Smokewood Entertainment, the production company behind Precious, has bought film rights to Judy Moody. John Schultz (Aliens in the Attic) will direct, and Kathy Waugh and Judy Moody author Megan McDonald have written the screenplay. The The film begins production in August, and Candlewick will publish a Judy Moody movie tie-in program in spring 2011.
Jennifer Besser of Putnam Young Readers has acquired The Western Mysteries, a three-book middle-grade series by Roman Mysteries author Caroline Lawrence. The series, set in the Nevada Territories of 1862, stars a young master of disguise named PK Pinkerton and features actual historical figures and. The first book is scheduled for publication in spring 2011. Orion is publishing in the U.K. and will handle translation rights. Brenda Bowen of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates negotiated the deal for North American rights on behalf of Clare Pearson of Eddison Pearson in London.
Jordan Brown at Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins has bought a debut novel by Barry Wolverton, called Neversink: A Puffin Saga, billed as a Pixar-meets-Watership Down adventure, in which Lockley Puffin reluctantly assumes the role of hero when a hat-wearing faction of owls attempts to take over his home island of Neversink. Publication is set for winter 2012. Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.