Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster has acquired Everything's Better with a Beard, written by the stars of the A&E TV show Duck Dynasty: (l. to r.) Willie, Phil, Si, and Jase (not pictured: Jep and Alan Robertson). Kristin Ostby will edit. The book, a rhyming photographic picture book, will feature the bearded Robertson men explaining that whether it's a dog or a truck, a tree or a duck, everything's better when it has a beard. Release is set for March 2014. Mel Berger and Margaret Riley King from William Morris Endeavor negotiated the deal for North American rights, including audio.
Ken Wright of Viking has acquired I Was Here, a YA novel by Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay and Just One Year. The story follows Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend Meg's suicide, as she delves into Meg's secret life in search of answers. Publication is scheduled for the first half of 2015; Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Mallory Loehr of Random House has acquired world English-language rights to five new books by actor and author Julianne Moore; Frances Gilbert will edit. Moore will extend her Freckleface Strawberry character to beginning readers in the Step into Reading series. The first two books will release in summer 2015; Random House will also publish a Freckleface Strawberry picture book in summer 2016. Brenda Bowen of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates was the agent.
Melanie Cecka at Knopf has bought A.J. Steiger's YA novel Mindwalker and a sequel, Mindstormer. The books center on a teen who embarks on a dangerous memory-erasing experiment and discovers unsettling implications about the society she lives in, and the precautions the government has taken to thwart domestic terrorism. Publication for the first title is set for spring 2015; Claire Anderson Wheeler at Regal Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Jordan Brown at HarperCollins's Walden Pond Press pre-empted North American rights to The Boy Who Made Coffins, Elinor Teele's tentatively titled debut middle-grade novel, in a two-book pre-empt. In the first book, John and his younger sister are on the run from horrible Great Aunt Beauregard because she wants to put Page to work in the family coffin business. Publication is planned for winter 2016; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency brokered the deal.
Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow has acquired North American rights to two novels by Suzanne Crowley. The first, Finding Esme, is a middle-grade novel in which Esme McCauley finds dinosaur bones on her family farm in Texas and unearths long buried family secrets as well. It's scheduled for fall 2015; Rosemary Stimola of the Stimola Literary Studio did the deal.
Tamar Brazis at Abrams has acquired Bear Finds His Song by debut author-artist Jayme McGowan. It stars a rambling musician who one day realizes his song has missing something, and goes on a journey to find it. McGowan’s distinctive art method involves working with cut paper, gluing the pieces into diorama-like paper theaters, and photographing the scenes. Publication is set for fall 2015; Emily van Beek of Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Wesley Adams at Farrar, Straus and Giroux pre-empted world English rights to Georg Rauch's memoir An Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army. Rauch, who died in 2006, was 18, part Jewish, and living in Austria when he was drafted into the Führer's army in 1943. The book, Morgen said, is an “indelible portrait of a reluctant soldier's battle for survival.” Publication is planned for winter 2015; Emmanuelle Morgen at Stonesong brokered the deal.
Nancy Siscoe at Knopf has acquired a debut novel by comedian and musician Lance Rubin, called Denton Little's Deathdate. In the YA story, everyone knows the day on which they will die; for Denton Little ,that will be the day of his senior prom. Publication is set for spring 2015. Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media brokered the deal for North American rights.
T.S. Ferguson at Harlequin Teen has acquired world English rights to a new series by Kady Cross, author of the Steampunk Chronicles. The first book, Abandon, follows twin sisters – one living, and one dead – who are able to communicate with one another; the series was pitched as Supernatural meets Sweet Valley High. Miriam Kriss at Irene Goodman Literary Agency did the three-book deal.
Zareen Jaffery at Simon and Schuster has bought Sublime, the first YA novel from Christina Lauren, pseudonym of author team Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, authors of the Beautiful Bastard and Wild Seasons series for adults. The book tells the story of Lucy and Colin, who are passionately in love. The only problem: Lucy's a ghost. Holly Root of Waxman Leavell did the deal for world, audio, and e-book rights.
Christian Trimmer at Simon & Schuster bought world rights to debut author Heather Petty's Lock & Mori, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes origin story, in a three-book, six-figure pre-empt. The YA trilogy is told from the perspective of 16-year-old Miss James "Mori" Moriarty, who, in looking for an escape from her recent past and spiraling home life, takes classmate Sherlock up on his challenge to solve a murder mystery in Regent's Park. Laurie McLean of Foreword Literary brokered the deal; dramatic rights will be handled by Brandy Rivers of the Gersh Agency.
Kevin Lewis at Hyperion has bought Wish, a followup to Hello! Hello! by author-illustrator Matthew Cordell. It tells the story of one hopeful couple, their baby-to-be, and their unexpectedly long but rewarding journey to becoming a family. The book is slated for February 2015 publication; Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio did the deal for world rights.