David Saylor and Cassandra Pelham Fulton at Scholastic/Graphix have acquired, at auction, North American rights to four Heartstopper books by Alice Oseman. The YA graphic novel series features two high school boys, Nick and Charlie, who form an unexpected friendship and gradually fall in love. Heartstopper was originally released as a webcomic and is currently being published in the U.K. by Hodder. The first two books will be published in the U.S. in 2020. Susannah Palfrey at Hachette Children's Group negotiated the deal; world rights to the series were acquired from Claire Wilson at RCW.
Sylvan Creekmore at Wednesday Books has bought Julia Lynn Rubin's Trouble Girls, in a preempt. The YA novel is a queer re-imagining of Thelma & Louise in the #MeToo age, where two best friends go on the run in a journey that grows darker and deadlier with each new disastrous decision they make. Publication is planned for spring 2021, with a second untitled YA to follow; Saritza Hernandez at the Corvisiero Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook has acquired ZR Ellor's debut novel, May the Best Man Win, a contemporary YA about a transgender teen who challenges his ex-boyfriend for the coveted title of Homecoming King; as their campaign hijinks turn vicious, the two realize they may still have feelings for each other. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Kaitlyn Johnson at Corvisiero Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Amanda Maciel at Scholastic has bought world English rights to two titles in Lisa Papademetriou's middle grade series, Mackenzie Makes It Work, which follows a buoyant, funny seventh-grade entrepreneur who sees the best in everyone and everything and is relentless in her pursuit of a happy ending... for everyone. The series is slated to launch in summer 2021; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio did the deal for these series titles, as well as an additional untitled middle grade book.
Rebecca Gyllenhaal at Quirk has acquired, in a two-book deal, adult fantasy writer Robert Repino's debut venture into middle grade, Spark and the League of Ursus. Pitched as Toy Story meets Stranger Things, the book tells the tale of a teddy bear who, along with a league of toy allies, must stage a dangerous rescue mission after a human child is kidnapped by a portal-opening monster. Publication of the first book is set for spring 2020; Jennifer Weltz at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency handled the deal for world English rights.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has bought APALA Honor picture book author Andrea Wang's debut middle-grade novel, The Many Meanings of Meilan, along with a second standalone novel. When Meilan's extended family has a falling out, she and her parents and grandfather relocate from Boston's Chinatown to a small town in rural Ohio, where she taps into her inner strength and sense of justice to make her own new place in the world. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented Wang in the deal for world rights.
Krista Vitola at Simon & Schuster has acquired two books by If This Were a Story author Beth Turley. The first novel, The Honest Truth, features a diverse group of budding middle school journalists who have been chosen for a highly sought-after summer internship at a magazine in New York City. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Zoe Sandler at ICM negotiated the deal for world rights.
Hannah Allaman at Rick Riordan Presents has bought debut author Graci Kim's middle grade fantasy The Last Fallen Star. Twelve-year-old adoptee Riley Nam desperately wants to have healing powers like everyone else in her Korean witch family. With the help of her sister, Riley attempts to summon Omoni—the mother of all goddesses—but instead her sister is banished to the spirit realm and Riley is given an ultimatum: if she wants to get her magic and save her sister's life, she must find the godrealm's last fallen star. Publication for the book is set for spring/summer 2021; Carrie Pestritto at Laura Dail Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Kathy Dawson at Penguin/Dawson has acquired, at auction, Mindy Thompson's The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams, a debut middle grade novel set during WWII about Poppy, whose family runs a time-hopping, magical bookshop. When tragedy strikes, Poppy is caught between following her family's rule that prohibits magic for your own gain and trying to save her brother's life. Publication is slated for 2021; Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic brokered the deal for world rights.
