Cindy Loh at Bloomsbury has acquired The Mercy Rule, a debut YA novel by Jeff Giles, former deputy managing editor at Entertainment Weekly, as well as an untitled sequel, at auction. In his story, a teenaged girl tries to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance and meets a bounty hunter trying to escape the Lowlands (aka Hell), resulting in a star-crossed romance. It's scheduled for early 2016; Jodi Reamer at Writers House brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte and Annie Eaton and Ruth Knowles at Random House U.K. have jointly acquired Paranormalcy and Mind Games author Kiersten White's Daughter of the Dragon, in a three-book pre-empt. It’s the first in the Conquerors saga, a teenage Game of Thrones set in the Ottoman Empire. Book one will publish in 2016. Michelle Wolfson at Wolfson Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights; translation rights are handled by the Taryn Fagerness Agency.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends took U.S. and Canadian rights for the Summoner trilogy, a debut by Wattpad sensation Taran Matharu, at auction. The first installment, Summoner: The Novice, which has had more than three million reads on Wattpad, tells the story of Fletcher Wulf, a blacksmith's apprentice who discovers he has the power to summon demons from another world. Publication is scheduled for spring 2015; Sasha Raskin of the Agency Group represents the author in the U.S.; Juliet Mushens of TAG represents him in the U.K.
Karen Grove at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has bought a YA standalone novel from Light Key trilogy author Tracy Clark. Mirage is a YA thriller about a daring girl who nearly kills herself skydiving and has an out-of-body experience that leaves her afraid of everything, and must go to great lengths to win her life back. It's due out in spring 2016; Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kathy Dawson at Penguin's Kathy Dawson Books has acquired two middle-grade books by debut author Gail Shepherd. The first of the two, South by Southeast, is a coming-of-age story set in Tennessee, post-Vietnam War; it follows Lyndie, who as the daughter of a Vietnamese woman and an American soldier feels she doesn't really belong, either in her town or in her family. Publication is set for winter 2016; Kristin Vincent at D4EO Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Andrea Cascardi at Egmont has acquired the sequel to Len Vlahos's The Scar Boys. Scar Girl will pick up just where The Scar Boys left off, and will revolve largely around the character of Cheyenne Belle. It's the second YA novel from Vlahos, the executive director of BISG. Publication is planned for spring 2016; Sandra Bond at Bond Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Karen Chaplin at HarperCollins has acquired two YA romantic comedies from The Art of Lainey author Paula Stokes. Bad Luck Charm focuses on a girl who is convinced that she is cursed and anyone who gets close to her will be hurt, and her romance with a boy who doesn't believe in bad luck. Jack of Hearts is about an American girl whose life changes when she moves to Copenhagen. Publication is tentatively slated for summer 2016 and summer 2017. Jennifer Laughran from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.
Rotem Moscovich at Disney-Hyperion has acquired Hook's Revenge: The Pirate Code by Heidi Schulz, sequel to her September 2014 middle-grade adventure Hook's Revenge. The book continues the Neverland adventures of Captain Hook's daughter, Jocelyn, as she competes with a malevolent pirate captain to find her deceased father's treasure. Publication is scheduled for fall 2015; Brooks Sherman from the Bent Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Perrin Chiles at Adaptive Books has brought on E.C. Myers (Fair Coin and Quantum Coin) to write the YA thriller The Silence of Six, about a high school hacker who gets tangled up in a web of secrets, involving big data espionage and underground hacktivist networks, after he witnesses his best friend's suicide. It's scheduled for publication in November 2014. Eddie Schneider at JABberwocky brokered the deal.
Nancy Inteli at HarperCollins has signed 2014 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner Christian Robinson to illustrate The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown. In the story, a group of children gives a dead bird a proper burial and then comes to the woods every day, until they forget, to sing to it and place fresh flowers on its grave. Publication is slated for 2016; Steven Malk at Writers House sold world rights.
Celia Lee of Scholastic has acquired world rights to Children's Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt's Believe It Or Not: My Brother Has a Monster! in which a boy's brother sneaks home monster after monster until his parents show up. David Slonim will illustrate. It will be published in 2015; Jill Corcoran of the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency represented the author; the illustrator represented himself.
Harriet Ziefert at Blue Apple Books has bought debut author-illustrator E.B. Goodale's first book, tentatively titled Bella's Big Band. The picture book features a family that finds itself performing in full harmony. It’s scheduled for spring 2015; Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions did the deal for world rights.
