Caitlyn Dlouhy at Atheneum has bought a four-book middle-grade series, tentatively titled T R A C K, by Jason Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest). The book follows the lives of four kids from vastly different families who become friends after joining an exclusive track team; under the guidance of their coach, they learn more than just how to win races. Publication will take place every six months beginning summer 2016; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties did the deal on behalf of Elena Giovinazzo for North American rights.
Stephanie Lurie at Disney-Hyperion has acquired North American rights to the middle-grade fantasy Shadow Magic and a sequel by Sarwat Chadda, writing under the name Joshua Khan. The books are set in a world ruled by six ancient Houses of Magic; in the first story the princess of the House of Shadow joins forces with an outlaw boy and a giant bat on a dangerous quest to save her land. Publication is set for summer 2016 and summer 2017. Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Emily Easton at Crown has bought Sarah Beth Durst's Fire and Heist, a YA novel about a girl with a big secret. She comes from a family of were-dragons who must steal their first treasure hoard to gain power and acceptance, but while attempting her first heist, she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society that is more valuable—and dangerous—than any gold or jewels. It's scheduled for summer 2016; Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger brokered the deal for world rights.
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic has acquired PEN and Edgar Award-winner Matthew J. Kirby's first YA novel, A Taste for Monsters, about a disfigured teenage girl who befriends real-life Elephant Man John Merrick in 19th-century England while the Jack-the-Ripper murders are taking place. Publication is slated for spring 2016; Stephen Fraser at the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins bought Lies We Tell Ourselves author Robin Talley's As I Descended, a retelling of Macbeth set at a contemporary Virginia boarding school. It centers around a lesbian couple who set out to dethrone the school's resident Mean Girl, only to find themselves struggling to hang onto their sanity and their lives when they accidentally summon a trio of brutal, manipulative ghosts. Publication is scheduled for summer 2016. Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Alison Weiss at Egmont has acquired a debut middle-grade speculative thriller by Holly VanDyne called The Inhabitant of Alexis O'Riley, in which the world's youngest brain transplant donor is convinced that her new body (which she hates) is trying to kill her. Publication is planned for 2016; Josh Adams at Adams Literary brokered the deal for North American rights.
Annette Pollert-Morgan at Sourcebooks Fire has bought Stacie Ramey's debut novel, The Pact, in which two sisters vow to take their lives together. Told from the perspective of the sister who lives, the teen spirals into grief, prescription pill abuse, and mysterious visions, which lead her to uncover unexpected secrets. It's scheduled for fall 2015; Nicole Resciniti at the Seymour Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Caitlyn Dlouhy at Atheneum has bought a new book by Someday author Alison McGhee, called Dear Sister. It tells the story of a brother and his little sister through notes and drawings and progress reports, and depicts the sibling relationship at its most real: hilarious, cunning, vengeful and, ultimately, devoted. It is slated for release in 2016; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties brokered the deal for North American rights.
Neal Porter at Roaring Brook's Neal Porter Books has acquired world rights to Tony, written by poet Ed Galing and illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead. In the story, the narrator lovingly remembers the poignant friendship enjoyed, as a child, with a gentle milk-cart horse named Tony and his young owner. Publication is set for winter 2017; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented Stead.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum bought world rights to The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori and the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch, to be illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor artist Marjorie Priceman. The picture-book biography melds music, history, and the invention process. The book will pub in spring 2017; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author; the illustrator represented herself.
Allison Wortche at Knopf acquired world rights to Panda Pants, a picture book by Jacqueline Davies (l.), author of the Lemonade War series, to be illustrated by Sydney Hanson. It tells the story of a young panda bear who insists that he wants to wear pants – to his practical father's dismay. Publication is planned for summer 2016; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary represented the author and Justin Rucker at Shannon Associates represented the artist.
Maria Modugno at Random House has bought That's Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Teagan White. It offers reassurance to children anxious about leaving their parents, or to someone leaving home, suggesting that reminders of their love can be found everywhere. Publication is set for spring 2017; Amy Rennert sold world English rights for the text, and Nicole Tugeau sold world rights for art.
Barb McNally at Sleeping Bear Press has acquired world rights to A Penguin Named Patience: A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story, written by Suzanne Lewis (l.), to be illustrated by Lisa Anchin. The picture book tells the story of Patience, a penguin at the New Orleans Audubon Aquarium, who is waiting to be rescued by her caregiver during Hurricane Katrina. Publication is scheduled for February 2015; the deal was negotiated by Ronnie Ann Herman of Herman Agency on behalf of Lewis, and Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary & Media on behalf of Anchin.
