Alvina Ling at Little, Brown has bought world English rights to Andrea Pinkney's The Red Pencil, illustrated by Shane Evans, in which a young refugee finds hope and inspiration in learning to write and expressing herself through art. The middle-grade title was inspired by true events in Sudan and will be written in verse. Liza Baker is editing; publication is planned for fall 2014. Rebecca Sherman at Writers House did the deal for both author and illustrator.

Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has bought a debut YA novel by Jen Larsen, author of Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed Up My Head. Her new book, Future Perfect, takes its cue from the themes Larsen explored in her memoir, and follows a teenager with a painful dilemma: get weight-loss surgery or stay true to her body and her sense of self. Publication is slated for either summer or fall 2015; Cheryl Pientka at Jill Grinberg Literary Management did the deal for world English rights.

Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has acquired a middle-grade novel, The Doldrums, by debut author-artist Nicholas Gannon, in a two-book deal (the second will be a sequel). The story, pitched as The Mixed-Up Files meets Lemony Snicket, follows an unlikely trio: the grandson of famous explorers who were lost at sea long ago, a former ballerina, and the grandson's best friend. It's scheduled for a 2015 release. Rebecca Sherman at Writers House brokered the deal for North American rights.

Pam Gruber at Little, Brown has bought world English rights to a debut novel by Virginia Boecker called The Witch Hunter, set in an alternative 16th-century London. In the story, pitched as Shadow and Bone meets The Tudors, the only girl in the king's elite group of witch hunters is framed for being a witch herself, finding freedom at the hands of the world's most wanted wizard. Publication is set for spring 2015; Kathleen Ortiz at New Leaf Literary & Media held the auction for the three-book deal.

Donna Bray at HarperCollins's Balzer + Bray imprint has acquired The Cost of All Things, the debut novel of Abrams senior editor Maggie Lehrman, in a two-book deal. In the story, when her boyfriend dies, grief-stricken Ari buys a spell to erase all memory of him – which has disastrous consequences for her dance career. And she's not the only one looking for shortcuts. A publication date has not yet been set; Tina Wexler at ICM sold world English rights at auction.

Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has bought Rebecca Van Slyke's Mom School and Dad School, companion books that imagine the type of specialized training parents had to go through to get where they are today. Mom School will pub in spring 2015 and Dad School will pub in spring 2016. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.