Frances Gilbert at Random House has acquiredDear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein, a picture book from actress and playwright Amanda Peet (r.), co-written by Andrea Troyer. In the story, a young Jewish girl wonders why Santa Claus doesn't visit her house, and gains a better understanding of her identity and of the gift of friends and family. Publication is set for fall 2015; Joseph Veltre and Allison Cohen of the Gersh Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Debra Dorfman at Scholastic has acquired world rights to a new baseball-themed chapter book series by Major League Baseball first baseman Ryan Howard and his wife, Krystle Howard, a former elementary school teacher. My New Team, the first title in the Little Rhino series, aimed at readers 7–10, will be released in spring 2015; the deal was negotiated by CAA.
Jordan Brown at Walden Pond Press has acquired a middle-grade standalone novel and the next middle-grade series by Hero's Guide series author Christopher Healy. The first book, The Worst Thing About Saving the World, follows a 12-year-old boy who wonders what's left for him now that he's saved the world's citizens from destruction by an extraterrestrial evil. And the trilogy, called A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem, is an adventure set in the U.S. during the age of industry and invention, inspired by the works of Jules Verne. The Worst Thing is scheduled for fall 2015; Cheryl Pientka at Jill Grinberg Literary Management negotiated the four-book deal for world English rights.
Kathy Dawson at Penguin's Kathy Dawson Books has acquired, in a pre-empt, debut author Stephanie Tromly's Digby 101: A Crash Course in Juvenile Delinquency and Other Good Deeds, plus two untitled YA novels. Digby, pitched as “reminiscent of Sherlock, Juno, Say Anything, and The Breakfast Club,” is about a sarcastic girl who moves to a new town, and the witty, brilliant, and weirdly compelling Digby, who pulls her into one dangerous – and comedic – situation after another. It's scheduled for publication in fall 2015. David Dunton at Harvey Klinger did the deal for world English rights; Matt Leipzig at Original Artists has film/TV rights.
Liesa Abrams at S&S/Aladdin has bought North American rights to Half Upon a Time author James Riley's first two books in a new middle-grade series, Story Thieves. The first book, scheduled for February 2015, is about shy Owen, whose life is turned upside down when he sees his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. Bethany turns out to be half-fictional and is searching for her missing fictional father in book after book. Owen agrees to keep her secret, but only if she takes him into his favorite book in the uber-popular Kiel Gnomenfoot series. Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Katherine Jacobs at Roaring Brook Press has acquired The Truth About Alice author Jennifer Mathieu's next contemporary YA novel. The as-yet-untitled story is told in dual perspective between a boy recently released from his kidnapper and the unlikely girl who helps him in the aftermath. Publication is set for fall 2016; Sarah LaPolla at Bradford Literary Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.
Carol Hinz and Andrew Karre at Lerner's Graphic Universe imprint have purchased world English rights to Henrik Rehr's Terrorist: The Life of Gavrilo Princep, a documentary graphic novel about the life and times of the man whose assassination of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 is often cited as precipitating the outbreak of World War I. Publication is scheduled for spring 2015 (in France, the graphic novel is being published in June as Gavrilo Princip, l'homme qui changea le siècle). Sylvain Coissard did the deal on behalf of Futuropolis in France.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has bought, in a three-book deal, North American rights to Deborah Marcero's illustrations for Christine Heppermann and Ron Koertge's young middle-grade series Backyard Witch, about three best friends and a mysterious visitor who appears for curious adventures just when they need her most. The first title, Backyard Witch, is scheduled for summer 2015; Danielle Smith at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator.
Kristin Daly Rens at HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray has acquired world rights to a middle-grade biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Cynthia Levinson (We've Got a Job). It's slated for release in winter 2016; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Tamar Brazis at Abrams has bought, at auction, two picture books by debut author-illustrator Kate Berube. The first, Hannah and Sugar, tells the story of a girl whose compassion fuels the courage to overcome her fear of dogs. The book is scheduled for spring 2016, with the second, as-yet-untitled, book to follow. Lori Kilkelly of Rodeen Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Marshall Lewy at Adaptive Books has acquired The Adventures of Black Dog, based on Martha's Vineyard's Black Dog Tavern. Scheduled for August 2014, the book marks the picture-book debut of YA novelist Tiffany Schmidt (Send Me a Sign and Bright Before Sunrise), as well as the debut of illustrator Betsy Bauer. Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary did the deal on behalf of the author, and Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary & Media represented the artist.