Liz Bicknell at Candlewick has bought North American rights to Mal Peet's The Murdstone Trilogy (one novel, not a trilogy) It's a dark comedy about a children's book author who makes a deal with a gnomic stranger to help him reach international celebrity and acclaim, with Faustian consequences. David Fickling Books will release the novel this month in the U.K.; Candlewick will publish in spring 2016. Allison Hellegers at Rights People brokered the deal on behalf of David Fickling and Bronwen Bennie.
Ruta Rimas at McElderry Books preempted world English rights to two YA fantasy novels, currently untitled, by Sarah Fine. A 16-year-old who has been training her whole life to become queen finds that, when coronation day arrives, she has not inherited the magical powers of her predecessor. She is cast out and powerless; her only redemption is to search for the person who did inherit the former queen's magic. Publication is set for spring 2016; Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. negotiated the deal.
Joy Peskin at Farrar, Straus and Giroux acquired North American rights to Nicole McInnes's YA novel, 100 Days. Trapped in the body of an 85-year-old, Agnes suffers from progeria, a rare disease that causes her to age at 10 times the normal rate. When tensions flare between Agnes and her best friend, after the two become closer to the class loner, Agnes's health suddenly deteriorates; the three of them must find a way to connect or risk losing each other forever. It's scheduled for spring 2016; Dystel & Goderich agent Stacey Glick did the deal.
Andrea Cascardi at Egmont USA has bought a contemporary YA novel by debut author Amy Allgeyer Cook. In Water for Starfish, pitched as an Erin Brockovich story set in coal country, 17-year-old Liberty is sent to live with her grandmother in Kentucky after her mother is arrested during a protest. Liberty discovers that the water has turned orange and starts questioning whether the new mining process might be the cause, opening a Pandora's box of problems. Publication is slated for 2016; Danielle Chiotti at Upstart Crow brokered the deal for North American rights.
Kate Sullivan at Delacorte Press has won two middle-grade novels by Denis Markell at auction. The first book, Click Here to Start (a Novel) , is pitched as The Westing Game for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. In it, young Ted Gerson inherits “all the treasure” to be found in his great-uncle's old apartment – only to realize the flat is actually an in-person “escape the room” game and the reward for completing it could be extraordinary. Publication forClick Here is set for summer 2016; the second book is untitled. Holly Root of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency sold world English right to both books.
Rana DiOrio at Little Pickle Press has acquired three books in a new middle-grade series by Coleen Paratore called Always Willa. In the first book, Roar Like a Girl, Willa Havisham leaves the comfort of Cape Cod and finds herself in the old river city of Troy, N.Y., where she discovers the new meaning of home. Publication is scheduled for July 2015, May 2016, and September 2016; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Julia Maguire at Knopf has bought Everyone We've Been, a YA novel by Sarah Everett, about a girl whose heart is broken so badly she resorts to having her memories erased, as well as a second untitled book. The first book will publish in fall 2016; Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
Elise Howard at Algonquin has acquired world rights to The Girl in the Well Is Me, a middle grade novel by Canadian author Karen Rivers; Krestyna Lypen will edit. It tells the story of an 11-year-old who has an accident trying to impress some bullies; trapped in the dark, growing increasingly claustrophobic, she reflects on what has brought her to this point. The deal also includes a second standalone middle-grade novel. Publication is tentatively set for fall 2016 and fall 2017. Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Maria Modugno at Random House has bought world English rights to Power-Down, Ro-Buddy by Christina Geist, illustrated by Tim Bowers. In the book, Buddy transforms into Ro-Buddy as he puts on his new robot PJs, and powes down his “battery” from head to toe. It's scheduled for spring 2016. Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the artist; the author was unagented.
Jennifer Greene at Clarion has acquired world rights to Audrey Vernick's With a Baseball in Her Hand, a picture-book biography about Edith Houghton, a female baseball phenom who won spectators' hearts in the 1930s, and who joined the professional women's team the Bobbies at the age of 10. Steven Salerno will illustrate, reuniting the team that created Brothers at Bat. The book is slated for spring 2017. Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author; Salerno represented himself.
Sylvie Frank at Simon & Schuster's Paula Wiseman Books has bought world rights to Small Walt, about a small but determined snowplow that that takes on a blizzard, written by Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal (I Must Have Bobo!). Publication is scheduled for fall 2017. Mary Cummings at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.