Krones at HMH has bought world rights to the B.E.S.T. World trilogy, by Once and Future author Cori McCarthy. The middle grade sci-fi series is set in 2068, where everybody receives a free bionic enhancement. The catch: the aug must be implanted when you're 13, it's permanent, and it's up to you to choose what it will be. But when 13-year old Grayson Bix disappears from the B.E.S.T. Augmentation Program, his friends join forces for a rescue that will change their lives and the future. Publication is slated for spring 2021 for book one; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary represented the author.
David Levithan at Scholastic/Graphix has acquired, in a preempt, Jim Di Bartolo's middle grade graphic biography of Bruce Lee, The Boy Who Became a Dragon. The book tells the story of Lee surviving the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during WWII as a child, overcoming bullying and bigotry as a teenager, and finding global fame and putting that fame to good use as an adult. The book will be published in February 2020; Jane Putch at Eyebait Management brokered the deal for world rights.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has bought U.S. and Canadian rights to Leila Sales's (l.) The Campaign, a middle-grade political comedy about a 12-year-old girl who runs her babysitter's campaign to become mayor of their city and protect public arts education. Kim Balacuit will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2020. Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management represented the author, and Balacuit represented herself.
Lily Kessinger at HMH has acquired Oh My Gods, and a sequel, by Stephanie Cooke (l.) and Insha Fitzpatrick, with art by Juliana Moon. In the middle-grade graphic novels, Karen, an average girl from New Jersey, moves in with her enigmatic father to start school at Mt. Olympus Junior High, but things take a turn when Karen discovers that mythological beasts are real and her classmates are gods and goddesses—so who does that make her? Publication is set for fall 2020 and fall 2021, respectively; Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary Agency did the two-book deal for world rights.
David Linker at HarperCollins has bought, in a six-house auction, political cartoonist and children's book creator Drew Sheneman's new book, Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct, a humorous nonfiction picture book that examines how dinosaurs actually are not extinct, but rather evolved into birds. Publication is planned for fall 2020; the deal for world rights was done by Paul Rodeen at Rodeen Literary Management and includes a second untitled picture book.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Porter has acquired world rights to Christy Hale's Out the Door. There is so much to see as a girl travels to school in a busy city through tree-lined streets, onto a crowded subway car, into the classroom with friends, and back home again. The book is slated for publication in September 2020; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal.
Jen Besser at Roaring Brook has bought, in an exclusive submission, North American English-language rights to We Believe in You, a picture book about the many talents that animals possess and the talents of each individual human, too, by Beth Ferry (l.). Caldecott Honor winner Molly Idle will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2020. Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented the author, and Steve Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Kelly Delaney at Knopf has acquired Maureen Fergus's Glory on Ice: A Vampire Hockey Story, about a centuries-old vampire who decides to try out a new hobby and discovers a love for the game. Mark Fearing will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2020. Fiona Kenshole at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Rotem Moscovich and Heather Crowley at Disney-Hyperion have bought world rights to Harbor Bound author Catherine Bailey's (l.) picture book, Hustle Bustle Bugs, illustrated by Claymates illustrator Lauren Eldridge. The book is about the contribution that busy bugs make to their world and ours. Publication is set for summer 2021; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Ellen Cormier at Dial has acquired world rights, in a preempt, to Thoughts Are Air, a picture book written in verse by Michael Arndt, illustrated by Irena Freitas. The book uses the alchemy of air, water, and earth as metaphors to explore the transformation of our thoughts into our words and actions and ultimately their impact on the world around us. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Christy Ottaviano at Macmillan/Ottaviano has bought, at auction, world rights to Her Name Was Mary Katharine, a picture book biography of Mary Katharine Goddard, the only woman whose name appears on the Declaration of Independence, written by Ella Schwartz (l.) (Can You Crack the Code?) and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (Counting on Catherine). The book is planned for spring 2021; Clelia Gore at Martin Literary represented the author, and Deborah Warren at East West Literary represented the artist.
Susan Kochan at Putnam has acquired, at auction, world rights to Big Ideas for Little Philosophers, a board book series co-authored by Duane Armitage (l.), professor of philosophy at the University of Scranton, and author and educator Maureen Doyle McQuerry. Each of four titles—Truth with Socrates, Imagination with René Descartes, Happiness with Aristotle, and Equality with Simone de Beauvoir—will release simultaneously in summer 2020; Robin Rosenthal will illustrate. Sandra Bishop at Transatlantic Literary Agency represented the authors, and Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented the illustrator.