In a six-figure preempt, Kristin Rens at HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray took world English rights to Evelyn Skye's debut, The Tsar's Game. In this YA fantasy, star-crossed lovers battle in a lush, magical version of tsarist Russia in 1825. The first book is scheduled for publication in 2016; Brianne Johnson at Writers House brokered the deal.
Sarah Landis at HMH has acquired Erin Summerill's debut novel Ever the Hunted and its sequel, a fantasy that follows 17-year-old Britta Flannery who is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. Her father, a legendary bounty hunter, is murdered, and the stakes are fatal if she doesn’t find his killer. The book is slated for fall 2016; Josh Adams at Adams Literary did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Alvina Ling and Allison Moore at Little, Brown have acquired Towers Falling by Coretta Scott King Honoree Jewell Parker Rhodes. It tells the story of Deja, who 15 years after the events of 9/11 grapples with the effects still felt by her community. Publication is planned for spring 2016; Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich negotiated the deal for world rights.
Janine O'Malley at FSG has bought North American rights to Food Truck Fest by author and literary agent Alexandra Penfold, with illustrations by former Google doodler Mike Dutton. The rhyming story follows a fleet of food trucks as they get ready for the biggest and best day of the year – the food truck fest. It's slated to publish in winter 2017. The author was represented by Susan Ginsburg at Writers House, and the illustrator by Marietta B. Zacker at Nancy Gallt Literary Agency.
Deirdre Jones at Little, Brown has acquired Claymates by I Don't Want to Be a Frog author Dev Petty (l.) and debut illustrator Lauren Eldridge. It's a friendship story about two blobs of clay outdoing one another by bending, stretching, and smashing themselves into wacky shapes, only to have to work together to put themselves right before their sculptor returns. Publication is set for fall 2017; Danielle Smith at Red Fox Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen has bought North American rights to Black Sabbath, a YA novel by writer/producer/director John Hamburg (l.) (I Love You, Man) and Lev Novak (brother of actor B.J. Novak). The publisher called the debut “equal parts Die Hard at a bar mitzvah and comedic New York City coming-of-age.” It follows a 13-year-old who becomes an unlikely hero when a classmate's bar mitzvah is threatened by criminals. The book is slated for spring 2017. Hamburg was represented by WME's Dorian Karchmar, while Novak was represented by Janklow and Nesbit's Paul Lucas.
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic has acquired two books in a new middle-grade series, along with two middle-grade historical novels, by Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson. The series will feature bookish orphan Audacity “Audie” Jones, who, stuck at a school for wayward girls, solves real-life mysteries. The first Audie Jones book is set for spring 2016. The historical novels will be companions to Larson's award-winning Duke and Dash books (which feature stories, set in WWII, about kids being separated from their dogs). The first of the new historical works is set for spring 2016. Jill Grinberg of Jill Grinberg Literary Management did the four-book deal for North American rights.
Emily Easton at Crown has bought debut author David Neilsen's Dr. Fell, a comic horror story in which three young children work to save their neighborhood from the mysterious and ancient Doctor Fell, as well as a second, standalone book, still untitled. Publication for the first is scheduled for fall 2016. Eric Myers of the Spieler Agency brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Laura Godwin at Henry Holt has signed Frann Preston-Gannon, a Maurice Sendak fellow, to create My World, a book of pictures categorized by theme and designed to demystify a young child's world. It is set for publication in winter 2017. Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions negotiated the deal for world rights.