Trisha de Guzman at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has bought, in an exclusive submission, How to Make Friends with the Sea author Tanya Guerrero's Knead Love. The middle grade novel is about a 13-year-old girl of Filipino and Spanish descent who goes to live with her estranged grandmother in Barcelona to escape a domestic violence situation at home, and who finds new friends, rediscovers family, and uncovers a hidden talent for bread baking. Publication is planned for winter 2021; Wendy Schmalz at Wendy Schmalz Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Charlie Ilgunas at Yellow Jacket has acquired Midsummer's Mayhem author Rajani LaRocca's middle grade novel Much Ado About Batting. The story follows a 12-year-old girl and boy, math competition rivals who are on the same summer baseball team, and who try to help their team win by eating unusual snacks and solving mysterious math puzzles, which cause confusion and calamity in their town. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Brent Taylor at Triada US did the deal for world English rights.
Molly Cusick at Sourcebooks has bought, in a preempt, Lena Podesta's picture book debut, Too Crowded, the story of a fish who needs more room than his bowl has to offer, and the illuminating journey and iffy roommates that follow. Publication is slated for 2021; Stephen Barr at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.
Andrew Rushton and Beth Terrill at NorthSouth have acquired Janie Bynum's picture book, Chick Chat, in which busy, baby Chick—looking for someone to chat with—discovers her tendency to nurture when she finds a large egg that hatches into a new friend. Publication is set for spring 2021; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary Studio negotiated the deal for world rights.
Joni Sussman at Kar-Ben has bought world rights to author-illustrator Kyra Teis's Klezmer, a picture book capturing the spirit of the freewheeling Jewish music called klezmer. Fall 2021 publication is planned; Elizabeth Bennett at the Transatlantic Agency handled the deal.
Jennifer Greene at Clarion has acquired Anna Walker's new picture book, Hello, Jimmy!, the story of a boy who feels overshadowed by his father's new companion, a funny, noisy parrot named Jimmy. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Stephen Barr at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand.
Nina Gruener at Cameron Kids has bought world rights to River by Maciek Albrercht, a picture book about the powerful cycle of life that follows a river from raindrop to vast ocean to raindrop. Publication is slated for fall 2020; the author-illustrator represented himself.
Katie Cunningham at Candlewick has acquired world rights to 'Twas the Night Before Pride, a picture book by debut author Joanna McClintick (l.), illustrated by Pura Belpré Award winner Juana Medina. On the eve of the LGBTQ+ community's biggest holiday, a queer family prepares for the next day's festivities, remembering the revelry of years past, revisiting the history behind the first Pride march, and reaffirming what it means to have pride. Publication is set for spring 2022; Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the author, and Gillian MacKenzie at MacKenzie Wolf represented the illustrator.
Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers has bought world rights to Alec Carvlin's (l.) debut picture book, How to Bake a Universe, a whimsical recipe from a prescient cookbook that is equal parts cosmic and culinary. The book takes a kid-chef on a journey from a baking tray of nothing to a crisp (not burned!) universe, showcasing a basic scientific understanding of how a universe comes into being through humor and adventure. Brian Biggs will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2021. Tanusri Prasanna at Foundry Literary + Media represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has acquired world rights to adult author Thrity Umrigar's (l.) Sugar in Milk, illustrated by Khoa Le, a picture book mixing a modern immigrant story with an old Persian tale about the blending of cultures and how wonderful it can be. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Daniel Greenberg at Levine, Greenberg, Rostan Literary Agency represented the author, and Aurora Meyer at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Kate DePalma at Barefoot Books has signed Dance Like a Leaf by debut author AJ Irving (l.), illustrated by Claudia Navarro (La Frontera). The bittersweet story follows a girl coping with the decline and death of her grandmother and finding comfort in the autumn leaves they used to enjoy together. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary represented the author, and Claudia Navarro represented herself in the deal for world rights.
Courtney Fahy at Little Bee Books has bought world rights to Corey Rosen Schwartz (l.) and Kirsti Call's (center) Mootilda's Bad Mood, illustrated by Claudia Ranucci, a picture book about a cow named Mootilda who wakes up on the wrong side of the barn and experiences one cow-tastrophe after another. Publication is set for fall 2020; Emma Sector at Prospect Agency represented the authors, and Hannah Whitty at Plum Pudding Illustration represented the illustrator.