Megan Tingley at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to Thunder Boy Jr., the debut picture book by Sherman Alexie, to be illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Yuyi Morales. Thunder Boy Jr. tells the story of a boy named after his father; Thunder Boy Jr. doesn't want to share a name; he wants a name that is all his own, and he goes through many possibilities. Just when all hope is lost, his father helps him find the perfect name, one that celebrates the love between father and son. Publication is slated for May 2016; Nancy Stauffer at Nancy Stauffer Associates represented the author and Charlotte Sheedy at Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency represented the artist.
Elizabeth Bewley at HMH has bought Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein, a middle-grade novel by Jennifer Roy, based on Ali Fadhil's real-life story. Set in the spice-filled markets and curtain-drawn homes of 1991 Iraq and told through the eyes of 12-year-old Ali, a boy preoccupied by real-life dictators and video game villains, this book offers a glimpse into the everyday realities of growing up under the shadow of Saddam Hussein's regime. It's scheduled for spring 2017; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group brokered the deal for North American rights.
Rebecca Weston at Delacorte has acquired Frank L. Cole's new middle-grade novel, The World's Greatest Adventure Machine, featuring four kids with unique abilities who are called upon to test the world's biggest and best roller coaster ride, only to find out that their mission is not what they thought it was. Publication is planned for spring 2017; Shannon Hassan at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Michelle H. Nagler at Random House has bought at auction Beth Ain's A Friend Like You, a middle-grade verse novel about a fourth grader and the small moments in her year that add up to big surprises. Publication is slated for 2017; Jill Grinberg of Jill Grinberg Literary Management oversaw the two-book deal for U.S., Canada, and open market English rights.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has acquired Rachel Vincent's Brave New Girl, about a 16-year-old girl who secretly longs to be an individual in a world where standing out from the crowd could result in disaster. Publication is scheduled for 2017; Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.
Grace Kendall at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has bought Mockingbird author Kathryn Erskine's debut picture book, Mama Africa, to be illustrated by Charly Palmer, also a debut. The book tells the story of Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil-rights activist Miriam Makeba, who brought global attention to the injustice of apartheid through her music while in exile. Publication is tentatively set for 2017; Linda Pratt at Wernick & Pratt Agency represented the author; the illustrator represented himself.
Neal Porter at Roaring Brook's Neal Porter Books has acquiredSomewhere Else, a picture book by author-illustrator Gus Gordon (Herman and Rosie), about a travel-averse duck named George and his friend Pascal, a bear who is determined to teach George how to fly so they can see the world together come spring. Publication is slated for 2017; Charlie Olsen of Inkwell Management negotiated the deal for North American rights, which includes a second picture book scheduled for publication in 2018.
Nancy Inteli at HarperCollins has bought, in a pre-empt, two books by Victoria Ying, Meow? and Woof!, in her author-illustrator debut. The picture books, which feature an attention-seeking cat and a budding friendship, are told in animal sounds. They are scheduled for publication in 2017 and 2018; Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions brokered the deal for world rights.
Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow has acquired I Do Not Like Al's Hat by debut author-illustrator Erin McGill, along with the author's next picture book. The book follows a magician's rabbit who is fed up with poor working conditions and leaves the magic show in search of a better job. Publication is planned for winter 2017; Julie Stevenson of Waxman Leavell negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.
Anne Heltzel at Abrams/Amulet has bought debut author Jennifer Mason-Black's Devil and the Bluebird, in which a teenage girl meets a devil at her town crossroads and exchanges her voice for a pair of magical boots and six months to save her runaway sister's soul. Publication is slated for spring 2016; Alice Speilburg at Speilburg Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Kate Harrison at Dial has acquired two as-yet-untitled picture books from author-illustrator Hannah Harrison (Bernice Gets Carried Away; Extraordinary Jane). Publication is scheduled for spring 2018 and summer 2019; Abigail Samoun at Red Fox Literary handled the deal for world English rights.
Alison Weiss at Sky Pony Press has acquired Tara Sim's debut LGBTQ steampunk Timekeeper trilogy. The series, set in an alternate Victorian era in which time in each city is controlled by a clock tower, follows teenage prodigy clock tower mechanic Danny. Hoping to save his father, who is trapped in a town outside of London, Danny is also battling a force seeking to destroy all of the towers and stop time. The first book in the series is slated for fall 2016; Laura Crockett at TriadaUS Literary Agency did the three-book deal for world rights.
Sarah Dotts Barley at Macmillan's Flatiron Books has bought Chris Russell's debut YA novelSongs About a Girl, about a wallflower teen girl who is swept up into the surreal world of the world's hottest boy band, and becomes caught between the charms of its two star members. A publication date has not yet been set. Ginger Clark and Noah Ballard at Curtis Brown negotiated the deal for North American rights on behalf of Ed Wilson at Johnson & Alcock; Hodder Children's Books will publish the book in the U.K.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin's Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired Written in the Stars author Aisha Saeed's second novel, This Promise I Will Keep. In it, a Pakistani teenager enters indentured servitude to pay her family's debts, and must choose between pursuing an education and freedom or the chance to save her village from a dangerous threat. Publication is scheduled for 2017; Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Julie Tibbott at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has bought Flip the Bird, a YA novel by Kym Brunner. It tells the story of a teenager at his first falconry meet who is determined to win the Best Apprentice pin. But he runs up against trouble when he finds himself falling for a girl whose parents are leaders of a radical animal rights group. Publication is planned for fall 2016; Eric Myers of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management did the deal for world rights.
Annette Pollert-Morgan at Sourcebooks Fire has acquired Cyn Balog's Unnatural Deeds, in which a girl, found lying battered and broken in a ditch, must recount the events that led to her demise, and ultimately, to murder. Publication is slated for fall 2016; Mandy Hubbard at D4EO Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Hilary Van Dusen at Candlewick has bought photographer and writer Susan Kuklin's next nonfiction book for young adults. Kuklin, who won the 2014 Stonewall Honor Award for Beyond Magenta, will now shift her focus to young, undocumented immigrants. The book, which is not yet titled, will be accompanied by Kuklin's photography. Publication is set for fall 2017; Brianne Johnson at Writers House brokered the deal for world English rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has acquired I Wonder by Doyin Richards, the founder of the Daddy Doin' Work blog. The picture book includes photos of his children and those of his fans alongside inspirational thoughts about fatherhood. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016; Frances Black of Literary Counsel negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kate O'Sullivan of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has bought world rights to Jinnee and the Big Machines, a picture book biography of children's author-illustrator Virginia Lee Burton by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by John Rocco. Publication is slated for fall 2017, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Burton's The Little House. Amy Rennert at the Amy Rennert Agency represented Rinker, and Rob Weisbach at Rob Weisbach Creative Management represented Rocco.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin's Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired world rights to a picture book by Christina Soontornvat called The Ramble Shamble Children, illustrated by Lauren Castillo. The book follows five children trying to improve their dilapidated house. Publication is scheduled for 2018; Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented Soontornvat, and Paul Rodeen at Rodeen Literary Management represented Castillo by in the deal for world rights.